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How to Do Youtube SEO? Optimizations to Increase Video Views

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

YouTube SEO is the process of optimizing and modifying certain elements of your YouTube channel and videos. This includes adding tags to your videos, optimizing video titles, and more.

YouTube SEO should form part of every YouTube video creator's strategy to improve their video rankings and overall channel growth.

Not only that, with more brands and businesses posting video content on YouTube, it becomes even harder to grow a channel and get more views. Businesses and brands can gain an edge over other creators on YouTube by implementing an effective YouTube SEO strategy .

What is YouTube SEO?

YouTube SEO is the process of modifying and optimizing different elements of a YouTube channel and its videos to improve or increase rankings on the YouTube search results page.

In summary, YouTube SEO aims to optimize some of the following elements of a YouTube channel:

  • Video title

  • Video description

  • Video metadata

  • Channel description

Why is YouTube SEO Important for Brands and Content Creators?

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. It used to be just a platform for uploading videos, but over time it has evolved into an advanced search engine and marketing platform.

If you examine some statistics about YouTube below, you can understand why YouTube is an important platform:

  • More than 3 billion searches are processed on YouTube every month.

  • The platform is bigger than Bing, Yahoo, Ask and AOL combined.

  • A total of 100 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute. This means that there is a lot of video content on the platform, making it even harder to stand out from the crowd.

Considering that YouTube is a search engine very similar to regular SEO on Google, you need to follow certain best practices if you want the YouTube algorithm to show your content for relevant search queries.

YouTube has a complex algorithm that ranks videos based on a number of factors. YouTube SEO aims to optimize the elements that rank your video.

Brands and creators need to follow YouTube SEO best practices if they want their content and videos to rank high in relevant searches on YouTube.

An SEO strategy for YouTube will not only help you rank higher on the platform, it will also help you compete in Google Search.

By improving your YouTube video rankings, you can also increase the likelihood of your videos appearing in Google search results.

How to Do Youtube SEO in 10 Steps?

Now that you know the importance of YouTube SEO strategy, let's dive into how you can optimize your YouTube channel and videos to get more views, clicks and higher rankings.

1. Do Keyword Research for YouTube Videos

The first phase of any YouTube SEO strategy begins with keyword research. Keywords are an important part of YouTube's search ecosystem.

Keyword research is the foundation of a YouTube SEO strategy.

Related Content: What is Keyword Research and How Is It Done?

Like regular keyword research for SEO, video keyword research aims to find the best keywords with high search volume.

Here's how to do keyword research for YouTube to create videos based on topics people are interested in and are searching for on YouTube. You can use TubeRanker 's free YouTube keyword tool to find popular keywords related to your topic .

Another way to do keyword research for YouTube is to use YouTube Search Suggestions in the search bar on the platform .

These search suggestions can get you the perfect result, because they're made up of terms people type on YouTube to find videos.

You can also browse competing channels in your field to find keyword ideas . For example, let's say you have a cooking YouTube channel.

Go to a competing channel and sort by "Most Popular". This will show you the most popular video on their channel. Then you can see the keywords they used in their top performing videos.

With these keyword ideas, you can decide which videos to create and in the video title, description, etc. You can start planning which keywords to use.

Tools You Can Do Keyword Research For Youtube SEO:

  1. aHrefs


  3. TubeRanker

  4. Google Keyword Planner

  5. Semrush

  6. VidIQ

  7. Youtube Search Suggestions

2. Track YouTube Video Rankings

Creators and brands need to monitor the performance of their video rankings over time.

Knowing how your video rankings are changing will reveal whether your YouTube SEO efforts are effective.

You can probably keep track of your video rankings manually, but this will be a very time-consuming and laborious process.

Instead, you can use a YouTube rank tracking tool to help you measure and monitor your video rankings.

3. Make sure to pass the target keyword at the beginning of the video

The next YouTube SEO tip you should apply to your videos is to verbally mention your target keyword at the beginning of your video.

Because YouTube automatically copies your videos, it will pick up your target keyword if you mention it verbally at the beginning of your video.

This gives YouTube creators another way to add their target keywords to their videos to tell YouTube what their video content is about.

