YouTube SEO Checklist to get more views on YouTube in 2022

February 7, 2022

SEO is not just about Google. You also need to optimize for YouTube as it is also one of the most used search engines globally, with 3 billion searches each month. So, if you are currently optimizing your videos, you should also start creating a YouTube SEO checklist to enhance your YouTube videos and rank better.

YouTube SEO is sorely underutilized. But if you want to improve the rankings of your YouTube videos, you need to up your game and focus on YouTube SEO. 

Don’t know how to begin? We have created a YouTube SEO Checklist that contains all the best practices of YouTube SEO. So, without further ado, let us get started. 

  • Find Video Keywords ✔
  • Predict Upcoming trends ✔
  • Get inspiration from competitors ✔
  • Use YouTube keywords research ✔
  • Use Keywords in the video title ✔
  • Optimize your YouTube video descriptions ✔
  • Publish High-Retention video ✔
  • Add Video Tags ✔
  • Optimize Closed Captions ✔
  • Promote your video on other social media channels ✔
  • Never stop improving your content ✔

Find Video Keywords

Finding Video keywords is as easy as it gets. For example, let’s say you have a men’s grooming or fashion channel on YouTube called “The Gent”, and you want to know what kind of videos people are searching for. 

The first thing you can do is jot down a list of ideas and try searching for them on Google. 

Looking up how to tie a knot on Google

If the first thing you wrote down was “how to tie a knot”, you can just look it up on Google and see all the videos and articles on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

Look at some of the videos and articles featured on the first page to get a better idea of the video you can create with this keyword.

Predict Upcoming Trends

Predicting upcoming trends for YouTube can be tricky. The good thing is, YouTube doesn’t thrive on trends; if your content has value, you will be relevant. However, you should still always try to be ahead of the game.

For example, if you know a well-known fragrance company is planning to launch a new line of products. If you want your channel, The Gent, to stay ahead of the game, you should contact the brand and get some samples.

This way, you can do product reviews before your competitors do — making you a step ahead and getting plenty of views early. 

Get Inspiration From Competitors

While being ahead of the curve can be great for your channel, sometimes your competitors come up with ideas that may blow your mind. The best example, in this case, is the dance YouTube channels. 

Have you seen the videos of Tim Milgram and Matt Steffanina? These are some of the most famous dance YouTubers. They constantly support each other, and their content is often in line with each other well.

If you want to be relevant on YouTube, you should get inspiration from your competitor's post and add your spin to it. 

Use YouTube for Keyword Research

What better way to do keyword research for YouTube than by using YouTube? There are three main ways you can use YouTube for keyword research:

  • YouTube search suggestions
  • YouTube “Traffic Source: YouTube search” report
  • Low competition keywords. 

YouTube Search Suggestions

YouTube search suggestions are the easiest way to know what people are searching for. We typed “How to fold a s” on YouTube, and the search suggestions are shown below.

search suggestions on youtube

You can use these keywords to frame your videos. 

Another, more advanced way to find more relevant keywords is typing the suggested keywords. Run a search and sort the video by “Most view count”. You will see the video that is most watched on that topic.

We selected the keyword “How to fold a shirt in 3 seconds”, chose the most viewed video, and checked its Title, Video description, and video tags. 

youtube video title, video description, and video tags example

You can see the searched keyword in the title and the video description. Sadly the video was old, so it did not have any video tags. But in other videos where the videos tags are available, you can use those keywords. 

YouTube “Traffic Source: YouTube search” Report

YouTube “Traffic Source: YouTube search” report shows you all the keywords that YouTube users have searched for to find your videos. Go to your Traffic source section in the YouTube channel and click on YouTube search. 

YouTube traffic source report
Image Link

You will find a list of keywords the visitors searched to reach your videos. While you may have used some of the keywords mentioned, you will find some keywords you’ve yet to use as well. 

Low Competition Keywords

Finally, when you have a list of keywords you can use, choose one which has lesser SERPs. Because the lesser the search results, the lower the competition. 

Type the keywords in the Google search engine, compare the number of search results and choose one with lower competition. 

Use Keywords in The Video Title

If you visit a shop and ask for ice cream and get a box with doughnuts written all over it, will you be satisfied? You will be disappointed, right?. 

In the same way, when people search for a query like “How to bake a cake”, or “How to increase my YouTube ranking”, they need videos that have the same title. 

using keywords in youtube title

In the above search results on YouTube, you can see that the title has the keywords and the purpose of the video. Ensure that your YouTube title has the relevant keywords and informs the audience well.

Besides adding relevant keywords, you also need your YouTube video’s title to be catchy and concise. Be a little clickbait-y, but ensure to provide the audience with relevant information.

Optimize Your YouTube Video Descriptions

YouTube video descriptions explain what the video is all about. Both YouTube search and Google search refer to video description to understand your video better. 

Furthermore, you have to optimize your YouTube video descriptions if you want to rank higher. Here are a few ways to do just that.

