In this post, we’ll go over tried-and-true Youtube SEO Services that have worked for YouTube channel and will work for you. Let’s get started.Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential tool for Digital Marketers to ensure success on YouTube. To maximize visibility on YouTube, it is important to understand how to properly utilize SEO for your videos.

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Applying the right SEO techniques can help your videos rank higher in search engine results, thus increasing the chances of more viewers for your content. Additionally, having a well-thought-out SEO strategy will also help your videos get discovered more easily on YouTube itself. To get started, consider researching the right keywords to target for your videos, using relevant tags to help categorize your content, and creating a well-structured description. Following these steps can go a long way toward improving your visibility on YouTube.

How to Rank Videos on YouTube

To get videos to rank on YouTube, we must first understand the YouTube algorithm and the factors that influence ranking.

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YouTube, like any other search engine, wants to deliver content that answers the searcher’s specific query. For example, if someone searches for “how to tie a tie,” YouTube will not return a video titled “how to tie your shoelaces.” Instead, it will serve search results that answer that specific query.

So, as you experiment with YouTube SEO, consider how you can incorporate terms and phrases used by your target audience.

You’ll also need to consider YouTube analytics and engagement. When ranking videos, YouTube considers a metric known as “watch time”—in other words, how long viewers stay on your video. A long watch time indicates that you’re delivering valuable content; a short watch time indicates that your content is unlikely to rank.

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If you want your videos to rank, try to create content that is optimized for longer watch times. You can, for example, entice viewers to stay until the end of the video by promising a surprise or a giveaway.

Is it worthwhile to optimize videos on YouTube?


Trying to rank videos on YouTube may appear to be a futile endeavor. Only the most well-known influencers and content creators appear to have had any success on the platform.

That, however, is not the case. As a business, you can benefit from views, comments, and likes on your videos if you find the right audience for your content. Finding and targeting the right audience is, in fact, more important than making a “beautiful” video. If your YouTube videos actively solve the problems of your prospective customers, you’ve completed 90% of the YouTube optimization work.

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Furthermore, ranking videos on YouTube is an important part of your inbound marketing strategy, even if it may not appear to be so. Inbound video marketing was a novel concept just a decade ago. Marketers discovered that they couldn’t simply publish a large amount of content; it had to be of high quality and optimized in ways that made it as discoverable as possible through search engines.

Previously, that content was primarily limited to the written word. That is no longer the case today. Instead, a comprehensive content strategy includes written work such as blogs and eBooks, as well as media such as podcasts, visual assets, and videos. As other content formats proliferate, so does the need to optimize them for search. YouTube is one increasingly important place to do so.

Don’t be concerned if you’re feeling disoriented. The most important YouTube SEO tips and strategies are covered below so you can effectively optimize your content for YouTube search.

SEO for YouTube Videos

YouTube SEO is the process of assisting users in finding your video content on YouTube. Keyword research is used to optimize playlists, descriptions, and videos.YouTube SEO combines standard SEO techniques with YouTube-specific optimization techniques. If you’re new to SEO, take a look at this comprehensive SEO guide.

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YouTube Marketing Strategy


A clear strategy is required to be successful on YouTube. This strategy is divided into two parts. To begin, you must understand how YouTube SEO works. Then, you’ll want to apply that knowledge as you select a target audience, create a strategy for your channel, and set growth objectives.

How does YouTube SEO work?


YouTube is owned by Google and employs similar search algorithms to display videos that best match users’ search queries.

This algorithm determines how a video will rank for specific search terms by analyzing various elements in each video post. These components are as follows:

1. Video title
2. Video description
3. Metadata
4. Number of views, comments, and likes
5. Watch time

The algorithm also takes into account the searcher’s previous activity. This makes search results feel more tailored to the user.

When these signals are combined, they tell the algorithm how relevant, popular, or engaging your video post is for a user’s query.

Select a Target Audience


Many content creators begin their audience growth by selecting a topic and then optimizing YouTube videos. However, with expansion comes competition. It was once simple to start a YouTube channel for a broad topic, such as product reviews or technology, but new YouTube channels now require a more specific focus.

