How to optimise your videos on Youtube

How to optimise your videos on Youtube

Today, a content strategy includes written work like blogs and ebooks, as well as media like podcasts, visual assets, and videos.

And with the rise of video content formats comes the need to optimize them for search. One increasingly important place to do that is on Youtube. 

Youtube SEO tips:

  • Rename your video file using a target keyword

Once you identified your keyword, the first place you should put it is your video file before you even upload it to Youtube, because Youtube can't actually 'watch' your video to see how relevant it is to your target keyword. Insert your keyword naturally in the video title. I.e. don't call it 'youtube-advert-video', but call it what the content is about: 'best-asparagus-soup-recipe' .

  • Insert your keyword naturally in the video title

Make sure to keep your title fairly short, Hubspot suggesting to limit it to 60 characters to help keep it from getting cut off in results pages. Your title should not only be compelling, but also clear and concise. It's a good idea to optimise your title for your keywords, so long as it fits naturally into a title that tells viewers exactly what they're about to see.

  • Optimize your video description

According to Google, the official character limit for Youtube video descriptions is 1,000 characters, but keep in mind that Youtube only displays the first two or three lines of text, that amounts to about 100 characters, so you don't need to use all those characters.

  • Tag your video with popular keywords that relate to your topic

Youtube uses tags to understand the content and context of your video so it can figure out how to associate your video with similar videos, which can broaden your content's reach. Don't use an irrelevant tag because you think it'll get you more views, as Google might penalise you for that.

  • Categorize your video

Once you upload a video, you can categorize it under Advanced settings. Choosing a category is another way to group your video with similar content on Youtube so it winds up in different playlists and gains exposure to more viewers who identify with your audience.

  • Upload a custom thumbnail image for your video's result link

Your video thumbnail is the main image viewers see when scrolling through a list of video results. It's important to note that your Youtube account has to be verified in order to upload a custom thumbnail image. To do that, visit and follow the instructions listed there.

  • Add Cards and End Screens to increase your Youtube channel's viewership

The 'cards' are the small white, circular icon with an "i" in the center appear in the corner, or a translucent bar of text asking you to subscribe. These are the notifications that appear on desktop and mobile which you can set up to promote your brand and other videos on your channel.

End screens display similar information as cards, but they don't display until a video is over, and are a bit more visually detailed in nature. Use these tools for your CTA (call to action) buttons, such as subscribe, book or buy now.

Youtube offers an additional channel to reach your target market, and when you optimise your videos, your chances of being discovered increase.

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