How to Rank a YouTube Video in Search Results Step By Step For Beginners!

This article will show you how to rank your videos on YouTube and Google search results. It's not as difficult as you might think.
How to Rank a YouTube Video in Search Results Step By Step For Beginners
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Ranking your videos in YouTube and Google search results. It’s not as difficult as you might think.

It’s not easy to get a lot of views on YouTube, but it is possible with the right tactics and strategies. One of those strategies is to rank for keywords with low competition and high search volume. This article will show you how to rank your YouTube videos.

And now for our YouTube SEO tips.

Step 1: Creating Your Video

Do you want to make your videos but don’t have the time or money for professional equipment?

If so, then there’s no need to worry. Creating videos for the YouTube platform isn’t as hard as you think.

You can use these free tools that are both easy-to-use and give high-quality results! Here are two great options for you to use to create an awesome video:

optimize create video for youtube seo ranking lumen5

Lumen 5 – Lumen 5 is an excellent video-making app that lets you create YouTube videos quickly and has over 100,000 free background tracks so you can choose the perfect song for your video. With Lumen 5 you can produce quality videos in minutes that will boost your content marketing, thought leadership and brand awareness – all without breaking a sweat.

Collaborate Create Amazing Graphic Design for Free with canva 2020

Canva – Canva is a free graphic design program that allows you to create graphics for your YouTube channel! From simple text-based images to complex graphic designs. With over 1 million stock photos, Canva has got you covered.

Step 2: Find Keywords That Have Low Competition, But High Search Volume

The next step to ranking YouTube videos is finding low-competition keywords that have high search volume so they can be ranked quickly once your video goes live.

There are two ways to find these keywords: either use keyword tools or manually research them yourself by doing Google searches for different phrases related to your video.

youtube seo keywords in ahrefs

Step 3: Optimize Your Video

There are a few key elements to focus on when attempting to rank your video in the YouTube search result pages.

Video Thumbnail. The first thing people see when searching for clips is the video thumbnail. Make sure to use an eye-catching image for your video, so it stands out from all the other videos in YouTube search results.

Although you may always select one of the auto-generated thumbnail options by YouTube, we strongly suggest creating a custom one. According to The Creator Academy, “90 percent of the top-performing videos on YouTube” have custom thumbnails that should be saved as 1280×720 pixels – 16:9 ratio – 2MB or smaller .jpg, .gif, or .png files.

youtube thumbnail size 2021
You can download YouTube Thumbnail templates from the Design Shack.

To attach your own photo as a custom thumbnail image, you’ll first need to verify your YouTube account. To do so, go to and follow the instructions there.

Video File Name

Believe it or not, your video file name is one of the YouTube ranking factors.

Just like when optimizing written content for search engines, you want to optimize your video’s file name.

Once you’ve decided on your intended keyword, use it in your file name.


YouTube can’t actually watch the content in the video, so it relies on your file name to determine what it’s about.

That’s why it’s essential that your file name includes the most relevant keywords and is easy to understand.

Video Titles

The video title is the second thing that attracts people to your videos. Make sure to use keywords that are important for your niche in this field.

how to rank youtube video
Source: Databox

Adding keywords to the title of your video is a great way to get it ranked higher in search results. You can use either exact match or broad-match key phrases so long as they are relevant and keyword-rich!

If you want to rank for specific keywords, adding them to the title of your video is the best way to get your video to appear in search results. You can use either exact match or broad match keywords so long as they are relevant to the content of the video.

Start with a target keyword or phrase as close to the start of your video title you can get, then make sure it’s used throughout for good measure! Don’t exceed 60 characters – both spaces AND special characters count toward this limit, so keep that in mind when composing future titles by going long enough but not too wordy.

And by all means, make sure that your keyword appears naturally. If it doesn’t, you’ll never rank for it!

Video Description

Your YouTube video description is where you have a chance to tell people why they should watch your video.

Include your most compelling points here without going overboard with text, as this is one of the most important YouTube ranking factors.

First things first: According to Google, YouTube’s official character limit for video descriptions is 1,000 characters.

And while it’s okay to use all of those spaces out there on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, where we communicate with our friends as much as possible about what happened last night at the bar or who won season 20 of American Idol, (yes!). Remember that your viewer most likely came here looking for a quick minute break from scrolling through feeds before bedtime – not reading an essay.

If you want to create long-form contact, use a blog post for that purpose. You can even link to it in your video description.

Let’s recap right quick on the video title, description, and file name. Check out the image below:

youtube settings to rank video seo

Video Tags (Target Keywords/Search Phrases)

The last place to put keywords is in the tags section. Make sure to include more of your niche’s relevant terms and related keywords here, but don’t go overboard! Keep it short and sweet.

YouTube’s official Creator Academy suggests using tags to let viewers know what your video is about.

But you’re not just informing them–you also have the opportunity of increasing its reach by identifying similar videos on YouTube and broadening that content’s audience with relevant searches, which can lead to opportunities for monetization down the line!

Don’t use irrelevant tags. Google might penalize you for that.

Video Hashtags

Hashtags are a way to easily connect your content with other videos that share the same hashtag on YouTube. They also allow viewers access to similar, related content from around the internet!

Include a list of hashtags in the description section. Make sure they are all relevant to your video’s content and include a couple that you know have a lot of tags associated with them but don’t directly post irrelevant tags just for the sake of getting views.

Video Transcript

Subtitles and closed captions on YouTube help search engines find keywords by highlighting essential phrases.

Not only that, but it helps viewers who aren’t able to hear the audio or who might not understand your native language very well.

It’s a good practice for web accessibility, but it can also boost your video’s ranking by increasing word count and using important search phrases!

Adding subtitles or closed captioning is a straightforward process.

