Optimizing Your YouTube SEO

YouTube is one of the most popular sites on the internet, and optimizing your YouTube SEO is very important. Just like Google, there are ways to help YouTube rank your video higher than others. Gathering views can take a few steps, but it will be worth it in the end. Whatever you are hoping to do with your channel, learning how to optimize your YouTube SEO will be helpful. This article is going to focus on tips to improve your YouTube SEO to give you more views for your videos.

Using YouTube SEO to Your Advantage

YouTube is a great place to market your products and services. With the popularity comes millions of companies marketing their own businesses. In order to give your videos a chance at a high rating, keywords are crucial. Just like a website, these keywords can help the YouTube algorithm pick your video to suggest to its users. Find out what keywords match what your video is trying to say by using the YouTube search bar. Learn what users are searching for, then use that as your title. If this is not working, find YouTube videos like yours and see what works and what doesn’t. Look at what your competitors are doing and mimic that in your own title, while adding your own spin.

making a youtube video

Video Titles and Keywords

It is important to use a short and sweet title. If it is more than 60 characters, YouTube could cut part of the title off because it does not fit the dimensions. Important rules to follow are using focus keywords and show that you are solving a problem in the short title.

Thumbnails are Crucial

Make sure to have a good thumbnail. A thumbnail is a photo from a portion of your video which is displayed by your video’s title. Choosing this is crucial because plenty of users will click on videos based on the picture alone. Make it creative and unique. This is also the way to show what your video is about. Custom thumbnails are extra helpful, but there is a catch: you have to be verified. You can become verified by contacting YouTube, so give it a try. The best images will also be around 1280 x 720 pixels. Save it as a 2MB or smaller using .png, .jpg, .gif, or .bmp type files.

The Importance of Tags

Tags are a vital part of the SEO for YouTube as well. This will help you gather more views. Never use unnecessary tags or popular tags that do not have anything to do with your video. If you do, there is a good chance YouTube could penalize you. Another SEO rule of thumb to use around 10 to 12 tags per video.

Categorizing Tags

Categorizing your video goes hand in hand with tags. For the categories you are thinking of using, do some research. What are the popular videos doing? Are the audiences following certain videos collectively? How can your video match that, but show something unique? Look for qualities that are shared throughout popular videos that you can adopt. These could be the length of the video, type of graphics, production quality, etc. Using this kind of research can increase your traffic.

Make it Count

The description placed right below the video is a great place to use keywords as well. This will help out your YouTube SEO by providing a better idea of what the video is about. Starting out your description with keywords is encouraged. It is important to remember that YouTube only shows the first 10 characters before the rest is cut off. The user will have to manually click the “show more” button to read the rest, so those first 10 characters are the most important. In total, the description can reach up to 1,000 characters.

Looking at footage on camera

Share Links

If you have other social media or a website you want to share with your consumers, insert links into your video descriptions. Inserting links to your channel or linking other stand-alone videos will show YouTube that you are knowledgeable about your brand. Similarly, embedding your video’s link in other posts or websites is another way to increase views. If you have a blog or website, make sure to find ways to post it in there too. If you have social media accounts, place it in your biographies. Place it as a link in the description of other videos you make. This can help increase traffic to your videos.

Links in Other Forms

This goes along with a little icon at the top of the YouTube video. It is a little “i” in a white circle in the right corner of the video. This is perfect for showing off your other videos and channel. This icon can be used for multiple purposes. These include using it as marketing for another channel or other videos. This could be used to link fundraisers or donations and even funding from viewers. It is also helpful to link to an external site like a blog or webpage. The icon can also be used as a chance to poll your viewers. They can tell you what is working for the video, what they dislike, and what they would like to see. This can help bring the same viewers back over and over if you decide to take suggestions.

Editing video footage

The Little Things Matter

There are multiple small things you can do to optimize your YouTube SEO. These things really do add up and make a difference!


Comments can improve your YouTube SEO by increasing your popularity. After posting your video, make an effort to start a conversation in the comments. More comments show YouTube that the video is becoming popular.

Closed Captioning

The closed captions are a great tool as well. These are detected by the YouTube algorithm and allow for SEO optimization. You can make your own captions to get it right, as sometimes YouTube’s automatic captioning can contain mistakes. The way to make captions for your video is by going to the video manager on YouTube. Click on videos, then the drop-down arrow next to the edit button, and finally click the Subtitles/CC tab. Another good idea is to translate the video into other languages to take the video global.

