Today, content marketing extends beyond just the written word. It includes engaging podcasts, videos, infographics, and other visual assets. According to the State of Inbound report, the use of visual media in marketing continues to increase. YouTube is the most effective marketing channel for 45% of marketers.

Let’s explore the required Youtube SEO checklist for beginners in this post.

What Is YouTube SEO?

Using YouTube SEO, you can optimize your videos and channel to tell the YouTube algorithm what your video is about to be ranked for relevant keywords and recommended to users who would enjoy the content.

Google’s YouTube serves its user’s content based on their preferences—for example, the results are tailored based on keywords and prior engagements. When viewers search for specific content on YouTube, their queries are answered with videos relevant to their needs.

Creating a successful YouTube channel requires much more than simply optimizing it for search engines, but mastering that crucial aspect can dramatically affect its growth rate.

Anyone can grow their YouTube viewership by engaging with the YouTube community. When one engages with their audience, they will rank higher in search results. Youtube favors engagement heavily. It is more challenging to rank on Youtube compared to the other platforms.

To start generating interest in your YouTube channel, include keywords in your video titles and descriptions. As you create engaging content and post regularly, you’ll retain viewers who will help your channel develop a following. When in doubt, engage with your audience more – quality, consistency, and relevance help you build an audience that will help your channel grow.

SEO for YouTube is about growing your channel in the long term. While one-off viral hits may occur, consistency builds viewers and subscribers over time.

Youtube SEO Checklist

Name your video file with a target keyword

When you do SEO for written content, you identify the keywords your writing will focus on. When you do SEO for videos, you will use an SEO tool to find the key phrases that your video should focus on. To gain more understanding of the target keyword, go through our article on search intent: A guide for beginners.

With your target keyword identified, make sure to embed it in the title and description fields of your YouTube video as soon as possible. If you insert your keyword in your video file name, YouTube will automatically associate it with the video when it’s watched. When writing the code for your video file, you don’t have to include your keyword repeatedly. Just put it once at the beginning of the file name.

To optimize your video for search engines, replace the “” file name with your desired keyword. For example, if you want to optimize a baking tips video, rename yours. MOV file “Baking-tips.”

Naturally, Use your keyword in the title of your video

One of the first things viewers look at when they search for videos on YouTube is the title. They usually don’t watch a video they don’t find interesting, so the title should be appealing and straightforward.

Although your keyword is necessary, the title of your video should also include a close match to search terms a user might type in. Research shows that exact keyword matches can have only a slight advantage over those without an exact match.

So, while keyword-rich video titles can help you rank for specific phrases, it’s not always the case that they’ll move you up in search results. But using them in your video titles can help you boost views, as long as the title is compelling and tells users what the video is about.

Lastly, be sure to keep your title to less than 60 characters, so it doesn’t get cut off in Google search results.

Optimize your video description for a higher engagement rate

Each YouTube video description consists of 1,000 characters. It’s acceptable to use all that space, but remember that your viewers are usually more interested in watching than reading essays.

YouTube will show the first few lines of the description, after which point users must click “Show more” to view the entire text. First, load your description with important information, like CTA or link to your website, so viewers can scroll down and engage without leaving your video.

Adding a transcript of the video makes it easier for people to browse the page, regardless of whether they have audio or not. A strong video description can help you rank in YouTube’s suggested videos sidebar, a significant source of views for most channels.

Tag Your YouTube Videos with Related Keywords

The official YouTube Creator Academy recommends including tags in your videos, so viewers will know what they’re about, and YouTube itself can grow brighter as it learns what users are posting.

Use metadata to define the video’s content to increase the odds of your YouTube video showing up alongside others with similar content. But choose your tags wisely; don’t choose irrelevant or off-topic vocabulary words because you think they’ll get you more views. Google might penalize you for choosing irrelevant words. Also, be sure to include some standard terms and long-tail terms, including a good mix of specific and yet broad enough to be relevant to a wide range of search queries. For more information on Meta tags, go through our article.

Classify your video into a category

After uploading a video to your YouTube account, you can categorize it on the “Advanced settings” page. Categorizing your video allows you to group it with other similar content on YouTube, increasing its exposure and likelihood of winding up in different playlists.

It’s hard to know which category should place a video in without a deep understanding of your audience and the purpose of your video. The guide recommends marketers answer questions like

  • Who are the most successful and creative people in the field? What is their best work, and how do they excel within the category?
  • Do similar channels within the same category attract similar audiences?
  • Do similar videos within the same category have similar production values, lengths, or formats?

To personalize a video result link, upload a thumbnail image

Your video thumbnail is the crucial element viewers see when scrolling through a search results list. Your thumbnail should indicate the content of your video, as clicks and views are vital in gaining more YouTube subscribers.

To make your video stand out, you should upload a custom thumbnail. Reports show that 90% of the highest-performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails. It is recommended that you use images that are 1280×720 pixels — representing a 16:9 ratio — and that are saved as 2MB or smaller .jpg, .gif, .bmp, or .png files.

To upload a custom thumbnail image to your YouTube account, visit and follow the instructions listed there.

Add Subtitles and Closed Captions using an SRT file 

Like the title and descriptive text, subtitles and closed captions can impact your video’s search optimization by highlighting important keywords. 

Adding captions or subtitles to your video means uploading a text transcript or timed subtitles. You may also enter your transcript text directly, synced to your video.

To add subtitles to a video, follow these steps: Visit the Videos section of your Video Manager and find the video you want to subtitle. Click the drop-down arrow next to the Edit button and choose Subtitles/CC. From here, you can choose how you’d like to add subtitles or closed captioning.

Increase your YouTube channel’s viewership by adding cards

You may have noticed small, white icons that appear over videos. These circular icons include the letter “i” in them and show up in various shapes, including white circles and squares. These video annotations are called “Cards”, and they can help you promote your brand and other videos on your channel.

You can include up to five cards per video, and there are six types – 

  • Channel cards direct viewers from one channel to another. 
  • Nonprofits use donation cards as incentives to encourage raising money.
  • Fan funding involves asking your viewers to help support the creation of your videos.
  • Link cards send your viewers to an external site, an approved crowdfunding platform, or an approved merchandise selling platform.
  • A poll card is a form that poses a question for viewers and allows them to vote for their preferred response.
  • Playlist cards, which link to YouTube-hosted videos or other YouTube content.

Increase your YouTube channel’s viewership by adding End Screen

End screens are like cards, except they appear at the end of a video instead of at the beginning. End screens tend to be more visually detailed than cards.

YouTube provides guidelines for adding end screens depending on the platform you wish to design for, as well as the type of content permitted.

Note the following factors when deciding between YouTube cards and end screens. YouTube is continually optimizing the viewer experience, so some viewers may not see the cards or end screens that you designate.


People spend watching YouTube on their devices has increased significantly from last year. When you optimize for this platform, you’ll improve your reach of an audience.

This guide reviews the basics of YouTube SEO to help you grow a YouTube channel and increase your video views. With these tips, you can avoid the common mistakes many people make when starting their channel.

Even if you are going viral, it’s important to remember SEO basics, including using the right keywords and optimizing titles, descriptions, and tags. And remember that SEO isn’t the only way to grow on YouTube. But it can help you achieve your goals faster. 

To increase the success of Youtube videos and channels, you must improve your content to increase audience engagement. One needs to write the content with a plan that includes content relevancy, consistency, and quality. These are the main things to be remembered to achieve your goals.

For more information, do reach us, and we are happy to guide you further.

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