Learn how to rank videos on YouTube with this free guide. YouTube uses a different algorithm than Google Search and we are going to help you get the most value out of your corporate video! Learn how to rank your corporate video on YouTube in just 7 minutes!
Let’s begin by explaining why YouTube, although owned by Google, operates on a different algorithm than Google Search. Here lies the key insight into achieving YouTube stardom with your corporate videos!

Google needs to make as much revenue as possible. It is easy to understand then that their algorithms skew towards this fundamental business output. Ultimately it is also tied to the value proposition with regards to the user of each platform.

YouTube makes its ad revenue on viewing time. It can only show you video ads if you are comfortable to continue viewing. Their ultimate goal is therefore to increase the view time per user.

This very important characteristic of the platform is the reason why monetisation does influence rankings on YouTube. You can actually help your video rank by paid advertising.

Think about it, if users see your video and if it’s a reasonably good corporate video targeted at the right audience of users, your engagement metric of view time would go up. This, in turn, would signal to Google that your corporate video is valuable and thus help rank it. The inverse is also true so be wary of cheap and nasty!

Back to Google Search. Here Google Ads will not influence your rankings at all. Why? Google Search is used to find the information, answers or services. The value proposition is the fact that a user can type a search query into Google and then find the best possible result – not how long this process takes.

That is ultimately why a user used Google Search in the first place. The Paid ads run in sympathy with the search queries and must according to Google’s paid search algorithmic quality score be as relevant as possible otherwise over time with a low ad quality score you pay more and the ad is shown less over time.

Google’s monetization of Google Search runs on content delivery as opposed to total view time for YouTube. Do you get it now?

There are various other tactics to ensure high rankings for your corporate videos on YouTube. Let’s dive into them below:

Keywords at the beginning of the title

Keyword in the first three to five words of the video. Yes, if you leave your primary keywords at the end of the title it will not be explicit to YouTube as to what you wanted to rank the video for.

corporate videos how to rank them

You will notice influencers tend to have their keyword phrase right at the beginning of the title by means of an ingenious double colon.

The CTR or clickthrough rate of a corporate video is also a ranking signal. The title in unison with the thumbnail is very important to allow for people to be enticed to click through to your video.

Fewer categories, more focus

Many novices think by adding a plethora of category tags they are indeed increasing their chance of ranking their corporate video. Not so! Google tends to skew towards serving the best, most expert results. By adding too many category tags you suggest that your video is a “jack of all trades” rather than an expert resource around a particular topic.

Also, the total summed time of videos that people view after your corporate video is also a ranking factor, therefore ensure your categories are highly relative to ensure that the target audience is getting more content highly targeted to their needs in succession to your video content.

See below:

Taken from:

Lengthy Description

Your description should be 190 words or more. Google can’t “see” your corporate videos. Its algorithms detect what the video is about by voice translations, subtitles, annotations but most of all the title and description. The more descriptive (keywords) the description the better the chances of ranking. This also great spot for a backlink or two to relative content.


Annotations are those author notes that jump up as you view the video. Google’s crawlers can and do crawl and read these annotations for ranking purposes.

Voice to subtitles

Have you noticed that when you hit the subtitle button Google offers a transcript of the what the author in the video is saying if there is a voice over? Google has really gained ground with this technology over the last couple of years and that is also the reason why voice search SEO is the new trending topic.

Google’s transcribing technology is highly accurate. It is also a good idea to mention the main keyword phrase in the video as early as possible.


The CTR (clickthrough) of videos is definitely a ranking factor. Thumbnails that communicate the value proposition, catch attention or spark interest will allow for a better CTR and as a result, will allow more user to actually view your video!

Summarise the keyword phrase or value proposition in bold colourful letters. Ensure that the image catches attention!

Image filename

Google scans the image file name for image search so you can be damn sure they would use the same approach for YouTube. Ensure that the file name like the title of the corporate video has the keyword phrase as early as possible to the beginning.

Upload the video with the file name already opitmised. You can tell that Google automatically pulls the filename as the initial corporate video title. Again, a strong indicator as to how important this ranking signal is.

Now Let’s discuss extending viewing time

As already mentioned, viewing time is the ultimate YouTube SEO ranking factor as Google has more time to show ads and be paid to have ads shown. This is their primary revenue model.

In order to get a user to continue watching your award-winning corporate videos, you should state the value proposition as soon as possible. Get to the point! Tell the user what the value is of watching your corporate video.

Then once we have communicated to the user why they should spend their valuable time watching your corporate video, the next part is to offer real value. Real value can be presented in the form of solving a pain point, a how-to video, or if your personality is larger than life, pure entertainment: maybe a funny corporate video will endear you to your viewers?

Rather have a battery of succinct how-to videos than an overly long video. We are bombarded every day with ads and time is of the essence for most of us. Give the users a choice as to how to apply their time in watching your videos.

Promotional corporate videos should generally be kept under a minute. How-to walkthroughs should be as succinct as possible and broken up. Inspirational corporate videos should also be succinct.

Think of all the colourful influencers on YouTube. Some offer insights into different activities or skillsets, others deliver their opinions on world politics. Think about what would be the greatest value proposition to your target audience in terms of your inspirational corporate video.

Aim to create the best corporate videos possible and how they will be received in the real world will affect how they rank in the virtual world. Top corporate videos are investments and need to be taken seriously.

Optimise your Youtube general settings too

Your YouTube channel may be optimised overall for certain keywords too. Keep this specific. Do not try and add a plethora of keywords. This will make your channel seem like a jack of all trades, Google tends to favour experts in a niche.

Have an overall introductory video that sums up your company’s main value proposition and gives a general overview for the user of your channel. This video must really “pop” and speak to the user.

Organise your channel for better viewing

Ensure your corporate videos are arranged into meaningful and relevant playlists.

Human engagement metrics

Shares, comments, likes and even dislikes help rank your videos. Human engagement is a human signal to Google about whether your corporate videos derive an action in the real world. They obviously monitor these real-world signals carefully.

Ask your audience to subscribe, like and hit the bell icon to ensure they receive auto updates of new content added. This will bring them back to your channel and videos.

These metrics are crucial for ranking. Remember, YouTube needs to keep its audience engaged as this allows for more opportunities for ads and therefore revenue for YouTube. Human engagement is crucial!

Think of real world calls to actions such as competitions, giving away free stuff for comment or interactions. Rally your audience behind your channel!

Embeds as backlinks

Google will obviously also monitor the number of embeds your video has. The more embeds the more potential to bring more users to Youtube and in turn the more potential to show them ads and make revenue. Get the bigger picture?

Quality content, highly targeted, results in embeds. This is the secret to YouTube SEO.

Last but not least!

Enable your channel for ads! Google will obviously favour channels that allow it to make revenue!

This article was written by Ryan Black (SEO Cape Town)

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