So you want to know how to optimize YouTube Videos?

I’ve just spent the last month finding out how to optimize YouTube Videos and make them really RANK (and to get great results on Google Search as well!).

Now I’ll be honest from the start. This blog post is a bit ‘cheeky’!

What I’m going to share with you here is the first 2 steps in a very special ebook that I’ve created for my email subscribers which they get a few days after joining my Internet Marketing Made Easy training course (by email!).

I’m actually about to put this book on Kindle (and other places as well) because there’s some great, well-researched content in there and I know it’s going to be well received.

But please don’t buy it!

Just sign up to my email list, grab you first free gift (The ‘Free Traffic Informer’) and wait a few days to get your complete YouTube and Google Search Video Optimization book.

There’s plenty of other great content inbetween by the way.

‘Free Traffic Informer’, ‘YouTube Video Optimization’ and Tons of Extra Great Training! It’s all HERE…

Back to how to optimize youtube videos!

This guide will help you to rank your videos on YouTube and in Google Search, quickly!

Now I’ll be honest from the start, how quickly this happens does depend on you following all the steps in this book and taking into account what niche you are working in.

For example, if you’re trying to rank a video in the Internet Marketing niche then you might find it needs more attention and work than if you had a video about “how to grow strawberries”. It stands to reason that the more competitive a niche is, the more effort you need to put into it to get great results.

Saying that, the steps in this guide will work for any niche providing you take that all important action!

I’ve found that, done right, creating and optimizing videos for YouTube and Google is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website, blog, list and offers.

But it’s not enough just to create hundreds of videos hoping that a few of them will really take off and go viral.

What works best is to start off with 1 video! Do proper research into keywords for that video, produce a video which is not too short (think 4 mins +), include links and annotations which will drive traffic to your site and then monitor that video for the next couple of weeks to ensure its ranking well in both YouTube and Google.

If it’s not, then you need to review what you’ve done and make changes where necessary.

Want some proof?

Ok, throughout this guide I’ll be showing you a live example of a video that I’ve just created called ‘WP Affiliate Plugin”.

After 48 hours of carrying out the exact same steps I share with you in this guide the video was number 3 on YouTube for that Keyword!

Check out figure 1 and you’ll see what I mean!

how to optimize youtube videos

It was also on page 2 of Google search (and climbing!), so if you follow the steps in this guide and produce a good quality video that people are going to want to watch then you can do the same.

Shy? You’re not alone! When I first started creating videos to drive traffic I was very unsure about being in front of the camera. Some people are natural at doing this, I’m most certainly not but I can assure you that confidence with creating videos comes with experience; you just need to make a start.

And of course, you don’t need to do ‘face on camera’ videos at first anyway. You can do ‘over the shoulder’ videos where you video capture your computer screen and speak into a microphone or even do a slideshow with some music in the background.

I’m not going to go into the technical details of video creation in this guide but if you want any more information on doing any of these things then I would highly recommend that you head over to YouTube and do a search for “how to record your computer screen” or “how to create a slideshow and turn into video”.

In fact if you’re unsure of anything to do with video creation, start asking the questions on YouTube.

Why YouTube?

Did I mention traffic?

YouTube brings me most of my traffic by a long way and providing you optimize you videos correctly, this traffic can be pretty much ‘evergreen’ and you’ll see constant visitors arriving to your site from the link in your videos for years to come!

Compare this to other forms of traffic generation (blog comments, forum posting etc.), which might have a very limited traffic generating window, then it’s easy to see why YouTube can quickly become your first choice.

Another big factor is Google!

Google bought YouTube in 2006 and it’s very difficult to see this search engine disappearing any time soon.

YouTube is now the second largest search engine after, you guessed it, its parent company Google and it’s reported that there’s around 50,000 videos being viewed on YouTube, around the world, every second!

50,000 videos every second! That is truly staggering.

So what better way to get free traffic than to play the Google and YouTube game and the real beauty of this is that you don’t need to optimize for both ‘search engines’. You just need to optimize your video for YouTube and it will automatically be ranked by Google in return.

Let’s start to do this!

Step 1 – Keyword Research

This is the most important step in ranking your video on YouTube and Google!

You need to have a good keyword from the start which is going to be possible to rank for.

So stay away from the big popular keywords and instead focus on keywords which will still bring you decent traffic but have not been saturated with competition.

