How You Can Get the Best Out of the YouTube Algorithm Functioning

As per the statement from YouTube CPO, Neal Mohan, people spend more than 70% of their time watching recommended videos on YouTube, with the mobile viewing session being approximately 60 minutes. Four-hundred hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube each minute. So, if you want to see a growth in your business, gain more real YouTube subscribers and YouTube views, as well as find a way to maintain the interest of your existing YouTube subscribers, it’s worth learning about the YouTube algorithm.

The YouTube algorithm doesn’t just guide the viewing behavior; it also affects decisions you need to make about the video content, length, the timing of uploading the video, use of keywords, as well as the inclusion of a Call To Action, all of which ultimately determine the success of your YouTube marketing strategy.

Algorithm changes over the years

Before 2012, the number of YouTube views a video received is what determined video ranking, resulting in people using clickbait titles to gain a higher view count. Complaints were raised as these clickbait title videos didn’t deliver what they promised, resulting in an algorithm change in 2012, where watch time and session time were used to rank content. Even then, creating longer videos helped to gain higher rankings through an invariable increase in watch time and session time, but this put a strain on YouTubers.

AI and machine learning were added to the YouTube algorithm in 2016, changing the kinds of video being uploaded. In 2019, algorithm changes were made to ban “borderline content.”

The main aim of the YouTube algorithm is to provide viewers with the type of content they want to watch while maximizing viewer engagement as well as satisfaction in the long term. Before jumping into how your business can benefit from the YouTube algorithm, you need to understand how the algorithm works in the first place.

How does YouTube algorithm work?

The YouTube algorithm provides users of the platform with content they’re most likely to be interested in and engage within different sections of the platform- channel subscriptions, search results, trending streams, notifications, homepage, and suggested/recommended videos. Viewers stay on the platform and are encouraged to visit regularly as they are being provided with videos they’re most likely to enjoy.

The algorithm functions to encourage uploading videos that viewers will engage with more as opposed to focusing on measures like the number of YouTube views/clicks. Factors that influence video rankings by the YouTube algorithm include:

  • Click-through rate
  • The type of content people watch
  • Watch time for your video
  • Other videos from your channel that users have watched
  • Growth of the video’s popularity (view velocity)
  • The novelty factor of a video
  • Frequency of uploading videos
  • Users’ session times
  • How recently a video on the same topic was viewed
  • Viewer engagement in the form of likes, dislikes, shares
  • ‘Not interested’ feedback
  • User location and demographic details

Here’s a breakdown of the YouTube algorithm functioning on different sections of the platform:

Search results

The factors that affect the search rankings of your video on YouTube the most are keyword usage and video relevance. Videos are ranked in search results based on how closely the metadata, such as titles, keywords, and description, match the search query.

Relevance is also measured in terms of the extent to which your video has already engaged users in terms of likes, YouTube views, and watch time. Search results are also affected by the number of your channel’s videos users already watched, as well as when they last watched a video on a similar topic as your video.

Homepage and suggested videos

YouTube’s algorithm works to keep users on the platform for longer, thereby, being able to get them to see as many ads on the platform as possible. Content is suggested for users based on past user activity, and the type of content users already engage with. Videos are ranked based on the engagement they’ve generated for similar users, frequency of video viewing on a particular channel by viewers, videos on similar topics, as well as the number of times each video has already been shown to users. Diversification of their suggested videos on feeds and homepages is also done as viewers are more likely to watch content for which they receive recommendations from several channels.


YouTube’s trending page has a balance of new as well as popular videos from the country the user is in. To maintain a balance between popularity and novelty, the view count, as well as the rate of growth of YouTube views, is considered for every ranked video.


Your YouTube subscribers can find all your recently uploaded videos on the subscriptions page, where they can also see videos from other channels they’ve subscribed to. View velocity is the metric used by YouTube for subscriptions to determine platform rankings. With view velocity, the number of your YouTube subscribers who watch videos as soon as they’re uploaded is gauged so that videos with a higher view velocity will gain higher video rankings. The number of real YouTube subscribers you have who actively engage with your content is also taken into consideration while determining video rankings.