Don't link to external websites in your description

A long video description will do you more good than a short one. A video description is not shown to users as soon as they search for a video, but the first three lines (120 characters) are essential. 

Make sure you naturally add your target keyword in the description and not add links to external websites. You want viewers to read your description to increase the engagement rate. So, don’t direct them away. 

Link to Your Other Videos From Your Video Description

linking to other youtube videos in video description

However, you can add links to your other videos in the video description. The Growwithjo channel has added a related workout video in her video description in the screenshot shared above. 

Adding valuable video descriptions can even increase your viewers' watch time on your channel.  

Publish High-Retention Videos with High Product Value

To scale your YouTube channel, you need to make videos with high audience retention. But how do you do that? Here are a few ways:

  • You need to improve your Click-through-rate (CTR): CTR is how many people click on your videos when they search for your keywords. To improve the CTR, you need to have a clear, informative, and creative video thumbnail, attractive YouTube intro, and a solid video title.
  • Next, you have to ask viewers to like, comment, and subscribe to your channel. If a viewer comments on your video after watching it, YouTube takes it as a good signal and ranks your video higher. You should also reply to the comments, which boosts engagement. 
  • Above all, make sure your video is valuable. The more information or entertainment you offer viewers, the better they will like it. This means, more often than not, the higher your video’s quality, the higher the chance your audience will watch your video until the end.

Add Video Tags

adding video tags in youtube videos example

Video SEO is not all about the title and description. Video tags also play a huge role in scaling YouTube content. In the example above, you can see the main keyword is “video maker”. Your keywords should also appear in the title, description, and video tags. 

  • Add your main keyword as a video tag.
  • Use many variations of the main keyword.
  • Use secondary and related keywords.

Optimize Closed Captions (Video Transcript)

closed captions example

Like Video tags, closed captions are also underutilized. And when they are used, people would often use automatically-generated captions, which is often inaccurate. This is why, if you implement them correctly, closed captions they offer a huge opportunity to optimize your content even further. 

Furthermore, closed captions ensure your viewers know precisely what you want to say and are also picked up by YouTube. Mentioning keywords in your video will improve your ranking. 

The best way to add closed captions is to write a video script ahead of time. It not only helps while video recording but also with closed captions.

Promote Your Video to Other Social Networks

Even if you have a great product, you need to market it correctly. Similarly, after creating a  new video, you need to make sure you promote it. 

You can share your videos on other social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. Here are some tips for doing just that.

  • You can share YouTube video content via Email. 
  • You can share your videos on Facebook by sharing the link. 
  • Post snippets, teasers, or trailers of your videos on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. 
  • Add links to your videos in Q&A sites like Quora and Reddit to have high-quality viewers. 
  • Embed your videos in blog posts. Make sure it is relevant and related. 

Never Stop Improving your Content

You can optimize the already published content in your YouTube channel. Your content has a lot of scope for improvement, ranging from changing the custom thumbnail to adding video tags. So keep leveling up!

What to do after publishing?

When you publish a video, make sure to add video cards or end screens. More and more viewers will stay on your channel if they can binge-watch your videos one after another. 

After publishing the videos, you need to promote them on various social media channels. Get those eyeballs on your videos. Besides promoting videos on social media, you can collaborate with other YouTubers to gain a maximum audience.

FAQs: YouTube SEO checklist

Is there SEO for YouTube?

Yes, there is SEO for YouTube. YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world after Google. You need to optimize your videos for the YouTube search engine.

How do you do SEO on YouTube?

You can follow the YouTube SEO checklist we mentioned above to do SEO on YouTube. Find video keywords, create high-quality videos, use compelling video descriptions, titles, thumbnails, optimize video tags, and above all, improve the retention rate. 

Want to rank higher? Start creating original, authentic, and value-based videos.

How do I do an SEO checklist?

You can use our SEO checklist for YouTube. It has all the aspects you should look out for. 

What SEO tools do you use for YouTube?

For YouTube SEO, the tools are scarce. But you can use Keyword Planner by Google, which is free. If you want extensive research, Tube Buddy is an effective tool you can use. VidIQ is suitable for small businesses looking to expand their YouTube channel. 

Conclusion: YouTube SEO checklist

There is no secret recipe for overnight success on YouTube. However, following the YouTube SEO Checklist we mentioned above should help you quickly start your YouTube SEO journey. 

You need to remember that you must be consistent to see sustainable results. While SEO can help you reach more viewers, your SEO efforts won't amount to much if your video content is not up to par. 

Want to make impressive videos? Sign up for OFFEO today and gain access to 500+ video templates that can help you create amazing videos for your YouTube channel in under 3 minutes! The best part? No prior editing experience is required!

More Articles on YouTube:

How to create a YouTube Channel | How does youtube count views | Youtube Video Ideas | How to create playlist on YouTube | Best time to post on YouTube | YouTube Intro Music | How to Post YouTube Videos on Instagram | How to upload YouTube Shorts | How to Loop Youtube Videos | Youtube Advanced Settings | How to use Youtube Analytics | YouTube End Screens

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