YouTube Search Optimization Tips & Best  Practices

I was recently tasked with researching SEO best practices for YouTube videos. I’ve gathered the following information that should help improve your YouTube video search visibility. I hope this helps with your current project!

1. Keyword Analysis

Determine what relevant keywords your target audience will be searching for. Be open-minded here, this is often not what you would expect. Finding some similar videos with a large number of views can help you gain some insight.

2. Add the “Video” Keyword to Your Title

Some experts advocate that adding the keyword “video” to your title will help improve search visibility because users often include the keyword “video” in their searches. I believe that it’s assumed your searching for video on YouTube, and that the majority of users will over time move away from this habit. The word “video” could potentially be labeled as a stop word on YouTube in the future since it’s assumed that you’re always searching for video on YouTube. Video search engines (such as Google Videos) will inherently know your searching for a video and may also consider this a stop word.

3. Write Descriptive, Keyword Rich Titles and Descriptions

Always remember that your video content itself is invisible to search engine robots, so it’s vitally important to provide descriptive keywords about your video content in your titles, descriptions and tags. It’s a known best practice to keep your video description under 27 characters whenever possible.

4. Link to your website and social media sites

Provide easy access to more information about your company or organization by including links to your website and social media sites in accessible places.

5. Encourage Comments and Discussion

The discussions your users have will provide insight into your topic and will probably improve the number of incoming links you receive, improving your overall ranking. Beyond that it’s important to know that Google was founded on the basis that the web is one large voting system. Now that Google owns YouTube it’s likely that aspects of their algorithm have made it into the YouTube search. I would bet that amount of discussion on a particular video may have an impact on it’s search ranking.

6. Become a part of the community

Leave comments on related YouTube videos and also blogs and social media discussions around the web to establish yourself as part of your niche (which hopefully you truly are).

7. Always be testing with YouTube Insights

Testing with YouTube Insights will help you improve and optimize your search titles, descriptions and target keywords. It provides valuable data about your videos. The Discovery section to will help you understand how people are finding your videos.

Provided that’s it’s valuable your audience, a YouTube playlist with similar or related videos can help improve the visibility of your videos.

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Meet the Author

Kevin Leary, WordPress Consultant

I'm a freelance web developer and WordPress consultant in Boston, MA with 17 years of experience building websites and applications. View a portfolio of my work or request an estimate for your next project.