YouTube video SEO optimization: step by step guide

You already know how to create a YouTube channel and upload videos to it. But how to get more views on your videos? One way to do this is through video search engine promotion. Aim for higher positions when displayed in search results on YouTube itself and in search engines.

To achieve this goal, you need proper YouTube video SEO. In this article, we will take a step-by-step look at how to independently optimize a video for search engines and what factors you need to take into account.

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Read also: How to promote a YouTube video

Video ranking factors in search

Before moving on to SEO optimization, let’s figure out what parameters are used to evaluate videos by a search engine.

  1. One of the key factors is average viewing time… Considering this, it is better to make short videos of 4-8 minutes, and if you want the video to go viral, then 1-2 minutes is just right.
  2. Key phrase in the title… The title of the video must match the phrase by which it will most often be searched (you can see the statistics of YouTube requests in Google Trends).
  3. Keywords in description and tags… It’s almost like a Description when optimizing a website page.
  4. Number of views… The more views, the more popular the video and the higher it is shown.
  5. Number of links per video… Including a link will be considered if the video is posted on any site.
  6. Number of videos shared in social networks.
  7. Channel subscribers… If other factors are equal, such as, for example, the number of views, a video from a channel with a large number of subscribers will be shown above.
  8. Comments under the video… The more active users in the comments, the better.
  9. The ratio of likes and dislikes… The system calculates the ratio of likes to dislikes, thus determining the rating. This indicator indicates how interesting the video itself is and how much it corresponds to the topic.
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Step by step SEO video optimization on Youtube

For the sake of simplicity, we have divided the whole process of YouTube video SEO optimization step by step. When you start optimizing your videos, remember that in the case of videos, the main thing is content, usefulness and quality. If you name the video “How to make money on Youtube” and at the same time download a video about animals and increase views, such a video will not be shown in the search.

Now let’s come up with a small task, according to which we need to optimize the video. Let’s say this video from the VeloTron online bike store, which tells you what to look for when choosing a bike.

Step # 1:

Keywords in the video title

When searching, the first thing we pay attention to is the title of the video. The correct video title will determine its click-through rate. Therefore, when compiling a title for a video, there are three factors to consider:

  • matching the key request;
  • attractiveness;
  • compliance with the content.

In addition, the title should be concise, preferably up to 70 characters (just like Title). So, here’s what we got:

“How to choose a bike worth up to 20 tr?”

This heading corresponds to the content, it contains a keyword and is attractive to the user, since it contains specifics.

Step # 2:

The description of SEO-optimized video

The description is shown under the video itself on YouTube, and also displayed as a snippet in search results. The limit on the number of characters is 1000 characters with spaces, but most importantly, you need to fit into the first 100-120 characters.

  • key phrase;
  • data;
  • link to website or social networks.
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This is what will be shown in the preview of the description, the rest will be hidden under the “More” button, which means that the search will be taken into account to a lesser extent.

We’ve got this short description:

“Find out in 5 minutes how to choose a cool bike for only 20 tr. evaluating it by 10 main parameters. Our absolute leader on the link _____ “

Then you can add a little more text with the entry of the keyword in various declensions and cases, LSI queries and other low-frequency queries that fit the topic.

Step # 3:

YouTube video tags

It is recommended to use 1-2 words as video tags. At the very beginning, indicate the keyword by which the video will be promoted. You do not need to put the most popular tags that are not related to the content of the video or to the topic of promotion.

Tags must be separated by commas. Write no more than 20-25 tags, depending on the video itself. To determine which tags to use for our bike picking video, let’s take a look at the competition.

  1. We enter the corresponding request and open the first video (TOP-1) in a new tab.
  2. Right-click and click View Page Code.
    QIP Shot - Screen 230
  3. After the page with the code opens, press “Ctrl + F” and in the pop-up search box on the page, enter “Keywords”
    YouTube video tags
  4. The picture shows which tags the author of this video used. You can list them in a separate table or just screen them.
  5. Using the same algorithm, watch 4-5 more videos and make a list of tags, by which they intersect and add to your video.
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We would definitely use the following tags:

“Bike, how to choose a bike, bike review, bike, price for bicycles”

Step # 4:

Video category

In the section called “Advanced Settings” select the appropriate video category. At the same time, the video itself must fully correspond to the assigned category in order to be included in the section similar to YouTube. And the selected category contains as few videos of competitors as possible.

Step # 5:

Video cover

To increase the click-through rate of the video, we recommend using not an automatically generated YouTube picture as a cover, but creating your own. Canva will help you with this – there you will find a special format for creating thumbnails for YouTube videos.

YouTube video cover

On the cover, you can mention the main topics that will be covered in the video or just write the title of the video itself.

Related article: How to make a YouTube video cover


Videos posted on YouTube rank very well on search engines, so don’t ignore SEO video optimization in any way. This is additional traffic and additional views.

In conclusion, we should add what else can be done to promote the channel on YouTube:

  1. Beautiful channel design
  2. Channel logo
  3. Comment on other channels to be commented back.
  4. Public channel on VK and Facebook.
  5. If you have a website, then embed the video on the most viewed pages.
  6. Submit your videos to sites like Pikabu, Yaplakal, Surfingbird and more.

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