YouTube SEO Strategy: 20 Tips For Boosting Your Search Ranking
  • author Written By Samuel B. Gillham
  • comments 0 comment
  • calander Publish Date : May 17, 2024
  • calander Last Update : June 24, 2024
  • clock2 26 min read

Whenever one hears of SEO, Google is the platform that comes to their mind. However, besides Google, there are other search engines, too. Ignoring these other search engines will be an injustice to your business, so you should pay attention to others, too. 

Today, we will talk about YouTube, specifically YouTube SEO. Just the way you can rank your website high on the search engines, you can rank your videos high on YouTube, too. 

So, let’s deeply dive into YouTube SEO strategy and explore tips for boosting your search ranking on YouTube. 

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What is YouTube SEO Strategy?

SEO is a combination of several strategies that help enhance the ranking on the search engine. YouTube is the second-largest search engine, and the systems for different search engines differ. YouTube SEO strategies will help you rank your videos above when there is a related search. 

The platform has a search bar to find any content you wish. When searching with a phrase, the results page will display a few videos based on certain factors. One of the major ones is the proper SEO of the videos uploaded. 

The working of the platform’s algorithm is somewhat similar to Google, but is a little different too. Hence, doing SEO only on Google for the videos is not sufficient to make them rank better on YouTube. Find out how you can ensure better SEO for your YouTube videos so that they rank at the top. 

20 Tips To Boost Search Ranking Using YouTube SEO Strategy

You cannot just upload content on YouTube and then hope for the best results. There are a lot of other things that need to be taken care of so that your videos rank high and get more visibility and clicks.

We will take you over 20 SEO tricks to attain a competitive edge. 

#1. Find Appropriate Keywords Of All Types

Understand that the keywords on YouTube are a bit different from Google, but keeping them related to the category of videos and trendy will any which way be beneficial.

When doing keyword research for YouTube, you should shortlist primary, secondary and also long-tail keywords. 

  • Primary keywords have high search volume and, therefore, high competition 
  • Secondary keywords have a lesser search volume and are also easy to rank 
  • Long-tail keywords are more niche-specific and help enhance ranking faster 

#2. Include Relevant Captions

If you don’t provide a caption by yourself, YouTube adds captions automatically. The automated captions are only 70% accurate. 

It is recommended that you add your own captions to videos and make your viewers understand what the video is about. 

  • For the description, you have a character limit of 5000. Make it attractive to engage viewers more
  • Include a CTA in the description so that your viewers take the desired action
  • Add niche-related keywords in your captions so that they are recommended to your prospects when there is a relevant search

#3. Integrate Multilingual Subtitles

Translations of the subtitles are constructive, and they will not only enhance SEO but also help expand your audience. 

The addition of subtitles in foreign languages will help people from different demographics enjoy your videos. Furthermore, 

  • It will help in the betterment of YouTube SEO as your videos will also rank for non-English keywords because of the subtitles. 
  • You will create a video in one language, but you can have an audience searching for the content using another language. 
  • Multilingual subtitles contribute to better SEO by enhancing the discoverability of your videos. 

#4. Add Transcriptions To The Video Description

Transcriptions refer to the transformation of texts that are being talked about in the video. One of the sure shot strategies is to help the algorithm understand the content and context by adding transcriptions. 

Adding transcript text along with the caption will provide extra information to the user and also to YouTube’s search system. See how: 

  • Transcriptions will make your videos discoverable by non-English speaking audiences also. 
  • By incorporating relevant keywords naturally into the transcription, you can boost your video’s SEO ranking. 
  • Including transcriptions in the video description helps search engines understand the content of your video more comprehensively. 

#5. Optimise Description, Title, and Tags With Keywords

After shortlisting the best keywords for your videos, you need to use them for better results. Remember that search engines do not encourage over use of keywords, so ensure the usage in the proper density. 

Thus, you must include keywords in your video titles and descriptions, so don’t forget to add keyword tags. 

  • Be strategic while adding keywords and include them close to the beginning of the title and description. 
  • You can use variations in the title and description and a combination of short-tail and long-tail keywords. 
  • SEO on YouTube is about making it easy for your viewers to find content and help YouTube’s algorithm understand.

#6. Use Endscreens And Cards

If you want your audience to take any action after watching your videos, tell them straight. Leverage cards and end screens to add clear call-to-action. 

Cards are small boxes that appear while viewing a video and are title interactive. These direct you to other similar videos. 

