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I’ve been intrigued with video marketing and video optimization for almost two years now. That is why I attended a session yesterday called “Best Practices: Video Creation, Integration & Marketing”.

There were three really great speakers, but one of them, Gregory Markel from Infuse Creative, had some awesome information about ranking factors in YouTube.

Since video marketing and driving traffic to websites via YouTube is so exciting to me, I thought I would share some of the main takeaways from his presentation.

The very first thing that Gregory spoke about is what it takes to do well in YouTube. Most people think that by quickly shooting a video and putting it up on YouTube that they will be an instant star, or be able to drive millions of unique visitors to their website. This may have been the case in the past, but times are changing.

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To do well at YouTube, you have to be focused in three different areas.

  • Building and participating in the YouTube community in which you desire to do business in.
  • Focusing on keywords that you would like to rank for and build authority.
  • Obtaining links back to your video and having your video embedded in your site and other websites.

In the past, ranking in YouTube was as easy as simply optimizing the video for your main keyword. This was as simple as optimizing the title of the video and description. If you were good at that, you would probably be successful. If not, your video would quickly slip away, probably never to be found again.

Today, ranking well in YouTube is more complex. YouTube’s algorithm takes in to account many different factors. There are many different factors that Gregory talked about; I will touch on the few of the most important below.

Title, Description, Keywords, Links, & Tags

In order to rank well in YouTube, your video needs to be highly optimized. This means having your keywords in the right places (title, description, tags) and building links back to your video. These can be text based, anchor text links, or simply embeds.

View Counts / Frequency

The number of views your video has received shows that people are interested in what you have to share (if not manipulated). This helps build your authority and trust in the YouTube community. Also, YouTube looks at how often your video is viewed to make sure that your video content isn’t stale and outdated.

Comments & Thumbs Up and Down

YouTube loves when videos create interaction among its members. When you have a video with lots of comments and lots of thumbs-ups, this also shows that your video is interesting, provides value, and isn’t outdated or stale. On the other hand, when you have a lot of thumbs down, this can negatively influence your rankings in YouTube.


Just like search engines love websites that have some age behind them, YouTube loves aged videos, as long as the video content isn’t outdated and stale. If you have a good video that is still relevant, and has been around for a long time, this will help you rank better in YouTube.

Video Responses

Video responses are above and beyond the normal responses that you might get on your video. Many times, comments on your videos are just spam. Just a few seconds of typing and you can pump out comments that have no real value behind them. Video responses are a bit different. Taking some time to shoot a video and responding to another video, shows that you have something real to share. Because of this, the video responses help rank your site better in YouTube.

There were many other things that he mentioned, but for the sake of us all not having to read a full discourse, I will stop there. Next, I want to discuss how to find good keywords and tags.

Optimizing Keywords & Tags

Before you even think about uploading a video to YouTube and turning it loose, you need to do some research to understand what people are searching for in YouTube.

First, you should research your competition thoroughly. Take a look at the videos that rank well for your desired keywords. See how they craft their titles, descriptions, and how they set-up their tags. You will want to follow closely, but not copy.

Second, you will want to use YouTube’s very own keyword suggestions tool. I’ll bet many of you didn’t know that YouTube had a suggestion tool. If you start typing slowly in the search box, you will see a populated drop down list of variations of other searches that are popular in YouTube. That is a good list to consider when trying to pick your keywords.

As with any SEO campaign, picking the right keywords from the very beginning and optimizing well for those keywords are key to your success.

Community Factors

One very important factor to ranking well and having success in YouTube is what Gregory calls community factors. I will list the most important community factors below.

Make Great & Unique Videos

Today, anyone can create a video and post it on YouTube. However, not many can actually produce videos that are unique and full of great content. These are the videos that have staying power and can truly help people with what they are searching for.

Include Call To Actions Early In The Video

As with any piece of promotional material, you want a clear call-to-action to guide your viewers to what you really want them to do. Include your call to action early in your video for maximum effectiveness.

Post Video Responses To The Most Popular & Relevant Video At YouTube That Day

Posting video responses to the most popular video in your industry will not only help you gain trust and authority in the eyes of the community, but it will help your videos get more views.

Use Some, But Not All The Same Keywords As Your Competition In Your Titles

Using some of the same keywords in your titles that your competition uses will help land your video in the “related videos” area of your competitors. This will help you get more views and build your authority.

Post Your Videos On Thursdays or Fridays

Believe it or not, most of the video views that YouTube receives are on the weekends. Uploading your videos on Thursdays or Fridays will help your video get additional views and help boost your video to the top of the YouTube search results.

Video marketing is going places. The web is evolving. Search is evolving. Adding video to your other methods of search engine marketing can really add a huge boost to your business.

Please respond if you have other insights that will be useful for us.