YouTube SEO 2024

YouTube SEO Guide -A Working Professional One

YouTube SEO 2024

Last updated on April 30th, 2024 at 04:44 pm

The Working Professional's Guide to YouTube SEO

Around 500 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute. That’s a lot of video content on the 2nd most popular social media platform and search engine!

It’s also a lot of competition for YouTubers and brands. Harnessing YouTube SEO to increase rankings and views is essential.

Without it, videos don’t receive views and channels can’t grow. Entrepreneurs and businesses don’t get exposure and fail to progress.

Luckily, I’ve put together this straightforward guide that explains how to utilize YouTube SEO techniques, so you can learn how to rank YouTube videos.

It’s not an easy fix but by working smarter not harder, anyone can see success on YouTube.

Let’s dive in!

What is YouTube SEO?

YouTube SEO refers to the method of optimizing your YouTube channel, video title and description, playlists metadata and adding proper information.

Let’s start with the basics. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

It’s the practice of adapting content using tried and tested techniques that will improve that content’s rankings on a search engine results page.

The techniques required to optimize content for a traditional search engine like Google differ from YouTube SEO techniques.

YouTube uses different metrics than Google to determine the quality and relevancy of a piece of content to a search query.

But some of these ranking factors overlap, so it’s absolutely possible for videos to rank well in both Google and YouTube!

Don’t worry if you don’t know what the differences are and how to optimize YouTube videos to rank higher in search results. I’m going to explain both and use examples.

How YouTube SEO Benefit Businesses?

No matter what the topic, video SEO tactics can be utilized to better grow your channel, increase likes, subscribers, video views, and engagement, while also boosting online visibility.

As video content remains the most popular type of content for audiences, performing video SEO is more essential than website SEO.

Higher rankings on YouTube mean more clicks, engagement, and users

As YouTube continues to be the fastest-growing video sharing platform in the world, it remains the optimal spot for video content.

Since Google acquired YouTube in 2006, optimizing for YouTube can be an even more robust SEO strategy than any other form because Google has access to all the information and optimization presented with the videos.

Optimizing for YouTube is essentially optimizing for Google too.

How to Rank: YouTube Video Keyword Research

Good YouTube SEO starts with finding the right keyword phrases. These are search queries that users input into search engines like Google and YouTube to find the content they want.

So, if I’m researching potential topics for a new video, I want to find keywords that have low competition from other YouTubers or brands.

But, I want keywords that people actually search for, so my videos have an audience.

Though I could use a keyword research tool, this is a way to find the right keywords organically.

Step 1: Generate Keyword Ideas

There are several ways to generate keyword ideas. Firstly, I could type in a phrase I want to create a video about into the YouTube search bar. For example, “Premiere Pro.”

YouTube auto-suggests phrases that users have already searched for e.g., “Premiere Pro Tutorial” and “Premiere Pro Text Effects.”

I could also pick a handful of competitors within the video editing niche, look for their most popular videos, and see what keywords they’re using.

I can spot keywords by looking for repeated phrases in their video’s title, tags, and description.

And those are just two ways to find great keywords!

Step 2: Check Keyword Competition

Once I have some ideas, I need to check their competition. Again, I don’t want highly competitive keywords.

I want to strike a balance and choose a keyword phrase that has a decent number of search queries but not a lot of competition.

If I type “premiere pro” into Google, I receive Google’s search results which prioritize text results. If I switch to the Video results page, this will show me results from YouTube.

But for some search queries, Google’s standard search results page includes videos as well as text when it’s likely that the user wants a video result.

So, I want to pick a keyword that already gets video results on Google’s standard results page.

I also want to pick a keyword that (approximately) receives less than 1,000,000 results in Google, so the competition is low.

Once my YouTube channel attracts more subscribers and views, I can try higher-competition keywords.

I’m going to choose “Premiere Pro Transitions Tutorial” as my keyword phrase because it meets these guidelines perfectly.

How to Optimize: YouTube Video Elements

YouTube SEO doesn’t stop at choosing the right keyword.

To successfully optimize my YouTube videos, I have to use that keyword in the best way if I want more people to watch my awesome videos.

I’m going to show you how to do YouTube SEO properly, considering all the different elements.