  • The YouTube card feature is highly interactive and encourages your viewers to see other videos, your playlists, and more. 
  • When it comes to SEO, cards help your viewers navigate from one video to another on your channel, and they keep your users engaged. 
  • Endscreens also help retain your viewers for a long on your channel. The success of a video or your channel also contributes to better ranking of your videos. 

#7. Include Timestamps

Timestamp refers to an additional link to a small part of the video being uploaded. So, instead of watching the full video, you can tell your viewers about the sections that have important information for them. 

The addition of timestamps not only improves viewer experience but also helps enhance YouTube SEO. 

  • Timestamps let YouTube know the essential parts of your videos. It helps the algorithm understand your videos better and also gives solid signals for SEO enhancement. 
  • Including timestamps also increases click-through rates because when viewers see relevant timestamps in the video description, they are more likely to click on your video, especially if the timestamps align with their specific interests.
  • It also provides additional context about your video content to search engines which helps YouTube algorithm to get a clearer understanding of category and topic as well.

#8. Custom Thumbnails Are Great

When your content appears in the search results, it should be attractive enough for users to click. 

Hence, you should always know how your videos appear on YouTube searches. 

  • Thumbnails play an essential role in increasing the click-through rate of your videos and the more clicks your videos get, the better the chances of ranking high. 
  • Attractive thumbnails help increase the watch time and traffic to your channel. Viewer retention helps your website rank high. 
  • Accurately illustrating the topic of your video helps give you a competitive edge over others. 

#9. Use Hashtags & Rank Twice On YouTube

The system of YouTube is a bit different from Google. On YouTube, your keywords will not have conflict or overlapping issues. 

That said, you can target the same keyword for multiple videos. It will help two or more of your videos rank from the same channel for a search. 

  • Hashtags are helpful on YouTube, too. Often, users search for videos using hashtags. 
  • If you have that particular hashtag or a related hashtag used in the description of your video, it may rank. 
  • Using multiple hashtags in your video’s description is a good idea. 

#10. Embed Video Links In Blogs/Websites

To increase the ranking on YouTube search, some backlinks to your videos will help. Moreover, adding YouTube video links to your blogs will increase your watch hours. 

Embed video links to a related blog that you are writing on your website, or you can also embed them on other web pages with related content.

  • Embedding videos on your blogs helps with the cross-promotion of your brand. 
  • Backlinks help enhance the SEO of your videos and, hence, help them rank high. 
  • Embedding video links in blogs or websites encourages visitors to spend more time on your site which shows user satisfaction, potentially leading to improved YouTube SEO.

#11. Make Use Of Categories/Playlists

Categories on YouTube help classify your videos into broad topics. For instance, if your videos are in the sports niche, using the “Sports” category will help your videos appear in that particular category. 

The correct category selection for the videos you upload, YouTube gets a signal regarding the kind of video it is. 

  • Providing categories differentiates your content from the general ones. It provides the algorithm with clear signals about the type of content you upload. 
  • Categories will help your YouTube videos appear on the search results for all relevant searches done. 
  • It will also help users interested in that niche to find your video easily and increase engagement which in turn will help better ranking of your video.

#12. Concentrate On User Engagement

High ranking on YouTube search is directly related to the engagement you make with your audience. Metrics related to engagement include comments, shares, subscriptions, and likes. 

The algorithm takes into account your audience’s reaction and also your response to rank videos better.

  • High user engagement means high click-through rates and more watch time which will help enhance channel SEO. 
  • Good user engagement helps you ensure that you have new and returning viewers. It makes the algorithm understand that people like your content, and it helps improve ranking. 
  • More engagement signals algorithm that your content is worth watching and it starts appearing above in search results.

#13. Track Channel Analytics

A foolproof way of monitoring the success of YouTube SEO is by tracking your channel’s analytics. By studying the charts and figures you will understand what results you are getting after you have started putting in efforts. 

YouTube offers a complete set of analytics for each channel for the owner to understand essential metrics. 

  • By tracking your watch hours you will know the number of hours for which your videos were played. 
  • The CTR or click-through rate helps measure the number of people clicking on your videos. High CTR means people want to watch your videos. 
  • The growth in subscriber count helps determine the number of people subscribing to your channel because they are liking your videos. 

#14. Edit File Name 

The SEO techniques can start even before you upload the video to YouTube. Your file name can also help improve YouTube SEO if you save your video with a relevant name or have a keyword embedded. 

Through the name of the file, the algorithm will know what the content is about. 

