9 Powerful YouTube SEO Strategies Every Creator Needs to Use

When I began creating content on YouTube, I never really paid much attention to SEO and just did what I knew worked in blogging and in some cases, that worked pretty well. But compared to what I know today about YouTube SEO and the strategies that work, I was really limiting my view counts, reach and success.

This is why when I learned what I’ll teach you today, I went back to my older videos, optimized them and the results were significant. Many of my videos began seeing more reach, more views, and my channel grew in double digit percentages.

The 9 YouTube SEO strategies I’ll show you today are as follows:

  1. They’re actually pretty easy to use so if you’re a beginner, don’t worry.
  2. Most of them can be applied in under a minute.
  3. They optimize your videos and help them perform better than if you didn’t use these strategies.
  4. And more.

Now you don’t have to apply all 9 strategies, but they do work in tandem so the more you apply, the better your SEO results on YouTube (and Google) will be.

Here are the 9 powerful YouTube SEO strategies that you need to start using:

youtube seo strategies

  1. Target popular topics and keywords about those topics (in the title).
  2. Always use your target keyword in the YouTube’s video description.
  3. Include 2-3 hashtags in the YouTube description related to the topic.
  4. Use a pinned comment with your keyword in it.
  5. Link to other YouTube videos you made in your video’s description.
  6. Always use as many relevant keyword tags in your video.
  7. Respond to people’s comments and heart like them.
  8. A good thumbnail will always help your videos get more exposure.
  9. The quality of the video content is what is most important for YouTube SEO success.

These strategies work are all organized in consecutive order so when you create YouTube videos or go back to your existing ones and optimize them, start with tip 1 and work your way down to tip 9. Eventually these strategies will become ingrained in your mind and you’ll start applying them on autopilot without having to memorize them.

1) Target popular topics and keywords about those topics (in the title):

keyword research for youtube seo

How this strategy helps your YouTube SEO:

  • Popular topics will always get traffic searches.
  • Knowing your topic will give you plenty of video content ideas.
  • More videos means you’ll be able to get more reach on YouTube.
  • Keyword targeting helps people find your videos easier.

Description of this YouTube SEO strategy:

In any field of online business, if you’re going to get traffic and make money, you need to target a popular topic. So too is the case with YouTube videos.

The key to getting this right isn’t really to target “anything” that’s popular but to make videos on popular subjects that you personally know a lot about. I also give this advice to people wanting to make profitable affiliate blogs as well.

When I started one of my YouTube channels, I brainstormed ideas on what types of videos I wanted to make and that brainstorming came from listing out things I liked which are popular. I came up with the following list:

  • Trail running.
  • Nature travels.
  • Affiliate marketing.
  • Making money online.
  • Martial arts.
  • And so on.

For this post’s example, I’m going to stick to affiliate marketing and making money online because my main YouTube channel focuses on this. Once these 2 topics (they are related) are picked out, I’ll make videos on any subject I already know well about in these 2 fields. Here are some examples:

Now you’ll notice I provided links to blogs I wrote up on each of these topics. This is because in my field, it’s better to diversify and so I blog and make YouTube videos on these popular subjects so I can get more exposure to my business, my offers and more.

I currently have over 100 videos made (that are public, there’s even more unlisted and private ones I use for my own marketing projects). And the only reason I was able to make so many was because I know a lot about these topics and so I can brainstorm and find easy ideas to make videos on.

Keyword targeting information:

Each of my videos is also keyword targeted meaning I’ll not only target the popular subject, but my video will display a good title making it obvious that it’s about the popular subject (see my video for reference).

Doing keyword research for your YouTube videos is actually very easy and a much easier thing to do than finding them for blogs.

You can also find more information on getting more YouTube views here and using these same strategies.

2) Use your target keyword in your YouTube video’s description:using keywords in youtube description

How this strategy helps your YouTube SEO:

  • It’s an extra way to optimize the video for it’s target keyword.
  • This helps it’s ranking on the YouTube search engine for the said keyword.
  • It can also help it rank on Google for the same keyword target too.

Description of this YouTube SEO strategy:

There’s not too much to say about this strategy other than it being great for your video’s SEO. Simply take the exact keyword you’re targeting in your YouTube’s video title and enter it somewhere in the description of the video.

Saying something as simple as “Hey thanks for watching my video on so and so topic” is enough and the so and so topic part is literally your keyword.

This is a simple SEO optimization tip that can help a good rippling effect on your video’s rankings.

3) Include 2-3 hashtags in the YouTube description related to the topic:

using youtube hashtags for seo

How this strategy helps your YouTube SEO:

  • Hashtags are a new way people find videos on YouTube.
  • Adding relevant hashtags to your video’s description helps it get better exposure.

Description of this YouTube SEO strategy:

In your video’s description, add the hashtag sign (#) and at least 2-3 keywords closest related to your video’s content. Let’s say I am doing this on one of my videos on YouTube for Bing Ads affiliate marketing.

