In 2022, videos make up more than 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic, according to research from Cisco. On average, people watch 16 hours of online video per week.

With so much to gain, over 85 percent of businesses are now using video as a marketing tool. Clearly, you need to publish videos as part of your marketing efforts.

Like any other aspect of marketing, it may take time and practice to get it right. You also need to work on getting your videos a good ranking in the search results. No matter how great your videos are, it’s useless if no one sees them.

How to Rank a Video on Google Search

Produce Quality Content

While there are many factors that influence whether a video ranks well, the most important is quality.

Quality isn’t a direct ranking factor, because there’s no objective way to measure quality, it directly impacts user engagement – and that is a direct ranking factor. The more people watching, liking, and commenting on a video, the better it’s ranking is likely to be.

Ultimately, delivering quality means solving a problem for your viewers, such as:

  • Sharing knowledge
  • Teach viewers how to do something
  • Answer common questions
  • Provide industry insights or analysis

It’s not enough for your videos to be useful, however. It needs to be engaging and entertaining.

Also, encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel, comment, and share the video.

Optimize Video Length

Different video channels have different standards for video length and how it ranks. For example, TikTok users prefer videos under the maximum length allowed on the platform (60 seconds), while YouTube users are willing to watch longer videos or a series of videos on the same topic.

In the past, ranking factors considered the seconds viewed, comments, likes, and other metrics to determine ranking. Then, click farms were introduced to generate millions of false clicks, skewing the numbers.

Now, content rich videos that generate user engagement get higher ranking, because the factors are focusing on true views, no clicks and watching for a few seconds.

There’s no hard-and-fast rule for how long a video should be. Generally, a one-minute video is a good balance between being short enough to hold interest and long enough to dig into the topic. Plus, the longer you can keep a user watching your video, the higher it will rank.

Optimize the Video Name

Poor naming structure can significantly impact ranking. A search engine can’t rank your video if it doesn’t know what it’s about.

Make sure your video’s actual title and the raw data are optimized. Add tags related to your video’s keywords and synonym keywords, name the file based on them, and add some comments about what the video is about.

Use Keywords in Your Description

Your video should always have a description that tells viewers what they’re about to watch, as well as a link to your website. Remember, the point of starting a video marketing campaign is to attract customers to your website and prompt them to take action.

Don’t recycle the content from all your other videos – Google hates duplicate content. Keep it unique and treat every description as a new piece, because it is. Your description should be about 200 words, and be sure to include synonym keywords along with target keywords.

Avoid keyword stuffing, however. Google will penalize you for keyword stuffing.

Create a Custom Thumbnail

When you upload a new video, you’ll have an option to choose between screenshots from the video to use as your thumbnail. Sometimes, that screenshot is a less-than-flattering moment that makes users less inclined to watch.

Like adding a header image on a commercial landing page on your site, look at this manager training landing page, a custom thumbnail is ideal for controlling the first impression for the user. Add a thumbnail that tells the user what your video is about, such as a title card with a short summary. Use bright colors, such as red, orange, or yellow, which catch attention against white backgrounds and blue links in Google.

Optimize Your YouTube Channel Page

Your channel page helps you rank on YouTube, and in turn, on Google search. Make sure you fill out every aspect of your page, which will transfer down to your videos and improve their ranking.

Consider these aspects:

  • Channel art: Include profile pictures, backgrounds, and other details that tell users what your page is. Follow B2B SEO best practices for images.
  • Links: Adding links to your social media pages will drive traffic and helps search engines associate them with your business.
  • Description: Detailed descriptions help you explain what your channel is about, both to users and Google. Be thorough and include targeted keywords.
  • Subscribe: Subscribe to YouTube channels with similar content to demonstrate your association to YouTube.

Post to Social Media

Traditional SEO leverages on-page SEO, such as code and site speed, and off-page SEO, such as links. There’s now a third ranking factor, relevance, which affects the ranking.

Google always sides with the user – that’s the goal of ranking. Everything is considered from the user’s perspective, since they’re the ones using the search engine.

Google considers social signals in ranking. If people are discussing and engaging with your video on social media, it’s relevant. You need to post your video to social media.

Here’s how:

  • Auto sync the YouTube channel with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media accounts. Whenever you post a new video, it will auto-post.
  • Post to personal social media accounts.
  • Post to groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google.

Build Links

If you want to rank for competitive keyword searches, then you need to build links to your video URL and embed the HTML on other websites. Linkbuilding is tricky, however.

The right links help your video rank for the keywords you want, but the wrong links will get your video flagged as spam, and possibly removed. Work on building links slowly over time.

Some good link sources for videos include:

  • Blogs
  • Pinterest
  • WordPress
  • Tumblr

Boost Your Presence with Video

Video marketing is one of the most popular marketing methods now, and it’s only expected to grow. Making videos is only half the battle, however – you need to get them in front of the right people. These video ranking tips should help you improve your video’s ranking in Google search.


Author’s Bio

Jason started freelancing in SEO back in college, sold his first agency, and now is founder of Zupo, which is an Orange County based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends, catching up on reading, and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.