Youtube Video SEO - 18 Video Ranking Factors To Watch-out For In 2018

Youtube Video SEO

I'll be talking about youtube SEO. If you want to rank your video on youtube, this is the best guide to look at for. Becuase in this tutorial, I break down every single step in term of ranking your video on youtube and earn some money.

Let Get Start

By the end of this article, you will know how to rank video on youtube consistently

Read: Top 3 Most Influential Factors In Ranking Video On Google & YouTube

Since watch time is super important for youtube SEO, let not wast more time and jump straight into the constructing the youtube search algorithm.

  1. The Ranking SIgnals

1. Video Minutes Watch

Youtube gives a lot of weight to the total minute watch on any particular video. An aged video, that is long in duration and has lots of views also has strong value in youtube eye.

2. Average View Duration

Youtube doesn't care about the percentage of a video that is being viewed. Instead, they only care about average time and total time watch.

A 1-hour long video with 10% average view time which is (6 minutes) will perform better than a 3-minute video with 100% average time.

For this reason, it makes sense to put some time into your channel design and organization. 

Create multiple playlist and sections as well a front page video to capture the viewer's attention and lead them to other videos on your channel.

3. Session Duration

This term describes how long viewer of your content stays on youtube after watching your video. Whether they watch your video or not, session duration still apply.

You want to encourage session duration as much as possible, even better, if viewers spend a long time on youtube being watching your video, as this will quickly increase your watch time.

Some Tips

  • Consistently link between related video
  • Create a hyper-focused and organized niche youtube channel.

4. Session Starts

Anytime a view comes to your video from an external site other than youtube. It's considered to be a session start.

essentially, youtube love anyone giving them free advertising, and they would reward you for doing so.

This is why it's important to get views from social media, forums, blogs, and other platforms to help rank your video.

Note: Youtube and Facebook don't like one another. They hate each other very much.

I don't know from my own experiment, linking either from facebook to youtube or youtube to facebook would hurt your organic reach on both of that platform.

I don't mean that driving traffic to your video from facebook would hurt your video ranking. But it may hurt your organic reach on Facebook if that is something you concern about.

5. Upload Frequency

Youtube wants to promote serious channels who products consistent content.The more frequent you post, the better chance youtube would push more viewers to your video.

This can be gain by creating a playlist.

When you create a playlist, you're essentially creating another URL id similar to what happens when you create a new video.

Consistently creat new playlist and add videos to them. 

6. Session Ends Penalty

Bringing viewers to youtube platform is a plus. But sending them off the platform would hurt your organic reach.

This comes to when you're trying to get traffic to your blog, landing page, other social media account, or affiliate offers.

However, you can still succeed if your other signals are on point, so don't worry too much if this's your goal.

7. Playlist Adds

Obviously, people adding your video to a playlist, maybe they want to add it to watch it again or save it to watch later. 

This's great for ranking video, as this tell youtube that your video is most likely going to cost the viewer to come back to their platform.

One of my favorite ways to gain this is to add information down the video that is super long.

People usually won't sit on a video for 30 - 40 minutes. But would save that video for later because they know it holds a ton of their information.


When a lot of people share your content, it said a ton of value you're adding to the community. Most likely you're keeping the viewer on the platform for a longer duration, and the shares of your videos are creating more impression to filter more users, to the youtube platform.

To gain this, you need to make good content.

9. Comment

Total comment on the video similar to social shares, also tells youtube you're adding value to their community by creating content that worth conversation.

You can gain this ranking signal by having a multiple call to action throughout your video, where you ask your viewers top provoking questions. 

Ask for your viewers thought, what they like about the video, what can be improved, and so on....

Reply to every question if possible that's posted on your videos, 

Next time you have a hater in the comment section of one of your video, remember this, Hater makes you famous.


Having a higher like to dislike ratio is going to tell youtube that you have good content. Make sure to have a call out in every video telling people to like your video if they find the content helpful.

11. Cards

As mentioned earlier, keeping viewers on youtube platform helps your video. By adding cards onto your video and encourage viewers to continue watching content on youtube. You're encouraging longer session duration.

12. Priority Content

Youtube does seem to give weight to certain industry and video with a specific quality. Your video will have greater SEO weight if it's uploaded in HD.

13. Keyword Research

I don't need to say much about keyword research, just read this post
Top 3 Most Influential Factors In Ranking Video On Google & YouTube

14. Thumbnail

Thumbnail are massively important, you need to optimize for a click-through to your video. Make sure your thumbnail pops, look at the search result for your keyword and ask yourself, what would stand out.

