Simple YouTube SEO Tips to Rank Your Videos Higher in Search

You can combine your SEO and video strategy to help supercharge your marketing in a pretty straightforward and simple way. Doing this will not only improve your video watch time, but also get your customers’ attention, and help you further down the line with things like YouTube remarketing. Here are eight steps to improve your YouTube SEO to drive more traffic and video views.

  1. Pick your keywords wisely
    SERPs are getting more competitive every month. New competitors, new products, new services—everyone is fighting for the top spots. So, finding ways to diversify yourself and your offering is crucial. Do your keyword research, and unless you can compete with really competitive terms, pick keywords that can get you volume, but are less competitive.

You can use the same keyword research tools you’d use for PPC or SEO, like

WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool
Google Keyword Planner.
Moz or Semrush.
Google search—search suggest, people also ask, related searches, and more!
2. Use keywords in your video title
Understanding the search intent of your audience is the first step. We know that the most common types of search intent include informational, commercial, navigational, and transactional. So, matching what your video is about with the intent of your customer is going to be really important for getting your video visible in search results.

Secondly, make sure, you understand WHY you want to create a YouTube video and who the primary audience is. For instance, if you are looking to showcase a product review, then use the product name in the video title and description. It sounds really simple, but there are so many YouTube channels that miss this step and their videos show up low on Google and YouTube search results.

Below is an example of how competitive the term ‘dell computer review’ is. This term is something that someone may be searching for when they are considering a product. These videos are pulling through from YouTube, but also from other websites and blogs around the web.

  1. Include the keyword in your video file
    Super simple, but YouTube may use this as one of the ranking factors when it comes to showing your video in search results. If the file name you are uploading has the target keyword in it, your video will have a much better chance of being ranked—and a much better chance of gaining more search volume.

  2. Optimize your YouTube video description
    One of the most important ranking factors for YouTube SEO is making sure you have a solid, optimized video description. Whenever you change or update any YouTube video element—which includes video descriptions, subtitles and closed captions, and video thumbnails—YouTube will reevaluate the video. This can be good or bad… so it’s important you get it right the first time!

YouTube recommends that you put your most important keywords in the first couple of sentences of your description – and that your description should be no longer than 200 words. Broadly speaking—make your description useful. If it doesn’t help a user—delete it.

You can see below, that the keyword I have typed into Google is in bold in the descriptions of the videos that have shown up. This is YouTube’s way of telling me the videos are relevant from the video descriptions.