5 YouTube SEO Tips To Try Now To Boost Ranking In 2018

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YouTube has become the second largest search engine with nearly 1.5 billion logged-in monthly users. Follow these proven YouTube SEO tips to get the top ranking on YouTube for keywords related to your business.

According to Statista’s forecast, YouTube is expected to have 1.86 billion monthly users in 2021, up from 1.47 billion in 2017.

This means YouTube can be a huge traffic source and can generate an ample number of qualified leads if you are able to rank on the top when a prospect searches on YouTube for keywords related to your business.

How will you do search engine optimization for your YouTube videos to improve the ranking?

In today’s article, I’m going to discuss proven YouTube SEO tips to boost the search visibility of your YouTube videos in 2018.

Without further ado, let’s dive in:

Optimize Metadata

Optimizing YouTube videos starts with optimizing Metadata.

Here is how you can do it:

Video File Name

Instead of giving random names to your videos that you just finished shooting, you should include important keywords in video file names.

Though video file name is not a ranking factor, there is no harm in including important keywords in file names.

Video Title

Like you try to include keywords in the titles of various types of content, you should also put important keywords in the titles of your videos.

Does it help in getting high rank? Yes, it does.

I search for keyword ‘front crawl for beginners’. Here are the two, top results.

The first result has an exact key phrase.

Keywords in the titles of YouTube videos matter for ranking.


The descriptions of your YouTube videos play an important role in YouTube search engine optimization and help you rank on the top.

Also, optimizing the descriptions of your YouTube videos improves the chance of their getting featured in the suggested videos.

Here are some best practices to optimize the descriptions of YouTube videos:

  • Try to include keyword/key phrase at the beginning of your videos’ descriptions
  • Always put the link of your website at the top to boost click-through rate
  • Include your social media links in the descriptions of your videos

Follow these tips and optimize your YouTube videos’ descriptions.

Improve Engagement Metrics

Your ranking on YouTube is largely based on engagement metrics.

Following are engagement metrics that you should focus upon:


Ranking and views are correlated. As the view count increases, your ranking improves. And once you are ranked on the top, the view count of your video will grow.

If you search for ‘How to buy flute’, you will find that the top-ranked video has the biggest view count.

Let’s search for ‘how to choose the right fishing rod’.

My friend, views matter.

However, the view count is not the only thing that determines ranking.

Here are other results for the same keywords.

These results prove that views don’t always determine YouTube ranking solely.

How can you increase views of your YouTube videos?

Follow these tips:

  • Promote your videos on different social media channels to garner views
  • Put the links of your videos in your email signature
  • Try to find opportunities to mention your videos on Quora and other popular websites
  • Write posts about your videos and post them on blog
  • Try to embed the links of your videos into your guest posts

It is imperative that you should avoid using any spam technique to increase views.


Comments are probably the most important YouTube ranking factor.
When someone leaves a positive comment on your video, this sends a strong signal to YouTube that your video is of good quality and answers the viewer’s query.

Is there any way to increase comments on your videos?

You cannot force anyone to comment on your videos. Asking for comments at the end of videos and replying to viewers comments can help you get comments on your videos.

You should make a habit of replying to viewers’ comments, even if there are some negative comments.


It is simple: the more thumbs-up your YouTube videos have, the better YouTube considers your videos. Thumbs-up are a strong YouTube ranking signal.

There is no organic way to increase thumbs-up of your YouTube videos, except creating useful, engaging videos that you viewers would naturally like.

Also, you can ask your audience at the end of your videos to thumb-up.

You should refrain from any spam technique to increase thumbs-up.


The objective of YouTube is to offer video content that people would love to watch.

When somebody shares your videos, this means they have liked your videos.

So, bumper social media sharing can help you improve ranking on YouTube.

Here are some tips to boost social media shares:

  • Promote your videos aggressively on social media
  • Ask your viewers to share your videos
  • Submit your videos to StumbleUpon

Try to increase views of your videos. The more eyeballs at your videos, the more chances you will have to get thumbs-up.

Subscribe After Watching

If somebody subscribes to your videos after watching them, it is an indication that your videos provide answers to their query.

After the end of your videos, request your viewers to subscribe your channel.

Create Engaging Thumbnails

Though thumbnails don’t have any direct role in YouTube ranking, having eye-catchy thumbnails can increase click-through-rate and views, which will eventually improve the ranking of your videos.

Thumbnails are marketing posters of your videos. The more enticing your thumbnails are, the more clicks you will get.

Following are some tips on creating video thumbnails:

  • Use visually compelling imagery
  • Use engaging titles in your thumbnails
  • Optimize thumbnails for multiple devices

As YouTube thumbnails offer a quick snapshot of your videos, your videos featured in the suggested videos section will get more clicks provided that they have irresistible thumbnails.

Use Subtitles and Closed Caption

Needless to say, YouTube loves video content with the enhanced user experience.
And when you add subtitles/closed caption to your videos, deaf people can enjoy your videos.

In other words, by adding subtitles and closed captions, you improve user-experience, and YouTube will reward it.

According to a research, captioned videos have an increase of 7.32% in views.

As views are a part of engagement metrics, adding subtitles/closed captions improves the chances of ranking higher.

If you haven’t add closed captions/subtitles to your videos, update your old videos and start adding it to new videos.

Also, you should avoid adding caption automatically provided by YouTube as it is often not correct.

Try to Improve Watch Time

YouTube itself has said,

“We’ve started adjusting the ranking of videos in YouTube search to reward engaging videos that keep viewers watching. The experimental results of this change have proven positive — less clicking, more watching. We expect the amount of time viewers spend watching videos from search and across the site to increase.”

YouTube watch time is a ranking factor. And don’t confuse watch time with video length.

Watch time is the amount of time your viewers watch your videos. How can you increase it?

Create engaging videos that viewers would finish after starting to watch.

Final thoughts,

With tons of video content being upload to YouTube each day, it is not easy to stand out from the crowd.

However, if your optimize Metadata, work on engagement metrics, add closed captions/subtitles, and try to improve watch time, there are chances that you will rank higher.

Do you have any YouTube SEO tip? Please leave it in the comment section.

Author Bio:
Edwin Smith is a lead blog writer, blogger & content marketer, he publishes and manage the contents on many blogs. Edwin writes about lifestyle, technology, travel, health and for SEO firm like Ethane Technologies more. He has been in the marketing industry since 5 years and with a very valuable experience in this industry, He has marked his footprints as a renowned guest blogger in Bangalore.

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