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A Complete Guide to YouTube SEO 2021


A Complete Guide to YouTube SEO 2021

YouTube reveals that over a billion hours of video are consumed by visitors every day, and over 2 billion people get logged in to YouTube every month. SEO-optimized YouTube Content has seen a major spike in the last few months.

One of the second largest search engines, YouTube, occupies a great share in video marketing. Brands of all scales are utilizing the potential of YouTube to propagate their business and attract more and more traffic.

YouTube SEO is the New Wave

From educational videos to sports, music, fun and promotional videos, content creators spend hours creating videos and experiment with advanced strategies for further promotion. Whether you want to achieve steady growth or become an overnight viral sensation, content is the key. But other than content, just like the website, YouTube SEO can ameliorate your reach and traffic to strengthen your brand.

It’s been noticed that keyword-targeted videos perform way better than videos without keyword optimization. SEO activities like Keyword Research, Content Optimization, and Engagement Analysis will sure-fire your YouTube video success, but when it comes to YouTube SEO sky is the limit.

What is YouTube SEO?

YouTube SEO

Subscribers, views and traffic determine the success of the YouTube channel. The more the subscribers, views and traffic, the higher the ranking and sales. Considering the breakneck competition, attaining this success is a challenge in itself.

Let’s dive right into it.

YouTube has its own search engine, and improving the rank of Video on SERPs is a bit different from that of regular SEO. Getting visibility on YouTube is as intricate as that of Google, but implementing the right techniques can help you reach high.

Factors affecting YouTube SEO:

  1. Keyword Research
  2. Optimize Video Title and Description
  3. Tags Optimization
  4. Optimize Videos for Google Search
  5. Custom Thumbnail Image
  6. Try getting More Subscribers
  7. Promote Videos Just Like a Blogpost
  8. Encourage Watchers to Like, Share and Comment
  9. The Uniqueness of Video Content
  10. Optimize for YouTube Ranking Factors

Keyword Research 

Keyword research is the backbone of YouTube SEO and will let you rank on YouTube’s organic search results. Find the focus keywords that go with your business. Say, if you run a bakery business, and make a video related to cake making. Your focus keywords could be “bake a cake”, “birthday cake”, “eggless cake”, etc.

Deciding keywords is not enough; these keywords should be effective enough to strike the mind of the viewers. Here are certain factors to decide on keywords.

  • Search Volume – It shows the popularity of the search query.
  • Search Difficulty (SD) - Estimated organic search competition.
  • Paid Difficulty (PD) - Estimated paid search competition.
  • Cost-Per-Click – Average CPC for a particular keyword on Google Ads.

Keyword Research

Optimize Video Title and Description

Identify visitors' search intent to create a video title and description around the central idea of your video. Use the target keywords in the title and description at least once. Create interactive titles like- “How to make a cake without oven”, “awesome birthday cakes decorating ideas”, “5 ways to make an eggless cake” etc.

Avoid using Black Hat Techniques to get ranked; it may get your channel penalized later.

Optimize Video Title and Description

As in this search result, the keyword is ‘cake’. But the search results are showing a video by a Punjabi singer which is absolutely out of context. This, perhaps, is the result of some non-authentic ninja techniques.

Tags Optimization

optimize tags

As a vital SEO feature, tag optimization can get more views on your videos. Apart from head-keywords, you can put LSI keywords to improve your reach. Stay relevant to your topic to avoid unwanted traffic. Avoid using redundant tags and pick an optimal limit.

Optimize Videos for Google Search

The primitive search engine, Google, shows video content but under stringent conditions. Google follows a ranking algorithm to rank videos in the Video Section.

  • Help Google find your videos by making your videos available on public web pages and submitting a video sitemap.
  • Ensure your videos are indexed and have high-quality thumbnails and structured data.
  • Allow Google to fetch your video content files; use a stable URL, structured data, and crawlable bandwidth.
  • Enable specific video features - video previews, key moments, live badge.
  • Remove, restrict, or update your videos as per the requirement.

Optimize Video for Google Search


Custom Thumbnails

Engaging thumbnails increase click-through rate (CTR), an important SEO matrix. Thumbnails have the potential to persuade visitors to click on the video and remain engaged for as long as possible. After all, this is what YouTube wants. The more the video watched, the higher the chances of ads getting displayed for eventual revenue generation. YouTube is flooded with videos; why would your viewers choose you? Using the right thumbnails will instigate them, and if they resonate with it, they are more likely to click it. Get you more clicks and sales by using the right & effective thumbnails.

Custom Thumbnails

Try Getting More Subscribers

Grow Your Subscribers

Subscribers are the final hunt for higher video rankings. A channel will only get authentication if it has sufficient visitors following that particular channel. As an important YouTube algorithm, subscribing to a channel means that the viewer will be able to view the content available or updated on that channel even without visiting it regularly. Improved subscriptions will validate your channel in the eyes of search engines and viewers.

Promote Videos Just Like a Blogpost

If your video is worthy of being watched, people from different platforms will visit Youtube to check that video. Slice it either way - it will benefit both. It will increase the reach of your video and the visitors on Youtube. Rather than relying solely on SEO for video promotion, implement other promotional methods to increase its reach.

Your video content should cater more attention. The content aims to deliver information and nurture a loyal audience base. If your brand is ranking on the search engine, utilize its potential to build trust and creditability.

Edit Your File Name

This pro tip will not affect SEO, but surely your click-through rate.

Which one would you choose to click as a spectator? 201235455.mp4 or how_to_bake_a_cake.mp4?

Surely, the second one with a clear title and file name; it gives more clarity about the content that the video may contain. Editing your file name will get you more clicks, thus serving the main purpose of getting viewed.

The Uniqueness of Video Content

Videos with unique content are often bombarded with traffic, but expecting instant results would be a no-brainer. It will take time to rank on YouTube just like Google, so be patient with your approach and selective with your video content. Think of new ways to attract and interact. Also, try to use keywords in the video.

Optimize for YouTube Ranking Factors

There are a lot of factors responsible for YouTube ranking. Some of which are:

  • Average watching time of all the videos on a channel.
  • Top listed videos and channels. (according to watch duration)
  • Viewer retention and click-through rate on a particular video.
  • Video comparison based on audience retention and watch time.
  • Get likes, comments, video shares, thumbs up/thumbs down and subscribers.


Abiding by the YouTube ranking matrix can make a worthy difference in the performance of YouTube videos. Stick to optimal video lengths to make it engaging and try to maintain suspense rather than revealing the crux at the very start. Be creative with your idea and rest YouTube SEO will do.

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