Tips for better Youtube explainer video rankings

by russlaw | June 24, 2015 | General

YouTube has exploded and we have all watched it happen right in front of our eyes. It has over a billion users a day, and the importance of improving user attention and to make your videos rank better on Youtube is paramount. With accessible software like Videoscribe, everyone can create an effective explainer video to describe their business or service in a fun and interesting way.

Tips for better Youtube explainer video rankings Whiteboard Animation

In 2013 I created a series of Youtube explainer videos for the Powtoon video platform. It was a short series of 9 videos that I posted on Youtube that gave tips and advice on how to create and improve your videos. I covered user engagement.  You can see these videos on my YouTube playlist called Pimp my Powtoon. These days I mostly create whiteboard videos because I enjoy drawing everything by hand in my own style and seeing it being drawn again in front of me. If you have spent hours creating one of these fun videos, then the rewards are there if you can just get it right. The sheer size of this online audience which is now over one-third of all internet users means that if you take the right steps, then you could start receiving the traffic you always dreamed of. You might be wondering how on earth you can achieve this, so let us take a look at how Youtube video rankings work and give you some tips to help improve visibility, and some of the factors behind how Google chooses to show videos in its search results pages. Tips for better Youtube explainer video rankings Whiteboard Animation

Video file name

Never overlook the file name of your explainer video. This is used when attempting to categorise the content, so choose a video title filename that does target your keywords.

View density

We can all see how many views videos attract over time but view density matters to Youtube. If your video receives a lot of views in a short space of time, it’s more likely to be pushed up the rankings. You can make this happen with social media. There is no need to pay for ad campaigns though, as you can easily create these yourself and spread the world on facebook, twitter or Instagram, to name just a few. We have found that people who use these forms of social media, really love watching whiteboard animations and powtoon videos.

Meta tags

Youtube’s robots and spiders use these tags to interpret a video’s content. This is thought to be a major factor in deciding the positions a video can accomplish in Youtube. Whenever you upload a video to Youtube you can label it with your own targeted keywords. 6-8 labels are thought to be the perfect amount. Take a look around for the most popular tags that your competition are using and try to learn from them.

Youtube labels

The video watch time should not be overlooked. Youtube used to use counts and comment volumes in their analysis factors, but they switched this to the video watch time in 2012 as it was more accurate.


Use the title of your video well, and place keywords towards the front of the title. Just like when you write a good blog or a newspaper headline, your video titles need to be descriptive as well as interesting. Try to make sure the video does deliver on your headline or people might not watch it or let alone share it.


The description is a really nice chance to create a back-link to your website. Just remember that about only the first 150 words will be visible to people when they land on your page, so best to make sure these are well optimized.


This is another point to think about. If viewers do subscribe to your channel after watching one of your whiteboard animation or powtoon videos, then it tells Youtube as well as to Google that your video is useful and valuable to your viewers.


Encourage comments by mentioning it at the end of your video. Comments are a good way for youtube to know that your explainer videos are interesting enough to cause viewer interaction. There are a lot of spammers out there, so it is probably best to only show approved comments.

Make sure you set this up. Here are a few other things to remember,

  • Think about your brand, and focus on consistent titles, tagging, and descriptions.
  • Social shares from others indicate the quality and engagement of your video.
  • Links back to your channel or video carry a lot of weight, and make a difference. (these are called back-links)
  • Remember to use your Youtube videos in emails to help improve their rank. Promoting on social sites, and embedding on your own website will all help. I have done this on my main site to show my best portfolio pieces.
  • Lastly, remember to create an explainer video that people will find interesting or amusing. If you are creating one for a business, then think about the kind of questions customers will have around your product and service.
Good Luck, and let me know how you get on in the comments section below. Russ Law