How to Help Food Videos Rank on YouTube


how to rank food videos on youtube

In 2019, video is king when it comes to food content.

As the number one video site in the world, foodie influencers can build a really successful audience on YouTube – but only if your videos can be found. So how can you help your food videos to rank on YouTube?

Don’t miss our top ten recommended UK food bloggers and influencers on YouTube! 

Today we’re sharing our top tips for foodie creators who want to improve the SEO of their video content on YouTube.

File Names

Like any search engine activity, video SEO starts with the basics. Don’t just upload a file called and expect magic to happen.

Make sure your file has a descriptive name, that tells YouTube what it is about. Add tags and comments to the raw file. When uploading your video, go for the very best quality you can. YES, it will take hours to upload. YES it’s worth it if you want your food videos to rank on YouTube. 

Keywords and Titles

If you want your videos to rank on YouTube, it’s essential to choose a compelling keyword or phrase. Make sure you use it in your video title. The most important words should ideally be at the start of the title.

Not sure what to use? Try typing some words into the search bar and see what auto-complete suggests.

Head over to Google or Google Trends and try some variations on keywords. Generally, more specific is better. Try “quick organic salmon fishcakes” rather than “home-made fishcakes”

Remember to add tags, using several synonyms (this will also help you to avoid keyword stuffing). Adding a transcription to videos can be useful, if there is a speech component.

Don’t miss any boxes that seem relevant – add a category of video, and of course remember to disclose any paid content or sponsorship.

It seems unlikely, but a well organised channel can help all of your videos rank. Playlists are part of this process, but also think about things like channel art, a good profile picture and an attractive background. Be sure to add your social links, a contact email address and link to your blog.

Custom Thumbnails

After the title and description, the most important element of your video SEO is the thumbnail. Always upload a custom thumbnail for YouTube videos. Ensure it represents the content, and experiment with different styles to see which improves your click-through rate most effectively.

A good thumbnail should be colourful, and brighter than you might think! Food videos can be challenging, but should show a bright, attractive dish that actually features in your video. Clickbait can improve viewing numbers, but it will do nothing for your overall view time!


Make a point to connect your Google Analytics to YouTube. This will let you measure things like video plays, watch time, retention and clicks – all things that will help you to understand what videos are ranking and performing well, and how to make more of them!

The First 48 Hours!

YouTube ranks videos more highly when they attract a high rate of engagement in the first 48 hours after upload.

Some tips on this score – be mindful of what time videos are uploaded. Use analytics to see when more followers are online, and upload at the right moment! If your followers are online after 9pm, don’t set videos to go live at 8am!

It’s also important to use your social channels and email database to drive traffic to videos soon after posting. Share videos to your social channels frequently in the first two days and encourage your subscribers to watch. Sharing a “teaser” on social channels can also help drive traffic.

Don’t forget that YouTube isn’t just a video platform. It’s also a social network. Subscribe to channels that are similar to your own, comment on videos, add them to relevant playlists. Being a good community member is critical in growing your channel and audience. The YouTube Creator Community has fantastic online forums where you can connect with other creators and share tips and videos.

Sally is the publisher of Foodies100, the UK's largest directory of brilliant UK food and drink blogs and bloggers. Every day of the week, we promote the UK's best and most exciting blogs about food and drink.

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So You Know...

As you've likely heard and seen, there's an increasing focus on the authenticity of follower growth and engagement on social platforms across the Influencer Marketing community. The platforms themselves have taken measures to deter inauthentic activity and brands now more closely scrutinise the audiences of the influencers with whom they are partnering.

The Flea Network has implemented a system that will detect abnormal spikes in following and engagement, and flag these properties. Of course, such spikes can often be attributed to viral posts or high-profile brands that bring greater exposure to some content.

If one of your social accounts is flagged by our system without an obvious reason, we may reach out to you for assistance in understanding it. If we find any influencer has artificially inflated their audience size or engagement using paid acquisition or automated, third-party tools, we will remove them permanently from our influencer community.

Feel free to reach out to us at with any questions or comments.

Thank you!

The Flea Network Team

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