I have done more research than you could imagine, and I have gotten extremely good at SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for YouTube, so I thought I would make this guide. First, here are some examples of my videos ranking above huge channels and viral videos... Edit: The below pictures show my videos ranking a few months back. I have since updated them to rank for different searches, because I believe that you should update the information on a video every few months. The pictures should still however make a point that this method does work. This video has under 400 views and ranks on page one of "How To Make A Game" Currently, I am working on getting this to the top spot, but it still is bringing me 20-60 views a day. This Minecraft Roller Coaster (3000 views) Ranks Above TheSyndicateProject (5 million subs) With results like this, clearly I am doing something right. Below I have posted all the major things that I think matter the most in SEO for YouTube and how to achieve it. These are in order of how much I believe the matter. I will try to update this list if I feel I forgot anything. 1) Keyword Density - This is how often your video has a specific keyword in the title, description, tags, etc. To rank high, you want to find a high searched keyword and rank for it. I did not rank on page 1 of "games", but I am on page one of "how to make a game", and this gets me a good amount of daily views. Lets use that for an example. In this video, the exact words "How to Make A game" are in the title, description, and tags 6 times exactly. Then each of the individual words "How", "To", "Make", and "game" are each there about 30 times. YouTube ranks things based on what meta data is there. If there is tons of one keyword within the video, they will think "Wow this video has to do with how to make a game, we should rank it for that". 2) Tags - Don't be fooled. Tags matter a great deal, and if you do them right, you can have results like the ones above. Lets pretend you made a cover of a Beatles song. First you need to realize something. You will not rank for the search "cover", so why should that be in your tags? It should not. From my experience, the more tags you have, the less important each one is. (This is very debatable, so feel free to disagree on that statement, but it has worked for me.) You should use more long tail tags. If you want to rank for a specific keyword, that keyword should be the only focus of your tags. You don't want the search engine to go "well they seem to want to rank for both 'cover music' and 'Beatles Songs', so we should rank them poorly for both". You want the search engine to say, "wow everything here is relating to the search 'Beatles cover song', so we should rank this video at the top for this search'. Indecisiveness is a negative trait. It is also very important to decide how many tags you should have. It is very debatable, but the amount of tags you have should be dependent on the size of your title and the broadness of the searches you wish to rank for. For larger channels, you can rank for many different searches at one time and use lots of tags. For smaller channels however, you should focus primarily on one search and only the tags that would apply to it. EDIT: If you need help determining what tags are ranking for the searches you want to rank for, you can get a Google Chrome extension called VidIQ Vision Here: http://vidiq.com/apps/vision/ This will allow you to see the tags and other details of any video on YouTube. Use this to look at the top ranking videos for the search you want to rank for. I suggest looking at videos from smaller YouTubers that are ranking, because many videos rank purely due to large subscriber bases. 3) Titles - This one is simple. Make the title exactly what you want to rank for. If you want you can have some of the words in it twice. Look at the video in the first picture. I put "How To Make A Game" and "Make Video Games" in the same title. Although you want to rank for "how to make a game", Google does tend to look at similar searches, and it can help you to have "Make Videos Games" in there as well. 4) Backlinks - A backlink is any link on another site linking to your video. You want these. It helps a lot, because YouTube looks at it as if the video is going viral. For that reason, "shares" on social networks are very helpful. Also, you want about 30% of these links to say exactly your url. The others you want to say the main keyword you are ranking for. (So you can click on the words "How To Make A Game" and it will bring you to your video. If you have a website that can do this it is very helpful. Remember, not all backlinks are helpful. YouTube has access to stats telling them how many times the link was clicked. They want to see genuine links bringing traffic to your video. 5) User Engagement - This is simple, YouTube wants engaged users. If users are actively commenting and rating (dislikes and likes count the same!), YouTube ranks it higher. Ask in the video for people to comment for a specific reason like "tell me what I can do next". 6) Playlists - This is a very large category, but I thought I would include it all in one paragraph for the purposes of the size of this post. Every playlist has a title and a description. You should include every single one of your videos into a playlist. This will not only give your users an easy way to navigate videos, but it can help with SEO. If you are ranking for "How To Make A Game", and they playlist has that phrase in its title and description, it will raise your keyword density, and this will improve your ranking. Also, YouTube knows that people will watch more of your videos if they are in a playlist. This means more money for them (assuming more views), so they will rank it higher. 7) Annotations - These again should be pretty simple. On all of your videos include a few annotations. They should link to other videos of your own mostly. This will help with both your "Backlinks" and your "User Engagement". Make your annotations appealing, and make people want to click on them. Higher click through rates will improve your overall SEO. I am personally terrible at remembering to do this, but when I do, the videos always seem to do much better. Also, there are many other factors. Subscribers and current views are very large factors. The age of the video can be a factor as well, but you cannot control these. Lastly, it will rank higher if you are a partner and the video has ads enabled. If ads are enabled, YouTube makes more money, so they want people to view it. If you read this far you are awesome!