Consider who you want to engage with your channel and why as you narrow your target audience. Consider the following:

What exactly do you know about your target demographic?
The only thing that makes them want to spend time on YouTube?
What other social media platforms does your target demographic prefer?
What piques their interest and keeps them loyal?
Are there any other YouTube channels or creators with whom you should collaborate to reach this audience?

Create a Strategy

If your YouTube channel is about a subject you are passionate about, developing a content strategy may appear simple. However, most of the time, the challenge is not in coming up with ideas but in making them a reality.

If you want to optimize YouTube for SEO, content planning entails more than just deciding what videos to make and when to post them. It is a process of determining what resources are required to increase traffic, conversion, and engagement with your video content.

For example, you may have a great idea for a surfing video, but where are you going to get your footage? It may be difficult to find high-quality source material for your videos if you are not recording yourself or your local community.

Developing professional skills or assembling a team of experts in editing, sound, and animation can also improve the quality of your videos. However, if those resources aren’t readily available to you, you may need to devise a strategy for creating great videos without them.

Competitive analysis can also aid in planning, such as determining the best video length or where to promote your videos on other social platforms.

This free content planning template can assist you in developing a solid YouTube strategy.

Set Growth Objectives

YouTube provides a plethora of useful metrics that can assist you in determining whether your team is meeting your strategic objectives. Broad metrics, such as algorithm changes, can be useful for tracking consistency and large shifts in performance.

However, it’s also a good idea to select focused metrics that align with your objectives. Track your subscriber count, impressions, and audience retention, for example, if you want to grow your audience. If you want to increase engagement, look at likes, comments, shares, and watch time. Increasing web traffic? Include links in your video descriptions and annotations, and then track where those links lead on your website.

Tracking the metrics that are relevant to your goals will help you understand how you’re expanding your audience. You can apply what you’ve learned to make more effective videos for your users and improve your SEO. And that effort will assist you in maintaining the growth of your YouTube channel.

YouTube SEO Suggestions

  • Rename your video file with a target keyword.
  • Incorporate your keyword simply into the video title.
  • Improve your video description.
  • To tag your video, use keywords that are commonly used and related to your topic.
  • Sort your video into categories.
  • Upload a custom thumbnail image for the result link of your video.
  • Make use of an SRT file to add subtitles and closed captions.
  • Increase your YouTube channel’s viewership by including cards and end screens.
  • Increase your reach by including hashtags.
  • Create a playlist based on the general topic of your video.
  • Experiment with different video lengths.
  • Use the auto-complete feature on YouTube.
  • Try using timestamps.
  • In your video and video description, include a call-to-action (CTA).
  • Analyze YouTube search analytics.
  • Leave a pinned comment on your own video, if desired.

1. Rename your video file with a specific keyword.

You’ll use an SEO tool to first identify keywords you’d like your video to focus on, just as you would when optimizing written content (you can browse popular YouTube SEO tools later in this post or simply click this link)

When you’ve decided on a keyword, the first place to put it is in your video file—before you even upload it to YouTube. Why? YouTube cannot “watch” your video to determine its relevance to your target keyword, and as you’ll see in the following tips, there are only so many places you can effectively insert this keyword on your video’s viewing page once it’s published. When you upload a video to YouTube, YouTube can read the file name and all of the code that comes with it.

With that in mind, change the file name “business_ad_003FINAL.mov” (don’t feel embarrassed; we’ve all been there during the post-production process) to the desired keyword. If your keyword is “house painting tips,” for example, the file name of your video should be “house-painting-tips” followed by the video file type you prefer (MOV, MP4, and WMV are some of the most popular that are suitable with YouTube).

2. Naturally incorporate your keyword into the video title.

When searching for videos, one of the first things that catches your eye is the title. Because the title is frequently what determines whether you will click to watch your video, it should not only be compelling but also clear and concise.

Although your keyword is important in your video title, it also helps if the title is closely related to what the viewer is looking for.

Optimizing your title for keywords is a good idea, as long as the keyword fits naturally into a title that tells viewers exactly what they’re about to see.

Finally, keep your title short—HubSpot campaigns manager Alicia Collins suggests keeping it to 60 characters to avoid being cut off in results pages.

