In the world of Social Media marketing, YouTube is gaining in power. Indeed, being the second most trafficked website in the World has its perks; more and more brands are choosing this platform to market their products due to its large audience reach. In a similar manner, Youtubers have found that using Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, can help them gain viewership. Yet, with more and more SEO savvy Youtubers, the competition has grown tenfold.

Read on to find some basic YouTube SEO practices which will help you get started.


  • From potvid001final.mp4 to DIY Pottery.mp4

YouTube does not watch videos; instead, it reads the file. Thus, a simple thing such as changing your file name to something more targeted helps YouTube predict under which category the content falls. Canva and vidlQ Vision are SEO tools which can help you determine appropriate keywords for your file name.


  • SEO through video titles

What compels people to click on a video? Most probably the thumbnail, but the title does not stray too far from this assumption. Using keywords which either directly relate to the topic or come close to explaining it is an effective way to ensure that the video is made visible to a maximum number of people.


  • Word limit: 1ooo characters



The description box can both be an asset and a hassle. Youtubers find it easy to link their social media accounts as well as other pages/videos in this section. However, it is best to refrain from having detailed descriptions since it takes away the focus from the video itself.

Video transcription can be an effective SEO practice if done right. This is further discussed below.


  • #YoutubeVideoTags

Careful video tagging is key to SEO. Not only does this process benefit the viewers by letting them know what topic(s) the video covers, but it also educates the platform itself. Indeed, YouTube analyses the tags to understand the video content. This allows for more accurate categorisation.


  • Categories

In order to simplify user experience, YouTube has come up with a system of categories to separate the videos according to their content. We find among popular categories Gaming, Beauty/Fashion and Music. SEO would entail classifying a video so that it gets grouped with similar content. This way, people have a higher chance of finding the video.


  • Turn captions on/off

YouTube text use is a highly underrated aspect of the platform. For SEO to be effective, there is a need to maximise on transcripts, closed captions and subtitles. By making sure that the text in synced to the video, Youtubers can put emphasis on important keywords which are highly recognised on the platform.


  • Thumbnails




The thumbnail is a window to your video; the more striking it is, the more people are likely to click on the video. Customising thumbnails allows for greater SEO. As a matter of fact, the majority of the best performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails.


  • Click the ‘i’ for more information

There are all sorts of ways to go about linking for SEO. With the advent of YouTube cards and endnotes, creators can now link up previous videos which they find relevant to a current topic. This is a great way to increase viewer count.

Youtube cards come in 6 different types, and are an efficient way to provide a quick link to other pages. On the other hand, endnotes come at the end of a video and are likely to be more visual.