Animated image of 3 humans collaborating to optimize a YouTube video standing next to a human-size smartphone showing a YouTube video

YouTube SEO: Everything You Need to Know

March 29, 2024 - Sandy Lam

YouTube is a social platform that houses a large number of videos. As of 2024, it is estimated that there are 800 million videos on YouTube. Despite facing growing competition from TikTok and Instagram with short-form videos, YouTube remains many users’ go-to platform for finding and sharing videos online, with nearly 2.7 billion users worldwide on YouTube Worldwide in January 2023. 

With that in mind, it can be beneficial for any business to establish a presence on YouTube, not only for its large audience but also for its growing use as a search engine. When considering whether or not to start a YouTube presence, it is important to first understand the importance of YouTube SEO and how to optimize for YouTube SEO.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Some popular search engines are Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc. In simple terms, search engine optimization is the process of optimizing one’s website for the purpose of making it user-friendly and search engine-friendly to ultimately increase the website’s visibility on the search engines.

The more SEO-friendly a website is, the more likely it will show up in top search positions on Search Engine Results Pages (aka SERPs) and get clicked on. A study has shown that pages sitting at the no. 1 position on SERPs get 33% of all traffic. Therefore, it’s important to optimize your website so it can receive as much visibility as it can on search engines and ultimately capture the traffic that turns into leads, and potential customers of your business.

What is YouTube SEO?

Since video is a form of content, YouTube basically serves as a search engine that shows relevant videos related to users’ search terms. Rather than optimizing a website or web page, you would optimize videos to improve their ranking in YouTube search results. This ultimately helps generate more views, gain more subscribers, and drive traffic to your website. This can also serve as a chance to become a thought leader in your industry.

YouTube SEO Tips

How Does SEO Work On YouTube?

The YouTube algorithm looks at its own set of ranking factors to determine which videos to show in the Search Results, below are some of the factors considered:

Engagement Signals

  • The more engagement a video has, the more likely it is to rank well. Things like watch time, likes, comments, shares, etc. are taken into consideration.

Video Quality

  • YouTube, just like Google, likes the E-A-T (Expertise – Authoritativeness – Trustworthiness). A high-ranking video should offer authentic and first-hand experience, show that you are an expert in the field, and confirm your reputation in the industry.


  • YouTube understands the content of your video through keywords found in its title, tags, and description.

How To Do Keyword Research For YouTube

With Relevance being one of the key ranking factors, it is essential to understand if you are producing video content that answers your audience’s search queries on YouTube. Here are two ways to do YouTube keyword research:

1.YouTube Keyword Tools

There are specific keyword research tools that help businesses and video content creators find the most searched keywords on YouTube, generate related search terms, show monthly search volume and competition of keywords & more. Some of these tools offer a free version that anyone can take advantage of. However, the free version might only provide some basic features. Some popular keyword research tools are:

2. How to Find Most Searched Keywords on YouTube

A simpler way to do keyword research on YouTube is to utilize YouTube’s Autosuggest. Here is how to use YouTube Autosuggest:

  1. Start with a search on YouTube by typing in what you are looking for. 
  2. YouTube will then provide several relevant keywords through Search Prediction. This will give an idea of what content you can potentially create. These predictions are made based on either your search/watch history or trending searches (what other people are searching for or popular topics in the area).
    • Please note that if you don’t see any predictions for a keyword, that could mean the keyword is not popular or too new, or that the keyword is inappropriate.


  • To avoid personalized search predictions, you can delete your search/watch history or use the Incognito Mode in your browser so YouTube can focus on delivering search predictions that are related to trending topics only.
  • Pay attention to the top results. You can learn so much from your competitors! The video title, the video thumbnail, the video views, and the video length can tell you what kind of content to create or how you should name your video to appeal to your audience.

How to Optimize YouTube Videos for SEO

If you already have content that can answer users’ questions, that’s great! Optimizing the video can further enhance its visibility and bring you more views and potentially more subscribers. Here are some tips on how to optimize your video for YouTube SEO:


  • Incorporate keywords in your video title, description, tags, and your video file name. There is a 100-character limit to YouTube video titles, but the optimal length is 70 characters because anything past that will be truncated in most search results. 
  • Similarly, video descriptions can have up to 5,000 characters. However, it will be shortened once it is past 100 characters. Try to include the most important information and relevant keywords in the first 157 characters of your description.

Build Playlists

  • Not only do they help viewers navigate content more easily, but they also help YouTube understand what topics your channel talks about.

Use Hashtags

  • Hashtags help viewers find related content via search. Use keywords as your hashtags, but don’t overdo it! YouTube has stated that they will ignore each hashtag on the content if it has more than 60 of them. Instead, focus on 3 main hashtags. 

Use a Simple yet Enticing Video Thumbnail

  • You can also consider including your company logo in the thumbnail or putting a brief description to draw users’ attention to what’s special about your video.

Use Categories

  • Assign appropriate categories for your video so YouTube can show it in search results for relevant topics.

Add Captions

  • Captions enhance accessibility and user experience.

Use Cards & End Screens

  • Cards and end screens help to promote your video within other videos on your YouTube channel. 


Now that you understand what YouTube SEO is about and the importance of creating keyword-driven video content, you are one step closer to providing a useful YouTube channel for your audience. Furthermore, following the aforementioned best practices will allow you to make sure your channel and content are SEO-friendly and user-friendly.

Let’s Work Together

At Solution Agency, our Digital Marketing team has years of experience in strategic planning and campaign formulation utilizing a variety of digital channels to create an omnichannel strategy. Contact us today to learn more about what services we offer, and more importantly how we can help you create a successful campaign on social media platforms like YouTube.