youtube seo 2019

YouTube SEO: How To Rank The Videos In 2020 (Updated)

It’s 2020, video marketing is still a vital strategy in digital marketing. YouTube is considered as the top video sharing platform other than Vimeo, Dailymotion, Twitch, etc., I’m gonna list the 10 important checklists for optimizing the YouTube Video.

Why YouTube SEO?

You spend a lot of time and effort in making the video but if you aren’t getting enough views that would hurt a lot, Right?

So optimizing the videos could help to reach the right people.

This helps to increase the views, watch time and your subscribers count or your video even may go viral.

When it comes to YouTube, It isn’t about only posting the content but it’s also optimizing your content for specific keywords to appear in the YouTube search results and even on Google Search Results.

Before heading to create a video make sure the video topic has maximum or moderate searches on YouTube using the TubeBuddy or VidIQ.

In short, these both are available as a chrome extension and loaded with many useful features.

I will later cover the topic TubeBuddy soon.

After installing, go to YouTube and search for the topic so that you could see the search volume and competition for the keyword.

Choose a moderately competitive keyword if you are just starting the wheels.

And you can use Google Trends to get the trending topics.

Now, Let’s dive into Top 10 Important YouTube Video SEO Factors that you can optimize to maximize your effort.

1. Keyword Research:

Keyword research is important in video marketing so that you get to know more about the topic. There are many tools out there free as well as premium for the keyword research but stick to some not all. I would suggest some top keyword research tools that are free so that you can do research.

Getting keywords from google is one of my favorite because it’s Google 😀
Searching on the keyword planner is easy, slam a keyword in the planner and hit “enter”.

You will see a list of keywords with the average monthly searches and competition. You can even filter those results.

And you can even select location, language and time range.

Have you used to generate keywords or get ideas about the title using Google’s autocomplete feature? Then this tool is a gift. This tool not only pulls the information from Google but also from YouTube, Amazon, eBay,  Wikipedia, Yahoo, etc,

soovle tool

Difficult to use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner? Or tired of creating an account? Okay, Here is the handy tool that helps you make the keyword research simplified.


This tool uses the Google keyword planner and Google suggests to generate the keyword ideas.

You have full control over the tool like you can change the platform to Youtube, Web, Image, Shopping and News. It supports most of the languages and you can even select the country.

Use the filter option to filter the results and add negative keywords like you do on the Adwords to exclude them.

This is a premium tool but you can do 2 free searches.  You can use this tool to find the long-tail keywords with low SEO difficulty.

KW Finder

This tool is a good choice for creating a catchy title, it fetches the results from Google and not from YouTube.

It even shows more details like difficulty and monthly search volume of the searches. You can register and get 5 searches per 24 hours.

These two extensions allow you to view the keyword score, competition and difficult for the keyword in the YouTube search.

This is an ultimate tool for YouTube SEO.

It does even provide keyword stats and related searches. This tool is really useful if you are a mainstream YouTube video creator.

And there are many keyword tools apart from the above listed but as I said before stick to some and not to all.

Download or copy the keyword ideas from the keyword analysis and compile into one single file.
You can make use of the above tools to create the video topic, add or remove the contents in the video, creating the catchy title, description and tags.

2. Video Title:

You need to create a great title.

I know the above line is more obvious for you, so let me break down this.

YouTube allows you to create a title up to 100 characters.

Do you know that YouTube search results started to show all the 100 characters in the search result? Amazing right? Previously the search results with more the 70 characters are truncated sometimes even 60. So it was recommended using it around 70 characters on your title.

But I started to see that youtube is now showing up to 100 characters in the youtube search result.
title length

The title is around 98 characters. No truncation! But If you want to show up on the Google search results make it around 70 characters. And keep in mind that “NO TRUNCATION” applicable only for the Desktop. In the YouTube app search results, the title is truncated.

And try to use the Keyword at least once in your title and make it obvious. And start the title with the Keyword or at least make it close to the front as possible.

Note – High performing videos are “How to” videos. If you are making that kind of video reserve this keyword for your video title.

And some Google searches show the video on their search result so make sure you optimize for both the YouTube as well as Google.

3. Video Description:

Video description is a place that the viewers could get more information about your video and yes, the search engine and YouTube also get information about your video from here.

YouTube allows you to add up to 5000 characters but in YouTube search results, the viewers could see it around 160 characters are sometimes even less than that so make your main keyword appear in the first 100 characters.

This would help the viewers to know that they are about to click the right video for the keyword they have searched.