3. Optimize your video description.


First and foremost, according to Google, the official character limit for YouTube video descriptions is 1,000 characters. While it’s fine to use all of that space, keep in mind that your viewer came here to watch a video, not read an essay.
If you choose to write a longer description, keep in mind that YouTube only displays the first two or three lines of text, which amounts to about 100 characters. After that, viewers have to select “show more” to see the full description. That is why we recommend starting the description with the most important information, such as CTAs or important links.

In terms of video optimization, it’s a good idea to include a transcript of the video, especially for those who have to watch it without sound.

A well-written description can also help you appear in the suggested video sidebar, which can be a great source of traffic.

Try one of these tried-and-true YouTube description templates if you need a high-performing video description.

4. Use popular keywords related to your topic to tag your video.


Tags can help viewers understand what your video is about, according to YouTube. However, you are not only helping your viewers, but also YouTube. Tags are used by YouTube to understand the content and context of your video.

This allows YouTube to find out how to associate your video with related videos, potentially broadening the reach of your content. However, choose your tags wisely. Use an irrelevant tag if you believe it will increase your views; in fact, Google may penalize you for doing so. And, as with your description, begin with the most important keywords, including a good mix of common and long-tail keywords (as in, those that answer a question like “how do I?”).

Follow these simple steps to add and use tags in your YouTube videos.

Sort your video into categories.


Once a video has been uploaded, it can be classified under “Advanced settings.” Choosing a category is another way to group your video with similar content on YouTube so that it ends up in different playlists and reaches more viewers who identify with your target audience.

It could not be as simple as it appears. In fact, it’s critical to go through a thorough process to determine which category each video belongs in. Respond to questions such as:

Who are the top creators in the category? What are they well-known for and what do they excel at?
Is there any correlation between the audiences of similar channels within a given category?
Do the videos in the same category share characteristics such as production value, length, or format?

Add a custom thumbnail image to your video’s result link.


Your video thumbnail is the main picture that viewers see when browsing through a list of video results. Along with the video’s title, the thumbnail informs the viewer about the video’s content, which can influence the number of clicks and views your video receives.

While you can always use one of YouTube’s pre-generated thumbnails, we highly recommend uploading a custom thumbnail. YouTube suggests using images with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels (16:9 ratio) and a file size of 2MB or less.jpg, gif, bmp, or png files. If you adhere to those guidelines, you can ensure that your thumbnail appears in the same high quality across multiple viewing platforms.

It’s important to note that in order to upload a custom thumbnail image, your YouTube account must be verified. In order to do so, go to youtube.com/verify and follow the on-screen directions.

7. Use an SRT file to add subtitles and closed-captioning.


Subtitles and closed captions, like much of the other text we’ve discussed here, can improve YouTube search optimization by emphasizing important keywords.

You must upload a supported text transcript or timed subtitles file to add subtitles or closed captions to your video. You can also directly enter transcript text for a video, which will auto-sync with the video.

Subtitles are added in a similar manner, but you can limit the amount of text displayed. To access either, go to your video manager and select “Videos” under “Video Manager.” Find the video to which you want to add closed captioning or subtitles and click the drop-down arrow next to the edit button. Then select “Subtitles/CC.” You can then choose whether to include subtitles or closed captioning.

8. Include cards and end screens


Have you ever seen a small white, circular icon with an “i” in the center appear in the corner of a video or a translucent bar of text asking you to subscribe? These are cards, which YouTube defines as “preformatted notifications that appear on desktop and mobile that you can set up to promote your brand and other videos on your channel.” A single video can have a maximum of five cards, and there are six different types:

Channel cards that redirect viewers to a different channel.
Donation cards for nonprofit organizations in the United States to encourage fundraising.
You can use fan funding to ask your viewers to contribute to the creation of your video content.
Link cards, which direct viewers to an external site, an authorized crowdfunding platform, or an authorized merchandise selling platform,.
Poll cards, which ask viewers a question and allow them to vote on a response,.
Video or playlist cards that link to similar YouTube content.
Follow these official Google steps for adding a card to your video, or watch the video below for more information.

