In an increasingly more crowded online space, the ones who lead rather than follow are those who continuously expand their content repertoire. That is NOT to say relentlessly adding more pages to your website and hoping you stuffed enough keywords to make you more visible. No. That Is to say exploring the worlds of AI (Artificial Intelligence), mobile SEO, and YouTube videos. Today, I am going to talk about the latter.

Without further ado, I give you…

The list

…of YouTube video optimization best practices that will save you future mistakes and wasted hours.

1. Keywords

Since we are talking about SEO, we must begin with keywords and how to choose the most beneficial ones.

How Do You Choose Your Keywords?

You first need to generate a list of potential keyword ideas. The best way to do that is to use YouTube’s Search Suggest feature. Just head over to YouTube and type in a word or phrase. And then good guy YouTube will suggest a bunch of keywords related to what you just wrote down.

These keywords are your golden goose.

Why? Because they are keywords that users actually type into YouTube’s search box. This is an excellent first step for beginners, but if you already have popular video in your niche, you can check which are the keywords that video is optimized around. You can also find great keywords in your “Traffic Sources” report. This report shows all the keywords that users of the platform have searched for to find your videos.

2. Title

Smarter than me people advise spending just as much time on crafting your headline as you do crafting your content, or in this case, your YouTube video. You have already chosen your keyword so, long story short, aim for a short, to the point title. Such titles are statistically more beneficial than longer ones.

3. Description

Okay, this is one of my favorite parts, and I’ll do my best to stay on point. The official character limit here is 1000 characters, but by all means, DON’T use all of it. Remember, people didn’t come to read the entire content, they came to watch a video. Look at your description as a training wheel, its purpose is to help viewers better understand what they are watching, and who you or your products are.

4. Tags

Although tags are not compulsory, they can help the YouTube algorithm associate your video with text and how to associate your video with other relevant videos. My personal advice is to avoid using irrelevant tags.

More tags do not mean more views or better optimization!

In fact, you can get penalized for that.

5. Video Thumbnail

It’s not the first time I say this, but people are visual creatures. Your thumbnail is the first thing your viewers will see when scrolling through a list of videos. Aside from your title, this is the other thing they will encounter, and if it sends the wrong signal or is not captivating enough, you can lose your audience. There are auto-generated options, but you can also upload a custom one. I suggest the latter. Also, if you consistently keep your thumbnails unique and recognizable, this can further strengthen your brand making it more memorable and identifiable.

6. Subtitles & Closed Captions (CC)

Captioned videos are generally more favored by viewers, 7,32% more favored to be exact. That is probably the case because subtitles and closed captions enable users to watch videos in both noisy and quiet environments.

7. End Scenes

One of the best ways to drive engagement with your channel, “end scenes” are the perfect way to add up to four elements that promote your product, website, channel, etc.

It’s Worth It

If You Want to Expand & Improve, That Is

It may sound like a lot of effort, but there is a lot you can get in return. Especially if we look at statistics — in the last year, people have spent twice as much time watching YouTube videos. There’s an audience to discover there, and if you don’t capture it, someone else will.

So, what do you think, is YouTube video optimization worth your while? Let me know in the comment section below and bear in mind you can always hire a professional SEO content writing agency to do it for you!