SEO for YouTube

youtube seoI have written quite a few posts on SEO (in general) before but wanted to focus my attention on something more niche and specific:  SEO for YouTube

YouTube was launched in 2005 and has become the industry standard for sharing videos for Digital Marketing, Presentations, How-Tos, News, TV/Movie Clips, Video Blogging, Entertainment and more.  Many of us simply load our videos to YouTube without even thinking about ways to leverage that video to help generate views and possibly have it go ‘viral‘.

Why would one want to focus on SEO for YouTube?  Here is some food for thought:

quote left…Currently, YouTube is the #2 Search Engine in the World…quote right

Many of us miss the fact that a lot of people use YouTube as a search engine to find what they want and need.  With that being said, here are some tips on helping browsers locate your video:


1. File Name:
When uploading your video be sure to name the file with keyword rich words.  Rather than 123456000.mp4 use something like how-to-build-website.mp4

2. Video Title:
As with your website, your video title should not exceed 70 characters (this ensures your entire title shows up in the results).  It should include descriptive terms but should also include a title that is compelling enough so that when the video does show up in the results, the viewer wants to click it.

3. Video Description:
Be sure to include your website link in the first line, following that should be relevant keywords within the description.  It is also advised to include a transcript of your video within the description to help search engines ‘bite into’ what your video is about.

4. Category:
A somewhat self explanatory item – pick an appropriate category when uploading your video.

5. Closed Captions:cc - youtube
CC’s help assist those those who’re hearing impaired (or speak a different language) understand what your video is about.  They also play a role in telling search engines what your video is about so be sure to include them!  More Info

6. Annotations:cc - annotation
Annotations allow you to add bits of information on top of your video content.  Use these for informative facts and interesting information (in regards to the video) as well as linking to other related videos.  By doing this you may encourage viewers to subscribe. More Info

7. The Channel:
When creating your YouTube channel be sure to customize it as much as possible, incorporate the theme/style of your webite (for continuity) and incorporate all pertinent contact info and other social profiles.  Be sure to create a Custom URL for your YouTube Channel as well (More Info).  Also, it’s helpful to have a generic ‘theme’ or ‘niche’ for you channel rather than random videos that do not have any relation with one another.

8. The Video Itself:

  • The content of the video should be compelling and/or engaging in some way shape or form (helpful information, interesting, opinionated, informative etc. are items to consider).  Consider this, according to research, YouTube does credit videos that are watched for long periods.
  • Allow your video to be embedded and shared.
  • Upload your video in HD Format – HD videos outrank SD videos! 1080p is ideal but 720p will do.
  • Create a video sitemap via Google Webmaster Tools.  More Info

9. Share It!:
Take your YouTube video link and start sharing/embedding it throughout the web by including it on your website, facebook, your blog and other social media profiles.


gangmanThere you have it! Consider incorporating these tactics into your next upload and maybe you could have the next Gangman Style!

Please comment below,  feedback appreciated! ↓↓ Thank You


Tim Dugan  |

About Tim Dugan

Detail-oriented and self-motivated Digital Marketing Specialist with a vast array of SEO and Digital/Internet Marketing experience. I have a genuine passion and personal goal to assist each and every client I work with by creating a significant web presence and ultimately, increasing sales. I understand that Digital Marketing, specifically Search Engine Optimization, is an ever-changing environment and in order to be successful one must stay abreast on the latest search engine trends. Implementing a properly calibrated and effective Digital Marketing campaign can transform one’s bottom line tremendously.


  1. Informative article on SEO for YouTube. I agree, with all the focus on SEO, the content of the video is still the most important factor in the YouTube universe.

    • Thanks for the comment Ryan, glad you were able to take something away from this post. As I often inform clients: “What good is a #1 ranking if the user arrives to a website full of nonsensical keyword jargon”. The same applies with Video SEO, the video must still be quality. Thanks again!


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