How to Optimise YouTube Videos for SEO

As people’s access to rapid-fast internet and smartphone technology has improved around the world, customers prefer much of the content they consume to be in video format. 

Rather than having to read through a lengthy how-to guide about a product that has caught their eye, they can simply look up a two-minute YouTube tutorial that provides all the information they need. 

In fact, 66% of people now say they prefer to watch a short video to learn about a product or service compared to 18% who still prefer their information text-based.

Want your videos to reach the most relevant audience? You need to embark on a powerful YouTube SEO campaign that ensures your content stands out against the competition.

What is YouTube SEO Optimisation? 

YouTube is a remarkably accessible platform used by consumers located in nearly every country of the world. 

But as this mammoth video-sharing website has grown to become the second-most visited website on the internet, there are no guarantees that your videos will gain traction. 

So what can you do? The answer is to follow a personalised YouTube SEO strategy designed to reach your ideal target market and capture their attention.

By implementing numerous YouTube tips for SEO, you can dramatically increase the visibility of your video content in search results and convert your customer base.

How to Optimise Videos for YouTube

Optimising your video content is the ideal decision for achieving your brand’s goals. With the benefits of YouTube SEO driving more customer engagement and expanding your reach, taking the steps to complete the following tips can make a huge difference to your long-term success.

Drive Reach with Keywords

Keywords are critical to every kind of search engine optimisation campaign. By identifying the terms your target market is most likely to use when they search, you can make your content more appealing to the algorithms that order the search results.

To achieve the most success, you need to adopt a smart approach to keyword research. Ideally, you want to find keywords that have plenty of search volume but low competition. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of keyword research tools that can deliver YouTube SEO success.

If you’re ready to learn how to find keywords to improve YouTube SEO, test out Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush or Ahrefs Keyword Explorer and see which one enhances your workflow. 

Craft a Compelling Title and Description

Once you’ve identified keywords that reach your target market, you need to include them within your copy. For YouTube SEO, the most obvious place to start is the video title and description. 

Alongside the addition of carefully selected keywords, you need to craft a highly clickable title that ensures viewers understand what they are about to watch. Have you produced a product review or a how-to guide? Include these details in your title to ensure you seduce more viewers.

You also don’t want to ignore the description. This section is great for YouTube SEO purposes as you can write an expressive, keyword-driven message that engages your audience.

Follow an Upload Schedule

As the power of video marketing will only get stronger moving forward, ensuring your brand’s YouTube account is regularly updated with high-quality content is vital.

Without regular uploads, customers won’t have the same opportunity to learn about your brand and understand what makes it better than the competition. By scheduling your uploads when your target market is most active, you can ensure your view count skyrockets beyond expectations. 

As you amass top-notch content on your channel and increase brand awareness, the reach of your videos will rapidly improve. 

Add Subtitles

Subtitles are a remarkably underrated YouTube tip for SEO. While search algorithms can’t actually watch and understand your videos, they can identify keywords in your subtitles that help target like-minded viewers.

This requires brands to create their own SRT file and upload it through the YouTube video manager. But the effort is worth it as you can reach a highly engaged audience. Meanwhile, subtitles and closed captions are also known to have an incredible impact on average watch time. 

Studies have found that videos with overlaid subtitles keep audiences around for 91% of the runtime compared to 66% in content that lacks subtitles.

Include Tags and Categorise Your Content

Tagging helps creators tell YouTube what each video involves. As these snippets of information ensure the platform determines the context of your video, this helps your content reach relevant users. 

While it might be tempting to use any popular tags, make sure you find the best tags for your specific YouTube content. This is because Google can penalise your account for using misleading tags.

In addition to tagging, selecting a category for your video also enhances YouTube SEO. By appearing in precise search results, you can achieve your objectives with greater ease.

Produce Striking Thumbnails

When users conduct a search on YouTube, they are presented with potentially thousands of videos to choose from. So how can you stand out? Producing an attention-grabbing thumbnail is one element that will level up your clicks. 

By making sure your brand uses custom thumbnails that represent your brand’s unique style, this aspect of YouTube can have a seismic impact on your results. 

The specific look of your thumbnail will depend on your brand and video content. However, generating custom graphics that combine photos and text boosts your chances of gaining attention compared to boring, generic images.


Use Cards and End Screens

Whether you want to convert viewers to your website or get them to keep watching your content, YouTube has implemented some powerful features that help creators achieve these goals.

With one of the features known as Cards, these appear as on-screen notifications within desktop and mobile videos. If you happen to reference another one of your videos within your script, this is a handy way to show viewers where they can find extra information.

End screens achieve much the same purpose as Cards. As these surface after videos, use these to convert viewers to your website or boost subscribers by adding a large button.

Dive into Analytics

No matter what SEO campaign you undertake, using analytics is critical to how you measure and adjust your approach. YouTube SEO is no different, with several metrics providing sharp insight into how viewers perceive your content. 

For individual videos, data on traffic sources helps you understand how your audience discovers your content. You might learn that your social media posts have a massive impact, or perhaps your content is getting shared on Reddit organically.

You might also learn that some topics are consistently failing to receive adequate engagement. Maybe these concepts can be rejuvenated with a fresh approach or you might simply want to try something different. 

Cross-Promote Your Channel

For most brands, YouTube is simply one platform of many used to reach consumers. If you’ve already established a following across other social media websites like Facebook, Instagram or TikTok, these are the best places to promote your content. 

As these people are already engaged with your brand, they are far more likely to become YouTube subscribers. This can lead to a big boost in your view count and social shares. 

With email marketing remaining one of the most productive digital marketing methods, also consider embedding your videos in your upcoming newsletter to deliver more YouTube SEO success.

Chat to the Experts

YouTube attracts a mind-blowing 122 million active users every single day. With this kind of reach, ensuring your videos capture the attention they deserve can take your business to the next level. 

If you’re ready to launch into a YouTube SEO campaign with us Australia’s leading digital marketing agency, the talented team at First Page Australia can deliver world-class results. As we’ve worked closely alongside businesses across virtually every niche, we have the skills to attract your ideal target market. 

Ready to put these YouTube tips for SEO into practice? Chat with our expert digital marketers to discover how our YouTube SEO strategies will enhance your business today.