Home 9 Youtube 9 YouTube SEO Tips to Rank Your Videos Higher in Search Results

YouTube SEO Tips to Rank Your Videos Higher in Search Results

by | Oct 30, 2023

Every content creator on YouTube desires to increase their video views. This goal motivates them to enhance their videos in different ways, like increasing watch time, improving click-through rates, and keeping the audience engaged. These aspects are crucial because they strongly influence the ranking of your videos on YouTube. However, amidst all these efforts, it’s important not to overlook the power of YouTube SEO. Once you’ve mastered the art of storytelling and know how to attract clicks, SEO acts like fuel for your content, propelling it to reach thousands of additional viewers on YouTube. It’s like giving your videos a powerful boost.

What is YouTube SEO?

YouTube SEO refers to the practice of optimizing your YouTube videos and channel to improve their visibility and rankings in search engine results. It involves implementing various strategies and techniques to increase the chances of your videos being discovered by users when they search for relevant keywords or topics on YouTube. 

YouTube SEO

The goal of YouTube SEO is to attract more viewers, increase watch time, and ultimately grow your audience and engagement on the platform. Some common YouTube SEO practices include keyword research, optimizing video titles, descriptions, and tags, utilizing closed captions and transcripts, promoting video engagement, and leveraging external promotion channels to drive traffic to your videos. By optimizing your videos for search engines, you can enhance their discoverability and maximize their potential reach on YouTube. Also read How Much Does YouTube Pay for 1 Million Views.

8 Tips for Boosting Your YouTube SEO

1. Choose the Right Keyword

To improve your YouTube SEO, you first need to choose the right keyword or phrase for your video. Keywords are important because they appear in video titles, descriptions, and even in captions and transcripts. This helps search engines understand what your video is about and improves its visibility.

When selecting keywords, make sure they accurately describe your video and match what users search for. To find popular phrases and keywords, you can do some keyword research. One easy way is to use YouTube’s Search Suggest feature. Just type a relevant word or phrase in the search bar, and YouTube will provide suggestions.

You can also find keywords from your YouTube search report, which you can access in YouTube Studio under “Traffic Sources” and then “YouTube search.”

To check if a keyword is good, search for it on YouTube and see how many results it generates. Ideally, you want to find keywords with a high search volume but less competition, so your video can stand out.

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Choosing the best keyword can be challenging, but there are tools that can help. Some popular tools include Moz Keyword Explorer, AdWords Keyword Planner, UberSuggest, and VidIQ Vision. These tools provide information like keyword volume (number of searches per month on Google) and cost per click (average cost for advertising on Google Ads).

Let’s say you have a video about baking chocolate chip cookies. After identifying a suitable keyword, you can name your video file something like “chocolate-chip-cookie-baking-tutorial” followed by the appropriate file type.

Pro tip: Instead of using a generic keyword like “cookie tutorial,” you can use a more specific “long tail” keyword phrase such as “easy chocolate chip cookie recipe” to target a more specific audience and improve your video’s visibility.

2. Add Accurate Captions to Your Videos

YouTube automatically creates captions for your videos, but they are often inaccurate and can lead to confusing or embarrassing captions. This can negatively impact your search rankings and make your videos appear as spam.

 Add Accurate Captions to Your Videos

To improve your YouTube SEO and avoid these issues, it’s important to include accurate closed captions using an SRT file. Search engines can read the captions and understand the keywords that describe your video, which helps them rank your content appropriately.

There are different ways to add captions to your YouTube videos. Some creators start with the auto-generated transcript and manually correct any errors. There are also do-it-yourself options that are inexpensive but time-consuming.

The easiest solution is to use a professional video transcription service. They can provide high-quality captions with a quick turnaround time.

In addition to SEO benefits, captions offer other advantages:

Benefits of CaptionsDescription
Improved search rankingVideos with captions on YouTube have higher views and better SEO. Including keywords in captions helps search engines crawl the text and rank videos accordingly, even if the keywords are not in the title, description, or tags.
Enhanced user experienceClosed captions engage viewers, especially those who cannot access audio or watch on mobile devices. Accurate captions are essential for mobile users, as a significant portion of YouTube watch time comes from mobile devices. Captioned videos tend to receive more likes, shares, and comments, leading to higher engagement and improved search rankings. Longer watch times also contribute to higher search rankings on YouTube.
Video accessibilityClosed captions make videos accessible to viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing. They also enable people to watch videos in noisy environments or with the sound off. By making videos viewable and understandable for a wider audience, captions enhance the viewing experience.

By adding accurate closed captions to your YouTube videos, you can enhance your SEO, engage more viewers, and make your content accessible to a broader audience.

