How to Make Your Videos Rank Better on YouTube

7 min read
Watb Team
Youtube example

Almost 5 billion videos on YouTube are watched every day. And in an average month, 8 out of 10, 18-49 year olds watch YouTube at some point. That’s an incredible set of YouTube statistics, and certainly one that business owners cannot, and often don’t, ignore.

YouTube videos are a powerful form of marketing, enabling businesses (and anyone!) to show off products, services, skills, opinions, and advice to a monumental number of viewers.

Not to mention that Google Search loves YouTube videos in their ranking algorithms too. If someone Google’s a query that your video answers, it’s possible your YouTube video could rank on the first page. So, even if the other websites that rank for that query are popular sites, a YouTube video can give you the edge.

So, what are the ingredients of a great YouTube video? How can be sure that your video is SEEN?

How to rank higher in YouTube

To get your YouTube video ranking higher in the feed, you need to improve your introduction, your content, your title, and your engagement.

There are strong correlations between videos that rank on the first page of the YouTube search results and video lengths of over 14 minutes, a high number of comments, views and shares, and the number of subscribers a channel has, and video watch time. So, there’s no surprise that the more popular your video, the more likely your video is to reach the first page.

But that’s easier said than done.

We want to cover the things YOU can do with your YouTube videos to make sure your video becomes popular.

Nail Down your Introductions

First, let’s look at the video itself.

The intro is probably the most important part of your video. With 20% of people likely to leave your video before 10 seconds, you need to capture the audience’s attention. This doesn’t mean fancy graphics of your logo dancing around, fading in and out of the screen as your favourite drum and bass track plays. It means giving the audience what they want to hear.

Is your video a How-To? Start by telling the user a snippet of info on the benefits of learning what they want to know, then cover an overview of what they will learn.

Providing an opinion on something? Throw something which might be more controversial at the audience within those first 10 seconds to really engage them.

Product or Service demonstration? Again, start with a benefit or two, an attention-grabbing stat (where appropriate), and then a sentence on what will be shown or learnt.

It really pays to get the introduction to YouTube video right, so have a look at what your competition is doing, and see what you can learn in terms of what’s good, and what’s not.

How to get your video seen on YouTube

YouTube Video Title Optimisation

First off, make sure your keywords are in your video title. YouTube gives heavy weight to the keywords in your video title.

Although the limit is 100 characters, try to keep your YouTube title to around 70 characters long (including spaces) to avoid titles being truncated.

One trick is to write your title twice, in a slightly different way to capture more keywords. This is the secret of the colon. For example, “How to use a washing machine: Washing Machines for Beginners”.  This captures two potential keywords of the “how to” and the “for beginners”.

Not sure what keywords to include? Here’s a guide to keyword research.

YouTube Description Optimisation

Next up, your video description. YouTube allows you to write a hell of a lot of content for your video descriptions. Here are a few tips:

  • You can write up to 5000 characters in the description field. Use as much as you can, even it turns into a blog post style description.
  • The first 100 characters in your description field typically get picked up in the decription that shows in the YouTube search results page along with your video. Give a super quick intro, include your main keyword, and end the 100 characters with a link to your site.
How to use a washing machine video on YouTube
  • Try and keep your main keywords close to the start of your descriptions.
  • Be sure to include links to your website, other YouTube videos, subscribe links, and social media links.

YouTube Tags

Use as many Tags as you can. Here are a few ideas on what tags to use.

Be sure to stick in a few branded terms so people looking for you are more likely to find your videos.

Look at what other competitors and similar videos are using. If people are using those tags, they are likely popular already and you can jump on that bandwagon.

YouTube Video Annotations

Annotation are used as in a variety of ways to increase your views, watch time, and sent traffic to other videos, products, and your website. They are clickable links which can be placed anywhere in your video at specific time intervals.

You can use annotations in a variety of ways, including:

  • Allow users to skip ahead in the video
  • Include more information links
  • Link to your website and products/services page
  • Link to further videos you have made
We won’t delve too much into exactly how to use them, but if you want to learn more, our friends over at ViewBix have you covered – 7 creative ways to use annotation.

BONUS – Getting the most out of your YouTube Profile

  • Brand it! Add a custom background and make sure your icon is visually appealing and recognisable for your brand.
  • Update your About section, and be sure to include your website link right away in your description.
  • Set your profiles intro video to auto-play
  • Create playlists of relevant videos and organise them in your channel. You can use this approach to offer content for each stage of your product or service sale funnel.