You can make your own thumbnail using photoshop, or free web application like

15. Content Curation

Youtube is an engagement base platform. classic SEO is not as powerful on youtube as it's on google, bing, or yahoo. 

Instead, youtube reward captivating and value part video, for this reason, quality content is an absolutely important, if you want to rank your video on youtube.

This's not to say you need high-quality production with a complete filming set and professional videographer.

What this means is that you must focus on heavily on providing your viewers with the best experience you can provide.

Create a spreadsheet for each content bucket, and label it content curation/your keyword, or whatever you like.

Start by watching your competition videos, the top 2-3 result is fine. Take note of the following.

What  Are They Doing Well?

  • What do people comment in the comments?
  • What is interesting about the design or structure
  • What topics do they cover that you would like to include in your own content?

What Can Be Improved?

  • Do they only give a shallow discussion of the topic or did they thoroughly cover the topic at hand?
  • Could you provide more proof of concept?
  • Could they make it more concise, more structure, more engaging? 

Add all this note to your spreadsheet


This next section related to a niche that teaches or provide information. This does not apply as much to entertainment base channel.

Go to and type in the following "youtube your keyword" 

This will display all the question on Quora containing your exact keyword. copy the question people are asking on to your spreadsheet. You can also click on each question, and look for the reply.

Many time there are some amazing reply giving great inside, on what you can take and add to your own content. 

By answering this question in your video, you're providing massive value to your viewers which will turn to more increases viewer engagement, and Skyrock your ranking.

16. Filming And Editing

Don't get hung up on having the best skill possible. 

You can succeed without high production, you can use ScreenFlow for a screen captioning and editing, however, Screenflow is only $99.

If you don't want to spend that money right way, you can easily get away using free editing software like Window movie maker and Icecream Screen Recorder.

However, you may want to consider upgrading once you start getting some attraction on youtube.

Pay Attention To Details

Remember, try to make the viewer experience the best they can, your effort would stand out and would be rewarded.

Pay attention to this characteristic

  • Sound Quality and Lighting

Make sure your sound is clear and loud enough for the viewer to hear. You can use a free sound editing software called Audacity if you want to improve your sound quality after it been recorded.

17. Optimizing Your Video

Now let optimize what I calld "ONSITE SEO" of each video

Onsite SEO is all the ranking content such as Title, Description, and Tag.


There are 3 ways you can go about creating a title for your video.

  • a) Create a keyword rich title
  • b) Create a clickbait style title
  • c) Wing it.

Since I'm mostly speaking to the information niche, I suggest focusing on Creating a keyword rich title.

Title: Your title would basically be 2 Long-Tail Keyword Phrases Containing the broad term you're targeting, and some modifying terms to encourage clicks

Modifying Term Can Be 

  • Best
  • Formula
  • Course
  • Secret
  • Fast
  • Cheap. Etc

Any terms that make people curious and want to click.


Tags is another great opportunity for you to rank your video for multiple keywords.

Try to stay under 15 tag, as you may risk a penalty for spamming statics with anything more than that. 

Description: Suggested Structure

As you may notice, only the first 120 characters of your description are display in the youtube search result, before viewers click your video.

This means you need to place your main keyword in the first line, to help increase your CTR, or click-through rate.

You have a total of 5,000 characts to work within the description of your videos, and I suggest using as much of it as possible.

Quick Tip:

You can drive a lot of traffic to affiliate products, opt-ins, services, or other videos by having a useful description with a table of contents, index of terms, and resources.

18. Promotion

It's best to start promoting immediately after releasing a video.

Youtube care about the watch-time velocity of your video.

The goals of this promotion phases are to manually push as many high retention views to your video in the shortest amount of time possible.

Social Profiles

Go ahead and post a video to all your social media account. This would give you some backlink to your video and drive traffic if you already have a following.

Also, post your video to 20 to 30 profile using the tool


Post your video to all the relevant forum within your niche. 

Make sure to announce the release of your video to anyone that contacted or follow you on that forum.

Email List

I don't expect everyone to have an email list. But if you do, then use it.


Since you're already roll out your content, you might as well make a blog post about it, and embed your video on the page.

You will get potential traffic if your blog is already getting more views.

That's about ranking your video on youtube. There are still more to come, but this is the top ranking factor that you need to watch out for in 2018. Hopefully, you learn something.