7 Tips for Optimizing YouTube SEO

YouTube is a massive social media platform. In fact, it was founded in 2005, and bought by Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Today, YouTube is worth $170 billion and is used by 2.3 billion users. The following article delves deeply into the world of YouTube and gives you seven great tips you need to follow in order to optimize the SEO for your YouTube content.

Whate you need to know about YouTube

You will be impressed to know that:

  • YouTubers consist of 79% of internet users.
  • YouTube is available in over 100 countries and 80 different languages.
  • A massive 62% of all businesses use YouTube as part of their content execution.
  • Over 70% of the content watched on YouTube is from mobile devices.
  • 90% of people discover brand new products and brands via YouTube.

So, as you can see, effective YouTube digital marketing campaigns are a major component in the future success of your business. Here are the tips you need to follow for effective YouTube SEO:

The intricate world of YouTube SEO

#1 Tip – Know the audience that you are targeting

You need to get familiar with your audience before creating YouTube content. Understand the language that they use to target keywords in order to rank as high as possible. Also, the searches people use are not the same as Google searches – people use more casual language with search terms and their keyword choice in the YouTube search bar.

Use this free YouTube Channel Performance Dashboard to track subscriber rates, likes, shares, comments, as well as other helpful video engagement metrics, which will help you determine the success of your YouTube digital marketing strategy.  

Image Credit: https://databox.com/template/youtube-channel-performance-dashboard

#2 Tip – Prioritize keyword research

Your content will be optimized if you apply keyword research. Here are good places to start:

  • Look at your competitor videos. See what topics they use that match yours, and take note of the keywords they use. Use tools such as SERanking, SocialPeta, and Metricool to perform competitor research to see what keywords they are using.
  • Look at what people are actually searching for on YouTube. Start typing topics into the YouTube search bar and see what comes up. This will give you a hint as to what people are mostly searching for.
  • Use YouTube keyword research tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, as well as specific YouTube tools like TubeBuddy, YTCockpit, and vidIQ. TubeBuddy is great as it offers many features that are free, and if you want access to its premium features, all you need to do is upgrade your account. 

#3 Tip – Use your keywords wisely

Once you have the list of keywords that you want to use in your video, you will need to optimize your YouTube content for those specific keywords by using them in the most important places. Use your keywords:

  • In your video’s title. Never be ambiguous about your video’s title. It needs to be very obvious. The last thing you need is the ranking of your content to be affected by poor choice of video title.
  • In the description. Don’t apply “keyword stuffing,” but rather insert as many keywords as possible where it looks natural. 
  • In the tags, as well as your video’s transcript. Also insert keywords in the filename of your video. 

#4 Tip – Mention keywords in your video

It’s important to mention your keywords in the actual spoken content of the video. Mention your keywords within the first two sentences of your video. YouTube algorithms understand everything you say, and captions will be created automatically. 

As long as you are mentioning keywords in your video’s title, descriptions and content within the video, your rankings will rise. 

#5 Tip – Pay attention to captions & transcripts

If you want your YouTube video to rank high, use captions that include keywords. YouTube provides automatic captions, which is really great. However, sometimes they get it wrong with the spelling or correct word that needs to be used. 

It’s important to take your time to add custom closed captioning, as this will really optimize your YouTube video, and it should rank higher this way. 

#6 Tip – Create engaging thumbnails

Use thumbnails that stick out and are attractive. This is what you need to keep in mind:

  • Always use high-quality images that show what the topic of the video is about.
  • You can use text, but make sure the font fits the “feel” of the video. A shadowing effect gives a more professional feel. 
  • Color is important and make sure the colors you use stand out. Whites, lime greens, blues, and yellows are all great. 
  • Test your thumbnails, and see which ones work best. 
  • It’s important to have thumbnails that include people and the title displayed. This will increase your CTR (Click-Through Rate) and raise your rankings. 

#7 Tip – Make your videos long

YouTube actually prefers content that is long, and it will rate them better. Length of video is important to people, and the audience often wants to watch something entertaining and valuable, and that usually takes more than a five-minute video. 

Shorter videos cause a discontinuity in viewing compared to longer videos. Google also ranks content that offers users a solution to problems much higher than other videos. So, keep videos relatively long, and keep an eye on the engagement!


Follow these important steps to optimize your YouTube SEO. It will make all the difference to your business – especially if you are offering a service or product that needs recognition.

If you want to take your YouTube digital marketing strategies to the next level, contact one of our expert Digital Strategists and they’ll be with you every step of the way!