So, for your main keyword (and secondary keywords that you can ‘sprinkle’ into your video description!) aim for:

  1. Over 100 monthly searches
  2. Low exact matches on YouTube (5,000 or less)
  3. Low exact matches on Google (100,000 or less)

To find these keywords, I use the ‘Google Keyword Planner’ and also ‘Traffic Travis’.

For the purpose of this guide I’m going to show you how to find them with Googles Keyword Planner but if you’re interested in finding out how to do it with Traffic Travis then use the following link:

The free version is very good by the way!

Google Keyword Planner

So first of all, you need to get access to Googles Keyword Planner!

To do this you need a Google AdWords account (you don’t need to pay for ads or anything by the way). If you haven’t already got an account then this next link will get you setup really quickly:

Once you’re account is setup and you’ve got access to Googles Keyword Planner then you need to click on “Search for new keywords…” as shown in figure 2.

youtube seo best practices

Now we need to enter an idea into the ‘Your product or service’ box. For this example, I’m creating a video about a product called ‘WP Affiliate Builder’.

So, I’m going to put this in the top box, check that I’m happy with my ‘Targeting’ options and click ‘Get ideas’, as shown in figure 2.


With this example I’m happy to do a search for this keyword idea targeting ‘All locations’ because of the nature of the product.

Your example might be different and if for instance you’re creating a video which is more targeted to the USA or UK, then you need to change your targeting information to reflect that.

To do this, just click on the editing ‘pencil’ symbol to the right of whatever you need to change!

youtube optimization

The next screen you come to automatically displays the ‘Ad group ideas’ section. You need to click on the ‘Keyword ideas’ tab just below the monthly graphs and then we get to figure 3!

seo video youtube

Here you see 2 boxes. The upper box contains our idea (product/service) keyword and the lower box is giving us other keyword ideas from Google searches.

For this example our original keyword idea ‘WP Affiliate Builder’ only returns 40 searches/month so we’re going to ignore that one and concentrate on the lower box.

Now click on the ‘Avg. monthly searches’ section and this will organize the results into highest first.

youtube video optimization

Looking at this list of keywords and their monthly searches one particular keyword has caught my eye and that’s ‘WP Affiliate Plugin’.

Ok, it’s only got 170 monthly searches but you’ve got to think of it in terms of being able to rank for a keyword and getting a good share of that traffic!

If there was a keyword there with 1000 monthly searches then I would of course investigate it further but there would be a good chance that the competition would be too high.

Let’s see if WP Affiliate Plugin meets the other criteria that we set earlier?

Checking the Keyword on YouTube

Now we head over to YouTube and check to see if the main Keyword we found on Google Keyword Planner meets the criteria of having 5,000 or less ‘exact’ matches.

To do this we type the keyword into YouTube search with quotation marks as shown in figure 6:

youtube seo tips

We can see that the exact match for this keyword gives us about 494 search results which is a ‘green light’ to continue onto the next step!

Checking the Keyword in Google Search

Now we head over to Google Search and again do a search for the keyword using quotation marks and see if it meets our criteria of 100,000 or less exact matches.

YouTube Rankings

Figure 7 shows us that the exact match for this keyword (remember to use quotation marks!) is slightly over 7,000.

So for my video, I’m going to choose ‘WP Affiliate Plugin’ as the main keyword.

Step 2 – The Video

As I said in the introduction, this guide isn’t about how to create a video and if you need any help with that then please do some research on YouTube where you’ll find a ton of videos about how to this.

However, here are 2 tips which you might want to consider which I believe do have an effect on how well your video is ranked on YouTube (and Google!).

Say your Keyword in the video

YouTube transcribes your video automatically which can help people with hearing disabilities and there’s a lot of established ‘YouTubers’ who state that’s it’s beneficial for ranking to make sure that your main keyword is in this video transcript at the beginning and end of the video.

Of course, no-one quite knows the full ranking formula with YouTube but because this doesn’t take any effort to do once you get into the habit of doing it, it’s worth a go!

So what I do is make sure I clearly say the main Keyword, in this case ‘WP Affiliate Plugin’ in the first 10 seconds of the video and then again in the last 10 seconds of the video.

Easy to do!

Save your Video File using your Main Keyword

This is another tip that draws controversy on the internet but again it’s another very quick action which a lot of people on YouTube are doing.