YouTube Description

Look the keyword is also been highlighted in the results.

4. Video Tags:

This is where you can rank your videos for other keywords. Add the keywords that we compiled above using the keyword research tools.
Add plural and non-plural words.

Don’t overdo it, make sure you only add relevant keywords to your video.

Youtube tags

As you could see in the above image the keyword “gasmtest0004” is added to a video tag where the keyword is not even listed in the title, description or anywhere.

But YouTube crawls the tag and list the video in the YouTube search result for that keyword.


YouTube has the hashtag feature just like any other social media platform. You can use the related hashtags in the video description so that would be highlighted just above the title of your video.

Google thinks that it will be easy for viewers to reach the related videos easily by searching or just by clicking the hashtags in the video. Add relevant hashtags in the description don’t overdo only the first three will be displayed above the title and others will be used to reach the video and don’t add more than 15 hashtags. YouTube will ignore all the hashtags if you add more than 15 and even have chances of getting penalized.

5. Add CC/Subtitle:

The search engine uses the title, description and tags to identify the video.

As you know that’s really not enough. So it needs more info about your video so adding a Closed Caption to the video would help the engine to understand more about the video.

Don’t rely on the Google Auto-Generated CC/Subs this won’t help your SEO.

subtitles youtube

As you can look at the above image the keyword “gasmtest0006” is added to the subtitle of the video and YouTube crawls the subtitles and shows up in the search results for that specific search.

6. Custom Thumbnail:

There are many videos available on YouTube but what makes to click? Your Thumbnail!

Yes, Your title and thumbnail are more related to increase your click-through rate and then comes your description.

So don’t forget to add a custom thumbnail that outstands from the other competing videos.

7. Tell viewers to Comment:

YouTube uses the comment as one of the metrics to rank videos like watch time, like and much more.

So tell the viewers to share their thoughts in the comment section in your video. And try to reply to all the comments.

More the engagement, the higher the ranking of the video in the search result.

8. Use playlist:

Create and add the video to the playlist. You get another chance to pop on the search result.

Youtube Playlist

Add your keyword in the title and description of the playlist. Make use of the Playlist option to group your videos.

9. Promote your video:

Here comes the part that could help you to lead the views. Share it in your circle so that they could view the video until the end, at least for you.

And ask them to like the video after watching. I have highlighted the word after watching because it should be done like that because that’s the obvious way of doing.

Now share your video on social media platforms like Twitter, facebook, Google Plus, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, etc., Even in relevant groups. Look, I bolded it again.

Use the Reddit to share your content in the appropriate subreddit.
Share your videos on the Quora for the appropriate question. Don’t just copy and paste, try to post it along with some descriptive content.

Remember the catchy thumbnail you made? That’s what going to make people click your video now.

If your video is lengthier just trim the interesting part and upload it to other social media platforms and you can give the link to the full video in the description. You can see there’s an increased engagement for the videos you have uploaded on the social media platform.

10. Add Video Cards & End card:

Let know your viewers that you have other great videos too. This could help you to retain the viewers and increase the views of other videos.

Pitch your new video on the well-performing video so that you could gain from there.

11. Bonus Tips:

  • In the video ask the viewers to subscribe, like, comment, share and encourage them to press get notified option.
  • Embed your video on your website or blog.
  • If you do a lot of sharing or you get more views from the embedded video, I recommend adding the subscribe button on the logo area as shown below.

  • On hovering this button it’ll show an option to subscribe so that viewers could subscribe without even coming to your channel. This increases the subscription rate of your channel.

  • When uploading the video on YouTube make sure your video file name is changed to your title or your targeted keyword.
    (If you have created a video “funny cats compilation” change the file name to funny-cats-compilation)
  • Use the above technique for the thumbnail image too.
  • Don’t flood your YouTube Channel with the videos give space and be regular.
  • And keep track of YouTube analytics. Take a look, where you are getting the views and what are keywords that your video ranks. You missed the keyword and you still getting few views for that keyword? Go ahead and add them up in the tags, If they have potential.

These are the important YouTube SEO checklist so don’t miss any of this. Don’t lose hope if you are getting fewer views, keep working, concentrate on low competition topics and trending topics using Google trends if you have just started the channel. Keep in mind that consistency is the key to success. Good luck!!

Spoiler – Around 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. So make sure you stand unique.

Wrap up:
YouTube crawls your Title, Description, Tags and Subtitles/CC.
And Google search engine only cares about the Title and Description.

Let me know everything in the comment section below.s

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