SEO Checklist for YouTube Videos

  • Do not make videos private
  • Always allow for comments
  • Always use your keyword phrase at the beginning of the title and near the end. Yes, use your keyword phrase TWICE in your title.
  • Always use the most amount of text you in the description field. More text means a better chance of Google ranking your video. – List Key Words and Phrases under your description content
  • For every 100 words you put into your description insert the keyword phrase 3 times! Sounds like keyword stuffing, but it is not. Just make it blend in as best as you can.
  • Start Description with full URL (http://_____) followed by the Keyword phrase, Company Name and Telephone
  • You MUST always put your keyword phrase in the tags section!
  • Create 3 to 4 times that many backlinks as your competitor.
  • Comments on your videos always help

youtube seo

In this article you will learn the steps to optimize your video and YouTube SEO for the search engines.

Video Title

The first and most important thing is to have your keyword(s) in your video title and your tags. You should also have a description that starts with your website link and a small keyword-rich text. A common method is to have 2 variations of your keyword in the title. For example if your keyword is “dog training” your title can be “dog training video” and “how to become the best dog trainer.”


The first thing you should add on to your description is the link to the website you want to send traffic to. For example: “LEARN MORE:” You should definitely add some keyword rich text. I recommend adding a transcript of the voice-over of your video. That way your description will not be some keyword-rich garbage written for the search engines, but it will be a quality text and Google loves that.


Add about 4 or 5 related keywords in your tags and try to use exactly the same tags for all your videos in the same niche. That way you control the related videos that YouTube recommends to your viewers. If all your videos have the same tags YouTube will send your viewers to a video which is again yours so you don’t lose the viewer and it is more likely that the viewer will eventually click your link on the description!

Backlinks and Embeds

You may also add a link to the video at the end of the description. That way when an automated robot/bot scrapes your video it will add a backlink to your video! ;-)

Quality matters

Make sure your video is not boring and not too long so that people will easily watch it till the end. If people are leaving your video after 5 seconds of watching, YouTube will notice that and will not rank you video! :-( Apart from a bounce rate, the quality will affect your ratings, shares and playlist additions. Meanwhile if you want to improve your site’s on page quality I would suggest reading this article.

Channel Optimization

Your channel is your website and your videos are your webpages. It’s a good idea to use your keyword as your channel username. Think your channel name as your domain name. If that username is already taken just add a number at the end. This will help your channel rank for the keyword you are targeting because your username will become the anchor text when you post comments on other YouTube channels or videos. Apart from the username you should use your keyword as your channel title. If the keyword you are targeting is not too competitive you should appear on the front page of Google in 24 hours without any backlinking. However, if you are targeting competitive keywords you will need a lot of backlinks to get your video on the front page on Google.

Commenting on high PR YouTube pages

This is my favorite way to get backlinks and traffic at the same time because it combines networking with the youtube community while gaining quality and relevant backlinks at the same time. Keep in mind though that this method will help your channel to rank. It may also help your videos. The first step is to identify high PR YouTube channels related to your niche. I use Scrapebox to find suitable YouTube channels. You can also use SEO Quake which is an add-on on Firefox and chrome. Whatever tool you use the process is almost the same. If, for example, your niche is related to dogs, you can search the following: “dogs”

You now have to find the channels with the highest PR to start posting comments. SEO Quake has a feature which enables you to rank results by PR. Scrapebox also has a similar feature. Take your time and view at least one video from each channel you are commenting to and post something relevant to the video, otherwise your comment might be considered spam and get deleted. If you follow this process and post many comments on high PR channels your channel will get significant link juice and it will also pass some link juice to your videos and help you with the overall backlinking strategy!

Here are some factors that can influence your ranking:

  • Video Title
  • Tags
  • Description
  • Comments
  • Ratings
  • Shares
  • Age of the video
  • Views
  • Playlist Additions
  • Backlinks

Good luck with your YouTube SEO!