Blog chevron right How-to Guides

How to Optimize YouTube Videos for SEO

Matthew Patel
Matthew Patel
Posted in Zoom Mar 26 · 26 Mar, 2022
How to Optimize YouTube Videos for SEO

Improve your YouTube viewership with carefully-crafted SEO content. Here you’ll find a number of helpful ways to increase your channel’s audience.

​YouTube SEO: Improve Your Channel’s Traffic

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about web traffic. It’s the process of boosting your visibility and increasing the number of visits to your channel. SEO content is the crux of generating a following on YouTube. So if you’re asking yourself, “How do I optimize YouTube videos for SEO”, here are some tips.

​All About Keywords

Knowing how to use keywords is one of the most important aspects of SEO. Keywords are the defining words of your content, and they’re what potential visitors enter into a search engine. Specifically on YouTube’s platform, they help identify your video’s subject, indexing this information for analytics.

It’s in your best interest to identify and use keywords that will get your content placed higher in search engine results. Tools like Google Trends and Keywords Everywhere are great free resources. Even using your search bar’s autocomplete feature will display prevalent phrases related to your search.

However, the most common words aren’t always going to net you more viewers, mainly because of the high level of competition. Long-tail keywords are lengthier phrases that, though popular, are for specific searches. It’s a good idea to market yourself this way, too.

Always make sure that your keywords are subject-related, though. One of your goals needs to be your audience viewing your video all the way through. If people come to your channel expecting one thing and getting another, they’ll quit watching, and this negatively affects your engagement ranking.

​Wording Will Make or Break Your Video

Aside from your main keywords, the wording is important for SEO. There are a number of ways you should use it to your advantage.

Overall, titles work better when they’re shorter and identify precisely with a specific keyword. Tags rank videos for indexing and recommendations, which helps boost traffic. Descriptions assist the algorithm in identifying content. When used in moderation, hashtags easily link viewers to other videos. Even editing your file name to include a brief description instead of the default code will improve your SEO.

​Engage Viewers

“Like, comment, subscribe, and share” - how many times have you seen or heard these terms on YouTube? You probably encounter them frequently, as they’re not without merit.

Audience interaction is critical to boosting a video’s ranking. You not only have to get viewers but also keep them watching so they don’t back out and lower your rankings. Your goal is to generate an increasing pool of loyal fans, and your followers can help by boosting your ratings. If they like what they see, they’ll do a lot of the advertising for you.

​Video Length and Quality

There’s a fine line with production. Providing exciting content that’s not superficial but also not likely to lose your crowd’s attention is an art. This balance is essential when figuring out how to make SEO for YouTube videos.

Statistically, videos under two minutes long result in poor positioning and low reach. On average, 10 minutes seems a great choice to boost rankings. But this all hinges on your subject matter.

People aren’t going to stick around for a basic video if they want to learn more about the given material. You also aren’t going to net beginners who need an introduction when you’re showing complex content. Yes, you can put out brief information as well as detailed expertise content, but the middle ground is a great starting point for SEO gains.

It’s trial and error, though. Maybe your topic would do better in a shorter or longer format. Quality matters, after all. You can play with lengths all you want, but you won’t get anywhere if you don’t provide watchable material.

​Broadening Your Audience Through Text

Make yourself available to as many followers as possible. Captions are a great way to increase this viewership. They make your content significantly easier to consume for people with hearing impairments and ESL speakers. Plus, they’re nice for people who cannot play sound in certain scenarios or need extra assistance or reinforcement.

Captions are the readable version of your video’s sound. For YouTube, it’s transcribed audio that you can use in a few different ways for multiple viewing benefits. Options include showing timestamped words on the side of the screen or adding words directly to the video.

Subtitles are another smart addition to increase your viewers. Simply by translating your content into another language, you’ll expand your reach. Adding a few languages will exponentially boost your traffic.

Yet there’s still another important reason to add words: YouTube’s algorithms only read code and text, not videos and images. Written content is a format YouTube can understand and analyze, so it will help boost your SEO multiple times over.

The best way to obtain captions or translations is through a service like GoTranscript. Of course, there are plenty of free programs out there to do this job, but they have a low rate of accuracy and quality. You don’t want to go down this path, as it will cause you to lose your audience. Using human-based transcription or translation will make your videos look a lot more professional and enhance your views, both through algorithm interpretation and personal interest.


These tips are a great starting point for boosting your YouTube visibility. Follow them and monitor your improvement. See what works best and develop your strategy. The more effort you put into it, the greater the reward.