Video marketing is growing at a crazy rate, with many brands using it as the go-to for getting content out there. This means that YouTube is now an essential platform for businesses to utilise. But as the web is becoming full of video content, the need to optimise for search is becoming increasingly important.

You’re probably thinking, ‘how the heck can I optimise a video?’ Well, we’ve got you covered…


1) Give your video a clear, concise and compelling name

The title is one of the most important aspects for optimisation. When you search for a video, the title tells you what it is about and helps you to determine whether or not to watch it.

The title should be clear, concise and compelling. It should also include the keyword(s) you’re targeting, and closely reflect what your audience is searching for. However, keywords alone are not enough to boost you up the rankings.


2) Use a clear and concise description

For YouTube video descriptions, you’re limited to 1,000 characters. Although this enables a lot of text, you don’t necessarily need to use it all. Your viewers came to watch, not read.

If you decide to write a long description, remember YouTube will only display the first 2-3 lines of text (which is around 100 characters!) before cutting off and displaying an ellipsis. Viewers will have the option to view more, but generally they won’t.

Because of this, we would suggest that you utilise the first 100 characters to include important information such as a click-through or a compelling call to action.

You can use the description to help with optimisation by adding a transcript. The transcript will contain your focus keyword(s) and it can help you to show up in the ‘suggested videos’ sidebar.

Transcripts are also beneficial for those who are watching without volume if you haven’t included subtitles.


3) Choose your tags wisely

Your tags should be used to tell your viewers and YouTube exactly what your video is about. It enables YouTube to associate your video with other similar content which can broaden its reach.

However, YouTube is NOT Instagram. Don’t use irrelevant tags just because you think it will get more views. If anything, you may be penalised for it by Google. Use the most important keywords first and combine short tail and long tail tags.

Put yourself in the shoes of your viewers and use the tags as they would search on Google – ‘How do I optimise a YouTube Video?’ for example.


4) Assign a relevant category

It’s a little backward, but once your video has been uploaded, you can go back to the Advanced Settings and choose a category. This too will help YouTube to recommend you when someone views similar content.


5) Set a custom thumbnail

A thumbnail is the main image viewers see when they’re scrolling through their search results. You can either pick one of the thumbnail options suggested by YouTube or you can create a custom one. We’d strongly recommend the latter:

The Creator Academy reports that ‘90% of the best performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails.’ Note that your YouTube account needs to be verified before you can use custom thumbnails. They also recommend that you use images that are 1280×720 pixels that are saved at 2MB or smaller as .jpg, .gif, .bmp or .png files.

So there you have it, there’s our 5 easy steps to help with optimising for YouTube. If you think this is all far too much effort, remember that almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube EVERY SINGLE DAY! (Fortune Lords, 2017). That’s a huge opportunity for you to reach out to a wider audience, and to unlock potential customers.

Start with good quality and relevant content, then make sure your prospects can find you!

Did you know that we have worked on multiple video projects? Take a look here:

Would you like to create a video but don’t know where to start?

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