YouTube SEO Tips & Best Practices

Lauren Morley

Lauren Morley

February 20, 2024

5 mins read

Primarily, when talking about SEO your mind ventures towards Google, the most popular search engine. However, with the overwhelming use of Google, people often forget about using other search engines to boost traffic and conversions. You may not think of it as one, but YouTube is a powerful search engine that has grown in popularity over the years, specifically for video. YouTube needs to be treated the same way as we do Google, by using specific YouTube SEO best practices to outrank competitors and compete in YouTube SERPs.

7 YouTube SEO Tips & Best Practices to Help You Optimise Your Videos

YouTube SEO is slightly different to regular SEO, so that’s why it’s important to create a dedicated SEO strategy for your YouTube content using the below tips and best practices. Read on below to discover our YouTube SEO tips to help you increase traction.

1. YouTube Specific Keyword Research

We all know the regular way of finding the right keywords for SEO, the process is similar for YouTube. Now, SEO tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs allow you to filter where the keyword data is coming from, i.e. YouTube.

The results will vary from Google, however you get a better understanding of how people search on Youtube and what type of keywords they use compared to how they do on Google. Consider trends, popular videos and your channel’s tone of voice when building your YouTube SEO content plan.

YouTube SEO Top Tip: Advanced Settings 

In your channel’s advanced settings, you can add related keywords to your channel so that more users can find you. This also helps YouTube to identify the type of content you are creating, so that it knows when to show your videos for what keywords.

2. Optimise Your Video Title

Your video’s title is one of the primary signals YouTube’s algorithm and viewers look at to evaluate your video. You can create an optimised video title using keyword searches, and YouTube trend analysis.

It is recommended to have no more than 60 characters in the video title. This will ensure that the title is less likely to be cut off in suggested videos, search and mobile results.

3. Optimise Your Video Description

It is recommended to provide a brief summary in the first few lines of the description of what your video is about. The first sentence should include the primary keywords you are targeting.

To eliminate the description being cut off, no more than 300 characters should be in your video’s description. Anything over 300 characters, a user will have to click the “show more” button in order to see the full description. You can add additional information in the description for the user’s benefit,  however the first 300 characters must sum the video up. 

4. Add Video Tags

Adding tags to your video is a way of giving the video context which can help it to rank in YouTube search and suggest. The tags can be a combination of keywords and phrases that best describe your video content.

5. Add Video Transcripts

Transcripts are a textual representation of the spoken content in video and audio files. Search engines can’t watch a video or listen to audio, but they can index text. A transcript enables search engines to ingest your video content and index it.

Providing a video transcript is a reliable way to improve user experience on your site. A transcript makes audio content accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and users whose primary language might not be English.

6. Opt For Closed Captions

Adding closed captions to videos is a proven way to make videos online more searchable, they are a text file that your video references as it plays. Closed captions are indexable by search engines as they can read them, helping your videos rank easier.

7. Create Appealing Video Thumbnails

Video thumbnails play a huge role in increasing your traction and views, as the thumbnail is the first thing the user sees when they find your video. Thumbnails need to be compelling, relevant and good quality. It is believed that custom thumbnails have a higher click through rate compared to lower quality, irrelevant (click bait) thumbnails.

A Round up of YouTube SEO Tips and Best Practices

YouTube isn’t just for famous influencers, anyone can join in on the fun. With these easy YouTube SEO tips, it shouldn’t be too long until your videos are getting more views and recognition; which can then overflow to your website. Stand out from the crowd and make use of all the platforms that are available to us.

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