The most relevant hashtags I’d add in my YouTube description box would be:

  • #bingads
  • #affiliatemarketing
  • #makemoneyonline

Then my video would pop up for those 3 hashtags on YouTube directly and possibly get me more traffic out of it. It’s an extra SEO benefit a lot of people don’t fully utilize today.

4) Use a YouTube pinned comment with your keyword in it:

youtube pinned comment for seo

How this strategy helps your YouTube SEO:

  • Pinned comments provide an extra way to use your keyword.
  • Pinned comments provide an opportunity to talk to your audience.
  • They also help show that you communicate with your viewers.

Description of this YouTube SEO strategy:

Once your YouTube video is uploaded, head over to it publicly, and post a comment as though you’re a regular commenter. In that comment post your keyword with something like: “Hey have any questions about my video on so and so?” and use the keyword once again in that so and so section.

Publish the comment, press the 3 dots and make it a pinned comment. It will now show up at the top of all the comments that your video gets and allow you to control what people see to an extent.

You can also provide links in the pinned comment to anywhere you want, including affiliate links. Just make sure to use the keyword in the pinned comment regardless.

5) Link to other YouTube videos you made in your video’s description:

adding youtube links to description for better seo

How this strategy helps your YouTube SEO:

  • YouTube likes to keep it’s audience on it’s platform.
  • Linking to another YouTube can boost your video SEO rankings.
  • Linking to another one of your YouTube videos can get that one more views.

Description of this YouTube SEO strategy:

In the description of your YouTube video, simply provide a URL to one or more YouTube videos that are related and I prefer you link to your YouTube videos only.

It’s very simple and you can provide URLs to as many of your videos as you want.

I like to keep it simple and provide no more than 3.

In the following case (right), I only included one, but only after my main link to my site (where I’m trying to steer people to).

6) Always use as many relevant keyword tags in your video:

youtube video tags for seo rankings

How this strategy helps your YouTube SEO:

More keyword tags = more potential keyword rankings.

Description of this YouTube SEO strategy:

Every video you upload provides you with a box to enter keyword tags in. I typically enter the most obvious keyword tags and keep it under 10, but lately, I’ve been experimenting with adding more and broadening my keyword targeting.

So if I’m making a video on Bing Ads affiliate marketing, I’ll start with the most obvious terms like:

  • Bing Ads
  • Bing Ads affiliate marketing.

And broaden it out to things like:

  • Make money online.
  • Affiliate marketing.
  • And so forth.

As far as I know, there’s no limit to how many keyword tags you can use and I’ve used programs like Tubebuddy to show me some popular ranking videos on YouTube that have actually used 1,000’s of keyword tags! Just

7) Respond to people’s comments and heart like them:

liking youtube comments and responding

How this strategy helps your YouTube SEO:

  • Comment responses increase engagement (be polite).
  • It gets people to trust you more.
  • It increase the odds of repeat views and subscriptions.
  • A heart comment like makes you more likable to viewers.
  • Comment responses also improve engagement (and YouTube SEO rankings).

Description of this YouTube SEO strategy:

Just be responsive to people who comment on your videos and like their comments (heart) when you think they are saying nice things. Even if it’s a simple “thanks for the video”, still respond to it and at the very least, like it.

If people like your content, they’ll want to say something in many cases and if you respond to those comments, it shows other people who aren’t commenting you’re real and easy to communicate with, which encourages them to do the same.

All of this engagement leads to better YouTube SEO results.

8) A good thumbnail will always help your videos get more exposure:

Have a look at this one (pretty, isn’t it?):

youtube thumbnail seo strategy

How this strategy helps your YouTube SEO:

  • It doesn’t help directly with it, but it improves click through rates.
  • Most times people look at the thumbnail for their searches, vs the title.
  • Thumbnails are powerful tools to use for YouTube SEO (indirectly).

Description of this YouTube SEO strategy:

YouTube thumbnails play an important role for a channels success, as well as individual videos you make. They are the original clickbait of YouTube and if you can masterfully create them, you will be able to get more people to click on them.

Making good thumbnails isn’t a difficult thing to do and I’ve included a link to help you become decent at it and work your way up to mastery.

9) The quality of the video content is what is most important for YouTube SEO success:high quality content youtube videos for seo

How this strategy helps your YouTube SEO:

  • Quality video content is what gets the most attention.
  • Shares, likes, subscriptions and money come from quality content.

Description of this YouTube SEO strategy:

You can think of this strategy as the heart of YouTube SEO because in many ways it is. Every other option above will help you get those clicks and increase your odds of better video rankings, but without the quality content in the video itself, it won’t lead anywhere.

I’ve had numerous videos that were poorly optimized for SEO, but had good content inside them that got incredible views, rankings and still get me affiliate sales on YouTube today. And that is ultimately what matters above all else.

You also don’t need amazing tools to make good videos, just target subjects you know a lot about and make good informational videos on that. This will serve as the quality content that pushes your videos and channel up in the rankings.

Applying all the YouTube SEO strategies you learned today:

As I said earlier, the more you apply them, the easier they’ll get at application. Today these strategies take me very little time to apply and if you already have other videos that need optimizing, go through them and apply the strategies one by one.

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