If you’ve ever looked for strategies to rank your videos on the first page of YouTube, you’ve probably came across dozens of different factors that affect your rankings. But in this post I’m going to give you the 4 most important ones. Yes, 4 only.

I’m not trying to say that YouTube only looks at these four, however, what I am trying to say is that based on different experiments that I’ve done, there are only 4 factors that really give a significant boost to your rankings on the second biggest search engine.

I’m going to show you exactly how my 2 minute video, that was posted on a channel with very little authority (Costa Marketing’s channel), jumped to the 6th spot for the keyword “What is SEO” in a matter of days.

YouTube ranking

Factor #1: Title

The title of your video is extremely important, probably the most important factor when trying to rank for a specific keyword on YouTube. What I like to do for my videos is include the main keyword first and then some complementary description or subtitle after that.

In this case my title is “What is SEO? It’s not complicated at all!”. YouTube will immediately know what your video is about.

Factor #2: Description

This is where you treat your video like a normal web page. The search engines like content, because that’s how they find out what the topic of your video/website is.The description can either be a text about your video or the transcript itself. For this video I used the video transcript, but feel free to use any content that related to the topic of your video.

Here’s the exact 3 part formula that I use for all the videos I want to rank on YouTube:

Part 1

Copy your title plus a link where people can find more information about the topic of your video.


What is SEO? It’s not as complicated as you think! – https://costa.marketing/blog/what-is-seo

Part 2

250-350 word article or video transcription. This should be unique and relevant to your video. Most people will never read this part of your video, but it helps YouTube identify the topic of your video and rank it for all relevant keywords. Don’t over complicate it.

Part 3

Add links to additional resources, I usually include links to my website, social media accounts and to an external authoritative website or web page.


Other resources:

Website – https://costa.marketing

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/costamarketingltd

Twitter – https://twitter.com/costamrkt

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/costamarketing

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/costa-marketing-ltd

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8_FqK2RUE4b5Qbh7yqFEHw

“What is SEO?” video – http://youtu.be/amJ4og4q6AE

Factor #3: Keyword Tags

This is the section where you can add keywords to your video. These should obviously be related to your video. I start by including the first 2-3 main keywords (exactly the ones that I want to rank for) and then add a few more that are related to these keywords but aren’t an exact match.


Factor #4: Views

Getting a good amount of views fast is very important. You should also be able to maintain this numbers if you want to keep your rankings for a long time. I expect my video to drop a few spots if the rate at which people view it decreases a lot.

What do I mean by this?

I think that “views velocity” matters, and that’s why videos move 4-5 pages in a matter of hours. So if a brand new video gets a lot of views in a short period of time it will move up a very significant number of spots.

How do you get a lot of views fast?

Now, there’s 2 different ways to accomplish this. One of them is buying views from a place like Fiverr.com, the other way is through YouTube ads. If you care about your videos don’t buy views. I don’t recommend that you buy views, YouTube can shut you down. I don’t care if Fiverr sellers say that their views are 100% real and YouTube safe. They aren’t.


What I highly recommend that you do is use YouTube ads. You can go to your video and click on “Promote”, create a simple ad, it doesn’t really matter what they look or sound like. The objective of this promotion is not to get you targeted views (even though you can absolutely do both), the goal of this ad is to get your views velocity up.

Here’s the one ad I ran for about $6 (the same as a Fiverr gig but with no-risk of getting any penalty):


You might not be able to read what my ad said so here’s the ad copy:

Do you know what SEO is? Here’s a 30 second easy to understand explanation. Enjoy it!

As you can see it doesn’t matter. I still got the results I was looking for. My video reached page 1 with a very small investment.

So this is it. In my opinion, the title, description, tags and views (velocity) are the 4 main factors when ranking a video on YouTube.

How can you use this for your own business? Think of keywords that are related to your business, and teach people something. It can be 2 minutes long, it can be 2 or 3 hours if you want. Bring value to people and work on this 4 factors, you’ll see your video on the top of YouTube very soon.

Remember, YouTube users are looking for education, “how to” videos or information videos where they can learn about some topic. You can use this method to rank for any sort of keyword, but focus on videos that can bring you interested prospects into your website and business.

About Gonçalo Costa

Co-founder and CEO of Costa Marketing, a web design and digital marketing company founded in the UK, by two Portuguese entrepreneurs. We help businesses all over the world establish a strong online presence.