YouTube is one of the main Search Engines to find what we are looking for, so having a YouTube presence and visibility is an opportunity for every business. However, every minute of every day hundreds of hours are uploaded to YouTube which directs us to.  Within this blog, we will explain how to do SEO for YouTube videos?


Hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute as of July 2015




We will go through different points to explain how to do SEO for YouTube videos:

  1. About YouTube
  2. Some Video Stats
  3. How to do SEO for YouTube videos?
    • YouTube SEO – Keyword Research
    • YouTube SEO – Settings
    • YouTube SEO – Engaging Factors



1. About YouTube

YouTube was founded by Chad HurleySteve Chen and Jawed Karim, in 2005, but in 2006 was rapidly acquired by Google. Since then, YouTube has grown massively and at present is the third most used Search Engine. For many years YouTube has been the second search engine after Google, but recently Facebook has taken this second position.


Source: (01.11.2017)


2. Some Video Stats

The increase in video consumption is clear, and by 2018 the global audio and video traffic combined is expected to reach 82% of all internet traffic.



Facebook attributes to this rise of video consumption and the use of smartphones.




The increase of mobile use has changed our behavior and we expect to get immediate answers: I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, I-want-to-buy. Those micro-moments are a great opportunity to reach our target audience within their consumer journey.



Especially in video there are 4 types of micro-moments:




Many companies are already aware of the importance of video and they include video in their marketing strategy. Are you one of them? If yes keep reading to know how to do SEO for YouTube videos.




3. How to do SEO for YouTube videos?

3.1. YouTube SEO – keyword research

As optimising for any other Search Engine, keyword research is a big part of the process.

Which tools do we have?

To rank in Google, as in any other keyword research, we can use Keyword Planner.



We can also use Google suggestions.



However, not for all the searches, Google will show videos.  As we can see the results of the search query “Social Media” does not contain any videos.


In general, Google show videos on its results for the following query types:

  • How To
  • Reviews
  • Tutorials
  • Keywords with the word “Video”
  • Keywords with the word “Watch”

We can see that for the search “how to get followers on Instagram fast” a couple of videos appear.


To rank on YouTube, we can use YouTube Suggestions. Go to YouTube and type a keyword, then YouTube will give you some related popular searches.



There are also some paid tools that can help with keyword research for YouTube as TubeBuddy.


3.2.YouTube SEO – Settings

On our previous search query “how to get followers on Instagram fast”, the following video is the one that appears first.


Which settings can we modify in order to help our video rank higher?

3.2.1. Title

 It is advisable to add the keyword to the title as it still has some correlation with higher rankings.


The title is one of the first things that catch our eyes so it is essential that it is concise, clear and compelling. It will help too if it exactly matches what the user is looking for. It is recommended to keep the length lower than 70 characters, so can be seen completely in any search results.


3.2.2. Description

 The most important part of the description is the visible part, which means the first 3 lines. So there is where we need to place the keyword, links, CTAs or other relevant information.

Even if it is relative, adding the keyword will make your video rank higher.   An optimised description will help your video show on the sidebar suggestions.


Hashtags can be added as well to the title or description, to help users find a specific hashtag.


3.2.3. File Name

 Before uploading the video to YouTube, we need to remember to rename it, including the keyword.



3.2.4. Closed-Captions / Subtitles

Adding close-captions or subtitles can help your video show to a broader audience. You can add them in different ways and if you prefer –  YouTube is offering automatic captioning service. YouTube new algorithm use speech recognition technology.



3.2.5. Tagging

As YouTube is able to understand what is said in the video, tags are not as important for ranking as before. However, still have some weight.

We can use the main keyword first, then specific keywords followed by more generic ones. But be careful with tag-stuffing.


3.2.6. Category

It is also possible to help YouTube know in which category you wish your video to be included.


3.2.7.Custom Thumbnail

As well as the title the first thing which comes to our eye is the thumbnail. For this reason, it is recommended to think carefully about which is the thumbnail that we chose as it can impact the number of clicks and views.


Your YouTube channel needs to be verified in order to be able to use a custom thumbnail.


3.2.8. Cards / End Screens

 It is also possible to add cards to add interactivity to your videos.


Or End Screens to offer other contents once the video is nearly finished.


The previous example is using end screen:




3.3. YouTube SEO – Engaging Factors

The best way to valuate if your video is a good match for YouTube is analising how engaged and happy is a user after they start watching it. That’s why some of the most important factors are:

  1. Watch Time
  5. Subscriptions to the channel after watching the video



As stated in the “YouTube Ranking Factors Study” by Brian Dean, after analyzing 1.3 million YouTube videos.



It is needless to say that the video requires good quality and relevancy. As in any SEO strategy, the user’s satisfaction is always the most important element to take into consideration.



In conclusion, as video consumption is rising, we really need to get on board if we want to keep on board. But it is not enough creating a video and uploading it to YouTube, we also need to optimise it. How to do SEO for YouTube videos? To recap as follows:-

  1. Title
  2. Description
  3. File Name
  4. Closed Captions / Subtitles
  5. Tagging
  6. Category
  7. Custom Thumbnail
  8. Cards / End Screen

But the most important thing when creating a video is doing it with the user in mind, and fulfilling the users intent.

Let us know how it goes!

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