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Optimising YouTube video for SEO//

Optimising YouTube video for SEO featured image

With over a billion users and hundreds of millions of hours of video watched every day – the power of YouTube video for SEO cannot be ignored.

Videos have risen to be an integral part of any online marketing activity, yet despite this, video optimisation is often a forgotten step. Most Search Engine Optimisers put emphasis on optimising other forms of such as blogs, images, infographics. If optimised correctly, video can be an extremely powerful form of content and make a significant contribution to your SEO strategy.

Videos take content to a new level and YouTube can offer huge SEO benefits in search engine results. Google wants to show the most relevant and useful information they can to a user’s search query – it knows for some queries a video is easier to digest. These top tips will make your videos easier to find.

Video file name

The file name of the video you upload can matter. Use descriptive words that relate to the content.


Should be descriptive of your videos content. Should always include the most relevant keyword and phrase. Like anything in SEO, optimisation should start with keyword research. There are certain phrases that Google tends to show videos for in SERPs, try to include them in the title:

  • “How to…”
  • Reviews
  • Tutorials


The description of your video is VERY important so don’t be afraid to put a few hundred words in here. It’s a great opportunity to include plenty of relevant keywords, include your main target keyword in the first 25 characters and include your keyword 3-4 times. Remember to add a link back to your website, social channels and other relevant YouTube content you have.


Tags can help YouTube and Google understand what your video is about. Think like a user – what are the key terms they will be searching for? Don’t forget to include your brand.

Closed Captioning

Transcribing and adding closed-caption files for all your videos can help your optimisation efforts. Transcribed videos tend to rank higher since they allow access to information in multiple formats. Transcriptions give a viewer the opportunity to ‘read’ a video if they can’t listen, it also gives another space for adding relevant keywords.

Call to Action

Once you have the viewers’ attention the last thing you want them to do is click off your content. Every video should include a strong call to action – whether it’s a link back to a website, a sign-up button or a social channel link, both the description and annotations are a great space to include your call to action.


The thumbnail is the static image that is shown before your video starts to play. The ideal thumbnail is eye-catching and gives people a taste of what’s to come. Although YouTube will generate thumbnails for you, they may not be the most suitable – upload a custom thumbnail to ensure you have the best possible image.