Must Know Search Engine Optimization Basics For Youtube

Virtually every SEO specialist optimizes websites for Google searches.  However, the second most visited site on the web is Youtube and videos posted there can also be optimized in a similar way.  Since Youtube SEO isn’t exactly the same as Google SEO, we’ll go over some power tips needed for a successful Youtube SEO strategy.

Consistent Posting

Of course, quality content will be your key to gaining views and subscribers, but consistent posting plays a large role in maintaining subscriber interest.  Whatever schedule you choose, try to stick to it.

Keyword Research

Just like Google, you need to be optimizing for keywords that people are searching for.   There are plenty of free and paid tools that can help your keyword planning, but you can even monitor the autocompleted phrases in Youtube’s search box to get you started.

Create Longform Content

Youtube has stated it’s looking to maximize users’ watch time.  By creating longform content, ideally 5 minutes or more, you’ll boost your search ranking results.  Strive to increase the watch time of your overall channel rather than specific videos.

Title Composition

Make sure your title includes the keyword you’re optimizing for and relates directly to the video’s content.  Titles should be at least five words long.

Create an Inviting Description

You should basically have a two-part description.  The first part, with the most important links you want to include, needs to be compelling, concise and fit above the “Show More” button.  After “Show More” you’ll be able to expand, include more target keywords and all your other related links.

Proofread Your Transcript

The transcript, or captions, to your video can also serve your optimization goals.  Youtube offers an automatic transcript service, but you’ll need to carefully proofread the result.  If you create your own, make sure to timestamp the captions to match the audio.

Customize Your Thumbnail

On a visual medium, images play a huge role.  If you can (you’ll need to be verified) customize your thumbnail to show a clear, attractive image with appropriate text.

Playlist Creation

Creating playlists based on heavily searched keywords is a way to increase traffic to your channel.  You don’t even need to use your own videos in the playlist to make this happen.

Add Tags

You can’t see tags added to videos, but they still play an important part in categorization and SEO.  Make sure to tag your video with your focus keywords and other related word combinations.

Youtube Cards

Youtube cards are those notification boxes you see floating around the videos every so often (or annoyingly too often!).  Youtube cards can be used as call to action buttons to increase subscriptions or showcase other videos.


Endscreens are custom Youtube endings that are added to the last 5-20 seconds of the video.  Similar to cards, they are a clickable call to action buttons that can promote other videos, ask for subscriptions or link to other sites.

Globalize Your Post

It’s possible to widen your global audience by providing captions and keywords in foreign languages.  You can also translate text such as the title and description.

Use Youtube Analytics

Like Google, Youtube has its own analytical tools.  These tools allow you to learn where your audience is coming from, what is most effective at engaging them, and who your viewers are.  Combined with Google Analytics you’ll end up with data that can focus your future energies.

To learn more about how you can maximize your ranking through SEO, download our free SEO eBook for valuable insights.