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3. Add a Transcript to Your Video Description

Adding a transcript to your video description on YouTube can help improve your YouTube SEO. Here’s a simpler explanation:

Add a Transcript to Your Video Description

Transcript in Video Description: You can include a written version of your video in the video description section on YouTube. This is a good place to put the transcript because it allows up to 5,000 characters, which is usually enough space to fit a transcript for a video that has a lot of talking and lasts around 10 minutes.

Truncated Version and Link: If your transcript is too long or if you want to add other important information in the description, like a call-to-action, you can include a shortened version of the transcript. You can also provide a link to the full version of the transcript on a separate webpage.

Keyword Optimization: While research has shown that there is no direct connection between using specific keywords in your video description and higher rankings for those terms, it’s still a good idea to include keywords. Keyword-rich descriptions can help your video rank for related terms and increase the chances of it being suggested to viewers.

Improved Engagement: Having a transcript in the video description makes it easier for viewers to quickly scan through the content. This can boost engagement because people can easily find the information they’re interested in.

4. Use Engaging Titles and Thumbnails

When it comes to engaging titles and thumbnails for your videos, here’s the things you should consider:

Engaging Titles:

Your video title should be interesting and accurately describe what your video is about. It’s important to use words that catch people’s attention and make them want to click on your video. 

Use Engaging Titles and Thumbnails

Let’s say you have a video about baking chocolate chip cookies. Instead of a basic title like “Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe,” you can make it more engaging and catchy with a title like “Irresistible Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies: The Ultimate Recipe!”

Primary Keyword:

Including your primary keyword in the title can help your video appear higher in search results. In this example, the primary keyword could be “chocolate chip cookies.” So, by including it in the title, you improve the visibility of your video when someone searches for that specific keyword.

Visually Appealing Thumbnails:

Thumbnails are the small images that represent your video. They should be eye-catching and make viewers curious about your content. For the chocolate chip cookies video, you might have a thumbnail that shows a close-up of freshly baked cookies with melted chocolate chips, enticing viewers to click on the video. The thumbnail should be high-quality and relevant to the content of your video.

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Reflecting Value:

Your thumbnail should reflect the value or benefit that viewers can expect from watching your video. In the case of the chocolate chip cookies video, the thumbnail could emphasize the deliciousness of the cookies, showcasing them as a mouthwatering treat. By doing so, viewers are more likely to be enticed and click on your video.

5. Video Tags:

Tags help classify your video and provide additional context to YouTube’s algorithm. Include relevant and specific tags that relate to your video’s content, industry, and target keywords. Use a mix of broad and specific tags to capture a wider range of search queries. Look for popular tags in your niche and incorporate them wisely in your video’s tags section.

6. Encourage Engagement:

YouTube’s algorithm takes user engagement into account when ranking videos. Encourage viewers to like, comment, and share your videos, as these interactions signal to YouTube that your content is valuable and engaging. Respond to comments promptly to foster a sense of community and encourage further engagement.

7. Promote Your Videos:

To improve your video’s overall visibility, promote it across various platforms. Share your video on social media, embed it on your website or blog, and leverage your email list to reach a wider audience. The more exposure your video receives, the higher the chances of it being viewed and ranked higher in YouTube’s search results.

8. Track your analytics

To know if your YouTube SEO strategy is working, you need to track your data. Data helps you understand which videos are doing well and where you might need to make improvements. YouTube provides various reports to help you track your performance.

Track your analytics

Here are some important metrics that every YouTuber should know:

  • Watch Time: Watch time is the total number of minutes viewers spend watching your videos. It’s important because YouTube favors videos and channels with higher watch times in their search results. It shows how engaged your audience is.
  • Impressions Click-Through Rate: This measures how often people click on your video after seeing it on their homepage, recommendation section, or trending section. It’s important to track as it helps you improve your video thumbnails and attract more viewers.
  • Card Click-Through Rate: Cards are notifications that prompt viewers to take action while watching your video. Analyzing the click-through rate of these cards helps you optimize their effectiveness, timing, and placement.
  • Unique Viewers: This estimates the number of individuals who watch your videos within a specific time period. It helps you understand your audience size and evaluate engagement.
  • Traffic Sources: This report shows how viewers find your videos and which sources generate the most engagement. You can use this data to improve your video promotion strategy and decide where to share your content.
  • Subscriber Growth: YouTube’s Subscribers Report reveals which videos, locations, and time periods gained or lost subscribers. This data helps you identify topics that resonate with your subscribers and where to focus on gaining new subscribers.

By monitoring these metrics over time, you can identify which videos perform well and discover patterns in topics, video types, length, or posting schedule. This knowledge can help you create more engaging videos and improve your overall performance.


Throughout this blog, I have provided you with simple SEO tips to effectively drive traffic to your YouTube videos. By implementing these strategies, you can optimize your videos for improved visibility and reach a wider audience. Remember, catering to the preferences of your target audience and focusing on enhancing the user experience are crucial elements in achieving success with video SEO.

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