There are at least 500 hours of videos uploaded to YouTube every single minute. With the staggering number, it’s safe to say that the platform is the home of online videos. 

The good news here is that you can now have an endless choice for content you want to watch– every content you’re looking for is basically there; from movie teaser videos to cooking videos. But, the bad news? It’s getting harder for your videos to be found by other users.

If you’re a  B2B marketer who uses YouTube as a marketing channel, you surely want to capture as many eyeballs as you can for your videos. 

No matter how brilliant the video content you provide, if it gets buried in the search results, your efforts are nothing but a waste– so, if no one watches the content in the first place, then how can you expect them to take action?

That’s why YouTube SEO comes in handy. Well-optimized YouTube video will sit at the top of search results, and thus more people will find it. The more people find your video, the higher chances you have to get more views, clicks, and then revenue (whether it’s directly from your products or the Google ads shown in your videos).

With that in mind, here are some handy best practices to make your YouTube videos more SEO-friendly:

Tip #1. Use Keyword-Based Titles and Descriptions

The title of your video is the first point of contact with people. It’s what people see when they search for a topic on YouTube or browse videos to watch. Since it will spark users’ interest (or not), make sure you put out something clear and appealing in there.

But more than that, you also need to include keywords in your title– just like the regular SEO practices. Not only will it help you rank higher, but it’ll also show users what the video is about without them even clicking on it. 

The description of your video is no different; include keywords in there so that YouTube knows what your video is about and can better match it with viewers’ search queries.

Tip #2. Include the Keyword in the Video File Name

Believe it or not, the filename of your video (that you want to upload to YouTube) is what YouTube looks at to get an idea about the content. So, if you’re aiming for a particular keyword, make sure your filename includes that keyword as well. 

For example: If you have a tutorial on how to change tires and want to rank high for the term digital marketing strategy, then name your video file something like digital_marketing_strategy.mpg.

Tip #3. Customize Your Thumbnails

Along with your video titles, thumbnails are the first thing that users see when they find your videos. You can say that it’s a big deciding factor whether or not they click on it. Not only that, though. A strong thumbnail can lead to a higher watch time, which can have a big influence on YouTube ranking.

Customized thumbnails are also a great opportunity to develop your brand aesthetic that can show your potential customers that you take your YouTube marketing seriously. 

Tip #4. Add Closed Captions (CC)

Adding captions to your video is not only great for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, but it’s also a great way to boost your YouTube SEO efforts. 

Closed captions contain the text of what is said in the video, like a transcript. In this case, YouTube can understand the contents of your video better and will be able to rank it higher when users search for related keywords.

Tip #5. Select a Video Category

There are many categories on YouTube you can choose from, such as Film and Animation, Gaming, Music, Education, etc. 

If your video is about a certain topic that belongs to one of these categories, make sure to select it so that the platform knows what kind of audience you’re targeting. This way, when people search for videos related to the category you’ve chosen, your video will be one of the top results.

Tip #6. Use Video Hashtags

Video hashtags might not be playing such a significant factor in video SEO on YouTube, but they can still help you position your videos better.

Hashtags are a great way to make your videos more discoverable on social media and YouTube is no different. Including hashtags in your video description tells YouTube what’s the topic of the content so that it can show them to people who search for related topics.

Last but not least, make sure to regularly update your video content on YouTube. It’s important that you create a weekly schedule template to help with content publication. If you’re active on your channel by posting new videos, the easier for YouTube to track your content and place it to the search result.   

Start Optimizing Your YouTube Videos

The fact that YouTube has now become the world’s second-largest search engine means that you can’t neglect to optimize your videos for it. The focus of the platform itself is to provide the user with the very best experience possible. That’s why it’s so much more than uploading your videos and crossing your fingers, hoping your target audiences will find it. 

Those essential practices mentioned above will help you optimize your videos in a way that will boost their rankings on YouTube. That’s how you can drive more traffic to your website and convert them into leads.

Just remember to always check how well your videos are doing in terms of audience engagement when applying any new practices to see which ones work best for you. And, of course, don’t forget to keep the quality in check so that there’s always something valuable for your viewers to find in your videos.


Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).