Learn about the 11 best SEO tips for YouTube in 2023

Like Google, YouTube SEO uses the same basic concepts to rank a video. Every time you do a search on YouTube, the platform uses its own algorithms to find the most relevant videos on the list. These algorithms look at video descriptions, titles, tags, and more to show you the videos that are most likely to appeal to you.

SEO for YouTube may seem like a complex concept to tackle, but it is an absolute must for any content creator on this video platform. Let’s delve into the world of YouTube SEO and determine how to get your videos to as many people as possible.

What is SEO for YouTube?

If you want your videos to show up at the top of YouTube search results, it’s critical to make them as SEO friendly as possible. However, that is not enough and we will explain why.

SEO is the process of optimizing content, be it websites, videos, or anything else, so that it ranks high on search engine results pages.

When a person searches on the YouTube search engine, the results displayed are based on a number of factors, including the relevance of the content to the search terms being used and the authority of the videos on the platform.

YouTube has an algorithm that ranks videos for any given search term – this algorithm is called “PageRank” and it looks at a number of factors including the number of links coming to your video, as well as the authority of the websites that link to it. link.

For example, when you search for the keywords “SEO for Youtube”, depending on your search history, Imperio Digital video or Pedro SEO video will appear first in the list.

11 Best YouTube SEO Tips

Here are the top 11 YouTube SEO tips that will help you improve your rankings, views, and subscribers:

Do some serious keyword research

Naturally, our list of YouTube SEO tips starts with keyword research. This is the process of finding the best keywords for our videos.

This is one of the easiest ways to rank a video, if you optimize your content correctly, your videos can rank not only on YouTube, but also in the “Videos” section displayed on Google search engine, as well as appear in search results. regular search and even appear as a featured snippet.

To select the right keywords, you can take advantage of the suggestions displayed in the YouTube search bar. Basically, if the platform shows you a suggestion, it means that there is an existing keyword that you should consider using.

Suppose we plan to create a video on the topic “how to do SEO for YouTube”. Once you type that keyword in the search field, you’ll see a list of suggestions:

All of the words shown are long-tail keywords that you can target in platform-specific standalone videos, while “how to SEO for YouTube” is a broader, more generic term.

Similarly, if you search on Google for the same keyword and select the “Videos” section, the vertical search will return a list of results using the keyword and its variations.

Optimize your video descriptions

It is of paramount importance to have a well-optimized and keyword-rich YouTube video description. The limit for this type of text snippets is 1000 characters; however, you don’t need to work as hard to reach the limit.

On the YouTube platform, it only shows the first 100 characters in the video description, the rest of the characters will remain hidden under the “Show more” button. That’s why it’s best to include the most important information at the beginning of the description.

Additionally, when performing a search, results are also pulled based on the relevance of the description. Therefore, it is necessary to start the description with a general explanation about your video.

Always try to write as natural as possible, instead of spamming keywords in order to fool the algorithm. You can also consider adding secondary keywords and synonyms to make your video description more engaging and useful.

Here is an example with the same search terms we used above: “how to do YouTube SEO”. Phrases in bold in the descriptions indicate that the videos are relevant to our search.

In short, a good YouTube video description should include:

  • An overview of the video content.
  • Main keywords at the beginning of the description
  • Secondary keywords and synonyms
  • Useful and descriptive summary of the content.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags are used to help people find relevant content on a variety of social platforms. YouTube is no exception to this rule, so including the right hashtags will help boost SEO for YouTube.

One of the basic rules about hashtags is to limit them to just a few, rather than a dozen, so be sure to include only the ones that you think are most appropriate to the topic you’re presenting in your videos.

One way to determine which hashtags are best is to check which hashtags are using the other top results.

Create eye-catching thumbnails

Creating a custom eye-catching thumbnail for your video could be the key to attracting more visitors. After all, the thumbnail is the first thing that catches users’ attention when looking at YouTube recommendations.

As a result, if you manage to create an eye-catching thumbnail, you can greatly improve your video’s exposure and get featured by the YouTube platform. A good thumbnail can also lead to increased watch time for your videos which translates to better search engine rankings.

The point is that creating an eye-catching thumbnail is much better than selecting a generic one from the video itself. Naturally, it’s always best to focus on creating quality content, but keep in mind that a professional looking thumbnail is what could lead to more engagement and ultimately higher rankings on YouTube.

As you can see, the top spots in YouTube search results display beautiful and eye-catching custom thumbnails that not only look professional, but also allow users to instantly understand what the video is about.

Here are some general rules to follow when creating an eye-catching thumbnail:

  • Create high-quality, high-contrast images
  • Use a 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Facial close-ups work best
  • include your keyword
  • Avoid placing information in the lower right corner (where the duration of the video is displayed)
  • Be creative and original

Create transcripts and subtitles for videos

The YouTube algorithm does not have the ability to read images or videos, only text and code. Therefore, one of the strategies that you can apply to understand what your content is about is to create transcripts and subtitles.