Improving your organic reach on YouTube

Improving your organic reach on YouTube

Now that you know how the YouTube algorithm works, here are some ways to increase the organic reach of your videos so that you get more YouTube views as well as YouTube subscribers.

Optimize your videos for search using the right keywords

Make sure you’re using the right keywords, and there’s clarity in your metadata, including the video description, tags, and caption. As far as descriptions are concerned, draw your reader’s attention with the first few lines, packing them with relevant keywords without overdoing it. Remember, though, that using longer descriptions will mean that the most important information should be made visible to viewers before the “Show More” is displayed.

Analyze search traffic sources

The Search Report of your channel can provide valuable information about the search terms being used by people to find you. Make it a point to use more of these terms in your video titles, keywords, and descriptions so that you can see a growth in the number of your YouTube subscribers and YouTube views.

Transcribe and translate your video

Adding subtitles is a great way to make sure viewers will continue watching your videos even if the sound is off. While you can make use of auto-generated captions in different languages, your search ranking can be improved if you choose to upload closed captions/subtitles on your own for your video, as then the file is also indexed for search.

Translations of your video titles, subtitles, and descriptions make it possible for your videos to reach audiences who speak different languages.

Customize thumbnails

Ninety percent of YouTube’s most popular videos make use of customized thumbnails as opposed to auto-generated ones. Customized thumbnails have greater attractive value and can boost your number of YouTube subscribers and YouTube views by getting people to click on your content. Close-ups of emotive faces/action shots work well in thumbnails. Make sure to utilize the “rule of thirds” for your thumbnails as it helps to reduce the time taken for the brain to process an image.

The addition of text to thumbnails is also very important as most users watch YouTube videos today on their phones, which means that the thumbnail is going to stand out in comparison to the title. Make sure the text you use communicates what the video relates to, without viewers even having to read the title to find out.

Branding your thumbnails can also be a great way to direct attention to your video. Maintaining consistency in the format on your YouTube channel with branded thumbnails can help viewers spot your channel from among several suggested videos with similar-looking thumbnails.

Encourage your viewers to finish watching the video

Grab your viewers’ attention from the very beginning and select your video length by paying attention to analytics. Use jump cuts if needed in your videos so that viewers don’t have to look at one shot for long. For longer videos, include interruptive moments to help viewers re-focus their attention.

Encourage binge-watching of your videos

The most important aspect of encouraging binge-watching of your videos is to have a focused premise on your YouTube channel. Other methods include directing viewers to other videos on your channel using cards, end screens, and watermarks, and linking your latest video to a playlist of your videos.

Focusing on making a series instead of a one-off is also a great way to naturally ensure your videos pick up where the previous one left off so that viewers are encouraged to keep watching.

Help viewers subscribe to your channel

With more YouTube subscribers, your videos can achieve a greater reach organically, so convince your viewers to subscribe.

Promote on other platforms

Make sure you cross-promote your videos on other platforms, including blogs, email marketing, and other social media platforms. Growing your YouTube subscribers and optimizing your content for search engines is crucial information used by the YouTube algorithm to suggest videos to users.

Monitor analytics

Evaluate what’s working and what isn’t for your YouTube marketing strategy through analytics, which can provide you with information about viewer drop-off, peak posting time, and subscriber behavior, allowing you to adapt your strategy accordingly.

How to Go About with Keyword Research for YouTube Marketing?

In the present era of digitization, YouTube marketing has come to assume an extremely crucial place in the entire digital marketing landscape. There are quite a few reasons why YouTube has become the second-largest search engine, falling just after its parent company Google.

With a user base of more than 2 billion people worldwide, the video-streaming platform has emerged as the go-to medium for video-lovers. Anyone who wants to find information on something, such as a tutorial video or step-by-step guide video, simply goes to YouTube, searches for a term in the search bar, and finds a gamut of videos. It’s simple and quick.

The increasing preference for video content and the growth of YouTube as a popular video streaming platform has brought YouTube marketing to the forefront these days. Brands across the globe, irrespective of their niche, are leveraging the power of YouTube videos to engage, inform and entertain people. Much of the success of brands depend greatly on the kind of video content they are sharing with their YouTube subscribers.

