How to do SEO on YouTube: what it is and how to do it (complete guide)

How to do SEO on YouTube? Like Google, it’s the process of optimizing your content, but instead of having text to index, you have a video.

Ranking a video high in YouTube’s organic search results for a specific search query requires SEO knowledge.

YouTube SEO is as essential as it is for Google, and similar to Google, which is the world’s most visited site, it follows specific steps and rules.

Since YouTube is a search engine, videos require the same SEO optimization as regular web pages. To increase views, you need to conduct a thorough SEO analysis and equally perfect optimization.

Of course, to identify keywords on your YouTube channel and implement effective SEO optimization, you need training that provides the right foundation to achieve the desired results.

In this regard, I recommend checking out the SEO-SEM Certification Course and YouTube and Online Video Marketing Course from Digital Coach. It will help you learn strategies to become a true expert in this field!

But if your goal is to increase views on your videos and index them for both YouTube and Google, continue reading this article, we’ll delve into how to do SEO on YouTube in an effective way!

How to do SEO on YouTube: first steps to rank your video

The first step to do SEO on YouTube is to work on keywords just like with text. Video optimization starts with thorough keyword research.

In this step, you need to find the most relevant keywords for the video and understand the user’s search intent when looking for the video’s topic. To do this, you can use various YouTube SEO tools.


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Tools for researching keywords on YouTube

Several tools are used for YouTube SEO activities. Here are the main ones:

  • One of the most reliable tools for this activity is Google Keyword Planner. This tool provides tons of keyword variations and competitiveness rates based on the terms you enter.
  • Also, analyzing YT search trends for the industry we are addressing with our video proves to be an efficient method for evaluating new keywords that users type. Alternatively, evaluate the most viewed videos in the popular bar, obviously more similar to ours, and copy the keywords for which they have been optimized with YouTube SEO. In this case, Google Trends is an excellent trend analysis tool for searches. It allows comparing keywords based on their popularity. To ensure that the tool provides specific YouTube data, just switch from the Web Search option to YouTube Search. If you want to know the trends in your industry, how the number of searches changes monthly, and how the popularity of the keyword changes in a specific area, Google Trends is very useful. Also, when you have found a list of keywords and want to compare them in terms of popularity, it proves to be a valuable tool.
  • Very often, YouTube videos are displayed on Google search results pages for certain keywords. About 20-40% of YouTube traffic is generated from organic searches. That’s why collecting and optimizing videos for such keywords can significantly increase the chances of competing for a place in Google’s organic search results. By entering the target keyword in Rank Tracker, you can check if the results pages include any videos. This way, you can identify keywords that are more likely to get a video into organic search results.

So, there are numerous tools you can use to do excellent YouTube SEO, and among these, you can’t miss the YouTube section of, which suggests keywords for this platform.

Create an interesting title with the right length

A perfect title is necessary for effective YouTube SEO optimization. A title should include the keywords for which you want to index and summarize the video’s topic.

Always check competitors and study their titles, staying in the right length, and content-wise avoiding false promises are best practices not to ignore. The clickbait title that disappoints is a practice to avoid.

When the user types and finds content corresponding to their search, they are more satisfied. That’s why videos with exact match keywords in the title have a better YouTube SEO ranking because they appear more relevant.

In addition, titles should not exceed the limit of 60 characters because otherwise, they will be automatically truncated.

I recommend considering taking one of the best SEO courses available online to delve into the tricks of Search Engine Optimization in the best way.

Identify the search intent of your video

Search intent, also known as keyword intent, denotes the purpose behind a user’s search query within a search engine. YouTube Search Engine Optimization is the same as for text.

Analyze competitors and identify the scope of action for your video.

Plan the video before creating it

YouTube SEO planning for content is necessary for videos as well as for texts.

The Ahrefs Content Explorer is very useful for investigating new content ideas, comparing them, and finding insights for low-competition topics.

Planning allows you to carefully decide which keywords to position your video and those related to it. It will be easier to create a playlist and thematic groups of videos.