Edit the filename

A great way to maximize your YouTube SEO is by editing the filename to reflect the title of the video. This will help YouTube learn what your video is about and possibly help the rankings.

Use a Mailing List

Creating an emailing list can also help your popularity. Create a mailing list so viewers can reach your content through other ways. Email has proven to bring more traffic to a video, so this is definitely one to consider.


Creating playlists can be helpful for your YouTube SEO. If you make these playlists that link videos together, then also make sure you use appropriate keywords to optimize the video SEO. This will also allow viewers to see more of your videos in a way that requires less work.

Make It the Right Length

Make sure to find the appropriate video length. YouTube is competing with other TV sources, so they do not want short videos. The goal is to keep viewers on the page for long periods of time and this is good for your videos as well. The minimum length should be about five minutes. However, don’t try and stuff it with unnecessary material, that might make you lose viewers.

friends making a video together

Tools to Optimize Your YouTube SEO

There are plenty of platforms and sites to use that can help your YouTube SEO. To help with keywords, there are sites like Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, Ubersuggest, or Google Trends. Canva is also a great place to create thumbnails to attract viewers.

Planning sites

Other sites like Hubspot Content Strategy will allow for proper planning and show you what is related to the videos you have created. Using VidIQ Vision will help you study other videos and find out why they are doing well. This goes along with Cyfe which tracks how well your videos are doing. TubeBuddy will help you manage your channel and even help you promote the content.

Using Social Media Promotion

Promoting content is very important and social media is the best tool for that. Some of the most important and obvious sites include Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is known as one of the best sharing options. Users on this platform tend to watch longer than other sites, so your video has a chance at more screen time. Twitter has a great engagement rate and allows for a larger number of views on your videos.

Other social media sites that are more surprising but are equally helpful for views are LinkedIn and Quora. LinkedIn is known for bringing in more engagement than other platforms. Quora too, was made to answer questions with users looking for detailed answers. That is a great place to insert “How-To” videos or anything that answers questions.

Google and YouTube Analytics

In other ways, YouTube and Google Analytics are going to be very important for using your YouTube SEO. You can find out every detail of how long a user watches the videos, how many users the video reaches, and how long the viewers are engaged. In doing this, you can learn so much more about your audience. You can even see how much revenue the videos are bringing in all under the YouTube Help page on Google.

friends watching videos

Tips For Bringing Viewers to Your Videos

Beyond keywords and descriptions, the quality of the video matters. This will help keep the viewer interested and see the effort in the product. This might even mean viewers come back to your channel. There are cheap ways to make this happen and it can begin with your smartphone. Grab a tripod, some lights to highlight the subject, and a microphone to get started. Good quality also means a nice backdrop. This could be a green screen, beautiful scenery, or anything that creates an interesting setting.

Like, Comment, and Subscribe

Make sure to have a great beginning and ending. The ending screen is crucial because this is traditionally when the channel asks for subscriptions or links other videos. A nice image or something subtle to end on helps promote the channel and videos. Feel free to link other videos during this end cut or link your channel. Do not be afraid to be upfront with asking for subscriptions, likes, or comments on the videos.

Marketing Your Channel

Try to find opportunities to partner with channels that compliment yours. Avoid using channels that compete with your product. Interviewing on other channels can also bring traffic to your videos. Taking the time to perfect old videos on your channel to make the page look cohesive will also show effort to the subscriber.

Creating Relationships

It is key to cultivate a relationship with your subscribers. This will keep them coming back and allow for more views on videos. Try to publish on a regular schedule because subscribers will be counting on that. If there are no regular uploads, subscribers will not check your channel and you can lose views.

Begin Promoting Your Channel

Optimizing your YouTube SEO can be done in many different ways. Always learn from others and find ways to stand out from your competitors. Try to optimize the content in a timely manner, because about two days after the publishing date, it is hard to recover if it has been done badly. Check your analytics pages to see how the channel is doing. Make sure to use keywords wherever possible. Try to engage with subscribers in the comments and through social media. Find ways to improve your content to increase traffic. Begin this process by finding more ways to gain subscribers and learn from others.


  • What are some tips for YouTube SEO?
  • How to optimize my YouTube Channel?
  • What tools can I use for my YouTube SEO?
  • How can I improve my video SEO?
  • How do I change my YouTube videos to get more views?

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