Tag Archives: youtube seo

Youtube Video Optimization Guidelines

Believe it or not, YouTube is still in its “wild west” phase.  Promoting content on YouTube is making more and more sense as consumers buy devices like the apple tv, amazon fire, android tvs etc.  We are all anxious to cut the cable cord and guess who benefits from that?  A lot of that traffic is going to YouTube.  Now is a good time to bone up on what factors are under your control for optimizing your video to rank for a keyword search.  Here are my suggestions, I look forward to finding out any I missed in the comments.

Before the video is made:

After the video is made:

Video Title

  • Save the file with the target keyword close to the beginning of the title.


  • target keyword: youtube video optimization best practices (video)
  • file name: youtube-video-optimization-best-practices.mp4

prepare a closed caption file
tools to make this easier:

  • https://www.inqscribe.com/ $99
  • http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/
  • DIY methods http://www.freewaregenius.com/how-to-easily-transcribe-audio-or-video-recordings-into-text/

Uploading to Youtube:
Custom Thumbnail – VERY IMPORTANT!
most accounts in good standing and that are verified (see link above) have the ability to provide a custom thumbnail. Some details pulled from Google’s Support

  • Have a resolution of 1280×720 (with minimum width of 640 pixels).
  • Be uploaded in image formats such as .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, or .PNG.
  • Remain under the 2MB limit.
  • Try to use a 16:9 aspect ratio as it’s the most used in YouTube players and previews.
An example of why custom thumbnails are so important
An example of why custom thumbnails are so important

Tag your videos
This one is surprisingly important in my experience. Tag at least three tightly relevant topics as well as something close to your main keyword. In our example above we might use tags of: “youtube video optimization”, “youtube seo”, “youtube video seo

 Additional Pointers

Always include the word “video” at the end of the title
Choose the most visually appealing thumbnail you can.
Allow all ratings, embeds, video responses, comments, comment voting etc.