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Why Even Bother To Improve YouTube SEO? (Plus Tips To Do It Right)

July 10, 2024
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By Noel M.


Did you know that over 2.5 billion logged-in users visit YouTube each month, making it the second-largest search engine in the world? Did you know that every 24 hours the world watches 1 billion videos on the platform. Well, now you know. If your videos aren’t optimized for YouTube SEO, you’re missing out on a massive audience and customer base. This brief guide will empower you with not only the basics of YouTube SEO and how video optimization will help the YouTube algorithm rank your video higher, but how creating videos for YouTube is different from other platforms, such as TV advertising or TikTok. Further, you will also learn how to use YouTube SEO as the core of your YouTube video production strategy, and how SEO tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends will help you create content that is trending and that viewers want to watch.

In case you need professional assistance, YouTube social media production companies in NYC would be more than happy to help you with YouTube SEO. Their social media production and SEO expertise can significantly benefit your brand to reach larger audiences that are searching for your products and services on YouTube.

What is YouTube SEO ?

YouTube SEO is the process of using video titles, descriptions, subtitles, tags and other texts so that the YouTube algorithm understands what your video is about. By doing so, the YouTube algorithm will then be able to suggest your video to viewers who are searching for queries that match your video.

For example, if your video is about regrowing your hair using minoxidil, giving your video the title “How To Grow Your Hair (Using Minoxidil)” is part of YouTube SEO. You have figured out that your video is relevant to someone who wants to regrow their hair using minoxidil, and that when they go to YouTube they will likely type into the search bar “how to grow your hair using minoxidil” and you have now put that phrase as the title of your video. You may also have uploaded closed captions with your video, and in the script you mention “how to grow your hair with minoxidil” several times.

By using your video title, description, and closed-captioning, YouTube now fully understands the content of your video, and will suggest it to viewers when they search for content on how to grow your hair using minoxidil. “SEO” stands for search engine optimization, and traditionally, it is the way that content marketers mark up articles, web pages, blogs so as to make it easy for Google to find, categorize and serve that content on Google Search.

YouTube : World’s 2nd Largest Social Engine 

Whilst YouTube is typically lumped as a social media platform along with Instagram, TikTok and others,it is best categorized as a search engine, a place where people go to look for answers to their questions. When people have questions and want answers in the form of articles, blogs they go to Google Search; when they want those answers in video formats, they go to YouTube.

It is important to keep this in mind, that when you are creating content for YouTube you are creating content for a search engine. I am sure that by now you are already asking, “Should my videos then provide answers to questions ?”, and the answer is yes. Whether it is questions about finance, make-up, landscaping or other topics of your choice, your videos are essentially, or should be, answers to someone’s query. Your whole YouTube video strategy turns on this one point, it is the fulcrum holding all of your YouTube content creation together.

Don’t create videos just for the sake of it, create it to reach a very specific audience with very specific questions.

Let Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends Help You Plan Your Content 

In search marketing, we call the words that visitors type into the search engine “keywords” or “key phrases.” I will use them here interchangeably. When you are thinking of the answers you want to create videos for, it is a good idea to find out what people are searching for in your niche. For example, if you are a brand that sells topical creams that help with hair growth, you want to create content that aligns with what people who are balding are searching for.

I always advise my clients : don’t guess, use Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends to find out exactly what people are searching for, and create content that responds to those searches. Go to Google Keyword Planner and type in keywords relevant to your niche, and Google will give you other keywords and phrases that are related to your original keywords. It will also give you their volume, their difficulty and competition level , and if they are trending higher at the moment. You want to pick keywords that have at least 1,000 searches monthly, and whose competition level is “low”. Difficulty and competition will let you know if it will be easy to rank on Google and YouTube for that keyword, and will usually appear as “low” “medium” or “high” level of competition. Keywords that have high volume and low competition are gold, you are likely to get views and rank on Page 1 of YouTube.

You could also use Google Trends to see the keywords and topics that have been trending in your niche. It makes sense to create content around trending topics in your niche, as that assures you that there will be more searches and traffic in the future. For example, when I go to Google Keyword Planner and type “hair regrowth” “prevent balding” and “hair loss products” and ask for the Planner to show me related keywords, I get the following :

All these are fantastic ideas, topics and titles for videos, and the volume is fantastic. Except that the competition is high, and chances of a new brand channel ranking for these competitive keywords is low.

However, I do see other keywords that may not have as much volume, but the competition is low:

Or this key phrase :

Or  :

You can now plan a series of videos that address specifically these low-competition keywords, optimize the videos so they rank well, and start building a subscriber base. You should be able to rank easier, faster and build a base faster with these low competition keywords. As your brand channel grows and you master YouTube better, you can then go after the keywords with more volume and competition.

Marking Up Your Video For YouTube SEO

You have now used Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends to find topics in your niche with good volume and low competition. Go ahead and see the length of the videos of your competitors, you will then be able to see what works well for your target audience.

Make sure that you specifically address the keyword in question. If you are creating a video about “can you stop male pattern baldness” do make sure to say the phrase in your video. YouTube algorithm can now transcribe your audio to understand what you are saying, and for the algorithm to rank your video about stopping male pattern baldness when people search for “can you stop male pattern baldness” then I’d advise having that phrase several times in your audio. But please don’t overdo it, and make sure it is naturally part of the video.

Other YouTube SEO tasks to help you rank well :

  1. Include the major keyword or key phrase in the title of your video.
  2. In your video upload, make sure the video file name uses the major keyword or key phrase
  3. Include the keyword or key phrase in your video description. Do this in a way that is natural and grammatically correct.
  4. When you upload, make sure you choose the correct category for the video.
  5. Add subtitles or closed-caption files.
  6. Make sure that your audio content (and thus, your subtitles) directly address the question at hand, and if possible, naturally include the keyword or key phrase

Whilst there are many other YouTube SEO items, we have discussed the basics here to help you get started with keyword and topic research, and proper mark up of your video. Working with professional social media video production companies can help you discover what content is relevant to your audience, how to optimize your videos for YouTube SEO and how to create content that ranks well on YouTube.  Leave comments on what tips have worked best for you in your own YouTube channel. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and we’ll respond or email us directly at to begin a discussion.