Your Complete Youtube SEO Checklist

Sep 29, 2022 | SEO

Youtube is the second largest search engine on the internet, only second to Google. So you’re going to need to use our Youtube SEO Checklist to grow your channel in 2022.

SEO is key on Youtube to position your channel in the algorithm, rank for keywords, and be recommended to users. The algorithm wants to keep Youtube viewers engaged and on the platform. It gauges metrics such as engagement data, keywords, and clicked recommendations to understand how valuable a video is. The correct use of SEO can make drastic differences in views, ranking, and Youtube growth.

 That’s why we’ve put together a Youtube SEO checklist to help you grow your channel and get more views. Make sure you’re going through the list with every upload to your channel, and remember consistency is key.

Niche Down your channel

 The first step on the Youtube SEO Checklist is to niche down.

Having a narrow focus on your content may seem counterproductive, but it will help your channel grow and get success.

Finding an audience is always easier when there’s a clear target market or niche in your content. It will help the algorithm quickly identify who to show your videos to and have more chances of getting views. It will also make it easier for viewers to trust you, and hence more likely to subscribe and come back to your videos.

Conduct Keyword Research

Using the same keyword research for Google on YouTube normally doesn’t work as well. This is because people search for different things on YouTube than they do on other search engines. Therefore, you need to approach YouTube keyword research differently.

Start on Youtube

When you’re doing your YouTube keyword research, take a look at YouTube’s autocomplete feature. Simply write your topic idea on the search bar. This will help you get an idea of the things people are searching for that relate to the topic you want to cover in your video.

Pay attention if there’s already a lot of content out there on that topic. Or if it doesn’t seem to be something with an autocomplete response. Then you might want to think twice about pursuing it.

Check out the competition

After getting a general idea of the topic for your video you need to do competitor research.  Look at videos with a lot of views related to your topic and take note of the keywords they use. Then choose the keywords that make the most sense for the type of video content you want to create.

Use YouTube keyword research tools

The final step to determining the keywords you’ll use is to use Youtube SEO Tools to conduct more accurate research. 

Tools such as VividIQ provide you with search volume and even opportunity score metrics. It’s also helpful in showing you trending-related keyword opportunities.

You can read our blog about our 5 Essential Youtube SEO Tools to find out which tool to use for your research.

Have a compelling and optimized Title

A lot of successful Youtubers actually determine their video title way before recording and editing their videos. This is due to the fact that a viewer’s likelihood of clicking on a video is greatly determined by its title. The title must be eye-catching and relevant. 

Optimize your title by using your previously researched keywords. Make sure to do in a way that explains to potential viewers what they can expect from your video or that picks up their curiosity.

Have the perfect Thumbnail

Thumbnails are the other deciding factor for viewers to decide if they’ll click on your video or not.

You want to improve your chances by using colors and words that catch the user’s attention but make sense with your content.

Try to keep it simple by using a good-quality image and keeping the text short. You should be able to understand the thumbnail even from afar. 

If you struggle with design, Canva is an excellent free option. The tool offers Youtube thumbnail templates that assure you your end design will be visually pleasing.

Use CTA’S (Call To Action)

CTA’s are reminders of actions you want the users to perform after watching your video. They can include hitting the like button, leaving a comment, clicking links on the description, and subscribing. 

Don’t be afraid to include a call to action in all your videos as they greatly improve your engagement, and hence your chances with the algorithm. Just keep it clear, concise, and short.

Rename your files before uploading them

Did you know that the file name for your video and thumbnail matter? This is such a minor detail that many users have surely missed! The name of your files actually helps with the algorithm of your video.

Always rename both your video and thumbnail file before uploading them to Youtube so that the name contains your researched keywords. You could also use your optimized video title instead.

Optimize your Video Description 

Your video description can contain up to 1000 characters and optimizing will help you show up in the suggested sidebars of users. 

To increase your chances, provide an overview of your video content that includes your previously researched keywords. 

Mentioning the names of some of your competitors could also help you be recommended on their videos. This practice has not been confirmed by Youtube, but it’s used by many creators who have found success. Make sure to use it in a coherent way, for example: “The content and style of this video is similar to/ inspired by X creator”. 

Use Youtube Tags

Even if video tags play a smaller role in Youtube SEO than your title and description, make sure to use them. 

There’s up to 500 characters that you can fill up with tags. You can make this task easy on yourself by using your previously researched keywords plus a mix of your competitor’s tags.

Search for videos that are already ranking for your researched keywords, and then use 1-3 of these videos to grab their tags. Then make sure to go through the characters and erase any tag that doesn’t relate to your video or channel.

Set up Timeline Chapters 

YouTube rolled out a new feature in May 2020 called the Video Timeline Chapter. While watching other creators’ videos, you may have noticed that the video is divided into sections. Each with its own title based on the chapter’s content. These are visible in the timeline of the video.

The video is divided into chapters to make it more organized and easier for viewers to understand. This also makes it easier for viewers to find a specific part of the video they want to watch again.

You can add chapters to your YouTube videos by including the starting time and chapter title. For multiple timeline chapter creation, list the beginning time and titles vertically, one below the other.

Add Cards and End Screens

People are constantly watching videos from their favorite channels. You know that thumbnails and titles are the first impressions of the content, so adding cards and an end screen manipulates the audience to get curious about the next video. This also works for getting viewers interested in other videos from their favorite YouTube creators or anyone else with interesting content.

Depending on certain factors, the addition of cards to your video content can make viewers want to watch other videos by the same creator that are suggested in cards after they finish watching the current video.

Create Channel Playlists

The YouTube playlist is one of the most underutilized tools by video creators. While viewers use it for their benefit, such as creating different playlists, creators have failed to use it as often as they should. 

It is the overlooked tool that could keep viewers watching longer if used correctly. Creating a YouTube playlist can even get more eyes on your videos.

Creating playlists can improve your channel’s watch time, show value, help you show up on more suggested video sections, and more.