Step 1: Optimize The Title

YouTube titles should be at least five words long and 60 characters or less is ideal. This will stop the title from being cut off in search results pages.

I should try and put my keyword at the beginning of the title as long as it makes sense according to the video.

I want YouTube to know it’s my video’s focus, but I also want my title to encourage viewers to click on it.

Step 2: Optimize The Description

When writing my description, I want to include my keyword “Premiere Pro Transitions Tutorial” within the first 25 words and sprinkled throughout the rest of the description.

But only where relevant as I don’t want to appear spammy.

My description should also be at least 250 words long. Within it, I will entice viewers with a summary of the video but not give away the great content within the video.

I’ll also be helpful and include links to any products or services I mention.

Step 3: Optimize Tags

Tags are less important than title and description, but they can still be useful.

One of my tags will be “Premiere Pro Transitions Tutorial” but I will also include variations like “Transitions in Premiere Pro” and “Adobe Premiere Pro Transitions.”

I will also tag secondary, but still relevant, keywords like “Premiere Pro Tutorial” and “Premiere Pro Skills”. These phrases are still connected to my keyword but cast a much wider net.

Tagging my video correctly will help it to appear in the “suggested videos” section of YouTube as well as search results. And that is definitely what I want!

Step 4: Optimize The Thumbnail

One of the ranking factors that YouTube uses is whether or not users skip over a video on a search engine results page. If they skip over it a lot, this could lower a video’s ranking.

That means I need to make my thumbnail as eye-catching as possible to improve my YouTube SEO!

It’s always a good idea to create a custom thumbnail. That way, I have control over what my viewers see and can make it an enticing, exciting image.

The thumbnail should be at least 1280×720 because modern videos use a 16:9 aspect ratio. It should be under 2MB and can be formatted as a JPG or PNG file.

Step 5: Optimize the Channel Page

Once I’ve created a few great videos with great keywords that have been properly optimized for YouTube SEO (and Google SEO!), I want to make sure my channel looks great too.

If viewers enjoy the Premiere Pro video content I’m posting, they may want to subscribe to my channel and see what else I’ve posted.

So I want them to find a great profile picture, eye-catching channel art, and well-organized playlists.

I could also attract new viewers by optimizing my channel page’s description.

My niche is video editing tutorials with Premiere Pro, so I should include my top niche keywords.

Those keywords could be “Premiere Pro Tutorials” and “Premiere Pro for Beginners.”

More YouTube SEO Techniques

These are all the main steps in regards to how to rank YouTube videos higher using keywords. But there are a few more techniques to harness the power of YouTube SEO!

Technique 1: Create Videos With High Audience Retention

YouTube factors high audience retention when determining video rankings.

I want my viewers to be hooked by my videos until the very end. 20% of viewers stop watching a video after 10 seconds, and I definitely don’t want that happening to me!

These are some audience retention techniques:

  • Start the video with a quick summary of the video’s content
  • Remove overly long introductions
  • Entice viewers with something coming later in the video

However, just because 20% of viewers drop out after 10 seconds, it doesn’t mean I should create a 1-minute long video! Actually, YouTube loves long videos.

But one hour, for example, is way too long for my “Premiere Pro Transitions Tutorial.”

It’s important to remember that the length of my video isn’t that vital when it comes to YouTube SEO. My video should be just as long as it needs to be.

Technique 2: Ask Viewers to Like, Comment, and Subscribe

YouTube also uses comments, likes, and subscriptions after a viewer has watched a video to help determine its ranking in search results pages.

That’s why at the end of my video I’m going to remind viewers to do either one of these three things to help my channel grow.

I could create a clip to add to the end of each video with this information, so I don’t have to repeat it again and again.

Technique 3: Add Cards to Videos

Cards are small pop-up links to different videos and channels on YouTube. They can also be links to an external website, but usually, they are for other YouTube videos.

Adding cards directing viewers to other videos I’ve posted encourages them to check out more of my content, but too many can be annoying.

So, I usually only use cards at the end of my videos. I’ll only link to another video in the middle if I mention it.

