Globally, over 2.476 billion people use YouTube. It’s also the second-largest search engine in the world (after Google). For your brand’s videos to appear on more YouTube search engine results pages, you need to optimize videos for YouTube search. Whether you need help with B2B (business-to-business) online marketing or business-to-consumer (B2C) content, you’ve come to the right place.

Below, you’ll find eight practical tips you can implement today to optimize your videos for YouTube search. 

1. Conduct Keyword Research

Keyword research is the cornerstone of effective search engine optimization (SEO). That’s why so many content marketing services offer assistance with it. 

If you want to increase the chances of your video ranking on YouTube search engine results, you need to include the right keywords.

You can use many tools for keyword research, such as Wordstream’s free keyword tool and Google keyword planner. You can also type words into Google and consult the “People Also Ask” or “Related Search” options for additional inspiration.

When deciding which keywords to use, focus on those that are less competitive. Rather than trying to rank for a keyword like “Health” or “Wellness” when promoting your workplace wellness tools, use less popular keywords for better results.

2. Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

Another way to increase your chances of ranking on YouTube results pages is to include long-tail keywords in your video title, description, etc. This tip works well for other types of content and social media marketing as well.

Long-tail keywords, as the name suggests, and longer keywords. For example, rather than trying to rank for “hair salon,” a business owner might try to rank for “hair salon in Seattle.”

Long-tail keywords more closely mimic the way most people conduct online searches, which helps you enjoy a boost in rankings. They’re also less competitive.

3. Prioritize Titles, Descriptions, and Tags

Ask any social media management professional, whether they work for an online marketing firm or a social media agency, and they’ll tell you that YouTube ranks videos based on three pieces of metadata:

  • Video title
  • Video description
  • Video tags

Include your target keywords in these three areas. Doing so will help you gain an advantage over competitors and rank higher on search engine results pages.

Keep in mind, though, that you still need to use your keywords naturally.

Search engines like Google and YouTube can tell if you’re “keyword stuffing” and placing words and phrases for the sake of ranking. If the search engine thinks you’re doing this, you could be penalized with a lower position.

4. Change the File Name

Another way to improve the performance of YouTube marketing videos is to change the file name before publishing the video.

YouTube shows you the file name when you’re uploading your video. Changing the file name to include your target keyword will increase the video’s relevancy and help it rank higher on results pages.

5. Choose the Right Video Category

YouTube allows creators to choose from several video categories, including the following:

  • Film and Animation
  • Autos and Vehicles
  • Music
  • Pets and Animals
  • Sports
  • Travel and Events
  • Gaming
  • People and Blogs
  • Comedy
  • Entertainment
  • News and Politics
  • How-to and Style
  • Education
  • Science and Technology
  • Nonprofits and Activism

When uploading videos for your business, be sure to choose the appropriate category. Properly categorizing your video increases the likelihood that members of your target audience will find and click on it.

Not sure which category to choose? Do some additional research.

For example, look up the top creators in the category and consider how your content relates to theirs. Look for patterns among top creators’ audiences, too, and consider where they overlap with your audience.

6. Design an Eye-Catching Thumbnail

When you look at examples of digital marketing solutions, you’ll notice that the most visually appealing content tends to get the most attention.

Don’t forget about the thumbnail when planning and preparing to publish YouTube videos. Design a custom thumbnail that accurately represents the video content and gets people curious about clicking on the video.

When designing your thumbnail, make sure the image has a 16:9 ratio (1280×720 pixels). It should be saved as a .jpg, .gif, .bmp, or .png file that is 2MB or smaller. Following these guidelines ensures your thumbnail is clear across various devices (desktops, phones, etc.).

Keep in mind that YouTube accounts have to be verified before you can upload custom thumbnails. Visit to do this.

7. Include Closed Captions

Accessibility is critical for all types of online content creation, including YouTube videos and social media ads. When you share accessible content, you can reach a larger audience and show those who support your business that you care about their experience. 

One of the best ways to make your videos more accessible is to include closed captions. Another benefit is that adding captions helps your content rank on other search engine results on pages outside of YouTube, similar to blog posts. This will help optimize videos for YouTube searches.

8. Create Playlists

Create playlists with keyword-optimized titles for general video topics. For example, you could have a playlist of how-to videos, a playlist of meet-the-team videos, etc.

Playlists provide YouTube with more context about what your videos are about, which can help you continue ranking highly on results pages.

Playlists also encourage viewers to continue engaging with your content. If they liked one video, they’d likely want to watch more, which further boosts your rankings and helps more people find your videos.

Try These YouTube SEO Tips Today

It’s great to include YouTube videos in your digital advertising strategy. However, to see the best results, you must also prioritize search engine optimization when creating YouTube ads and other types of video content.

Remember the social media network marketing tips discussed above so you can optimize your content and connect with your target audience. 

Do you need more YouTube and internet advertising/marketing tips? If so, we can help at Socialistics.

Socialistics is a digital marketing agency with social media expertise and a robust portfolio supporting our work. Contact us today to learn more about our advertising and marketing services, from paid media advertising to influencer marketing.