12 YouTube SEO Strategies to Make Your Videos Rank Higher

12 YouTube SEO Strategies to Make Your Videos Rank Higher

youtube SEO strategies

What is YouTube SEO?

YouTube SEO is the practice of optimising content with the intention of getting increased views by ranking the specified channel or video higher in YouTube’s organic search results.  It follows that certain tried and tested tips and strategies come in use to optimise relevant videos, playlists, and channels that go on to generate more views, get increased subscribers, and ultimately drive more traffic to your website. In this way, YouTube SEO enables optimisation, so posting relevant content consistently ranks higher by standing out.

How does YouTube SEO work?

YouTube SEO works through keyword research, descriptions, tags, titles, thumbnails, and others to optimise your posted content and make it more relevant and appealing to the user. Typically, YouTube SEO works by combining basic SEO best practices with specific YouTube SEO optimisation techniques for the benefit/advantage of the target audience.

YouTube SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) works similarly to traditional SEO but with a focus on optimizing your video content for YouTube’s search engine.

Also read: Why Your Business Absolutely Needs SEO: 6 Reasons

By implementing  YouTube SEO strategies consistently, you can improve the visibility of your videos and, over time,  attract more viewers and subscribers. Keep monitoring your analytics to track the performance of your videos and keep adjusting your SEO strategy accordingly to suit your goals.

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How to Optimize Videos for YouTube Search

Keyword Research

Use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Semrush, or YouTube’s own search bar to identify relevant keywords for your video. Include these keywords in your video title, description, tags, and even in the video itself (through natural dialogue).

Optimise Video Metadata and Choose Target Keyword

Craft compelling titles and descriptions that accurately describe your video content.

Incorporate Target Keyword in Your File Name

Incorporate target keywords naturally. There are several software which should help you select keywords with good reach potential. Use relevant tags to further optimize for search.

Create Engaging Thumbnails

Create eye-catching thumbnails that accurately represent your video content and entice viewers to click. Bright colours, clear imagery, and minimal text tend to perform well.

Create High-Quality Content

Focus on creating high-quality, engaging content that provides value to your audience. Longer watch times and higher engagement metrics (likes, comments, shares) can signal to platforms that your video is valuable and deserving of a higher ranking.

Optimise Video Length

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, longer videos definitely tend to perform better in terms of watch time, which can positively impact ranking. However, ensure that your content remains engaging throughout its duration. Some videos are 30 minutes which is loosely considered the outer limit, but many limit to approximately 10 minutes. With attention spans getting shorter by the day, most posts nowadays tend to be between 3 – 7 minutes.

Promote Across Platforms

Share and promote your video on social media other than YouTube, embed it in blog posts, and extend its reach through email newsletters to increase visibility and drive traffic to your video.

Encourage Engagement

Prompt viewers to like, comment, and subscribe to your video. Respond to comments to foster community engagement, which can contribute to higher rankings.

Consistent Upload Schedule

Establish a consistent schedule for uploading new content. Regular uploads can help build anticipation among your audience and signal to algorithms that your channel is active and worth promoting.

Use Playlists

Organise your videos into playlists based on themes or topics. This can encourage viewers to watch multiple videos in one sitting, increasing overall watch time and improving your channel’s performance.

Monitor Analytics

Pay attention to metrics like watch time, retention rate, and audience demographics to understand how your videos are performing and identify areas for improvement.

Leave a pinned comment

Pinning a comment on your YouTube video can indeed help with SEO optimization by encouraging engagement and signalling to YouTube’s algorithms that your video is relevant and valuable to viewers.


These are some tried and tested strategies that should help your channel and videos get off the ground. What you must do, however, is continually keep refining your approach based on analytics and audience feedback in order to improve your video ranking and grow your audience over time.

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