Youtube SEO for Bloggers a Beginners Guide

I love YouTube! As many of you already know YouTube is one of the worlds most popular search engines second only to google, which is why so many marketers are using YouTube to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to their site.
However if you’re new to youtube seo you might feel like the new kid in school when it comes to maximizing youtube specific seo to maximize views to your video. After all what a waste it would be if you create a great video, only to find out no one can find it. YouTube Seo is your solution!

The great news is if you’ve been practicing good seo for your blog, you already know youtube seo! You just don’t know that you know it!

I personally have over 2.1 million views on my Green Apple Painting channel and I helped my 10 year old son’s drum channel rank videos in the top 3 on youtube for multiple keyword phrases, like how to play drums and beginner drum lessons for children.

Let’s go over some great YouTube SEO practices. In case you didn’t know, YouTube is owned by google so of course they have a pretty sophisticated algorithm. So let’s put youtube seo in terms that bloggers can realate to.


Just like any new post you are about to write it’s always a good idea to find out what topics people are searching for. The best tool for that is the google keyword planner. This is a great way to find out how many monthly searches there are for your topic and better yet it gives you suggestions for related searches

Tags = Tags

Once you find those keywords and phrases people are searching for you can tag your video with these keywords.The same ay you tag your posts. Tags can be single words or phrases. It’s a great way to help youtube optimize search results for their users.

Youtube seo for beginners

Just like regular SEO you should use the keyword planner to help your YouTube Seo. Find out what people are searching for. List your tags strategically starting with the most relevant. Remember that YouTube gives you up to 500 characters.

Video Description = Keyword rich Blog

The description is one of the most underutilized parts of YouTube Seo . How long should your description be? A good rule of thumb is 300- 500 words. Many people post transcripts of the video in the description. You also have the opportunity to post links in your description as well. If you post videos with very similar content, make a video description boiler plate that you can use on all of your videos and make minor adjustments to tailor them to each video

Here’s an example of a video description I wrote for one of my son’s drum lesson video (currently ranked 3rd in search results for how to play drums). It’s full of keywords and phrases that are related to how to play drums.

Learn How to Play Drums
This is your place for free drumming lessons for kids.
These beginner drum lessons are made specifically for beginners who want to learn drums.
Each week we will post a free online drum lesson in the form of a video.

While learning how to play drums can be long journey we want you show you
how to play drums quickly so you can start playing to your favorite drum songs.
Whether you’re a child in search of drum lessons or a beginner at any age
this drum lesson video is the best place to start playing drums!



To be honest my description could be bulked up a bit and there is quite a debate on whether you should post links to your site at the top of the description or list them later to allow keywords a more prominent role. This video is currently ranked #3  for the keyword phrase how to play drums, so I’m happy with where it’s ranking.

You Need Subscribers and Likes = +1’s on google+

YouTube values subscribers very highly. For the most part if you have a lot of subscribers youtube will rank your video higher than someone who has significantly less. Youtube monitors whether or not your video is enticing viewers to subscribe to your channel. Let’s face it, if your video is so impactful that people are subscribing to your channel, then YouTube knows your video has great content and wants to rank it higher in the search results.

You would think that by making awesome videos the subscribers and likes would just happen. The truth is many viewers need a call to action. Giving them verbal and visual prompts will increase subscriptions. If your video is of you talking then you can ask viewers to like and subscribe. If you don’t talk during your videos you can use popups to remind your viewers. Just like real advertising some CTA’s are better than others.

Here are couple of CTA pop-ups we use in our music videos

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Here are some examples of verbal CTA’s that work like a charm.

“don’t miss my next video be sure to subscribe.’

“if you liked this video hit that like button it helps others find this video too.”

“I post new videos every week be sure to subscribe.”

Shares = Shares

On YouTube shares are like mini-backlinks. For obvious reasons Youtube considers shares to be a telltale sign you made a kick ass video.

How do you get shares?

The same as getting likes, you ask for them. Again CTA’s work the best. This doesn’t have to be a long drawn out plea for shares just add it to the ones listed previously.

“I post new videos every week so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out also if this video helped you out hit that like button and share it on Facebook and Twitter, it really helps me out!”

Backlinks = Backlinks

Backlinks are the secret ingredient no one ever talks about when they discuss youtube SEO. It seems like the gurus want to keep this one to themselves.

Youtube does keep track of how often a someone embeds or backlinks to a youtube video just like a post if a lot of people are backlinking to it then youtube assumes it must be filled with great content.

Help yourself out by linking to your video in your own blog post, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr or any other sites that allow backlinks like forums.

Audience retention = Bounce Rate

YouTube is obsessed with audience retention in other words how long is someone watching your video. In the same way that google wants to measure how long someone is on your site, the longer you can keep someones attention the higher you are ranked. This may be the most important part of YouTube Seo!!!

KICK ASS TIP: When making a video with where you are speaking, be sure to tease important info that will be shared at the end of the video. That is a great way to boost audience retention.

For Example:  “hey guys in this video I’m going to show you how to set up your gmail account, but make sure you watch to the end because I’m also going to teach you how to remove 99% spam before you ever see it.”

Thumbnail=  Featured Image

In the same way a great featured image can get you clicks to your post, a great thumbnail can lure viewers to click your video. This is very important to a well rounded YouTube Seo strategy

Fortunately Youtube makes this very easy by allowing you to use custom thumbnails.

To make sure you have custom thumbnails enabled:

Click your icon in the upper right hand corner.

Go to Creator Studio>Channel Status>Status and Features

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When choosing a thumbnail be sure to use an eye-catching photo and I always add bold text.

Prentender Foo Fighters

Aside from catching the eye of a potential viewer you can also build brand recognition. For my son’s videos the thumbnail is very distinct and once you’ve seen it a couple of times you can easily identify it among the list of suggested videos. If anyone is watching one of his videos and wants to see more they will be very easy to find

youtube seo for beginners


Comments = YouTube SEO GOLD

There really isn’t an equivalent to comments in regular seo. Google/Youtube is well aware of how difficult it can be to get comments. Youtube includes comments with likes and shares as part of their viewer engagement, with comments being highly valued in YouTube Seo.

How do you get comments?

Recently we added the pop-up that read leave a comment I read them all (pictured above). That has really worked well but that was just part one, the second part of  “operation engagement” was to respond to each comment. Sounds familiar right?
You do the same on your blog right?

Obviously viewers are more likely to leave a comment if they know you are going to read and respond. It turns casual viewers into loyal subscribers and loyal subscribers into diehard fans! 

I bet you didn’t know you knew so much!

SEO can be really difficult and confusing especially when you’re using a platform that’s new to you. Fortunately, Youtube SEO isn’t a much different from regular SEO. Bloggers rejoice!

If you’d like more in depth help optimizing you videos for youtube SEO, feel free contact me.

P.S. leave a comment I read them all. 🙂