More Important YouTube SEO Techniques:

  • Rename the video file with the keyword before uploading
  • Speak the keyword within the video’s content
  • Upload subtitles to improve the video’s accessibility

YouTube SEO Will Help Your Videos:

  • Get More Subscribers
  • Make More Revenue
  • Monetize Your Videos
  • Grow Unique Views
  • Achieve Higher Organic Rankings
  • Achieve More extra Engagement
  • Appear in The Recommendations of ‘Suggested Video’

Equip Yourself With Powerful YouTube SEO Tools

Of course, including powerful tools to YouTube SEO at your side, many time-consuming tasks could be accomplished around in no ease at all.

Consequently, here is a collection of some best-breed YouTube SEO tools that you must check out.

YouTube Analytics

It is the best tool for analyzing the overall performance of a YouTube channel.

It’s essential to start this list with YouTube Analytics because it is irreplaceable in understanding your audience and how they engage with your videos.

It should be mentioned that YouTube recently shifted from “Creator Studio” to the simpler and more intuitive “YouTube Studio Beta.”

This tool provides information about the overall performance of the channel and data on specific videos.

YouTube Analytics also allows you to uncover the viewing habits of your audience, investigate their demographics, and identify where the traffic originates from.

The updated version of YouTube Analytics includes new metrics such as impressions, click-through rate, and unique viewers.

Furthermore, the new YouTube Analytics analyzes the latest video performance compared to earlier ones to track progress.


Awario is the best tool for tracking various social media mentions. It is recognized that gaining social signals has a lot of impact on the YouTube ranking algorithm.

Additionally, linkless mentions will most likely earn more authority in YouTube’s ranking algorithm since they already exist as a ranking signal to Google.

To track and analyze the video’s social media and internet presence and search for more mentions and link sources, you can use Awario.

Fortunately, Awario can help you with both tasks. To understand the kind of buzz surrounding the video on social media, simply input the video’s URL when setting up the alert, or type in the researched keywords and track them with one alert (with the help of Boolean search).

This will help you find various opportunities to promote the videos.

Set specific tools to track YouTube results and carry out intense competition research to boost your rankings.

Additionally, you can link your YouTube account to Awario to be able to like and reply to comments directly from the tool.


Canva signifies the most suitable tool for designing various YouTube channel artworks as well as thumbnails.

It is a freemium graphic app that allows a tremendous selection of numerous templates for all kinds of visuals, including creative custom video thumbnails.

This app has one free version that is somewhat limited in terms of the specific number of templates as well as members.

However, if you choose to invest in any business-class account ($9.95 monthly for 1 user), you’ll acquire access to a tremendous image database of 100+ million images and the possibility to upload your fonts as well as color palettes.


This tool is most desirable for your YouTube channel management as well as video optimization.

TubeBuddy remains one of the free extensions that help with the work tenfold when it comes to YouTube channel management.

Because it’s an extension, and you can also operate on YouTube without switching to any other external app.

With the guidance of the TubeBuddy tool, you will be able to monitor the live video stats, track the social shares, and get the video optimization tips.

One of the most useful things regarding the tool remains that it presents all the above-mentioned data for each video on YouTube.

Therefore, you can view how your competitors optimizing their videos and analyze how your videos accumulate against your competition.

Rank Tracker

It is most useful for checking YouTube rankings, conducting keyword analysis, and doing keyword research.

With the Rank Tracker YouTube SEO Tool, you can establish YouTube as a favored search engine and track rankings there, as well as monitor the video’s effects in SERP traits.

This tool also enables you to accumulate keywords using 23 keyword research techniques, including the YouTube autocomplete, and then compare them based on the most powerful SEO indicators.

As already mentioned, this tool is excellent at extracting video keywords and tracking them – you can identify the specific keywords that make the videos appear in organic search results.

Make sure to check out Rank Tracker’s exclusive YouTube Keyword Difficulty metric for quickly spotting easy-to-rank-for keywords.

How to Do YouTube SEO: Explained!

I hope you’ve learned a lot from this SEO tutorial. And I hope you feel like you’ve become a master of YouTube SEO and how to optimize YouTube videos for Google search as well as YouTube search.

It’s not that different from any other web-based SEO practice. It still focuses on keywords at the core.

There are just some minor variations in YouTube SEO techniques and how to rank YouTube videos.

This guide explains everything you need to know about YouTube SEO.

But if you’d prefer an SEO marketing expert at TWH to take care of your keyword research and SEO implementation, find out more about our SEO packages.

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