  • Choose a filename that includes relevant keywords related to the content of your video.
  • Craft a filename that reflects the main topic or focus of your video. This can positively impact your video’s search visibility.
  • Ensure consistency between the filename, video title, and video description because having a consistent message across different aspects of your video can contribute to better rankings.

#15. Create Long And Short Videos

Besides creating short videos for YouTube shorts, you should concentrate on making longer videos, too.

To ensure your videos are positioned better, create videos that are at least 5 minutes long. You should not stick to the number, but try making some in near about this length and focus on quality.

  • Long-form content increases the watch hours of your channel, and it encourages the algorithm to push your videos to the top. 
  • Short-form content helps attract user attention instantly and if people are attracted, they will start watching other content uploaded on your channel. 
  • Different video lengths provide opportunities to target a broader range of keywords, this helps you reach a wider audience and improve your visibility across various search queries.

#16. Promote Your Channel

Besides promoting your videos and channel on YouTube, there are other platforms where you can promote your videos for more views. It will help create backlinks to your channel and videos and, as a result, enhance SEO. 

Promoting your channel on other platforms will bring your channel in front of more people, and increased channel views will help your videos rank higher.

  • Active cross-promotion brings your channel in the notice of more users from different platforms thus increasing awareness which leads to increased engagement.
  • Promotion can attract new subscribers to your channel and this increased count  can influence the ranking and recommendation of your videos.
  • By promoting your channel through external sources brings in traffic from diverse channels which can positively impact your overall SEO. 

#17. Collaborate With Influencers

Collaborating with influencers will help your videos rank high on YouTube searches. You will find several popular influencers on the platform, and you need to determine the best one for your brand. 

If you collaborate with a reliable and well-known influencer, they will bring a high-engaged and loyal audience to your channel. 

  • Every influencer has their own pre-established audience base with specific interests and collaborating with them allows you to reach a wider audience with similar interests.
  • It also enhances your credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of their followers and they are more likely to check out and engage with content.
  • Influencer collaborations can generate more engagement in terms of comments, likes, and shares. This boosts engagement which signals  YouTube’s algorithm that your content is valuable and resonates with the audience.

#18. Host Live Sessions

Through live sessions, your audience will get a chance to connect with your brand directly. Live sessions help you connect with your audience at a personal, intimate level. 

It will also make your audience feel valued and heard. Live sessions drive more engagement and, as a result, help with enhanced SEO. 

  • Live sessions help increase the overall channel or video watch time. 
  • Produces a high engagement rate and, therefore helps improve ranking. 
  • Live sessions will make your audience feel that your brand values their feedback and concerns and that they are being heard. 

Why Is YouTube’s SEO Strategy Important?

YouTube aspires to provide the best user experience to its viewers. When a search query is typed in the search bar, the system makes sure to provide its users with highly relevant results. 

There are several other reasons why you should pay attention to YouTube SEO. Find them listed below. 

#1. More Conversion Opportunities 

More views mean more people getting to know about your brand and heightened engagement. It gives better opportunities to convert and, as a result, more revenue. 

#2. Increased Views

When your videos rank high on the search engine, they get more impressions and also views. That said, with better SEO, the chances of your videos appearing more on YouTube searches increase, and it provides other aligning benefits, too. 

#3. Competitive Advantage

With better SEO, your videos start appearing on search engines. It means that your channel has gained a competitive advantage over your competitors. This competitive edge against others will help establish you as an industry leader in your niche. 

#4. Boosts Website Traffic Organically

By doing YouTube SEO, the traffic to your website will also increase. YouTube SEO helps build brand awareness, and customer loyalty, and also with a significant increase in organic traffic to the website. 

#5. Cost-Effective Technique

For YouTube SEO, you will not have to invest much to make your videos rank high which makes it a cost-effective technique to boost engagement. You invest your time and, at times, some money also to gain access to a few software and tools for better SEO. 

Now that we know how to do YouTube SEO and why it is important, find out some SEO guidelines that are good to follow. Also, in our blog later.

YouTube SEO Guidelines

There is no denying that we have mentioned that YouTube SEO is different from that of Google or other search engines, but that doesn’t mean it is very different. Think of it as a normal SEO, just optimizing for a different system. 

You can follow a somewhat similar set of guidelines to succeed when it comes to SEO. That means that the best practices you use for your standard SEO practices can be applied to your YouTube SEO strategy as well. 

