7 Effective Video SEO Tips To Increase Your Search Engine Rankings

When working on your search engine rankings, using videos as part of your overall marketing plan should no longer be an afterthought.

If you want to drive more traffic to your site and promote your brand, quality video content is the way to go.

Brian Dean of Backlinko.com mentions that in the process of creating videos for your business, you should pay attention to YouTube SEO.

Why YouTube? YouTube is now the number two most massive search engine (next to Google) in the world.

YouTube is now the second largest search engine (next to Google) in the world.

Just in case you didn’t know, nearly 5 million YouTube videos are being watched daily.

YouTube videos also reach more 18-49-year-olds now compared to television networks.

Take a look at the infographic below for YouTube stats:


infographic for youtube

In this blog post, you will discover 7 highly effective video SEO tips (with YouTube in mind) to positively impact your brand’s rankings.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Do YouTube keyword research.
  • 2. Know your audience.
  • 3. Optimize your video title.
  • 4. Optimize your video description.
  • 5. Feature a good video thumbnail.
  • 6. Add appropriate tags to your video.
  • 7. Promote and get more views for your videos.
  • Summary

1. Do YouTube keyword research.

Similar to creating any piece of written content for your website, you should perform YouTube keyword research before making videos.

Brian Dean suggests that the simplest way for you to do this is to check if your chosen keywords have YouTube results.

As a rule, Google displays video results that involve how-to reviews, tutorials, and anything that’s funny or related to sports and fitness.

You can also directly visit YouTube. Enter your preferred keywords and check for YouTube’s auto-suggestions.

At the same time, work with Google Trends to discover the search volume for your potential keywords over time.

This way, you will know whether or not people are interested in your video content ideas.

For a useful free keyword tool, I suggest Keywordtool.io:

2. Know your audience.

This tip may sound like a no-brainer but this must be a part of your video planning process.

For you to capture your target audience’s attention, it pays to know what they are interested in.

According to Entrepreneur, you should find out what makes your audience tick.

It would help to put yourself in the shoes of your audience.

Ask, “What can I benefit from this brand’s video? Will I learn something new and interesting?”

You can do market research on your own without having to spend money. Here are a few tips:

  • Interview people face-to-face or via your brand’s Facebook page
  • Conduct online surveys
  • Use Google search to gather more audience information from free, credible sources.

3. Optimize your video title.

Treat the title of your YouTube video similar to how you treat the headlines for your blog posts.

Since people notice video titles first, make yours compelling enough.


If the title of your video is dull and uninteresting, your audience probably won’t watch your content.

Promise a benefit in your title and make sure to fulfill that promise.

This means that you should not trick your audience into watching a video that is totally different from the title.

If you do this, your rankings will suffer over time.

There should be at least 5 words for your video title.

Aside from optimizing the number of words for your title, do not forget to incorporate those keywords you’ve researched in tip #1.

To make your videos rank higher, Social Media Examiner advises you to make your keywords the beginning words for your title.

4. Optimize your video description.

When writing a video description, be sure to describe in a clear manner what the video is all about.

People are not the only ones to rely on your descriptions in order to get an overview of your video content.

Search engines, notably YouTube and Google, will index them too.

Place a link to your site in the upper part of your description.

This helps your site get ranked too in addition to driving more traffic to it.

Your video description should have a length of at least 250 words.

Add your researched keywords to your video description but be careful not to use them excessively.

A frequency of 3 to 4 times would be best.

Even with your keywords in place, always remember to write your descriptions in a natural way.

A description that sounds forced decreases the credibility of your video content.

5. Feature a good video thumbnail.

Another element that your viewers will first notice (aside from your video title) is your video thumbnail.

Your video thumbnail gives people a glimpse or snapshot of your content.

Use a thumbnail that would best represent your video.

YouTube automatically provides you with 3 thumbnails to choose from after you have uploaded your video.

If your YouTube account is verified and has a good record, you’ll be able to upload a custom image.

You will find this special option beneath YouTube’s 3 auto-generated thumbnails for your video.




Being able to upload a custom thumbnail gives you a better chance of featuring a snapshot that entices people.

This will help you gain more clicks.

Again, select a custom thumbnail that speaks best for your video.

Follow these methods for your custom thumbnails:

  • Choose a perfect still shot from your YouTube video.
  • Add text which people can easily read. Aside from your title, this helps them know the topic of your video. You can use a great photo editing application for this like PicMonkey.
  • Go ahead and upload custom thumbnails for your past videos as soon as you are able to.

YouTube recommends a thumbnail resolution of 1280×720 pixels.

6. Add appropriate tags to your video.

If you are wondering what tags are, they are keywords which you add to your video after uploading it.

When people enter keywords in a search engine to look for video content, tagging your video allows it to become more visible in search results


Like other elements of your video (title, description, thumbnail) your tags must be relevant to your content. Relevant and specific tags help you rank better.

7. Promote and get more views for your videos.

Now it is time for your YouTube videos to get more views.

Having more views further improves your rankings.

The good news is that there are plenty of easy ways for you do this. Here are 5 of them:

  • Incorporate your videos in your blog posts. This is also a smart way to add more value to your written content.
  • A practical way to promote your video content is to reach your friends, existing customers, and social media fans and ask them to share it!
  • Link to your video content while answering a question on a Q & A website such as Quora. Your video should be highly relevant to the question you are answering. Start by running a search on the topic of your video.
  • Don’t be shy about including a call to action in your video description, asking people to like and share it.
  • Embed videos in your emails for your subscribers. However, take note that not all email services allow you to embed videos. If this is the case, you can place a video thumbnail in your message and link it to your YouTube video.


These YouTube SEO tips will help you get started on making those compelling videos that will rank well in no time.

Do remember to add appropriate and relevant titles, descriptions, tags, and thumbnails for all your videos.

Make sure to create video content that resonates with your audience.

A great way to accomplish this is to first perform your own market research.

Most of all, do your best to publicize your videos by taking advantage of social networking sites, using your email list, and more.

If you have more video SEO tips to share, please do comment below.

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