Youtube SEO: All You Need To Know

Vasiliy Pupkin Alyona

YouTube is the second largest search engine. And if you don't use it for promotion – you lose some potential traffic to your website. Let's talk about how to squeeze the maximum out of your video content.

When you search for something on Google, you see video recommendations at the beginning. And those videos definitely catch your attention. 

youtube videos in search results

That's not surprising – people mostly like visual content. And you can use that fact for your promotion. 

Why do you need it?

  • To increase your brand visibility. For example, French personal care company L'Oréal created separate channels for each of the countrу where they sell their products. It helps them to target an audience in a specific location. Create a channel for your brand and record a lot of videos, so people will start to recognize your business.
  • To promote your products. You can record videos with product reviews — people love that kind of content. It helps them decide what to buy. You should include all the necessary information about the product in the description of the video: add a link to the product page on your site, vendor code and other information, so that you don't lose a potential customer. 

What's important for YouTube SEO?

SEO for YouTube works in the same way as for the website – you should optimize the text content on your channel. 

You can improve your content with adding target keywords. Here is where you can implement them:

  • in the channel description 
  • in the title and the descriptions of videos
  • in tags

The most obvious and easy way to collect keywords for YouTube is to look at YouTube's search suggestions. You just type a relevant word into the search box, and YouTube offers you several relevant requests that contain it. Collect all the keywords in a special table, so it would be easier to work with them.

youtube suggestions

You can also use the following services for collecting keywords:

  •  Keyword Tool

It does all the work for you by collection all the requests using the keyword you put in the search box. With this service, you can see the whole list of keywords for free, but all-important metrics, such as the frequency of each keyword, are only available with a paid subscription. In the free version you can see the metrics of the first five requests.

keyword tool

  • YouTube Keyword Tool from Ahrefs

It works in the same way. But in this service you will have more metrics available to you in the free version. However, to see a complete list of all requests and metrics, you need to have a paid subscription. This service is great for you if you're already using Ahrefs.

youtube keyword tool

How to use keywords?

Title and description

As we already know, we need to use keywords in the title of the video. It should contain the most important keyword (or several keywords). Remember - the title should be catchy so that users want to click on your video.

Don’t forget about the description. Add some keywords and that will help YouTube and your audience better understand what your video is about. 


tags for youtube videos

Tags can be useful for your promotion because they are also keywords. Add different tags when uploading your video – this will help you avoid losing your audience that makes mistakes in requests and will give YouTube even more information about the content of the video.

search by tags in youtube

YouTube groups videos by hashtags, and some users still continue to use this method to find interesting videos or channels. Sounds a little old-school, but still. You can place hashtags in the title and in the description.

added tags to youtube video

The service will automatically select the first three hashtags and place them into a small block below the video, so place the most relevant hashtags in your title and description first. 

How to collect tags (and do many other useful things)

  1. vidIQ

It’s a service and extension for the Chrome browser that allows you to explore video metrics on YouTube. Not only your own video metrics but also your competitors’ videos, such as their tags or view distribution. You can use these parameters to achieve more success than your competitors. 

  1. TudeBuddy

TudeBuddy works in the same way, it also allows you to explore video metrics. Choose the tool you feel most comfortable working with.


1. There is no perfect video duration. A few years ago, a 15-minute video was good. But now the perfect video duration for each niche is different. Do your own testing or calculate the average video duration among the most viewed videos.

2. The most important ranking factor is viewing time. All your efforts should be aimed not only to attract users but also to hold the user's attention. Remember, that the title should be catchy! Video has to be catchy too, otherwise users will simply close your video. YouTube's internal analytics tools help you see exactly where most users stop watching a video – at the very beginning, in the middle, or they finish watching at the end. VidIQ and TubeBuddy allow you to see these same metrics of your competitors' videos but only with paid subscription.

youtube video metrics

3. Likes, comments, and channel subscriptions are also important engagement indicators that YouTube also uses to decide whether to show a video in the Recommended section or not. Comments are more important than likes. Comments containing more than 4 words have a positive effect on promotion. Comments left in the first hours after the publication have the greatest effect, so after the video is published, try to promote it, for example, on your social networks, and ask users to leave comments. 

And a few final useful things

  • add subtitles to videos – this allows you to capture different categories of users
  • split the video into parts – it makes watching more comfortable, users can go to the part they are interested in with just one click.
  • encourage users to subscribe, like your video and leave comments – this still works

We hope our recommendations will help you to promote your brand online. Now you are ready to create stunning, boosting YouTube videos that are SEO-optimized! Thrilled to see your new videos

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