When you want your videos to rank, break the aspects down into smaller segments. Also, ensure that there is a flow to follow so that it is easily understood by your viewers. Straightforwardly communicate your message and create attractive videos. 

5 Best YouTube SEO Tools for 2024

Some of the popularly used tools and software for better YouTube SEO are listed below that you can leverage for your YouTube channel. Based on your requirements, you can pick a few.  

#1. Tubebuddy

If you are looking for a full-fledged tool that can help you handle everything for YouTube SEO, Tubebuddy is the choice. Through the tool, you will get deeper insights into different data sets, and you also get the flexibility of carrying out research. 

#2. YouTube Autosuggest

YouTube Autosuggest is a great tool that will help you find phrases that are most used by the searchers. You will get suggestions from the tool for your videos to use in your description, title, tags, etc. It provides keyword suggestions for better results. 

#3. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is an excellent tool for SEO and has one of the most comprehensive databases of keywords. It offers other insights into the performance of your channel and videos for you to understand how well your efforts are working. You will get critical data about your channel, like clucks, click streams, and also click percentages. 

#4. SEOClarity

SEOClarity is a great tool that provides search insights and also suggestions for content optimization. Through AI-driven insights, the tool offers the best solutions to its users so that they can better their content and videos. The main focus of the platform is the user instead of the algorithm of the platform. 

#5. Corel Video Studio

Besides tools to help you with better and enhanced SEO, you will need a video editing tool. Using the Corel Video Studio, you can make the required edits to your video before uploading the final version to the platform. You can trim, resize and also crop videos as per choice. 

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Final Thoughts

Know how the algorithm works and what are things working for you. Based on the findings, keep implementing the tips discussed in our blog to rank high on YouTube searches. Grow your YouTube channel faster by doing things the right way.

While perfecting your SEO, you should not forget about user experience. SEO is undoubtedly important while uploading videos to YouTube for better rank, but content should also be good. You can have one motto in mind to improve the experience of your channel viewers. 


#1. Is it easy to increase the ranking of my channel on YouTube? 

Yes, by putting in some effort in terms of YouTube SEO and paying attention to the use of keywords, you can increase the rank of your videos on YouTube. 
Also, user experience is the key; that said, your content should be attractive enough for users to view and come for more. 

#2. What does SEO mean on YouTube? 

SEO on YouTube refers to optimizing your videos for YouTube’s system so that they rank better on the search results. It helps attract unpaid traffic to your channel by ranking the content from your channel high on the result pages. 

#3. Can I do SEO on YouTube for free? 

Yes, without paying a single penny to anyone, you can do SEO for your videos on YouTube. When it comes to using tools, you can use the free version. The only limitation with the free version is that you have access to limited features. 
You can do basic SEO of your videos on YouTube and improve the rank of your videos to some extent. 

#4. What is a good SEO score on YouTube? 

There is no definite number that can be defined as a good SEO score on YouTube. Moreover, SEO doesn’t stay the same throughout and is a bit complex. Therefore, you will understand that you are achieving a good SEO score for your videos when they start ranking at the top for relevant searches.  

#5. Will good SEO help increase the views on my YouTube videos? 

Yes, better SEO means your videos start appearing on YouTube search results. When it appears at the top, the chances of people clicking on it to view it increase. In short, high ranking results in increased clicks and also more video views. 

#6. Is it necessary to do SEO on YouTube?

SEO is very important for the videos that you upload on YouTube. Without SEO, the algorithm will not understand what your video is about, and it will not be able to push it in front of your target audience. 
SEO will help your videos reach your potential customers and a wider audience. 

#7. Can I measure the results of my effort on YouTube? 

The YouTube analytics section will help you measure the results of your SEO efforts. It provides various reports and metrics for insights into the performance of your videos. 
The two critical KPIs you should track to understand the impact of your efforts are impressions and CTR (click-through rate). 

#8. Does SEO Work For YouTube?

Yes, YouTube SEO has worked for many. Many have noticed a significant improvement in the overall ranking of their videos, and also more traffic to their channel. The process will not deliver results overnight, and you will have to be consistent with your efforts. 

Samuel B. Gillham
Written By Samuel B. Gillham

As the digital age rapidly unfolds, Samuel B. Gillham remains a pivotal figure for many aspiring to grasp its depths. His insights, derived from a vast reservoir of experience, touch upon the fine balance of technological prowess and personal evolution. Samuel offers more than just tech expertise; he crafts narratives that inspire growth. His adeptness in seamlessly merging the realms of SEO, blog...

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