The 2024 YouTube Video SEO Checklist

The 2024 YouTube Video SEO Checklist

YouTube Video SEO is, without a shadow of a doubt, a blend of art and science. To get a picture of the extensive competition we’re up against as creators, here are some astonishing numbers: there are more than 51 million YouTube channels with varying levels of subscribers, and over 1 billion hours of YouTube video content are watched each day. For a viewer to find content that’s perfectly tailored to their interest in a hypothetical world without YouTube SEO is like finding a needle in an ocean-sized haystack. 


This is why understanding and mastering the art of video SEO is essential for any creator. Businesses using video marketing saw a traffic increase of 76%, underlining the effectiveness of video content in driving engagement​​. For example, these luxury watch dealers attribute their $3.84M/year sales to customer engagement on YouTube. Going up against such competition might seem daunting, but rest assured that quality content and YouTube SEO working hand in hand guarantee you will experience positive results. You’ve learned about overall Video SEO strategies, and now it’s time to find out how YouTube SEO is done.

How to Do SEO for YouTube Videos?

Do your keyword research

  • Identify primary, secondary, and long-tail keywords relevant to your content. YouTube SEO isn’t a guessing game, so use tools like Google Trends, AnswerthePublic, or TubeBuddy to find trending and relevant keywords.
  • Your digital spy dream is about to come true: use the YouTube search bar to find search terms related to your content niche. Integrate this in your YouTube SEO strategy by analyzing the posting dates and views of top videos​​ to see what’s working and what is not.
  • For YouTube SEO, targeting the same keyword multiple times does not lead to cannibalization issues, which you may be familiar with on Google. This allows you to be more flexible with content creation and SEO for videos and associated strategies.

Optimize video elements

  • Custom thumbnails have a major impact on click-through rates. This is important as it greatly affects your YouTube SEO.
  • Speaking of catching the audience’s eye, go for catchy YouTube Hover Hooks. This is something that you don’t want to miss.
  • A great YouTube SEO hack is to include keywords in your video file name, tags, title cards, video chapters, and closed captions to enhance discoverability​​.

Perfect titles and descriptions

  • This is YouTube SEO 101: optimize video titles to include main keywords in the title. Making it catchy, yet informative will naturally draw more viewers in and get that engagement rate up.
  • More YouTube SEO top secret knowledge that seems obvious: writing detailed descriptions using keywords. Don’t gloss over CTAs and links to other social platforms or websites. Aim for a balanced hashtag approach in your description to prevent being marked as spammy by YouTube's algorithm​​.

Use the engagement and navigation tools YouTube provides

  • Utilize YouTube cards and end screens to keep viewers engaged and direct them to related content. This not only aids in video SEO performance​​ but creates a more pleasant experience for the audience.
  • Don’t you hate having to skip through parts of videos you’re not interested in? Add timestamps to your videos to provide both YouTube and your audience with clear indications of the content segments to enhance video SEO ranking signals​​.
  • Our needle-in-the-haystack metaphor comes in handy here as well. Remember to categorize your videos accurately (tags and category) to help YouTube understand and appropriately display your content in search results​​.
  • Another YouTube SEO unexpected hack is to encourage viewers to like, comment, and share. Yes, boosting engagement by responding to comments has an impact on video SEO optimization.
  • Who doesn’t love a little playlist organization? Classify your videos into keyword-optimized playlists to help viewers navigate your content and signal to YouTube the topics your channel covers​​.

Don’t forget about cross-promotion

  • Embedding YouTube videos in blog posts can boost SEO for both the YouTube channel and the blog. We see this as a win-win, and you should definitely try this YouTube SEO tactic.
  • Check out these resources on Instagram SEO and TikTok SEO, then share your videos on other social media platforms. Need we say more?
  • Here’s something to really consider as part of your YouTube SEO strategy: try to post consistently and bring updates to videos. This is like a beacon that signals active engagement to YouTube’s algorithm. 

If you’ve still got questions, we’ve got the answers:


Which Tool is Best for YouTube SEO?


YouTube Analytics: Leverage the built-in YouTube Analytics to understand what works for your audience:


Google Keyword Planner: Useful for finding keywords related to your content.

Google Trends: See what topics and subtopics are trending based on locations.

AnswerthePublic: Get info on the raw searches the public makes.

ChatGPT: Use ChatGPT for generating SEO-friendly titles, descriptions, and tags based on keywords. Get suggestions for content topics or answer niche questions in your video content.



TubeBuddy provides comprehensive tools, including a YouTube keyword research tool, a translator for video titles and descriptions, a best practice audit, A/B testing for titles and descriptions, and detailed analytics

VidIQ: Provides insights on keywords, competitors, and trending topics.


How Long Does it Take to See Results from YouTube SEO?

Keep in mind that video SEO is a long-term strategy. Immediate results are rare; it usually takes weeks or months to see significant changes in video rankings and views, so don’t lose hope and stay consistent.

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