End Screens

End screens display information similar to cards, but as you might expect, they don’t appear until the video has finished and are more visually detailed. A good example is the overlay with a book image and a visual link to learn more in the video below:

There are a variety of detailed instructions for adding end screens depending on the type of platform you want to design them for, as well as the different types of content permitted by YouTube. Google explains how to optimize for those factors here.

It’s important to note that YouTube is constantly testing end screens in order to improve the viewer experience, so “your end screen, as designated by you, may not appear.” Consider these variables when determining whether to use cards or end screens.

These factors may appear complicated and time-consuming, but keep in mind that the amount of time people spend watching YouTube on their television has more than doubled year over year. There is an audience to be discovered there, and optimizing for YouTube increases your chances of being discovered.

9. Use hashtags to broaden your reach.


Hashtags are a feature of the YouTube user interface that allow you to add related terms to your content in the same way that you would on LinkedIn or Instagram. Hashtags appear right above your video title for easy clicking and discovery. You can use your company name, as HubSpot does below, or include relevant keywords.

We also recommend using hashtags in your YouTube description, but don’t go overboard; the YouTube algorithm is constantly looking for spam. Excessive tagging may result in you being flagged inadvertently. Instead of using every hashtag you can think of, pick 2-3 that you believe best describe your video.

10. Make a playlist based on the general topic of your video.


Create keyword-optimized playlists as you add videos to your content library. This not only informs YouTube about the content of your videos, but it also keeps viewers clicking from video to video, increasing your view count and, by extension, your rankings.

Yoga with Kassandra, for example, organized all of its short yoga classes into a playlist titled “5-15 minute yoga classes.” Not only is the title brief and descriptive, but the playlist description also includes keywords like “10 minute yoga classes,” “10 minute morning yoga stretches,” and “bedtime yoga classes.”

11. Experiment with different video lengths.


The more time viewers spend on your channel watching videos, the better it is for your SEO. However, not everyone on YouTube will stay for 10 minutes or more.

For example, mobile devices account for more than 70% of YouTube watch time. While some people can watch an hour-long video on a small screen, this statistic emphasizes the importance of knowing your audience.

Create videos of varying lengths to determine the optimal watch time for your audience. Then, for each video, perform a quick analysis of the watch time, average view duration, and audience retention and adjust your strategy.

12. Take advantage of YouTube’s autocomplete feature.


This feature simplifies the process of locating the most popular search terms for your video topic. Simply begin typing a keyword phrase to see what other keywords and phrases appear. Then, in your title, descriptions, and tags, include the most relevant terms.

This tool can also be used to discover top YouTube trends or to determine which keywords your competitors are targeting. These insights can assist you in fine-tuning your YouTube SEO strategy for improved results.

More useful YouTube features can be found in this post.

13. Experiment with timestamps.


Timestamps distinguish different parts of your videos. They make it simple for your audience to find the information they seek within each video.

Because it establishes expectations, including a timestamp can improve retention and the user experience. Timestamps allow viewers to quickly jump to what they want to see in a video or give them a reason to wait for that section to appear on-screen.

Timestamps also help SEO because they help YouTube’s algorithm understand your video content. This makes your video more visible for search terms within it, rather than just the overall theme of your video.

If your video is about baking a cake, for example, you might include sections about baking equipment or cake trends like geode cakes. If you use timestamps to identify these sections, a user may not find your video when searching for “how to make a cake” due to competition, but they may find it when searching for “how to make a geode cake.”

With YouTube Studio, you can manually add a timestamp or add and edit automatic video chapters. You can also investigate various YouTube automation strategies and tools to expedite this process.

14. Include a call-to-action (CTA) in your video description and video.

Calls to action are an effective way to increase participation. A valuable CTA not only encourages likes, subscriptions, and shares, but it can also improve viewer engagement metrics. This can increase the visibility of your video in search results and suggest video features.

Variate your CTAs for maximum effectiveness. You could do a verbal CTA in one video, asking viewers to like, subscribe, or share. Ask your audience to bookmark your video or click shared links in your description for another video.

You should also invite your viewers to leave comments and feedback. These actions are not only beneficial to the user experience. They also indicate to YouTube that your video is engaging and valuable to your viewers. For ideas, look at these call-to-action examples.