However, getting real YouTube subscribers and a large number of YouTube views isn’t something you can achieve in a day. Most YouTubers struggle for years to get the much-coveted 1000+ YouTube subscribers. Just like written blog content, which needs to be keyword-optimized for it to appear on Google’s SERP, your YouTube videos should also have the searchability factor.

The significance of keyword research for YouTube marketing

You may have come up with the best-of-best video content, but all your efforts will go in vain if your audience cannot find your content on YouTube. This is why you need to focus on keyword research and video SEO. You can harness your potential to get a huge number of YouTube subscribers and YouTube views when your channel becomes visible to your target audience.

Keyword research is an extremely crucial component of the entire video SEO process. It holds great significance in YouTube marketing for the sheer reason that it can make or break a video campaign. Video marketing is an expensive affair, and not being strategic about the content and its distribution will only be a recipe for disaster and loss.

As a savvy marketer, you should aim to keep your video marketing costs as low and your ROI as high as possible. This is the reason why your primary step before running full-blown YouTube marketing campaigns should be to conduct a thorough keyword research. When you get this step correct, your audience will be able to find you easily on YouTube. In the end, you can see the number of YouTube subscribers as well as YouTube views and shares soaring.

Going about keyword research for YouTube marketing

Now that you have got an idea of how important keyword research is for YouTube marketing, you may be wondering how to go about with the process. Fret not, because keyword research isn’t tough as most novice YouTube marketers perceive it to be. If you need guidance, then look no further than the step-by-step guide below:

Start with YouTube’s Autocomplete

The intuitive nature of YouTube is clearly reflected in its autocomplete feature, which is the easiest way to go about with keyword research. The keywords suggested by this feature of the platform give you a fair idea of the popular phrases that are performing well. It’s pretty much YouTube telling you itself that these are the keywords that are searching the most on the platform.

Take, for instance, you are the owner of an e-commerce store that sells organic food items. You wish to educate your audience about your products by creating YouTube videos because this content can win the trust of YouTube users.

Type, for example, “organic olive oil” in YouTube’s search bar. When you do that, you will be suggested a number of keywords instantly. You can use these keywords and even related keywords after another search to come up with your own list of keywords.

Know what your competitors are doing

YouTube marketing does not happen in silos. You will have to be aware of everything that’s happening around in order to come up with valuable and meaningful content. Even it comes to doing keyword research for YouTube marketing, you will have to take into account what your competitors are doing in the space.

For this, you should stick to comparable competitors from your niche while doing a keyword research. Try to find competitors with approximately the same number of YouTube subscribers. YouTube channels with a huge number of real YouTube subscribers can get the best results by using broader keywords instead of long-tail keywords.

When you identify a competitor, sort out their videos by filtering the “Most Popular” ones. Analyze the video title and video description of all their top-ranking videos and see what keywords they are targeting. This will give you a good idea of what you need to be doing too.

Find out Video Result Keywords

Every video marketer leveraging YouTube will want to get the top rank on YouTube’s search results. That’s a great pursuit. But what’s even better is getting your video ranked on both YouTube and Google. When the top two search engines feature your YouTube video, getting real YouTube subscribers and achieving growth becomes a huge possibility.

For your video content to rank well on search engines, you need to identify “Video Result Keywords.” One crucial point to note here is that Google does not rank a video in its SERP for every single keyword. It only ranks videos for specific keywords. These keywords that yield a video result on Google are called “Video Result Keywords.”

More often than not, “Video Result Keywords” are related to topics like tutorials, sports, and funny videos. So, you should search these keywords properly on Google before finalizing your main keywords. Optimizing your video content around these keywords will surely help you get many YouTube views.

Leverage YouTube Analyzer for topics

Leverage YouTube Analyzer for topics

The topics around which you create video content for YouTube marketing have a huge influence on the success of your brand. People visit YouTube looking for information on topics that pertain to their current situation. The COVID-19 pandemic is a classic example to cite here. During the lockdown and panicky times, people across the globe resorted to YouTube to stay up-to-date with valuable information.

