How to Rank Higher on YouTube SEO

| October 27, 2020

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a common term in the marketing world that immediately brings Google to mind. However, Google isn’t the only place where SEO plays a vital role. Consider how often you search for “how-to” instructional videos, videos of live performances, favorite scenes from movies, or anything else you want to see and not just read about. Does a website like that sound familiar? It should because it’s YouTube! In this post, we’ll discuss how YouTube, much like Google, uses SEO to provide the best search results for its users and we’ll lay out all the tips to get your video ranked higher.

How does SEO differ between Google and Youtube?

Your SEO ranking on Youtube is slightly different than that of Google because it involves the videos that you post instead of written content on websites. However, the same general principles of SEO apply to both Google and YouTube. If your video ranks high enough on Youtube, it could even show up as a video result in a normal Google search.

Here are a few steps for higher SEO ranking on YouTube:

1. Video Keywords

This aspect of YouTube SEO is once again similar to Google SEO, but differs in the sense that the primary things searched on Google are different than the things searched on YouTube. For example, many YouTube searches are for instructional videos and start with the phrase “how to”. So, let’s say you own a construction business and you create a video for fixing drywall. One of the easiest ways to optimize the keywords for your video is to search similar phrases, like “How to Fix Drywall,” on both Google and YouTube. This will show the top videos related to your specific topic and you will see what the top keywords used are, making it easier to decide on the optimal keywords for your own video.

2. Video Title

This goes hand-in-hand with video keywords and you’ll want to be sure to use your keywords from the last step in your official video title as well. Similar to headlines for written content in Google SEO, optimizing your title for your YouTube video will greatly help your video’s SEO ranking compared to submitting it with any old title. Taking the time to research other top video titles and making smart choices will help your video rank higher on YouTube SEO and get your video in front of more eyes.

3. Add Closed Captions

YouTube has the option to turn on closed captions for all the videos that are uploaded to their website. This is important because with closed captions your video will be crawlable by Google and you’ll get a nice SEO bump because of it! While YouTube offers automatic closed captions for your video, they are not always accurate, so it may be best to add your own or edit theirs before posting your video. Making sure the captions are correct is very important, because if Google scans them and the captions are not accurate then your SEO ranking will suffer for it.

4. Video Description

Many YouTube users overlook this simple step and type only a few sentences in the video description. This is an opportunity for you to describe your video in greater detail (with those ever-important keywords you came up with!) so the audience can really learn more about the topic. Make sure to include links to different social media accounts, videos, and any other relevant websites. Another thing to include in this section is a copy of the transcript to your video (your closed captions) so the audience can read through the content if they’d like. This gives your video another area with written content that can be scanned and factored into SEO ranking.

5. Translations

This simple yet important step is often passed over by YouTube users, but adding translations of your transcript/closed captions to your videos will broaden the reach your video has and ultimately help your YouTube SEO ranking. Why limit yourself to only one language when you can make your video accessible to people all over the world?

6. Comment/Like/Subscribe

In the age of social media, this seems like a no-brainer, but it’s very important to remind your audience to comment on the video, like it, and subscribe to your channel. The more traffic you get, the better your YouTube SEO ranking.

7. Share on All Your Social Media Accounts

Including links to your social media accounts in the video description is important, but don’t forget to do the reverse and share the YouTube link to your video on all of those social media accounts. Sharing your link across different platforms will help maximize the traffic your video gets.


Uploading videos that follow these tips to YouTube is a valuable way to gain a higher SEO ranking not just on YouTube’s website, but also on other search engines like Google as well. Using these steps will optimize your video and help draw as many viewers as possible as your YouTube SEO ranking climbs. Your increased YouTube SEO ranking will help your channel grow and, ultimately, your overall internet presence will benefit from it.