Rank your videos on YouTube

In today’s digital age, YouTube is quite the ruler. Originally created to enable video sharing across the internet, it has since blossomed into a huge business of its own.

300 hours of videos are uploaded on YouTube every single minute and many of them are from individual content creators.  If your video is one of them, how do you make it stand out?

The answer is quite simple – by producing great quality videos and practicing perfect SEO.

What is YouTube SEO?

YouTube SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the method of designing your YouTube content in a way that it ensures good ranking in the search engine results.

Here are 8 easy ways to practice better YouTube SEO:

1. Practice good keyword research

Keywords are words that convey exactly what your content is about. If your video is about making chocolate brownies, “chocolate brownie recipe” is your keyword. However, it is important to remember that your keyword is not what you think your keyword should be.

When it comes to choosing the right keywords for your videos, make sure you consider these two aspects: Your keywords should accurately describe your video and they should be searched on YouTube.

While you can also use Google Adwords Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest, the easiest way to find the most suitable keywords is by using the YouTube search suggest. Just type in “Chocolate brownie” and look at the suggestions YouTube provides. Then incorporate them in your SEO strategy. We’ll show you exactly how to do it in the following points.

2. Formulate your titles well

After you’ve determined your focus keywords, compose a title including the keywords. If you are still confused about how to do it right, take a quick look at your competitor’s video titles.

A title on YouTube fits 100 characters, but only the first 66 characters get displayed. An ideal title, therefore, should be around 10 words long and include the keyword right at the start so it gets the much-needed focus. Now, even if adding keywords in your title helps search bots crawl your videos, these bots aren’t the ones watching your videos. So, make sure your titles are catchy and full of compelling words such as “fool-proof” or “fudgy” to grab the attention of your viewers.

Titles with words such as “how-to”, “advice”, “tips” and numbers have also proven to work very well. After all, which video would you click on? A video titled “10 ways to get more views on YouTube than ever before” or “How to increase your views on YouTube”?

3. Practice good on-page SEO

Meta description

The meta description on YouTube offers a whopping 5,000 characters! It is a huge playground for you to include relevant keywords, affiliate links, calls to action and also your bio. Include the most important piece of information right at the start because your viewers will only see the first 166 characters unless they click on the “Show more” prompt.


A YouTube Tag is another great place to include your focus keywords. This section fits up to 400 characters so make sure you’re using a blend of long- and short-tail keywords. If your video is about SEO tutorial for beginners, tag it as “SEO tutorial” and “SEO for beginners” (short-tail keywords) and also “SEO tutorial for beginners” (long-tail keywords). Using 10-12 such tags is more than enough.

• Internal and external links

Include internal links to other relevant videos in the description of your video. Not only does it help to increase your channel’s views, but it also increases your channel’s SEO score. Adding external links, such as the ones to your social media, website, and agencies you’re an affiliate for is another great SEO practice.

4. Create an appealing thumbnail

Just like the title, the thumbnail of a video is important to tempt a potential viewer to click on it. You can practice great On-page SEO and still end up with low views if the video has an unattractive thumbnail. By no means do you need to be a professional photographer/graphic designer. A good quality image, usually a close-up shot with good lighting works best.

You can also include fun graphics and text on the thumbnail and display your focus keywords there. No, search bots cannot read your images for keywords. This is just to make it easier for your viewers to know your video’s content.

5. Add accurate closed captions

YouTube generates captions for your videos automatically, but they’re hardly accurate. It’s always better to take the reins in your own hands and upload captions to all your videos. Even if this is a little time-consuming, its benefits for SEO can be huge. The easiest way to add captions is by using YouTube’s automated script and simply changing the errors manually. Adding captions to your videos makes them more accessible to viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing. This helps in increasing the size of your audience.

6. Translate your subtitles in multiple languages

Sure, English is the dominant world language. But if a good percentage of your views come from, say, Russia, wouldn’t it make more sense to offer your Russian viewers subtitles in their language?

Offer translated captions for a few prominent world languages so that international, as well as non-English speaking viewers, can enjoy your videos. It works great for SEO, since search engines will now also index your videos in the search results in those languages. This will help you rank much higher than your competitors.

7. Make separate playlists

Make it easier for your viewers to browse your channel by bunching together a few relevant videos belonging to the same sub-category. This can greatly increase user engagement, in turn boosting your channel’s SEO score. If you do not have enough relevant content yet, help your fellow YouTubers and add their videos to your playlists as well. By doing this, they’re getting more views on their videos and you’re driving more traffic to your YouTube channel page. A win-win situation for everyone!

8. Optimize your file name

You might wonder if something so small would even affect your channel’s SEO score. But if you’re successfully implementing other SEO tactics, why leave any stones unturned? The next time you upload a video to your YouTube channel, make sure the file name isn’t something like 20208614.mp4. Rename it to how_to_make_chocolate_brownies.mp4 and tell YouTube exactly what your video is about.
YouTube SEO is an insanely vast topic and we, as a social media marketing company in Mumbai can share quite a lot about it. But for now, these 8 tips along with consistency in uploading long-form content and effective calls to action will definitely help you get started on the right foot!