But staying abreast with the latest trends and coming up with relevant YouTube videos can be challenging. To help you with that, you have YouTube Analyzer, which can assist you in topic and keyword research. You can get tons of amazing content ideas here and learn more about the finer aspects of YouTube marketing. These include the average video length, comments and engagement, and upvotes versus downvotes.

Use a keyword research tool

Crafting a YouTube marketing strategy isn’t a piece of cake. You will need a lot of data to back your decisions because one uninformed decision on your part can damage your brand greatly. It’s a given fact that keyword research is a critical component of the entire video SEO process. But its cumbersome nature often leads marketers to miss out on vital details that could have made a huge difference.

To make the job of video SEO strategists slightly easier, you can use a dedicated keyword research tool while crafting a YouTube marketing strategy. Once you enter your keyword type into their search bar, you will be presented with a variety of keyword ideas to choose from.

Most of these tools also provide valuable details about the search volume and clicks that each keyword gets. You can go for keywords and key phrases that show high numbers for both these parameters. You should also know that most of these keyword research tools show rounded yearly averages for keyword search volume. So, you should keep seasonal or declining trends in mind before finalizing your keywords.

Run YouTube ads

Last but not least, you can create and run a YouTube ad to show your video content on YouTube search for any search term. These ads can be used prior to making any heavy investment in full-fledged video campaigns to know the effectiveness of your keyword research.

Create a YouTube ad by targeting a few popular keywords in your niche. Run the campaign for 30 days and see the Search Terms report at the end of the period. The report will clearly show you the number of impressions your ad received for every keyword used.

However, you should note that the number of impressions that your video gets because of a particular keyword is often an underestimation of the search volume. That’s because the ad won’t show the impression for every keyword search. Nonetheless, it can surely be used to roughly estimate the potential search volume of the keyword.

The above are some of the ways in which you can go about with keyword research while running YouTube marketing campaigns. The video-streaming platform is quite a competitive space, and you will have to stay ahead in the game. It’s only through effective keyword research that you can come up with video campaigns that gives you growth in YouTube views and YouTube subscribers.

How to market your eCommerce store on YouTube?

When you are looking for options to market your eCommerce store, there are numerous channels and platforms that come to your mind. From a website to an Instagram account, businesses are trying out various methods to boost their sales online. One such revolutionary yet odd option for businesses to try out is YouTube.

Using YouTube to market your eCommerce store can be one of the most viable and cost-effective channels to try. The world’s most famous video sharing site can be the blessing you need to not just gain a prominent position in the market but to also get closer to your customer base. Not sure why you should market your eCommerce store on YouTube and how to go about it? Let’s have a closer look at the benefits and best practices for the same.

Benefits of using YouTube to market your eCommerce store

Before we get into how one can use YouTube to market their eCommerce store, let’s have a look at the benefits of doing so.

Worldwide audience with massive traffic

Like we already mentioned before, YouTube is the most popular video sharing site in the world. It is used internationally by billions of users and to choose to market your eCommerce store on YouTube opens up numerous opportunities to expand your customer base. Plus, you can also make use of the massive traffic that the site receives every single day. No matter the customer base you are trying to target, you will find excellent opportunities regarding the same when you market your eCommerce store on YouTube.

Rank higher on Google search engine results

You might often see video results when you search for something in Google’s search engine. Whether you are looking for a particular song or a review on a certain product, you are likely to receive video results at the top of the web page. This is made possible because optimizing your videos for SEO on YouTube can help them rank higher in Google search engine results as well. Likewise, if videos related to your eCommerce store do well on YouTube, they will enable you to gain visibility in Google search results as well.

Get closer to your target customer base

One of the biggest reasons for customers to alienate from a certain brand is that they do not find them warm and welcoming. If a business cannot connect well with their customers consistently, they come off as aloof and cold resulting in losing their customers. Excellent video content can help your brand develop a warm and charming personality that comes with a personal touch. Your customers will love watching your videos and connecting with the content you are sharing. Plus, interacting with them in the comments section can help you strengthen such customer relationships further.

Market your eCommerce store on YouTube: Best Practices

If you are convinced about the untapped potential of YouTube in helping you increase your sales and build a larger customer base, the next natural question arises – How do I go about this? Owing to how large the world of YouTube is, it can get quite daunting and overwhelming to decide where to get started. Here are some of the best practices that you should keep in mind when you choose to market your eCommerce store on YouTube.

