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12 tips for YouTubeSEO
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12 tips for YouTubeSEO

You may know about SEO on Google for websites, but did you know that SEO can also help you get more views on YouTube? Learn more in this article, where you'll find 12 concrete tips for getting your videos higher up in the search results - both on YouTube and in Google Search.

Nicolai Vittrup
- CEO
Last updated: Jun 13, 2023

What is YouTube-SEO?

YouTube is the world's second largest search engine, which is why it's a good idea to optimize your YouTube videos for search engines. Search engine optimization of videos on YouTube can quickly get your content into the race for the top positions, as there is generally not the same SEO effort as there is on Google Search, for example.

Google Search also shows results from YouTube, so by linking to SEO you have the opportunity to get traffic from the world's two largest search engines.

12 tips for SEO on YouTube

1. Enter keywords in title

When searching for videos, people usually look for headlines that match their search intent. Therefore, it's important that your YouTube video's title contains relevant keywords in a natural way so that the headline doesn't seem mechanical. This way, you increase the chance that users will click on your video and not your competitors.

Although YouTube supports up to 100 characters, your title should be no more than 70 characters including spaces. If your title gets longer, you run the risk that some of the characters won't be visible and your CTR (click-through-rate) may be minimized.

For example, at Webamp we want to rank for keywords like 'SEO' and 'search engine optimization' - so of course we've included this in the title of our YouTube video about SEO.

Specify keywords in title
Your title on YouTube helps SEO

2. Enter keywords in the video file

When you upload a video to YouTube, the video file will have a name, which you can see on the right side of the screen under the video's details. It's important that the name of the file contains the keywords you want to be found for.

Therefore, you should change the name of the video file to match your chosen keywords BEFORE uploading the video to YouTube. This will improve your video's ranking in search results, so you get as many views as possible.

Specify the keyword in the file name

3. Optimize video description

The video description is possibly one of the most important factors when it comes to YouTube -SEO. Just like with blog posts, Google can crawl YouTube video descriptions to assess the quality and relevance of the content. Therefore, your video descriptions should be optimized with relevant information. The more information you provide, the more likely you are to rank higher on YouTube and Google.

You have a whopping 5000 characters to work with and a well-written video description usually includes Keywords at the beginning, short description of the video content with keywords, CTA and relevant links.

The video description is important for your YouTubeSEO

4. Use keywords in your tags

On all YouTube videos, you have the option to put certain tags on your videos. Tags can have a positive impact on SEO and they perform best when you use your selected keywords as tags.

Tags both tell the user what to expect from your video and give the platform a sense of the content. This way, YouTube can more easily connect your video with other related videos. It also means that your video can more easily show up among recommended videos after the user has watched a video with similar tags.

Use keywords in your YouTube tags

5. Categorize your video

When uploading a YouTube video, you need to choose a category to put it under. For example, a YouTube video about SEO could be in the "education" category, as it informs and educates the user about a specific area.

YouTube's algorithm places your video alongside other videos in the same category. Therefore, it's important that you choose the right category so that users may click on your video after watching a similar one. The more engagement with your video, the better it will perform and rank higher in search results.

That's why you need to choose the category that best matches your content so that the user wants to click through.

6. Use a custom thumbnail for video

A thumbnail is one of the first things users will notice when scrolling through search results on YouTube.

A good and catchy thumbnail will attract more users to your video, which will help your YouTubeSEO. Therefore, you need to include selling titles that contain your relevant keywords and create appetizing graphics that capture the user's interest.

Use custom thumbnails on Youtube

7. Use SRT files

Onsocial media, a large proportion of videos are played without sound as they are viewed in public places. Therefore, it's a good idea to subtitle your videos so that users don't click away from the video if they want to hear it without sound.

Google also has some problems decoding what is being said in videos - especially in Danish. Subtitles can help Google understand the content, resulting in better SEO performance.

Subtitles can be added via an SRT file, which provides YouTube with a text version of your video so that your keywords are also read through it.

 Use SRT files

8. Use Youtube Cards + End Screens

When watching YouTube videos, you may have noticed the small white circle icon with an "i" in the center in the top right corner. This is called YouTube Cards and acts as a series of add-ons you can put on your video. For example, it could be a link to a website, a playlist or another channel.

You can use Youtube Cards to promote your brand and other videos on your channel and get more views to improve your SEO.

End Screens are similar to YouTube Cards. The difference is that they come at the end of the video, where they link to some of your other videos, for example. Usually, End Screens will also be more visual and detailed and are therefore a great way to keep the user's attention on your channel.

Use Youtube Cards + End Screens

9. Use hashtags

Hashtags are a newer addition to YouTube that allows you to add related words to your topic. When you click on a hashtag, you'll see videos related to it, increasing searchability for specific topics.

Optimized hashtags make your video more visible and group keywords and related topics, making it easier for users to find exactly the videos they're looking for.

10. Make a playlist about the channel's topic

If you create more content on the same topic, it's a good idea to create a playlist by keyword. If you have made several videos about SEO, it makes sense to have a playlist that is also called SEO.

Not only does it make your content clearer for the user, but it also helps generate users to some of your other videos. Ultimately, this will increase your views - and therefore your ranking in search results.

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11. Make a pinned comment

You can create what is called a "featured comment" or a "pinned comment". This is a comment that will appear at the top of the comment box, and you can highlight a comment that contains your relevant keywords.

This is both positive for your SEO and if you ask a question at the same time, you can also create engagement with your viewers in the form of likes and comments. All of which will ultimately improve your SEO and rankings.

12. Use analytics tools

As with the websiteSEO , YouTubeSEO should also be data-based. Therefore, you may want to consider the analytics tools below.

Google Trends: You can define YouTube as your search channel to see the popularity of your keyword and in which geographical areas the keyword is most popular.

YouTube Analytics: Here you have an overview of your videos' data so you can better identify areas that need optimization. The "research tool" is particularly useful as it shows the search volume for specific keywords.

Tubebuddy: It's a paid tool for professionals that provides you with tools to analyze and improve titles, descriptions, tags, categories and other metadata to enhance your YouTube SEO.

Semrush and Ahrefs: Both tools have a "YouTube" search tool that can give you insights into your own and your competitors' performance so you can achieve better rankings in search results.

An example of a successful YouTubeSEO

Of course, we have also created SEO on our own YouTube channel - after all, we are a SEO agency. 

After working on the different parts of YouTube SEO , our video "What is SEO and how to do search engine optimization? INSIDER TIPS" has risen to the top of the search results in a very short time.

In less than a month, the video has moved up into good company with some of our talented 'colleagues' in the top 10 in Google's video results at "SEO". With a few simple and not very time-consuming steps, the video has become visible in the results, allowing us to direct users to our own website and attract more traffic.

Want the same result? Then get started with YouTube -SEO!

Successful YouTubeSEO

Learn more about SEO, and increase your online presence

Whether you're a generalist or a marketing specialist, our SEO specialists have put together some great advice for you on our blog.

Learn more about SEO in Webamp Academy.