For our final piece of advice, don’t forget to share your YouTube video. Embed it on a blog or services page on your website and be sure to post it on social media. You may even want to perform an outreach campaign and send your video to other websites, bloggers, and influencers in your field to get their opinions. They may share your video and link to it!

There are going to be a tonne of other tricks and tips to optimise your YouTube videos, so if I’ve missed anything or your have any questions, give me a shout in the comments below. Thanks for reading, and I hope to see your YouTube videos ranking soon!

Youtube Statistics 2017

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YouTube videos are a powerful form of marketing, enabling businesses (and anyone!) to show off products, services, skills, opinions, and advice to a monumental number of viewers.

Social Media Management Software

In order to promote your business and reach consumers that spend an entire 24 hours a week online, you need to make sure that you have a viable social media strategy in place.

By posting unique and interesting content on your social media platforms, and by actively engaging with followers, you can start to turn this into a funnel for generating leads.

In order to stay on top of your social media strategy, it’s important to have some form of social media management software to do some of the heavy lifting. Software such as this is imperative for scheduling, tracking and monitoring social media content.

At its best, social media management software can help you not only plan your content months in advance, but also remain reactive by letting you tune into ongoing news stories or trending topics.

Screenshot of Hootsuite's homepage

We recommend: Hootsuite

There are a whole bunch of social media management companies out there and all of them offer roughly the same sort of package but Hootsuite is the only one that offers an actually free service (as opposed to just a free trial period).

They do try to hide it on their website though so make sure you follow this link in order to get to the right page.

The free version of this software lets you:

  • Manage up to three social media profiles from a choice of channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn
  • Schedule up to 30 posts in advance at any point in time
  • Track follower growth, likes and comments
  • Integrate two RSS feeds in order to find and share compelling content
  • Access Hootsuite’s online help center and community forum

Of course, there’s also a number of paid-for packages that you can buy from Hootsuite that give you access to a great number of services including higher ad spend budgets, automated post scheduling and custom analytics.

But if you’re a small business looking to get started, the free version of the software should be comprehensive enough to allow you to get your social media strategy in motion.

Website Tracking Software

We’ve said before that the secret to a successful lead generation strategy is to keep analysing and refining your methods. Well, website tracking software is the best way to conduct this analysis.

By digging into the analytics of your visitors’ actions, you can start to gain a better picture of why people come to your site, what they want from it, what they dislike about it and how you can improve upon their experience next time.

There are a wide variety of services that can fall into the category of website tracking software, including heatmaps, funnels, user polls, surveys, visitor recordings and more.

Basically, any kind of software that collects data about the ways in which your visitors interact with your site can be considered website tracking software.

Screenshot of Hotjar's homepage

We recommend: Hotjar

Whereas there are a multitude of smaller software companies that focus in on just one website tracking service, Hotjar offers an array of useful tools.

Hotjar tools include:

  • Click, move, scroll, download and share heatmaps that can also be split by device type
  • Visitor recordings that allow you to replay sessions of real site visitors
  • Conversion funnels that identify on which page and at which step the most visitors are leaving your site
  • Form analysis that can help you to discover which fields take too long to fill, which are left blank and why your visitors abandon your form and page
  • A customizable widget that allows you to create pop-up feedback polls
  • Responsive surveys that can be distributed through web links and emails, or featured your site just before your visitors abandon the page in order to discover what their concerns are
  • The ability to recruit test users in order to get instant feedback on your site

Hotjar’s free service is able to collect data from 2000 page views a day and will give you access to up to 300 visitor recordings and 3 heatmaps, forms, funnels, polls and surveys. Unlimited users can be added to your account and Hotjar will also store your data for a full year.

While we’d normally recommend free services when possible, it’s probably worth paying for Hotjar’s Plus plan to begin with.

For just under £25 a month you can collect data from 10,000 page views a day and have unlimited services and reports. Plus there’s even a 15-day free trial for you to test out whether you like their software or not.


Lead generation doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour.

What’s important is that you put real effort into all of your interactions with potential leads - whether that’s through educational and informative blog posts, social media interactions or even just a chat on the phone.

If you believe in your business’ ability to help its customers then all you have to do is let that shine through.

Ultimately, these tools are just there to help you meet potential leads on their level. The rest is up to you.

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