Create the video and don’t forget the best practices

The best practices for YouTube SEO are essential for achieving your goals. Here are 7 essential actions:

  1. HOOK, that is the hook. Engage the user with an effective and captivating call to action without betraying the user’s search intent.
  2. It is important to place keywords at the beginning, repeat the search mentioned in the CTA, and don’t forget the links to your accounts and include a transcription in the description. A transcription service like Transcribme can be very useful.
  3. Creating a Custom Thumbnail is very important. The thumbnail is the first thing that enters the mind of someone searching because visual information is perceived much more quickly than text. People often judge a book by its cover and decide whether to watch or skip your videos based on the quality, informational value, and aesthetic appearance of the thumbnail. Creating custom thumbnails is a best practice not to forget to optimize YouTube with SEO.
  4. Add video tags that, if properly optimized, also appear as keywords in the source code. TubeBuddy is the tool that shows the exact tags to use for optimizing the video.
  5. Don’t forget to choose the right hashtags to add to the description to increase the chance that your video will be found more. Hashtags must be relevant to the content and the thumbnail image. Limit each video to a maximum of 15 hashtags.
  6. Give the user a reason to stay, perhaps urging them during the video with phrases that encourage their curiosity, promising that “continuing to watch” will lead to the “final tip” and satisfy the curiosity that prompted the search.
  7. Ask users to comment, share, and follow perhaps at the end of the video. Promote contests like giveaways, all of this will improve SEO ranking for YouTube.

how to do seo on youtube channel

On-Page optimization

Optimizing the viewing time of a YouTube page through SEO is necessary and can be implemented through the analysis of Watch Time Reports, which provide detailed information on:

  • Average watch duration
  • Average percentage viewed
  • Audience retention

These data will help you understand how engaged your viewers are and identify weaknesses in your YouTube Search Engine Optimization strategy.

If viewers don’t get past your introduction, it may mean it’s too long. If so, try cutting unnecessary context and get straight to the point.

To increase your overall channel sessions, consider promoting your other videos directly in a video or description.

It’s a good idea to combine videos with similar topics into a playlist, they will automatically play whenever someone watches a video from the series.

Title, description, tags, hashtags, and image are crucial elements. We have already discussed these best practices that should be revisited and perfected during optimization.

Utilize tools and monitoring instruments. Using YouTube Analytics allows you to see exactly which videos generate subscriptions and unsubscribes, as well as where a particular video content is most popular.

Just like watch time, likes, subscriptions, and comments have a strong correlation with YouTube SEO rankings. The first step in encouraging viewers to interact with your videos is to identify areas for improvement through analytical data.

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Video Optimization: watch time, cards, end screens, subtitles

On YouTube SEO for videos, we’ve discussed basic actions that gradually improve during optimizations after video creation.

  • Starting with basic rules, proceed with creating cards such as channel cards, links, polls, videos or playlist cards, and donations.
  • End Screens are very helpful in directing viewers to your other videos and gaining extra watch time. By adding them in the last 5-20 seconds, you can promote videos, playlists, and other channels that encourage viewers to subscribe.
  • Subtitles are essential since most videos are watched without audio.
  • Last but perhaps should be at the top of best practices video quality. It must be in HD!

Video advertising and promotion

YouTube SEO activities are now perfect, but you cannot overlook promoting your video or channel on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram.

You also need to understand the most suitable social media for sharing your video and finally use tools like Awario.

By setting up an alert in Awario, you can perform the following activities:

  • Track and analyze your social media presence and gain invaluable insights into competitors’ video promotion strategies;
  • Use videos in blogs;
  • Embed a video optimized with perfect YouTube SEO into a text written with the same perspective, creating a perfect combo to improve ranking.

Sites where people are actively searching for answers are best suited to place a video.

Think for example of Quora, in whose communities, if you present yourself as coherent and useful, you can push a video without exaggerating so as not to be identified as a spammer.

You can also add your video as answerable content in a blog or forum. And finally, one idea is to attach it to your newsletter.


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Conclusion and strategic advice

In conclusion, doing SEO on YouTube is simply doing SEO. The process of indexing and positioning a video follows exactly the rules of a text.

Search Engine Optimization proves to be the necessary foundation for climbing your online success in terms of positioning and extreme satisfaction, whether you are a copywriter or a video maker.

If you desire the support of our expert to optimize your YouTube channel, request a free strategic consulting session.

For more information on SEO Courses and other educational paths, do not hesitate to contact us




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