How Do I Get My Videos to Rank Higher on Google? The 9 Secrets of Video SEO

Are you trying to get your videos to rank higher on Google Search?

You’re not alone. Everyone else is working hard to get their videos to rank higher on Google, YouTube and anywhere else they can upload, market and promote their videos, too. The good news is that if you do these nine things before uploading your video, you’re already way ahead of everyone else because very few video content creators think about video search engine optimization (SEO) early enough.

You probably already know what a powerful tool video is for promoting your business, but you can’t fully take advantage of it without proper exposure through rankings on Google and YouTube. As a video content creator or video marketer, if you don’t optimize your videos they will not be seen and you will not get desirable results from your marketing campaign.

Check out this great video from the Sold with Video Youtube Channel on how to get videos to rank higher on Google and YouTube, then we’ll summarize what you’ve watched below.

Here are our video SEO professional’s 9 necessary steps to get your videos to rank higher on Google Search and YouTube:


The biggest mistake most video content creators make is making videos on any topic that pops into their heads. The proper way to go about making effective marketing videos is to base video production on the things that people are actually searching for. You can begin to generate ideas about popular topics through the Google’s Keyword Planner (formerly the Google Keyword Tool)  instead of making random and uneducated guesses; if you do not have an Adsense account then there are other keyword research tools available online.


Once you have your keywords, it’s time to add them in your video script, and this should happen a number of times depending on the length of your video. Make sure you don’t just cram them in and list a bunch of keywords but place them to flow with your script so it appears natural. Google and several other video hosting platforms are already making huge gains in transcribing and translating the audio in video content! Make sure your audio is of sufficient quality in order to take advantage of these new advances in video technology.


The next thing to do is upload your video, but make sure your filename has your keyword in it. This tells Google and YouTube what your video is all about, and helps immensely getting videos to rank higher on Google and YouTube search because filenames and URLs are sources of information these search engines look at when indexing content.


Your title should begin with your main keyword, and you can add in a secondary keyword, a longtail keyword or a bit more information about your video. It really helps search engines to have a lot of text associated with your video to crawl, which is why it is crucial to have a proper description for your video, too. The title should be no more than 55 or 56 characters long if the entire title is going to appear in Google Search. The video description in YouTube should be at least 200 words and can go up to 400 words – remember, the more the better. Make sure this description includes your main keyword and all of your secondary keywords and longtail keywords in a natural manner that makes sense to a human reader. Also, make sure to add a link to your website or landing page at the beginning of the description as this definitely helps drive traffic to your website.

Pro tip: You must add the “http://” before your website’s domain name in order to make it a live, “clickable” link on YouTube.


Adding tags to your video during the upload process is an important part of getting videos to rank higher on Google – especially YouTube. Tag your videos smartly. Too many tags can give Google and YouTube mixed signals and make difficult to make sense of what your video is actually about. Some video SEO specialists have said that all you need to include are your main keywords and your channel name (the latter helps group all your videos together in the related videos section) while others said to max out the number of characters and tags allowed. We’ll let you be the judge.


This is a word-for-word transcript of the audio in your video and can be uploaded under the “captions” tab of your video usually as a .srt file. This step is extremely important and it is recommended that you do not skip uploading your own transcript file. As I mentioned before, YouTube and other video hosting platforms are already implementing automatic voice recognition and transcription because it helps them determine exactly what your video is about in order to index it for search. Have you ever seen voice recognition results??? It’s usually not entirely accurate so don’t leave anything to chance.

Have the audio in your video accurately transcribed for reliable results!

It doesn’t take very long and can always be outsourced to a video transcriptionist if you don’t have the time or ability.


The first six steps of getting your videos to rank higher on Google Search, YouTube and other video search engines all involve uploading your video the right way. As important as these foundational steps are they will only provide you an initial boost in video ranking but that boost will eventually come to an end. Our video optimization steps #7 through #9 is the “real secret sauce” that will provide, long-term and consistent results and will give you the edge over other video marketers trying to rank their videos with similar keywords and content.

Arguably the most important step in the video SEO process is building your YouTube channel’s popularity and creating, or curating, your videos into playlists; the better your entire YouTube channel is optimized around your keywords, the higher your videos will naturally rank. A healthy, active and optimized YouTube channel:

  • Gets more REAL views by people interested in your video content
  • Gets more REAL likes
  • Gets more REAL subscribers to your YouTube channel
  • Gets more REAL comments on your videos
  • Attracts quality backlinks from a variety of sources, which leads to traffic AND higher rankings!

Every single one of these acts of engagement is absolutely CRITICAL to getting your videos to rank higher on Google videos.

As a rule, the larger and more active a YouTube channel is the higher and easier their videos get ranked as Google and YouTube because a) search engines CRAVE new content and highly reward sites that regularly produce new content to crawl and b) engagement numbers are consequentially higher which search engines then credit the source as credible and rank higher in search results.

The next part of getting videos to rank higher on YouTube is to build playlists; all you need to do is create and name a YouTube channel playlist using your main keyword and include your related videos in the list. YouTube will give more consideration to a video that is in a playlist it thinks is related to your main keyword.


Things like Twitter mentions, Facebook shares, Google +1s, and pins on Pinterest create “social signals” that are quickly becoming an important part of an overall video SEO strategy to get videos to rank higher on Google and YouTube, especially with all the latest search engine algorithm changes going on these days. The best way to get these important social signals is simply uploading your videos or share links to where your video is hosted or embedded on your social media profiles and encourage people to like and share the video or social posts to maximize the number of social signals related to your video content. Another great way to use social media signals effectively is to use gorilla viral video marketing techniques.


The more websites you have linking to your video or embedding your video, the more powerful your video will become. However, you do need to be careful while doing this; spammy backlinks and building too many backlinks too quickly can backfire. Try to promote a natural mix of backlinks to your videos from diverse sources like:

  • Video Embeds
  • Social Bookmarks
  • Article Marketing
  • “Web 2.0” Sources
  • WiKis

You can also throw in some document sharing sites like, too.

If you are serious about getting your videos to rank higher on Google and YouTube, following these nine steps before ever uploading your video is critical. It may be a lot to take in but if you get into the habit of following these steps through to the end with every video your produce or promote, you can achieve success in getting higher rankings and boosting your video marketing results.

Let me leave you with this final search engine optimization tip RULE… and it’s the one SEO principle that should guide everything else you consider:

The key to achieving high search engine rankings is to remember that the search engine is primarily concerned with returning a good experience to its user. Be good to their customers and the search engines will lean in your favor. 

It’s really that simple.

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