Market your eCommerce store on YouTube: Best Practices

Talk about the value that you offer

Consider this: You are a coffee brand that sells freshly roasted coffee beans. A person wouldn’t want to buy from your brand simply because you can offer them the product. They would rather buy coffee beans from a brand that can help them learn how to use these coffee beans the best, which roast would suit their taste palette and what equipment they need to make themselves a cup of coffee.

The key with YouTube when you are trying to market your eCommerce store on it isn’t to just talk about what your product is and what its features are. The idea is to push these features in the background and have an honest conversation about what value you can offer. So, try and come up with content related to how your products can offer value to your customers or how they can use your products to add ease and convenience into their lives.

Build partnerships with YouTubers

YouTube has become a powerful platform for influencers to connect with their audience and push them towards purchasing a certain product. In fact, the endorsement of a product by an influential personality on any social media channel can drastically affect the purchasing decision of your target consumers. When you are looking to market your eCommerce store on YouTube, consider building meaningful partnerships with YouTubers.

These YouTubers are essentially YouTube users who have a large number of subscribers. Even if you and the partner serve the audience in different ways, pick someone who you share a similar audience with. The key here is to not talk about your product to a huge customer base that is largely uninterested but to a tiny niche that is highly interested in purchasing from your brand regularly. You could either send free samples to this YouTube partner or build a contract with them where they endorse your products and you sponsor them.

Involve your customers directly

Why not turn your customers into your biggest brand ambassadors and get them to market your eCommerce store on YouTube? By involving your customers directly, you are showcasing yourself in the market as a brand that is loved by many and how others can get value in a similar fashion. One of the best ways around this is to host a contest asking your customers to upload a video to YouTube in which they talk about what they love about your product and why they love it.

This could either be a simple product review video, an ad or even a short film. This will help you turn your customers into your voice where they will endorse your products to their own audience. Remember, always give your customers some incentive to upload such videos. Setting up a cash reward for the ‘Top 3’ videos or sending your winners gift cards can be amazing incentives to be given out.

Address negativities around your brand

We always strive to build a brand that never has to go through any negativities in the market however, bad press is ultimately unavoidable. YouTube offers a fantastic platform for you to be able to address this negative press and salvage the situation well. To clear up the situation, create a mindful and explanatory video where you address the situation thoroughly and offer an explanation or an apology.

For eg. If you are a sports accessories company and have been receiving extremely negative press about not being an environmentally conscious company, you can prepare and post a YouTube video to address the same. If you haven’t been following regulatory norms, offer an apology and talk about how you plan on changing things going forward. However, if you are an environmentally conscious company and are taking all measures necessary, create a video featuring a tour of your manufacturing plant and show all the processes that are contributing towards ensuring lowest possible pollution levels.

Keep an eye on the analytics

You can be as creative with your content on YouTube as possible however, you also need to take care of numbers at the end of the day. YouTube offers a comprehensive set of analytics features that help you understand how well your videos are doing on the platform. Important analytics features on YouTube include interactions, viewing time, click on cards, average duration, location of users and traffic sources. Each of these analytics features help you identify what your strengths and weaknesses are.

When you are trying to market your eCommerce store on YouTube, it is very important that you treat it like any other platform where you are trying to make sales. If you notice that your viewers are ditching your videos right in the first thirty seconds, you might need to work on grabbing their attention better. Similarly, if you notice that your viewers are watching your entire video but you still don’t see any changes in sales, you might want to include cards in the end of your videos as a CTA to redirect them to a particular landing page. These analytics can help you pave a way forward and take care of everything you are doing wrong in your YouTube marketing strategies.


There was a time when YouTube was simply a platform where people heard songs and watched videos. As time has progressed and the business world has become more digital and advanced, companies have shifted to numerous online platforms to market their products and services. One such platform to have taken the eCommerce world by storm is YouTube. If you are new to the market or are simply looking for new channels to boost your eCommerce sales, use the above tips to help you get a kickstart. When used smartly and consistently, YouTube can be one of the most viable platforms for you to market your eCommerce store.

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