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7 Easy Ways To Optimize YouTube Videos For SEO

Content is no longer limited to the written word. There are many formats in which you can communicate your ideas now. And video is one of the best ways to do that.

This is a popular format which requires a combination of great visuals, compelling content and a lot of thinking outside-of-the-box. It’s popularity comes from the simple fact that 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual but also that our brain processes visual information faster. However, some rules of the written content still stand. For instance, quantity of the content doesn’t guarantee success. Quality and optimization do.

Write an attention-grabbing title

It’s a widely known fact that titles matter when it comes to getting eyes on your content, no matter what kind of content it is. It’s the same with videos. A boring, unattractive title will not drive traffic no matter how good the video behind it is. It also plays a vital role in your SEO. Including a keyword in your headline gives you a slight advantage, especially if that keyword exactly matches the search term of a user. Keep it short. Under 60 characters is good to avoid getting cut off in the search results.

Optimize your descriptions

Descriptions should follow some basic good content rules. It should be simple and fairly short. The preview should only allow a few lines to be seen, like a standfirst publishers use to draw you into the article. To see the rest, users should have to click Show more. This is why you should put the draw, the one thing about your video that will pull people to watch it, there along with CTAs and so on. A good description helps you show up on the Suggested videos sidebar which is great.

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You can also include a transcript of the video which allows you to insert some of the keywords that people may search for videos like yours by.

Proofread and edit to the max. You don't want spelling and grammar mistakes all over your description.

Inform YouTube with tags

While tags don’t add much value to the user, you’ll have to pay attention to this because it informs the algorithm about your video. It helps it understand the content and the context of your video. This way, YouTube can place your video in other video sidebars and search results. Use the most important keywords first to help the algorithm understand you better and place your videos higher for certain terms.

If this gives you an idea to use irrelevant but popular tags, you should let it go right away. Google’s smart enough to spot Black Hat techniques and penalize you for that.

Choose a category

Once your video is uploaded, you’ll be able to set a category for it. Again, this doesn't do much for your users but it does do a lot for your placement in groups with other similar videos. You should put some thought into this and figure out which the best category to put your video in is. Again, placing it in a popular category even though it doesn’t belong there is a bad idea.

Create a fun thumbnail

Along with the title, a video thumbnail is one of the first things that someone on YouTube sees when scrolling through their search’s results. It can impact their clickthrough to your video.

“Use a bad, generic thumbnail and you’ll probably not receive as many views as you could have with a great, specifically designed video thumbnail. It should reveal what the video is about and help the viewer make a decision to click”, explains Martin Seymore, a Digital Marketer at Bigassignments and Academized. Wise words to follow.

Add subtitles

Subtitles are another element that can help you rank better. Use relevant keywords wherever possible. This shouldn’t be too difficult if your videos on topic.

To add this go to ‘Video manager’ and then to ‘Subtitles/CC’, and choose how you want to add subs. You can either directly enter a transcript or upload a file with the transcription. You can also use video editors like Rocketium to create videos with subtitles not just in English but a hundred other languages.

Utilize your end screen

Most people are familiar with this. An end screen has some value. Aside from sticking a ‘Subscribe’ CTA there and adding similar videos along with social media icons, you can also add various cards that take the viewer to various sites and sources that you want to lead them to. Great for campaigns that depend on videos as their point of entry.


Optimizing your videos for SEO is similar to optimizing written content. Focus on providing quality and work on various techniques for optimizing. Most people are still figuring out YouTube’s algorithm and seeing what works for them. These tips show what they found out so far. So go crazy and may you have a few tips of your own soon. 🙂

Freddie Tubbs

Freddie Tubbs

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