15. Review the YouTube search analytics.


While analytics are useful for tracking progress toward goals, you can also use this information to actively improve your YouTube SEO.

Assume you’re trying to figure out why traffic to one of your videos suddenly increased. Your video could be ranking for a popular keyword. Or perhaps your video was recently added to a popular website.

You can investigate the video-specific data to determine why that jump occurred. Then you can figure out how to use the same techniques to optimize other videos.

YouTube analytics can also help you predict keywords that are becoming more popular. Early optimization of your videos for those keywords increases your chances of ranking higher in those search results.

Finally, analytics can assist you in better understanding your audience. It’s not uncommon for a YouTube channel to begin with a specific demographic in mind, only to see that demographic shift over time. Analyzing your real-time audience’s age, location, and interests can help you make informed decisions.

16. Leave a pinned comment on your own video, if desired.


Giving up a comment on your video may appear excessive, but it is a wise technique. More comments not only improve your video’s rankability, but they can also generate high levels of audience engagement. A pinned comment can generate hundreds of replies, as seen below for Matt D’Avelia:

Make sure to leave an engaging comment that contributes to the conversation or adds value for readers. At HubSpot, for example, we pin a resource so that viewers can learn more about the subject. For more information on YouTube comment management, see this post.

YouTube SEO Checklist

  • Choose a keyword for your video.
  • Include the target keyword in the file name.
  • Include the target keyword in the title.
  • Include the keyword, as well as keyword variations, in the video description.
  • Add relevant tags to your video.
  • Add your video category.
  • Make your own video thumbnail.
  • Subtitles and closed captions are optional.
  • Include cards and end screens that relate to the topic of your video.
  • Add hashtags to your video.
  • Make a playlist about your overarching topic.
  • Optional: Leave a pinned comment to increase engagement or provide more value.
  1. Select a keyword for your video. This could be a topic, a question, or a very specific request. If you’re not sure what keyword to target, use a keyword research tool or simply browse YouTube’s existing content library for ideas.
  2. Incorporate the target keyword into the file name. Instead of spaces, use dashes (-) or underscores (_) between each word.
  3. Incorporate the targeted keyword into the title. Next, incorporate the target keyword into the title of your video, but be creative and do so naturally. The title should not simply be “[keyword].” The title is the first thing users will see, so try to pique their interest while promising to assist them.
  4. Include the keyword and its variations in the video description. Your YouTube SEO strategy relies heavily on the video description. Write a natural description that includes 1-2 mentions of your target keyword as well as keyword variations.
  5. Include relevant tags in your video. While most users do not search for videos using tags, they can assist the YouTube algorithm in categorizing your video and serving it to the appropriate audience. Add 5-8 industry tags, but don’t go overboard or you’ll be flagged as spam.
  6. Include a video category. While categories are not as specific as tags, they help users find your video and the YouTube algorithm understand what it is about. On the home page, the explore page, and the sidebar menu, categories are used.
  7. Add your own video thumbnail. Create a thumbnail that includes a variation of your keyword or a short phrase that may generate clicks (for example, “1,000 organic followers, fast!”). In order to get access to custom thumbnail uploads, you have to first verify your YouTube channel.
  8. Include closed captions and subtitles. Subtitles and closed captions are essential accessibility features for your videos. They also help you indirectly optimize for YouTube searches by providing YouTube with a text version of your video content.
  9. Include cards and end screens related to the topic of your video. Cards are equivalent to internal and external linking, and end screens allow you to engage viewers in the final few seconds before they click to another piece of content.
  10. Include hashtags in your video. Hashtags are not the same as tags. They appear above your video title and help you increase reach and authority by further signaling the topic of your video.
  11. Make a playlist about your main topic. Creating playlists is one of the best ways to optimize YouTube videos. Finding a few related videos and organizing them into a playlist will not only attract more viewers, but will also assist the YouTube algorithm in understanding how your video relates to others in your upload library.
  12. Optional: Leave a pinned comment to increase engagement or add value. You can and should comment on your own videos as a brand, not only to respond to commenters, but also to provide more value to readers.

