By helloDarwin
November 24, 2023

Top YouTube Ranking Factors Generating Traffic, Leads and Sales

Launching a YouTube channel can seem like a daunting task. But actually, it is simpler than you might think.  You don’t have to be a film or entertainment company to do be on YouTube. Think of video as a form of content that uses the same rules as writing. And since you are probably already writing blog posts, you already know 90% of what is needed to create videos for YouTube. YouTube videos are a great addition to your content strategy — especially if your industry targets a young and diverse audience.

According to YouTube, about 1.8 billion unique users visit YouTube each month. Just shy of the 2 billion Facebook users. That makes YouTube Google's most popular service, with even more users than Gmail. “Thousands of channels are making six figures a year,” YouTube says. But let’s not take YouTube’s word for it. Nielsen also recently reported that YouTube reaches more people between the ages 18-34 than any cable network.  Those numbers rival Facebook's easily. And again, if your industry appeals to the youth, this market cannot be overlooked.

Ok, so let’s say you are convinced and ready to take the plunge. The logical next question you will have is: How can all my effort pay-off? How can I generate views and ultimately convert those views into leads?  Again, there is no magic wand to convert viewers into paying customers. But the same sound SEO and marketing rules apply to YouTube. Let’s have a look at the top factors that will help your YouTube campaign generate leads and sales.

1. Utilize YouTube Annotations

When you upload a video to YouTube, be sure to add annotations. This is probably the most important and useful factor in driving leads. Annotations are links embedded into the video that drives viewers to another site. This is a powerful option that you need to harness. It is as important as providing a link with your IAB ad, or your Google ads.

No one imagines buying any digital advertising without such a link.  The same applies to your video on YouTube. To reap a page from digital ad buys, you can use annotations to embed a call to action into your video. For example, place an annotation in the video stating, “Click here to sign up for a free trial, or to learn more.”

But the advantage annotations have on regular ad links is that they can be added in the narrative of your video so that the viewer doesn’t feel like you’re only trying to market to them. Annotations can complement your video. Feel free to experiment with where your annotations will show during your video. As well bring variety with annotations containing outbound links, and others containing additional info to see what resonates most with viewers.

2. Promote your video outside of YouTube to create popularity

Because YouTube is hosting all of the video content, the company has access to a wider range of data points than Google. Google relies mainly on links, and social activity to assess the value and popularity of a website or blog page. This means that YouTube can easily ascertain the most popular video on any subject simply by looking at its view count in comparison to similar videos.

Today, while views aren’t the top-ranking factor for content, they’re still important to showcase your video as an authoritative content for the set of chosen keywords.

The simplest way to increase your views and thus the reach for your content is to share and promote it outside on all the channels you own. Another factor not to be dismissed is that the strengthening of your rankings will give you social credibility by showing viewers that your content isn’t just engaging and helpful, but also highly popular.

Here is a list of the top-ranking factors YouTube utilizes to rank your video:

1. Keywords in the title

Only the first 55 or 60 characters appear in YouTube’s search results.

2. Keywords in the description

Include a transcript of your video content in your description. Use all 5000 characters if possible.

3. Keywords in the tags

Use all keywords and keyword phrases related to your video.

4. Incoming Links

Google places a lot of value on the quantity and quality of links pointing to your video.

5. Time Watched

This refers to the time your visitor spends on YouTube watching videos in general, not just your videos but other videos as well.

6. Total Likes

The higher the number of likes the better. 

7. Total Embeds

The more sites that embed your videos the better.

8. Total Shares

The more shares the better.

9. Subscribers

The more subscribers the better.


The more the better.

In your descriptions, ask people for comments.

3. Research keywords

As we have just seen in point 2, keywords play a bit part in determining the success of your video. To find relevant keywords, Google has a wonderful keyword tool that that you can use. Their keyword tool lets you wade through a whole database of words and phrases to help you find your niche and the best keyword to put to use for your niche.

Not only can you find the best keywords to use to bring traffic to your site, you can also research statistics of that keyword to see how many searches it gets every month. As a rule of thumb, the best keyword is one with little competition and a high search volume.

The next thing you should do, once you have found a good keyword, is going to Google and type your chosen keyword into the search bar. How many ads do you see on the right-hand side of the results page? If there are less than five, then you should keep looking for another keyword to use. Less than five means that this is probably not a good niche because no one is searching for it.

If there are five or more ads on the right-hand side of the results page, then you are golden, and this is a keyword you should keep and use.

4. Brand Your Videos

Since people will view your video on YouTube’s platform, it is imperative that the viewer knows your videos are part of your company’s offerings. A simple intro card at the beginning of your video content or a card with your logo at the end will go a long way to increase notoriety. That way, when people discover your videos, they can associate the content with your business. Be sure to have your website URL in your video or video description as well as on your YouTube page, so that viewers can find you online.

5. Take advantage of the Social Aspects of YouTube

YouTube isn’t traditional television advertising. Not only is it more than advertising, but the platform allows viewers to interact with you, and even sometimes to participate. This is something not to be afraid of and should be seen as a great opportunity to open a dialogue with a potential client. If not, you can turn someone (even a critic) into an advocate by simply responding to comments.  Hence, make it easy for your viewers by enabling comments when you post your video content.

You can even devote future videos to popular comments. If your viewers feel their voice is being heard, they will become devoted to your company.

6. Partner with influencers

Influencers are all the rage these days. While the effectiveness of their actions is still debatable, I can say from experience it is really worth it in the case of video campaigns. They can really help you build an audience and sometimes help you convert views into leads. Well done, Influencers on YouTube campaigns can be as effective as getting articles in a prominent media. So simply find out who the most influential YouTube users are in your industry.

Approach them about doing a collaborative video on a subject of mutual interest. Make your approach as simple and sincere as possible. If you succeed, you’ll have the benefit of accessing an already targeted and interested audience. Your social credibility will also rise as a result of partnering with an expert or influencer, which in turn will help increase your conversion rates.

There you have it: my top YouTube Ranking Factors Generating Traffic, Leads and Sales.

But as a closing statement, I’d like to leave you with another nugget of insight. As I wrote in my opening paragraph, producing a video might seem daunting. But the reality is, that you can produce a very good video with only your computer. Here’s a simple way to do it.

Write an introduction in 3 sentences. Turn the front-facing camera of your computer on. Record your intro. Then create a nice PowerPoint with the idea you want to convey to your audience. Just like you would for a presentation to a new customer. Record your screen as you go through each page of your PowerPoint presentation with your voice explaining it. Use any free video editing platform to put together your intro and your presentation with your voice over.  You will then have produced your first video to upload to YouTube with only one tool.

Your computer.

Author: Gaven Dumont, Executive VP - PR and Digital content at MO:PR

Gaven Dumont is driven by his two loves: the passion to communicate and the passion of ideas. His professional journey in Quebec brought him from journalism to a Communications Director. He has worked for lifestyle magazines, web and French network television.

Creativity is, in his opinion; a way to see the world differently. A yearning to shake-up pre-conceived ideas. His head is always buzzing with ideas, mixing thoughts like an alchemist to find the perfect formula for new and improved solutions; delivering better results in Quebec.He believes successful PR in Quebec needs to be fueled by local cultural insight. His motto: «Don’t engage. Connect».

He has an extensive knowledge of Quebec’s media community and has worked across Corporate, Retail, Financial and other lifestyle Clients creating breakthrough campaigns.

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