A transcription is the transformation into text of the content presented in the video. You can do it manually on your own or use the YouTube tool that facilitates this task. By adding timestamps to the transcript, you can also convert it to subtitles.

These transcripts are used so that users can follow the video even if they cannot activate the audio and work as an accessibility tool for people with hearing disabilities.

In addition to subtitles, you can also place the transcript text in the video description to give viewers more information about the video.

Create the best title for your video

Just as we optimize website article titles, it’s also important to optimize your YouTube video titles. An optimized title should always include a focus keyword. Also, your title should suggest that you will provide a solution to a problem.

Generally, “how to” content gets a lot of attention, as it directly answers a question and provides advice on a specific topic.

For example, “how to do YouTube SEO” is a term used by almost half of the top results for that search query: How to do YouTube SEO in 2022, How to do YouTube SEO on my phone, etc. However, make sure the title matches both the content of the video and the user’s search intent.

To that end, research what your target audience is looking for in your videos. If they want to solve a problem, focus on the keywords and titles of “how to”, “ways to” and “tutorial”. If they’re looking to make a purchase, try “best” and “top picks” and record reviews and compilations.

The point is to choose a title that is attractive to your audience, keyword-rich, and appropriate for the content of the video. This way, the search engine will understand what the video is about and show it to the right users, and users won’t be disappointed if they click on your link.

Encourage interaction and subscriptions

When a user leaves a comment on your video, this is a strong indicator to YouTube’s algorithm that the video is generating engagement. Like Google, YouTube favorites popular content, so more comments equals better exposure on the platform.

Therefore, it is beneficial for your channel to encourage users to comment on your videos. Also, always try to respond to all comments you receive, as this shows that you are interested in what your audience is saying. Plus, it helps you establish a connection with your subscribers and encourages them to engage with your content even more.

An easy way to get more engagement is to invite people to comment by ending your videos with a question. “What do you think? Let us know in the comments”. is a phrase you’ve probably heard hundreds of times, and now you know exactly why.

However, you can work on a more relevant and original invitation that encourages users to share their opinions and is more likely to start a discussion in the comment box.

Having a higher number of subscribers to your channel is another way to boost rankings. Hence, again, the constant “subscribe” reminders that come from YouTubers throughout their videos.

Keep in mind that continuous reminders can get annoying, but still, this is the only proven way to acquire new subscribers for your channel. And subscribing is even more important than leaving a like or a comment, as it means people will watch your videos regularly.

YouTube understands that the number of subscribers you have provides insight into the value your channel provides, therefore this is a crucial SEO ranking factor for YouTube.

Video quality is an important factor in ranking

You may be following all the recommendations mentioned above, you may be optimizing your videos perfectly, but it will all be for naught if the content you post is unattractive and offers no value.

The YouTube platform is full of videos of questionable quality, and if you want yours to stand out, you should do better than average. At the end of the day, content is and always will be king, whether it’s for articles, videos, podcasts, or any other format.

To drive views for your videos, encourage engagement from your audience, and start gaining new subscribers, you need to understand what your audience is looking for and deliver it right. With so many ranking factors and uncertainties regarding the SEO algorithm for YouTube, the quality of your videos is the only thing that depends entirely on you.

Edit the file name and categorize your video

The first thing you should do with your video file, before uploading it to the YouTube platform, is to title it appropriately. Don’t make the mistake of leaving it with a generic title like “123155673.mov”, instead use your main keyword: “how-to-seo-for-youyube.mov”.

This may not seem crucial for SEO, but it is good practice nonetheless. Also, when uploading a video, it is important to select a suitable category. Try to identify a couple of categories that are suitable for your channel, especially if you create niche content. This will make it easier for the algorithm to understand what you specialize in and show your videos in more relevant searches.

There are a ton of different categories on YouTube, so make sure you choose the ones that are most relevant.

Select the appropriate tags for your video

Selecting the right tags for your video helps not only users, but also YouTube, to better understand what your video content is about. Think of tags like keywords. The same logic applies, so only use tags that are relevant and avoid padding with words unrelated to your video content.

Many people may think that adding as many tags as possible will benefit your visibility, but in reality, you could end up getting penalized for keyword stuffing. Also, even if it works and your content shows up in related searches, people won’t click on it or quickly leave within a few seconds of watching it when they realize the video isn’t what they’re looking for. In both cases, your YouTube SEO efforts will suffer.

Promote your video immediately after posting

Currently it is essential to maintain a good marketing strategy for your YouTube channel. Why not promote your YouTube video on your Facebook page? Why not include them in an article on your website? Think even bigger.

Promote your videos on all possible platforms. For example, it would be great if you could be interviewed on another channel to talk about your projects. For example, if you enjoy talking about marketing, you might try reaching out to sales channels and explain the value they can get from being a guest on their channel. Getting a link or a mention would be an excellent return.

Final thoughts

YouTube for SEO is a strategy that requires constant updates and efforts. That’s what it takes to stand out from the crowd and surpass the thousands of videos that are posted daily on the YouTube platform.

Always produce quality content, focus on implementing keywords in your title and description, and promote your content on multiple platforms.

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