Most of the SEO tips above rely on you finding a keyword and correctly promoting your video. And not all of those suggestions can be implemented solely through YouTube. Consider using some of the tools listed below to optimize your video for search to get the most bang for your buck.
While analytics are useful for tracking progress toward goals, you can also use this information to actively improve your YouTube SEO.

Assume you’re trying to figure out why traffic to one of your videos suddenly increased. Your video could be ranking for a popular keyword. Or perhaps your video was recently added to a popular website.

You can investigate the video-specific data to determine why that jump occurred. Then you can figure out how to use the same techniques to optimize other videos.

YouTube analytics can also help you predict keywords that are becoming more popular. Early optimization of your videos for those keywords increases your chances of ranking higher in those search results.

Finally, analytics can assist you in better understanding your audience. It’s not uncommon for a YouTube channel to begin with a specific demographic in mind, only to see that demographic shift over time. Analyzing your real-time audience’s age, location, and interests can help you make informed decisions.

YouTube SEO Tools

  • HubSpot: For Content Strategy
  • Ahrefs Keyword Explorer: For Keyword Research
  • Canva: For Thumbnail Creation
  • VidIQ Vision: For Data Mining
  • TubeBuddy: For Productivity
  • Cyfe: For Analytics
  1. HubSpot SEO Marketing Tool
    HubSpot’s SEO marketing software allows you to find popular keywords for creating content and organize keywords into groupings — what we call “topic clusters.” You can keep track of which pieces of content are related to one another, what types of content you have planned, and what you’ve already created by categorizing your content into topic clusters.

While the HubSpot keywords reflect their popularity in a standard Google search, many of these topics will also produce videos on Google’s search engine results pages. In such c
ases, you can create topic clusters that include both blog and YouTube content.

Clustering your content — and linking from videos to blog posts and vice versa — can give you more authority in Google and YouTube’s eyes, as well as more ways to capture traffic from people searching your topic.

For useful dashboards and performance tracking, HubSpot integrates with YouTube.

  1. Ahrefs Keyword Finder
    Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO platform that allows you to track a website’s ranking, estimate organic traffic from each keyword, and research keywords for which you may want to create new content.

Keywords Explorer is a popular Ahrefs feature that allows you to look up information about a specific keyword. And, as shown in the screenshot above, you can narrow down your keyword results by search engine, including YouTube.

Ahrefs Keywords Explorer displays the monthly search volume for a keyword, the number of clicks for videos ranking for that keyword, related keywords, and more.

  1. Canva
    You may be familiar with Canva as a design template for creating various types of cards, photos, logos, and more. It just so happens that this well-known product includes a Thumbnail Creator designed specifically for YouTube videos.

As mentioned in the preceding tips, thumbnail images are essential for promoting your content in YouTube search results and enticing users to click on your video. Using Canva’s Thumbnail Creator, you can create the ideal preview image for your video in the 1280 x 720 pixel dimensions required by YouTube.

  1. vidIQ Vision
    This is a Chrome extension that helps you analyze how and why certain YouTube videos perform so well. It is available through Chrome’s web store at the link above. This includes the tags that a video has been optimized for, the average watch time, and even the rate at which that video is gaining traffic.

The vidIQ tool then provides an SEO “score” that you can use to create content that matches (or outperforms) the results you currently see on YouTube.

5. TubeBuddy
TubeBuddy is a video platform that manages the creation, optimization, and promotion of your YouTube content. It has a keyword explorer, tag suggestions, a rank tracker for your published videos, and other features.

  1. Cyfe
    Cyfe is a large software suite that includes a YouTube analytics platform, among other things. You can track performance on YouTube and your website using this platform.

Aside from traffic analytics, Cyfe can show you which keywords you’re ranking for and which are the most popular across various search engines. Sounds similar to Google Analytics or Moz, doesn’t it? That’s because Cyfe incorporates data from both of those tools, as well as others.

Begin optimizing your YouTube videos.
For businesses and creators, video marketing is critical. A successful YouTube channel begins with good content, regardless of which SEO tip or tool you use. When people find you, make sure they have something high-quality and relevant to watch.

Optimizing your YouTube videos can help increase views and community, which can lead to more conversions and sales. So, get started right away and watch your YouTube channel grow.

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