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12 Video Elements That Determine Your YouTube Ranking

YouTube is undeniably the most popular site that you should go to if youif you want to use videos as part of your digital marketing campaignstrategies. With millions of users and views it can generate in a day, launching your promotional videos via this platform will indeed promise you a high chance of spreading your message and reaching your target audience.

Simply uploading a video won't automatically bring swarms of social engagement though. YouTube marketing has become an art and science in itself, requiring the same precise timing and strategies used in optimizing content for large search engines like Google. Aside from original and compelling content, you must have an understanding of how rankings work and what elements affect them.

If you use YouTube as a content marketing channel, you must take these elements into consideration before and after publishing your videos to guarantee high views and ranks:

1. Video title

The title should contain the main keyword, but avoid stuffing it with too many keywords to ensure optimization boost. Ideally, the title should only compose of five words.

2. Filename

The filename of the video you will upload should similarly contain your main keyword. For instance, if your keyword is "easy holiday recipes," then <em>easy_holiday_recipes.mp4.</em> would be an ideal the file to be uploaded should be namedfilename. "easy_holiday_recipes.mp4."

3. Tags

Putting suitable tags will not only help YouTube categorize and learn more about your video; it will also increase the chance of your video appearing in the right sidebar of other videos with related content.

4. Description
Search engine optimization (SEO) principles should also be applied in describing the video, so place your main keyword and a link to your site on the first few sentences of the description.


Obviously, the vViews count can largely affect your rankings. Having many and quickly increasing views means quality content and viral potential—indicators that YouTube uses in putting videos at the top of the search results.


Like views, comments indicate engagement and popularity, which can launch your video to the top.

7. View retention

Video retention counts how many among the total viewers chose to watch your video until the end. If your uploaded video  is able to sustain viewers from start to finish, then it can indicate quality content.

8. Subscriptions

Another indicator of compelling content is the number of users who subscribe to your channel after watching your video. And of course, the more subscribers your have, the more YouTube sees your video as worthy of high rank.


A high share rate, like comment and views, can be indicative of your video’s quality and viral potential.

10. Watch Later

When your viewers put your upload in their "Watch Later" playlist, it’s another indicator that YouTube uses to tell if a video is worth playing multiple times.

11. Thumbs up/down

Your thumbs up to thumbs down ratio doesn't only tell whether you’re generating positive or negative feedback from a viewer; YouTube also uses this as a basis for recommending your video to users who might be interested in your content.

12. Backlinks

Like Google, YouTube also uses inbound links to rank your channel and the videos you upload there.

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