The Secret to YouTube Video SEO

The Secret to YouTube Video SEO

YouTube is almost a world of its own when it comes to online space and search.

By itself, it generates 14% of entire internet traffic. It is the second most popular search engine, only ranking behind Google, its parent company.

No matter if you are aiming to be the next YouTube sensation or using content to grow your business, YouTube video SEO is important. Just like any other search engine, knowing the right tools and tactics to generate searches and be found can make a big difference.

With over 6 billion hours of YouTube watched each month, how are you ensuring your video is in the mix of multiple users?

3 Secrets to YouTube Video SEO

1. Keywords Are Key

YouTube is a search engine, so work it like one.

You are probably already doing this with AdWords.

AdWords can help users find keywords in your title and SEO descriptions. That is nice and all, but YouTube video SEO can define so much more. You can optimize keywords in your channel, playlists, descriptions, and in many aspects of a single video.


Let’s break it down. Below are some of the main methods of optimizing keywords.


YouTube allows up to 100 characters per title. This gives you room to play with specific keywords and long-tail keywords, which may be more beneficial.

For example, a “cooking tutorial” is a keyword. It may be popular among potential viewers looking to brush up their general cooking skills.

Long-tail keywords are more detailed.

Something like “healthy Italian cooking tutorial” is direct. It targets a more specific audience and lowers competition. Using the long-tail form is preferred when you know exactly who your ideal consumer is and what they are already searching.


Tags are like specific keywords for YouTube searching. They classify what your video content is in categories and related topics.

Using the right tags helps in direct search as well as showing up in the suggested video area.

To optimize your YouTube video SEO, incorporate the most relevant tags. You can combine similar keywords and long-tail keywords, but be careful not to overdo it. Youtube will catch you if you are saturating the search quality.

You can also use quotations around certain phrases for the most exact search matches.


Captions are part of your video content.

They guide users along, which works particularly well if you are not speaking directly to the camera like in a cooking tutorial.

You likely will say one of your video’s keywords out loud. Captioning this takes advantage of another opportunity to use a specific word or phrase and get found.

The bottom line of using keywords is to manipulate the search possibilities in your favor. YouTube is a space to search and discover anything from direct, specific topics to suggested videos and related content.

The more you fine-tune your phrasing from the title to the descriptions and even in video content, the higher your chances are of being found.

2. Think Global

Remember those captions you can insert for YouTube video SEO?

They work better when you translate them into different languages. YouTube operates in 61 countries, which means your viewers can speak a wide spectrum of dialects.

The more inclusive you are in your YouTube video SEO strategies, the wider your audience becomes. Translated closed-captions allow non-English speakers to enjoy, connect with, and share your content.

Think about it this way: you may have foreign fans who understand your content as-is, in English. What about their network? One fan has the potential to make all the difference since their share can continue to stream among their friends.

Translated captions increase the likelihood of more people understanding, and therefore engaging, with your content.

English may be a universal language, but roughly 80% of YouTube views originate from outside the United States. This leaves a world of tongues to translate your content to be more relatable to potential viewers.

3. Do the Extra Work

Just when you think you have uncovered all the YouTube video SEO secrets, there are still a few more to take advantage of.

The best way to promote your video is to leave no strategy unturned.

Think about optimizing more virtual tools like thumbnails, cards, and web embedding.


Want to know what any video, no matter the length or content has in common? Each only gets one thumbnail. Use one capable of visually engaging your audience right away.

YouTube will have a few screenshots for you to choose from. Although these are convenient options, 90% of the top performing videos on YouTube use custom thumbnails.

Take the time to create a unique thumbnail and verify your account in order to upload it. Don’t forget to make sure it accurately represents the general content and specific keywords.


Do you feel like one video is not enough to show what you can offer? Are you interested in generating leads more than ranking up views?

If so, you need to be using cards in your YouTube video SEO strategy.

Cards are notification options meant to promote your brand or lead viewers to your channel. There are six types of cards to choose from. They can come in the form of donation cards to raise funds, link cards to direct users to another site, poll cards, or playlist cards.

Each has a specific purpose to match your brand’s goals. You can use up to five in a video.

Web Embedding

The more people watch your video, the more your YouTube video SEO benefits.

This counts for views coming from anywhere, although native views will always be the most important to boost SEO.

Still, give your video the exposure it deserves. Put it on social media like Facebook and Twitter and your personal blog or website. If your brand is being featured somewhere, see if the host is willing to embed your video with the article or post.

YouTube and You

YouTube can be a powerful online tool if you know how to work it.

Posting videos and waiting to be found is not enough. The more you dive into the world of YouTube video SEO and discover the best tricks for you, the more success you will see.

Are you looking to make the perfect video to pair with these SEO secrets and start your YouTube journey? Contact us today!

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