SEO for YouTube

Merche Martínez

Written by Merche Martínez

Nowadays with the technology we have at our fingertips, most of us make videos often. Home videos of our children, our pets or simply of our day to day life. Thanks to platforms like YouTube we can share them with the whole world.

By now we all or almost all of us know what YouTube is, but are we aware of its real reach? do we know what we can achieve by uploading our videos to YouTube? To give you an idea, YouTube is the second most used search engine after Google, with more than one billion users and more than 300 hours of video uploaded per minute.

In this scenario, and knowing that our video can reach a wide group of users, we want it to have the highest possible visibility. For this we will see what we can do to improve the positioning of our video on YouTube.


Keyword selection

To make a good selection of keywords it is important to be clear about our target audience and the searches for which we want to appear based on the volume of searches. Defining the list of keywords is not the objective of this article.

Search on YouTube SEO positioning


The title of the video is very important for positioning, it must include the main keyword that we have previously selected. It must also be attractive to attract the user’s attention and get them to select it. To achieve this, a differentiating element such as exclamation marks or emojis can be used.

SEO title for YouTube video with emojis

We must keep in mind that the title does not only have to announce what the video is about. My recommendation is that it should be an attractive title, descriptive of the video and optimized.


YouTube allows you to insert a description of the video. It can be seen below the title of the video: a small two-line excerpt is shown, which can be viewed in full by clicking on “show more”.

SEO description for YouTube video

This text is our great opportunity for SEO. Nowadays most of the “YouTubers” upload the video with a title and that’s it. Well, we must take advantage of this opportunity offered by YouTube to write an optimized text. A text of at least 500 words containing a description of the video where the selected keyword appears at least twice, it does not have to be a transcript.

In the first lines of the description it is advisable to include a relevant link, such as your website or authority sites with the subject of the video. The reason is that the first lines are the ones that users will see without the need to display the “show more”. It is also advisable to include a link at the end of the text because if the content is interesting to the user, he/she may be interested in learning more by accessing the referenced website.


YouTube allows you to create tags for a video. These tags will cause the video to be displayed as related to videos with similar tags. In this way it is possible to appear as related in competitor’s videos.

This is a good resource to use the keywords that we have defined as secondary and of course the main keyword that we have included in the title and description. But be careful: it is not advisable to abuse these labels. Although YouTube allows you to add more, my recommendation is to use at most 8 to 10 tags as long as they are relevant.

Putting more tags in your videos is not going to be better for positioning.

An interesting plugin to get information about the video and to be able to see the associated tags is vidIQ. It provides information on the impact it has generated on social networks, such as the number of times it has been shared on Facebook and YouTub’s own information, the number of likes, the number of links in the description, the time the video has been published, etc.

vidIQ plugin for YouTube

File name

As with the positioning of images in Google Images, the file name is important. We know that there are many factors that add up in terms of positioning, for this reason I recommend that the file name of the video includes the keyword.


It is highly recommended to spend some time inserting the transcript of the video in the subtitles. If possible including the keyword because this content is taken into account in the positioning of the video.

External links

Once we have our video optimized on page: title, description, tags, file name and subtitles, it’s time to get relevant external links, preferably from authority websites. For example:

  • Google +: insert the video and also include a link to it from the publication.
  • Google mymaps: if necessary, we create a map with our places of interest and include the video.
  • Twitter: publish the video with an attractive message that captures the attention of whoever sees it and clicks to watch it. To try to have the greatest possible re-dissemination.
  • Facebook: same as Twitter.
  • Websites that allow you to upload videos. For example, where it is possible to upload the video to a list of videos on a specific topic.
  • And of course, link it from your own website or blog.


YouTube offers the possibility to mark whether you liked or disliked the video with the following icons located at the bottom right of the video page.

Like for SEO on YouTube

The more likes the video has, the better it will be considered in the eyes of YouTube and this helps to climb positions in the ranking of results.


Youtube also offers the possibility to share the video on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Blogger, Tumblr, Reddit, Tuenti, etc. The more times this video is shared, the more authority it will have for YouTube.

share video on YouTube


In order for users to participate and interact within a video, YouTube offers the possibility of including comments. As I have already mentioned, everything adds up and having a high number of positive comments helps to improve the authority of the channel and therefore is good for the positioning of our video on YouTube.


Another factor to take into account is the reproductions. YouTube positively values the number of reproductions. To get a high number of views, the key is in the content of the video. Beware of trying to cheat YouTube, there are fraudulent systems that can increase the number of reproductions but are detectable by the platform.

On the other hand, to make the video look complete my recommendation is that it should be a short and concise video with the topic to be covered. For example, in the case of a video blog, the user expects to see a video on a topic that interests him, if the videoblogger goes off the deep end or goes on for too long, it is very likely that the user will not finish watching it.


I have already referred on several occasions to the authority of the YouTube channel. It is important to comply with the above requirements because YouTube gives more value to a channel with authority. To gain authority you must:

  • Publish frequently.
  • Incentivize users to share and indicate that they like the video.
  • Optimize published videos.

HD quality

YouTube gives priority to videos with good image quality. Nowadays we all have a camera in our cell phones and sometimes these videos are recorded in low quality. As I have already mentioned, everything adds up and that is why it is advisable to take care of the image quality.


It also takes into account the age of the video with respect to the competitor’s videos. A video with some authority that has been published for some time will rank better than a new video.


And finally, the most important thing, the content. The success of a video lies in its content, it must be attractive, interesting and even educational as far as possible. If the content is liked, it is very likely to be shared and marked as like.

No one said it would be easy, but the result is finally achieved.


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Merche Martínez
Merche Martínez
Former SEO consultant at Human Level. Graduated in Computer Engineering with several specialization courses oriented to usability, layout and database optimization. Specialist in national and international SEO. She is also certified in Google AdWords.

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