YouTube SEO: 20 Tips on How to Rank Your Videos in 2024

In this blog post, we will discuss 21 Youtube SEO tips on how to rank your videos in 2024. These tips are based on what has been successful in the past, and what is likely to continue to be successful in the future.

YouTube is a huge platform with millions of users, so it is important to utilize all of the tools at your disposal in order to rank your videos high and get more views and subscribers.

We will go over everything from keyword research to video optimization techniques. So whether you are just starting out on YouTube or you have been creating videos for years, these tips will help you take your channel to the next level!

Here Are the Steps on How to Optimize YouTube Videos for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

1. Do Keyword Research on Google

Have you noticed that when you do a search on Google and other search engines sometimes Youtube videos will appear on the first page? This is because Google owns YouTube and of course, they want to promote their own platform. 

However, sometimes videos will never rank on the first page due to the type of content. If you have of video in mind, enter a few keywords in google and see if any videos appear. If they do, then it’s a good keyword to use for your video. 

You don’t always have to use the strategy, but it’s almost like a double-tap because you’re also getting traffic to your videos from google and from Youtube.

2. Keyword Research on Youtube

Keywords are the foundation of good Youtube SEO for every YouTube Channel. With them, YouTube understands the video's subject and can index the content appropriately. It also associates the keywords with the search intent of the user.

You can also do keyword research directly on Youtube. Since I assume you have picked a niche, you are should be looking to choose which keywords would be best.

One way is to look for keywords that start with "How to" or "Best" These are usually high-traffic keywords that people use when they want to learn something or be entertained. 

Look at the suggested keywords that come up when you start to type in a word in the search bar.

Here's an example of using "How to". You can add to this by entering additional keywords related to your niche.

Here's another search using the "best" keyword. In this example I used "best way to." You can enter more keywords after this string to relate to your niche.

Analyze Your Competitor Keywords

Another great way is to go to your competitor's videos and see what keywords other YouTube channels are targeting.

This can give you a good idea of what keywords you should be targeting as well. There are a few different ways to go about this. One is to simply look at the title and description of their videos.

Another great way is to look at the tags they are using. You can also use a tool like Ahrefs or VidIQ to see what keywords they are ranking for. This can give you a good sense of the keywords that are most relevant to your industry and help you come up with ideas for your own videos.

Just make sure that you don't copy your competitors too closely - otherwise, you might end up being penalized by YouTube's algorithm.

3. Put Keywords in Video Title

When creating the title for your video, be sure to include the keywords in the title. This will help YouTube understand what your video is about and make it more likely to show up in search results.

For example, if your keyword is "best drill for metal work", you should include that plus other relevant "supporting" keywords. If it's relevant, also include the year as well, because many people will want to see a new and updated review especially when it comes to products. So the current year should be used.

For example, this would be a good YouTube Title for "best drill for metal work"

"Best Drill for Metalwork in 2024: Top 9 Tools Ranked and Reviewed"

You'll notice that the keyword is used first. Where possible, always put your keyword at the beginning of the Title. Since this is a product review, I also included "Top", "Tools", "Ranked" and "Reviewed". Quite often people will use these "buzzwords" in a search especially for product reviews so be sure to use them

Don't Go Over 70 Characters

YouTube allows you 70 characters for your title, including spaces. To check this, you can use a free tool like Character Counter.

If you have trouble deciding what supporting keywords to use, don't overthink it. You could even use something "clickbaity" to attract attention without having to focus on supporting keywords too much. Sometimes this will work very well.

4. Include Keywords in Video File Name

One of the most important things you can do is to include keywords in your video file name.

This may seem like a small thing, but it can have a big impact on your ranking in YouTube search results. When YouTube's algorithms are trying to determine what your video is about, they look at a variety of factors, including the title, description, and tags. But the file name is also an important piece of information that can help YouTube understand what your video is about.

By including relevant keywords in your file name, you can give YouTube a better idea of what your video is about and help it rank higher in search results.

You will likely need to rename the file before you upload it to YouTube to be sure to check the file name first.

5. Optimize Your Video Description

You should always optimize your video description by including relevant keywords that describe your video. YouTube gives you up to 1000 characters for your video description, so you have plenty of room to include a variety of keywords. Just be sure not to stuff your description with too many keywords or YouTube may penalize your video.

If you have an important link, be sure to include it within the first 100 characters. Otherwise, it won't be visible in the description unless viewers click "show more."

Be sure to include "http://" or "https://" before the site name or it won't be a clickable link. For example if you just enter, it won't be clickable. No one is going to copy and paste your url, so be sure to make it clickable!

Discuss what the video content is all about and what viewers can expect. You can even include time-stamps if your video has a variety of steps.

Include Call-to-Action

Another important thing to remember is to include a call-to-action in your video description.