Once YouTube learns what your content is about, it can match your videos to relevant searches on the platform.

4. Optimize YouTube Video Title

The video title is one of the most important elements in improving video ranking, as YouTube uses it to index and rank content.

Not only that, the first thing users see when browsing search results is often the video title. That's why it's important to create a video title that's short, descriptive, and unique enough to get them clicked.

Creating a keyword-optimized title for your YouTube video will be pretty easy at this stage , as you've already done your keyword research .

Remember, your video titles should include the target keywords you found while doing the keyword research beforehand, and the primary keywords should be added as close as possible to the YouTube video title with a variation of the title.

For example, if our target keyword is “building a website” , this would be an ideal video title. The target keyword can be used with a keyword variation at the beginning or end of the title.

5. Add YouTube Tags to Videos

YouTube tags are hidden meta tags that users don't see; These tags tell YouTube what your video is about so YouTube can index your video and rank accordingly.

The main difference between Tags and Hashtags is that Tags are not visible whereas Hashtags are visible and clickable.

So how can you use YouTube tags in your YouTube SEO strategy?

Here are some YouTube tags tips to help improve video rankings:

  • Your first YouTube tag should always be an exact match to your primary keyword. (For example, setting up a website)

  • Add multiple tags with different keyword variations. (For example, setting up a website, etc.)

  • Add tags with long tail variations of your primary keyword. (For example, building a website in 5 minutes)

Another strategy for creating YouTube tags is to look at which tags your competitors are adding to their top-performing videos.

Since YouTube tags are not visible to users, it is difficult to view them without using a YouTube tag removal tool.

You can use the YouTube tag extractor tool from TubeRanker to find hidden YouTube tags of any video.

6. Optimize YouTube Video Descriptions

YouTube video description is another very important aspect of YouTube SEO.

The video description field gives the video creator another opportunity to tell YouTube what the video is about. This field is used by YouTube so that the algorithm can match the video to the most relevant search query and understand the context of the video.

The video description is important not only for the YouTube algorithm, but also for the users of the platform. Creators should definitely use the video description to give viewers a detailed summary of the video.

The most important tip for video description optimization is to add your target keyword as close as possible to the beginning of your description.

YouTube adds a summary of the video description to its search results page, so creators should aim to include their target keywords as close as possible to the beginning of the video description, ideally within the first 25 words.

Another tip for optimizing the video description is to include your target keyword and its variations throughout the text. However, be careful not to “overload” the description with your primary keyword as it may look spammy and be flagged by YouTube.

YouTube descriptions can be up to 5,000 characters long, but that doesn't mean you have to use all that space.

Finally, don't forget to add hashtags related to the main topic of your video under your video descriptions.

7. Add Target Keyword to File Name

The next YouTube SEO tip to follow is to change the video filename to include your primary keyword.

Instead of uploading a video to YouTube with the original filename containing random numbers and letters (for example, VID_32a), you should rename the file with a descriptive piece of text containing your target keyword, such as how to set up a website .

8. Create YouTube Playlists

By creating a YouTube playlist of similar or related videos, you can direct viewers to consume more of your content.

Creating a playlist can help YouTube creators earn more watch time.

Youtube playlists can be indexed by search engines. You can get more organic traffic and get more views of your videos by listing the playlists you will create according to the topics in the search results.

9. Increase Audience Engagement

Audience engagement is probably one of the most effective YouTube ranking signals.

Things like likes, comments, shares, saving and “subscribing” can help increase your audience engagement.

So, remember to ask your audience to take action when creating videos. For example, you can make reminders like “Let us know your thoughts by commenting below or don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and the bell icon to be notified when we upload new videos”.

10. Embed YouTube Videos on Your Website

One of the ways to increase views and video rankings is to promote your videos on social media as well as on your own website.

If you have a WordPress website, you can easily embed your YouTube videos on your website using any WordPress YouTube plugin .

In summary, we can say that as a creator, you need to constantly test which optimizations have the most significant impact on your video rankings and views. If you're in doubt about what to do, take a look at the top performing videos and channels in your field to better understand what works.

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