Once you’ve created your Video, save the filename of that video with your main keyword.

So my video will be called WP Affiliate Plugin.mp4

Step 3 – Upload and Optimize

Now you can upload your video to YouTube and whilst it’s doing that you can get to work on optimizing that video to get the best ranking possible.

Video Title

This should have your main keyword in it (preferably right at the beginning) and it should be something catchy. For my video the title is going to be:

WP Affiliate Plugin★See It Working Live★More Affiliates = More Money★

Now the stars are optional!

There’s many ways in which you can stand out from the crowd and my advice would be to have a good look at how other people are doing it with their video descriptions, especially the videos which are getting hundreds or thousands of reviews.

But you can see from my video title, it stands out, the main keyword leads the title and there’s a bit of intrigue there for anyone who actually wants to see what this plugin can do ‘live’!

Video Description

Make your video description worth reading!

I like to treat this as a mini blog post. Aim for at least 200 words and have your main keyword in the first and last sentence and where possible a few times throughout the description.

Just don’t make it spammy.

Also, make sure you include appropriate links that might interest whoever’s reading the description.

For my video description I’ve got links to:

  • The blog post which has the full review
  • The ‘Subscribe to my channel’
  • The video itself

Figure 8 shows the description for my video.

ranking youtube videos

Important note:

I still see a lot of YouTubers still putting a list of their video tags in their description! I don’t do this now after reading horror stories about videos being removed and accounts being suspended.

My advice to you is to scatter your keywords wherever possible in your description text but make it readable and never just list a bunch of keywords.

It is definitely something YouTube (and probably Google?) are thinking about so just be aware.

This help article from YouTube makes it quite clear (worth a quick read!):

Secondary Keywords

So where do we get secondary keywords from? Let me explain.

A few of these I found when we did the original Google Keyword Planner research for the main keyword but the majority I grabbed straight from YouTube!

Now this is a bit sneaky so don’t tell everyone but there is a way in which you can see what keywords some of the high ranking videos are using.

Type your main keyword into YouTube and see what the top ranking videos (the ones with the most views and activity) are using in their title and descriptions.

This just gives you some great ideas for secondary keywords to use in your description and tags.

There is also another way! Find a video by typing in your main keyword and load that video onto your screen.

Then look at the page source code for that page. I’m using Firefox as my web browser so for me I select ‘Tools-Web Developer-Page source’ from my browser top menu.

For Internet Explorer it’s: ‘View – Source’ from your browsers menu.

Note: You’ll have to do a search on YouTube or Google if you’re using any other browser software to find out how to do view the page source!

Then, take a look at the video tags in this page source!

Figure 9 shows you the sort of thing you should be looking out for!

youtube video seo techniques

Figure 9 is the page source from my video example and you can see my video tags (keywords!) listed there.

Now I’m not saying copy someone else’s keywords blindly but if their video is doing well then it’s worth examining what keywords they’re using.

Video Tags

That brings us very nicely onto entering your own Video Tags.

Just below the description for the video you want to enter your keywords (or tags as YouTube calls them!).

Start off with your main keyword and then enter the secondary ones that you found.

That’s it, now’s a good time to save your work (click on ‘Save Changes’).


Youtube video optimization tips

Sorry, that’s the end of the sneak preview!

Hope this has given you a flavour of what the full guide includes?

Have you thought about the best way to use Annotations, Subtitles, Closed Captions, Playlists and Social Media to make your Video really Rock in the YouTube Rankings?

Let me show you how…here’s the link again:

‘Free Traffic Informer’, ‘How to Optimize Youtube Videos’ and Tons of Extra Great Training! It’s all HERE…



    2 replies to "How To Optimize YouTube Videos"

    • Torsten Mueller

      Hi Jon,

      thanks for a great post about optimizing YouTube videos. You actually covered everything that is necessary to get any video ranked well in YouTube as well as in Google.

      On top of that I use a free Chrome extension called vidIQ. This extension show me the used tags of a competitor’s video in a box on the right hand side, as well as other useful information.

      You might want to check it out.

      Have an awesome day,
      Torsten Mueller recently posted this great article…What Is The Best Link Cloaker To Buy Right Now?My Profile

      • Jon

        Hi Torsten,

        great recommendation on vidIQ, thanks, also like the fact that they’ve got a free option to try it out (which is also nice!).


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