This could be something like "subscribe to my channel" or "like this video." By including a call-to-action, you can increase the chances of getting viewers to take the desired action.

Include Hashtags (but not always)

Another idea is to include hashtags (#) before relevant keywords and include this at the bottom of your description. When you do this, the hashtags will appear above the title in your video.

There a pros and cons with this method though. Having hashtags will help viewers find your video, but if they click on them when viewing your video they will be taken somewhere else. It's best to check your YouTube Analytics to see if hashtags are hurting or bringing you more views.

You can see this from one of my YouTube videos:

6. Add Tags to the Video

Tags are essentially keywords that you can associate with your video. When someone searches for a particular keyword on YouTube, videos with that keyword in their tags will be more likely to appear in the search results. As a result, including tags can be a helpful way to improve your video's search engine optimization and get more views.

You can add tags before uploading your video and even edit them later. If you want to add or edit them after your video is uploaded, just click on "Edit Video" in YouTube Studio.

Using the example above for my Tube Mastery and Monetization Review by Matt Par, here are the tags I used for the video.

7. Add Subtitles and Closed Captioning

When it comes to ranking your YouTube videos in search, adding subtitles and closed captioning to video content can be a real boost. That's because YouTube's search algorithm looks at not only the title and description of your video, but also the text that appears in the actual video.

By adding subtitles or closed captions, you're giving YouTube more text to work with, which can help your video rank for relevant keywords. In addition, subtitles and closed captioning make your videos more accessible to viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing.

And making your content more accessible is always a good thing. So if you're looking to give your YouTube SEO a boost, don't forget about subtitles and closed captions with videos in your YouTube Channel.

8. Vocalize Your Keywords at Beginning of the Video

When you are recording your videos, be sure that the first words you say include the keywords you're targeting.

YouTube can actually "hear" what you are saying and by vocalizing your keywords at the beginning of your video, you're giving YouTube's search algorithm even more understanding of what your video is about. As a result, you're much more likely to rank for those keywords.

9. Categorize Your Video

Categorizing your videos on YouTube can help improve your SEO. When you upload your video, the category is found under "Advanced Settings."

By categorizing your video, it will group your video with other similar content on Youtube. This can enable your video to end up in different playlists which will give you more exposure to viewers that are looking for your content.

You don't have to overthink your category too much, but it is worth taking a look at the different options and picking the one that best fits your content.

10. Create an Eye-Catching Thumbnail

A thumbnail is a vital component of any YouTube video. Not only does it give viewers a preview of the content, but it also helps to improve the ranking of your video in search results. When creating a video thumbnail, you should focus on making it eye-catching and engaging.

The more visually appealing your thumbnail is, the more likely people are to click on your video. In addition, you should also make sure that your thumbnail is relevant to the content of your video.

A well-chosen custom thumbnail can help to increase both click-through rates and organic reach, making it an essential part of any YouTube SEO strategy.

You can create this on your own with tools like Canva, or hire a professional designer on places like Fiverr or Upwork.

11. Create a Playlist

Creating a playlist can also be a great way to improve your SEO on YouTube. Here's why:

1. Playlists appear in YouTube search results.

When people search for videos on YouTube, they sometimes see playlists in the results. If your video is included in a relevant playlist, it has a better chance of being seen by searchers.

2. Playlists help keep viewers engaged.

If someone watches one of your videos and then clicks on a playlist that includes that video, they're likely to watch more than one video in the playlist. This means that they're spending more time engaged with your content, which is a positive signal to YouTube's algorithm.

3. Playlists can boost your video views and watch time.

Since playlists help keep viewers engaged, it's not surprising that they can also lead to more views and longer watch times for your videos. And as we all know, YouTube loves videos with high view counts and long watch times!

12. Consider Language Translations

There are a number of reasons why language translations can be beneficial for SEO on YouTube.

  • It allows you to reach a wider audience, as people from all over the world will be able to find and watch your videos.
  • Translating your video content into different languages will help you to rank higher in search results, as YouTube’s algorithms favor videos that are available in multiple languages.
  • Language translations can also help to build trust with potential customers, as they will see that you are making an effort to communicate with them in their native language.

If your content is US-based, you really don't need to do this. However, this one travel blogger found a use for it by capturing the attention of the audience in the country he lives in - Thailand. Although most of his viewers are from English-speaking countries, he expanded his audience to Thais by including English to Thai translations in his videos.

13. Add Cards and End Screens

YouTube Cards and End Screens are an easy way to give your videos a boost in the search rankings.

Cards are small, unobtrusive images that appear at the top of your video. You can use them to promote other videos on your channel, drive traffic to your website, or encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel. They’re an effective way to keep viewers engaged with your content, and they can also help improve your SEO.

