How To Optimize Your YouTube Video

All right, guys. Here’s the deal. Optimizing your YouTube videos is super important to get your videos found on YouTube and Google search results. While it’s pretty easy to do, it’s usually overlooked by most YouTubers. This is actually a GREAT THING because that means you’ll be able to outrank your competitors easily (most of the time). So, here’s how to do it…


Pre-Optimization: Finding the right keywords.

OK, before we get started, let’s make sure that you’re working with the right keywords. This will make SEO more effective later on.

Ideally, you want to find keywords that rank on both YouTube and Google. Even though Google owns YouTube, the two search engines do not use the same criteria. YouTube focuses on viewer experience, while Google still relies heavily on backlinks.

Considering including words such as “review,” “how to,” “tutorial,” in your long-tail keyword. These types of videos tend to draw a great deal of traffic. Don’t force it, but if it fits naturally then by all means attach these extra terms to your primary word or phrase.

Bob and Trish did a great job of getting their video to rank on the first page of both Google and YouTube.



Optimizing Your Video Title

Your video’s title is pretty important and the first thing to check and optimize. Make sure it not only adequately describes your video, but also includes commonly search for terms. It should be at least five to seven words long. Too short, and it will be lost in the sea of search engines; too long and you might look like you’re trying to overstuff it with keywords.

Also, the title should be something that grabs the attention of real people, not just the search engines. Ultimately, this will actually help with SEO, too, because viewers will be more likely to share your video with their friends and social networks if it has a catchy title.

Oh, and one more thing—make sure that the file name of your video contains your keywords before uploading it. The format might look something like this:



Optimizing Your Video Description

The description should be long and thorough. You can think of it as a short blog post of 200 or 400 words. It should contain your keyword (2-3 times is enough), but don’t overstuff it. Look for variations on your keyword where natural and appropriate. Try to get the keyword near the beginning of your description where the search engines are more likely to see it.Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 12.28.51 PM

Spend extra time on the first paragraph, because this is what real people will see on the search results and also on the video’s YouTube page. You should include contact information, website addresses, links to social media profiles, and an appealing call to action.

Looking for a cheap hotel in London? No surprise that this video appears at the top of a YouTube search, thanks in large part to the exhaustive description.


Optimizing The Tags

Don’t overthink the tags, because they’re the least important element of your meta data. Just include your main keyword and a few related terms to help YouTube and Google understand what your video is all about. Seven to ten relevant tags should do the trick. Again, look at our friends in London. Spot on. Also remember that YouTube video tags are plural/non-plural sensitive. So if you’re talking about a cooking knife, you should enter both “cooking knife,” and “cooking knives” in your tags section.


This discussion has been primarily about “on page” SEO as it relates to YouTube videos. All of these things should be done, but they’re just the basic requirements that will make your video findable. However, to actually get found, you’re going to have to do some things to grab the attentions of both the search engines and real people. We will discuss such topics as backlinking strategies and thumbnail design in future posts, as well as some pros and cons of hiring an online marketing company to do some of the heavy lifting for you.

About This Author

Ian is freelance writer and blogger covering the topics of social media, blogging, and online marketing. Originally from the Chicago area, he now calls South Florida his home, trying to keep the sand out of his laptop as he creates content for several websites and blogs.

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