YouTube is the second most visited site on the Internet. This platform has a user base of over 1 billion people. Beyond that, the site has some of the highest engagement metrics you’ll ever find. Youtube has over 1 billion hours of videos watched a day and the average viewing session lasting over 40 minutes.

This makes YouTube one of the best marketing channels that businesses can use. However, very few businesses understand how to get their video ranked and distributed. To help you get over this challenge, this short step by step guide will walk you through the process of optimizing your videos for higher rankings and views.


Step 1: Start with the Right Content

The first step is to come up with the right video topics. With that in mind, here are some strategies for generating some great ideas:

  • Create a Google Ads account to get access to their keyword research tool. With that in mind, you get a general idea of popular topics and its search volume.
  • Use tools like Buzzsumo to find the most popular social media posts. This data provides engagement metrics and verify your initial keyword research.
  • Ask your existing email and blog subscribers what kind of video content they’d be interested in. Look into your current content to see what topics have a hit with your audience.
  • Look for video topics related to your business and see which ones have received the most views. Additionally, use YouTube’s autocomplete feature in the search bar to help guide your searches.


Step 2: Deeper Keyword Research

It always helps to go deeper with your keyword research so that you make the best choices for what topics to create content on. Also, include how you should optimize your videos. Here are some additional tools that you should use:

  • A free tool called Keyword Tool actually uses YouTube’s autocomplete feature to provide you with a long list of keywords based on your initial root keyword.
  • vidIQ is a premium tool that will provide search volume and other data for specific keywords. The platform includes social media engagement metrics, keyword tags, demographics, and more.
  • If you’ve already started posting videos on YouTube, you want to use YouTube Analytics to look at your traffic sources and a list of keywords to find your videos.


Step 3: Optimize Your Videos

Now, optimize various aspects of your video when you post. Edit all the details of your video by going to your video page and clicking the blue “EDIT VIDEO” button. Here are some tips to help your videos rank higher and stand out.

  • Title: Write a title that’s bound to grab the attention of your target audience. Promise value to the viewer. Add your target keyword to the title naturally.
  • Description: Create a description that elaborates on the title and encourages users to watch your video. Emphasize the first two sentences as the YouTube search results only display the first 200 characters of your description.
  • Category: In the Info & Settings tab, go to the middle of the page and click on the Advanced settings. Once there, choose the proper category for your video using the drop-down menu.
  • Subtitles/CC: A study showed that adding subtitles increased views by 13.48% within two weeks. Therefore, subtitles are necessary because it increases engagement and has a role in YouTube’s video rankings.
  • Keyword Tags: Using a wide variety of keyword tags will help. Use your main, secondary, and related keywords to improve your video and get wider distribution. The?vidIQ Chrome add-on is an excellent tool for finding the keyword tags other videos are using.
  • Custom Thumbnails: A great way to make your video stand out in the search results is to use custom thumbnails. Many YouTubers use text headlines for their custom thumbnails to increase views. You will need a verified YouTube account to add custom thumbnails.
  • Hashtags: YouTube has finally taken hashtags more seriously and has added hashtag links above your video title. It will pull the hashtags from your description (up to the first three). You want to make sure you start adding them to your videos. Use tools like hashtagify to research the best hashtags to use.


Step 4: Marketing Your Video

While you’ve properly optimized your videos, do not just rely on getting found through the YouTube’s search results. Moreover, metrics like view count, Youtube likes and social media shares proves YouTube with the information that your video is relevant to the topic. As a result, the video is distributed all around their network while increasing its rankings.

Here are some great ways for marketing your video and get the process started:

  • Embed your video on your website and blog posts. By getting your visitors to play your embedded videos, you’ll begin to increase the view count.
  • Use existing channels to promote the video. Announce it to your email list, remind your blog subscribers to watch it, and post it on to all your social media channels.
  • Ext, try to create videos for targeted but low competition Google searches. A good indicator if your video ranks is if there’s already one ranking in the first page.
  • Work with other content creators to market your content in return for you doing the same for them.



There’s a lot that goes into creating the right content, increasing video rankings, and getting a high number of views for your YouTube videos. Therefore, following the tips laid out in this guide will?increase your chances of succeeding on YouTube. However, do not lose sight of great content and editing. Making sure you put in as much work into creating quality videos as you do on optimizing and marketing videos. Success will follow.

Senior Marketing Analyst
With over 6 years of marketing experience, Allen is able to help guide clients through the sometimes complicated nether of digital marketing options. He prides himself in being able to match all of his clients with the perfect service offering for them. Allen spends his weekends with his wife and 3 dogs, and is known for throwing great barbeques!