Vanessa DeBurlet

Understanding YouTube SEO Basics: 8 SEO Tips
Published August 5, 2021

Vanessa DeBurlet

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Understanding YouTube SEO Basics: 8 SEO Tips

In this article, I’m going to show you how to set your YouTube video up for success and explain YouTube SEO basics. Like Google, YouTube is a search engine. Therefore, you need to set up your YouTube channel or your YouTube video so that it can be found when someone searches for the topic that your video covers.

There are 8 different ways that you can incorporate search engine optimization into your video to ensure that it’s found when someone searches for it.

There are some people who make videos because they’re passionate about the topic that they’re discussing and don’t really care if a lot of people find their videos. But, did you know that you can make money with YouTube no matter the subject?

To find out if your ideas or passions are going to be profitable for you, I do have a new course that digs into that. You might like to check it out here. Especially if you’re serious about making money with your videos.

One of the most important things that any YouTuber can do is to use specific search engine techniques to make sure that their videos are found. So, let’s get right into the 8 SEO tips that you should be using.

1. Identify Your Keyword

Before you create a video, you want to make sure that you identify a keyword that will help people to find your video. For example, let’s say that you’re creating a video on how to play the guitar. You would obviously select “guitar” as one of your keywords. You might even use a long-tail keyword like “how to play the guitar for beginners”.

Now, YouTube has no way of knowing what your video is about. There’s no artificial intelligence that can listen to your video and work out what it’s about. So, it’s up to you to tell YouTube what your video is about.

Before you decide on your keyword, put yourself in the shoes of someone who might be doing a search for a particular video. What would you search for? What kind of question would you ask? You might, indeed, ask “how do I learn to play the guitar as a beginner?”.

One of the first places to use your keyword is in the title. In fact, this is the number one place that your keyword should appear.

Here are a couple of examples of videos I created.

The first video is titled “How to add a timestamp”. So, my keyword is “timestamp”.

The second video is titled “What are badges on Parler?” Parler was a social media platform that was really hot for a while. I don’t know if it’s still around, but at the time, they had badges that you could earn. A lot of people were asking what those verification badges were. In this video, “Parler” was my keyword but I expanded on it by talking about “badges”.

An important point to remember is to be really clear with your title and don’t use clickbait. Let people know exactly what your video is about.

2. Have Your Keywords In Your Description

Your keywords also have to appear in your description on each video. You add your description every time you upload a new video.

If you’re not sure how to add your description, I have a video that explains it simply. You can view it here.

Here’s a screenshot of what you see when you open up a video. The description is underneath the video itself. You want to make sure that you put in a good description and include your keyword several times.

Have a look around and see what other people are doing to get an idea of how your description should look. But remember, you want the description to flow naturally and avoid stuffing it with keywords.

3. Add Tags To Your Video

When you upload your video, there’s a space for you to add tags. Generally, long-tail keywords are better for this. Especially if you’re a fairly new channel because the single keywords have already been used by more established channels. Therefore, it will be quite difficult for you to compete.

As you can see, I like to put the title of my video as the first tag. I also add my name as one of the tags. When creating these tags, I ask myself what people would be searching for.

4. Create A Transcript Of Your Video

Some of your viewers may find it hard to hear what you’re saying in your video. For this reason, many YouTubers will have closed captioning on their videos. However, if you have some videos that feature you talking a lot, consider making a transcript instead. This means that viewers have the option of opening up the transcript and reading what you’ve said.

On that note though, I don’t recommend that you use YouTube’s transcript tool because it still hasn’t been perfected. Instead, I use a tool called temi.com. It’s fairly inexpensive to get a transcript made of your video.

Another idea is, if you have a blog or a website, you can use this transcript to create a blog post. This way you’re re-purposing your content over a couple of different mediums.

5. Consider The File Name

Many people don’t consider the file name when they’re creating their videos. You can change the file name easily when you upload your video. I do this when I edit my videos in Camtasia. This way, I can easily find them on my desktop.

You should name your video with the title as this is one more place that you can put your keyword.

6. Include Your Keyword In The Thumbnail

The thumbnail is important because it’s what people see when they do a search on YouTube.

For example, if I do a search for “how to start playing the guitar”, you’ll see a list of videos that pop up with their thumbnails.

Here’s an important tip. Make sure that your thumbnail represents what your video is about. This is how people can see what your video covers and it will help them to make a selection.

7. Include A Timestamp

This is something I’ve just started doing lately as I watched some videos about the importance of this.

The reason for this is that sometimes when you search for something, a suggestion will pop up that indicates an answer to your question in a video at a particular timestamp. For example, it might say that your question is answered around 3 minutes and 20 seconds into the video.

This is what is called a timestamp notice. Here’s a screenshot of how I lay out my timestamps.

Timestamps are quite important because not everyone has the time to watch an entire video to get an answer to their question. However, with a timestamp, they can go directly to the point where the video will give them the answer that they’re looking for.

8. Closed Captioning

I don’t use closed captioning a lot but it can be very useful. Sometimes, a viewer might be in a position where they aren’t able to listen to the video. But, with closed captioning, they can read the words and get the gist of what the video is about.

We’ve all seen those videos that have closed captioning and I’m sure you’ve been caught up with having to watch the whole thing because you want to know what happens.

If you want to add closed captioning to your own videos, you can add it under subtitles.

It’s just another way to add your keyword because YouTube and Google can see and identify the words when they’re crawling your videos but their spiders can’t hear your audio.

I do hope that this information on YouTube SEO basics has been helpful. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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