How to Optimize Videos for YouTube Search

April 19, 2019

Part of running your YouTube channel is making sure the video content you’re producing and working so hard on is optimized effectively to be found when a person is searching on YouTube. Outlined below are some tips and tricks on how to best format a YouTube video. 

Optimize Your Video File With Keywords by Renaming it to Include a Target Keyword 

After you’ve used one of the many YouTube SEO tools to identify which keywords you want to target on the platform you’ll then want to start using these keywords in any way possible to gain opportunities to be found through search. 

The first and easiest way to gain search ranking is by renaming your video file to include your target keyword. 

For example your file name might be something like “bqwtu23_FINAL.mov.” 

Now if your keyword is dog walking simply rename it to appear similar to “dog-walking-video.mov.” 

By using the formula “keyword + file type” you’ll have a higher chance at receiving views for searches that happen with your keyword. 

Title Your Video With a Keyword 

This one may seem simple but it can be a bit tricky. The tricky part happens when you rename your title in an unnatural way. People search for things based on how they would say them so you’ll want your title to do the same. 

Here’s a bad example:   Dog Walker | Dog Walking | Video of Dog Walking 

As you can see in the example above the title is keyword stuffed and isn’t very appealing. 

Here’s a good example:   Hilarious Compilation of Dog Walking Videos Found Online 

As you can see in this second example the keyword is used naturally and the viewers know to click on this video if they want to laugh. 

Keep in mind that YouTube video titles should have no more than 60 characters to keep it from getting cut off. 

Use Keyword Optimization Within Video Descriptions 

Video descriptions allow 1000-character limits so you can get creative in your description. Remember though your viewers aren’t likely to read a book-style description and rarely do they read any description unless you mention something about clicking on the description for certain information within your video. 

That being said the first 100 characters are all that appear before viewers are asked to click on the “show more” link to see the entire description. Make sure that these first 100 characters include the most important information and any calls to action you want your viewers to take. Afterward you can add any text that’s keyword rich if it makes sense for your video. 

Tag Your Videos Using Keywords 

This tip is more for YouTube than it is for your viewers. In the Creator Academy you have the option to use tags for your video that tell viewers and YouTube what the video is about. 

This step should never be missed because it allows YouTube to know which other videos yours can piggyback when you see the “similar video” suggestions while surfing the platform. 

You may be thinking it’s a good idea to use additional tags that are not as relevant to your video so you can rank for more search terms–but this isn’t a good idea. In fact Google and other search engines may penalize your video if you put the wrong tags on it because you’re hurting their search engine results. 

Stick to tags that are relevant to your video even if it’s just one or two tag options. You’ll have better luck in the long run and honesty is the best policy! 

Categorize Your Video 

Under the advanced settings section of your video you can add a category. By adding a category you’re doing a similar process as you are with tagging by allowing both YouTube and search engines to group your video by topic. 

While it may seem easy enough this is a difficult task. YouTube suggests each creator go through a series of questions and complete research to determine which category is right for that video. You can find the research suggestions and questions here

Ready to Get Started with YouTube SEO?

Now that you’re aware of the steps it takes to get a single video optimized for SEO on YouTube you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the steps. That’s where our team of digital marketers and YouTube experts at excelerate Digital can help. We know the ins and outs of YouTube SEO and the exact strategies that get video clicks and views. Contact us today to schedule your YouTube marketing consultation.