End Screens are similar to Cards, but they appear at the end of your video instead of the beginning. You can use them to promote other videos, drive traffic to your website, or encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel. Like Cards, End Screens are an effective way to keep viewers engaged with your content, and they can also help improve your SEO.

YouTube Cards and End Screens are a simple and effective way to improve your SEO. By promoting other videos on your channel, driving traffic to your website, or encouraging viewers to subscribe

14. Share on Social Media

If you're wondering why you should share your YouTube videos and channel on social media, the answer is simple: to improve your SEO in both Google search and YouTube search.

Social media is a powerful tool that can help you reach a wider audience and increase your visibility in search engines.

When you share your videos on social media, you're essentially giving them a boost in the search engine rankings. In addition, social media can also help to build backlinks to your website, which is another important factor in SEO.

15. Embed Your Video on Blogs

One effective strategy is to embed your videos on blogs. Not only does this give your video more exposure, but it can also help to improve your SEO. Here’s why:

When you embed a video on a blog, it helps to increase the number of backlinks to your site. This is because viewers who watch the embedded video will be able to see a link back to your site in the video description.

These links act as votes of confidence for your site, telling search engines that your site is relevant and trustworthy. As a result, embedding videos on blogs can help to increase your site’s ranking in search engine results pages.

How do you do this if you don't have a blog?

You can do a search for your keyword in Google. Look for websites ranking highly for that keyword. For ones that don't have a video embedded, reach out to the owner and ask them if they can include your video in their blog post. Tell them that the video will increase engagement on the post and keeps readers there longer. So it's a win-win!

16. Reply to Your Comments

A great way to optimize your videos is to reply to comments. When you reply to comments, you signal to YouTube that your video is active and engaging, which encourages the algorithm to show it to more people.

Additionally, replying to comments shows your viewers that you value their feedback and are committed to providing a good user experience. When done right, replying to comments can be a powerful tool for boosting your YouTube SEO.

17. Collaborate With Other Youtubers

Collaborating with other YouTubers can help you reach a wider audience and improve your SEO. When you collaborate with another YouTuber, you can cross-promote each other's video content.

This means that you can introduce your fans to new content and vice versa.

In addition, when you collaborate with someone who has a similar target audience to yours, it can help improve your SEO. This is because YouTube's algorithm favors channels that produce relevant content for their target audience.

18. Find Optimal Video Length

In order for your YouTube videos to be successful, it is important to find the optimal video length. This is because the algorithms that YouTube uses to rank videos take into account a number of factors, including video length.

Videos that are too short may not rank as highly as longer videos, because they are less likely to contain all of the necessary information.

On the other hand, videos that are too long may also lose ranking points, because viewers are less likely to watch the entire thing.

As a result, it is important to strike a balance in order to ensure that your YouTube videos are successful. Luckily, there is plenty of data available on average video lengths for different types of content, so you can use this information to help you determine the optimal length for your own videos.

19. Analyze YouTube Data

There's a lot of data available on YouTube, and it can be overwhelming. However, if you take the time to understand how YouTube works, you can use that data to your advantage. Using Youtube Analytics, you can discover such things as

Use data to figure out which keywords are most important for your video.

Use data to understand how people are finding your video.

Use data to figure out how long people are watching your video and whether they're sharing it with others.

By understanding YouTube data, you can figure out what's working and what's not. As a result, you can make changes to your videos that will lead to better rankings.

20. Use YouTube SEO Tools

If you're not using YouTube SEO tools to understand how to rank your videos better, you're missing out on a huge opportunity.

YouTube SEO tools can help you research the right keywords, optimize your titles and descriptions, and track your ranking over time. They can also help you identify and fix any technical issues that may be holding your videos back.

Optional Bonus Tip: Get a YouTube Course

All of these steps can be easily implemented to help your channel grow with SEO. Another good option is to get a YouTube course. A good course can give you additional and step by step insight to improve your SEO with your channel.

It's entirely an option, but sometimes seeing the steps in video format in an actual course can be very helpful.

One course I am particularly fond of is Tube Mastery and Monetization by Matt Par. This guy has 9 different channels all of which he doesn't actually go on camera himself. I bought the course and already started working on my own faceless YouTube channel.

Youtube SEO Conclusion

I hope you got something out of these 20 YouTube Seo Tips. While you might not have to use all of them, even just a few of these tips can make a big difference in your YouTube rankings resulting in more views, subscribers and making more money!

It doesn't matter what kind of channel you run. Whether it's a channel where you don't show your face or one where you do with product reviews, you will still benefit with the right SEO strategy.

YouTube SEO is not just for those "in the know" anymore. The secrets to ranking have all been revealed in this article and now it's time for you to take a plan of action.

By following these tips along with creating killer content, there's no reason why you can't beat your competition.

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Drew Mann

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