The first step you should take when adding either of these features to your video, head on over and select “Videos” from within the Video Manager section.

Find the video you want to create subtitles or closed captioning for and click on the “Edit” button.

Then select “Subtitles/CC,” and decide how you’d like to add them–either subtitles or closed captions.

See the photos below for screenshots.

Or, here’s a video that’ll show you what we’re talking about:

Cards and End Screens

Cards and end screens are very similar–both can provide additional information for your viewers and increase your video’s reach by linking to relevant content.


When you’re watching a video, have any of those tiny white circular icons with “i” s in them appeared on your screen? They are Cards. Creator Academy describes these as “preformatted notifications that appear on desktop and mobile which can be set up to promote other videos or brands.”

  • Channel cards – direct viewers to another channel.
  • Donation cards – encourage fundraising on behalf of U.S. nonprofit organizations.
  • Fan funding – ask your viewers to help support the creation of your video content.
  • Link cards – direct viewers to an external site, approved crowdfunding platform, or an approved merchandise selling platform.
  • Poll cards – pose a question to viewers and allow them to vote for a response.
  • Video or playlist cards – link to other YouTube content of this kind.

If you want to add a card to your video on Google, you have to follow some steps. These are detailed on the official site or in the following video.

End Screens

End screens display similar information as cards, but their content is only viewable at the end of a video. For example, an image of the author and links to learn more can be seen in this overlay:

optimizing youtube seo video to rank end card example

There are many detailed instructions for adding end screens depending on what kind of platform you want to design them from and the different types of content allowed by YouTube.

Google outlines the rules regarding optimization in this article tailored explicitly towards designing an optimized screen that will show up at the end of your video.

Whether you want to use cards or end screens, it’s important to know from the onset that YouTube is constantly testing new features to optimize the viewer experience.

So there may be times when your designated “end screen” could disappear without notice, so take these factors into account before deciding on whether or not using either one will work best for you

Video Category

Choosing a category is the key to getting your video seen. Asking yourself, “what am I trying to do with this?” can help you make more informed decisions about where it should go and how best for people to find it.

That said, remember that YouTube automatically assigns your video to the first category it’s tagged, so you should always check this section anyway to ensure accuracy! You can also change your chosen categories at any time after uploading by clicking on the Edit button next to each one.

After choosing an appropriate category, click “Save.”

After you’ve completed all of these steps, hit “Done” and then sit back while your video goes live!

You did it – congratulations! But you’re not done just yet.

Step 4: Promote Your Video

Promoting your video is just as important as creating it! This is how you gain exposure and get it seen by people who might not otherwise find out about your content.

By the way, uploading a video does not make it go viral on its own.

You have to work at getting views and subscribers! And this is where the magic of promotion comes in: If you promote your videos properly, you’ll be able to get more of an audience, which will increase your chances of getting more views on that video.

Getting Views and Exposure for your YouTube Videos

There are many ways to get more views for your YouTube videos.


Posting on Reddit is an excellent way to gain exposure when done right! There are thousands of subreddits that you can promote your content on, but make sure the one you post it in actually deals with your topic.


Some people don’t think you should use Facebook for self-promotion, but it can be done effectively with proper moderation and scheduling.

The key to getting views on Facebook is sharing your video at the correct times, so you get the most exposure possible!

You might even want to post more than once to keep it trending.


Twitter is great for exposure because you get to use hashtags! The key to getting views on Twitter is choosing hashtags that are popular but not too popular that they’re overused and stale. You should also retweet yourself to keep it going!

Cross Promoting.

You can cross-promote your video with your other social media accounts to gain more exposure. For example, you can post your video on Facebook and then link it back on Twitter and the other way around! If you promote it enough across all of your channels, you’ll get a lot more views!

Congratulations, you’ve just learned how to rank a video in the YouTube search results! With these five easy steps and anyone can do it.

We realize that these steps may seem complicated and time-consuming, but it’s totally worth it when you get to see your YouTube video rank in the search results!

We hope you’ll have good luck with these methods on how to rank a YouTube Video.

Thank You for reading this article. We always look forward to any suggestions and recommendations from our readers so we can provide the best content possible.

You’ve just uploaded a video to your YouTube channel, but you’re not sure how to make it rank in the search results.

Your video must rank high on the search engine so people can find it and watch it!

There are many ways to get more views for your YouTube videos. Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Cross Promoting, etc. All of these methods start with researching your keywords.

We can help you with that.

YouTube SEO Services

Our team of YouTube Marketing Experts will help you with:

  • Tuning your YouTube channel to rank on the first page of YouTube for all video keywords you want to rank high for.
  • Researching and creating a list of 10-20 relevant keywords that describe each video, choosing the best ones, and optimizing them within your video’s title, description and tags.
  • Analyzing your competitors’ videos to learn from them and rank your videos higher.
  • Making a list of all the URLs that link back to your channel or video, helping you get more external links to improve its authority on YouTube.
  • Writing unique & engaging descriptions for each video ranks better organically in the Google search engine results pages (SERPS).
  • Make sure your videos are easily found by actual human beings. The first step is to research keywords relevant to your video and use them in the title, description & tags.

We will do everything from research to optimization for you to make sure you get all the organic traffic from YouTube!

If you want to rank a YouTube Video in SERPS, contact us today to schedule a FREE consultation!

Other Services We Can Help You With:

Jessica Ridge

Jessica Ridge

Jessica is a skilled narrative architect, adept at transforming client experiences into captivating success stories. Her proficiency lies in shaping each journey into a compelling narrative of collaboration and achievement. With an unwavering dedication, Jessica ensures that every client's engagement becomes a memorable and distinct chapter, reflective of her commitment to excellence.
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