How to Do SEO for YouTube Videos

Learning how to do SEO for YouTube videos is a skill which can be used to dominate both YouTube and Google, if you’re in to search engine domination (bwaahahaha). Do you need to generate highly targeted traffic and convert that traffic in to leads and sales?

If you’re a home business owner (this works for any business owner by the way, not just those who work from home) then the answer is a resounding “Yes”.

So why is learning how to do SEO for YouTube videos so important to the life of your business? It provides an additional medium to get your message in front of the right people at the right time.

This isn’t some theory. The data is overwhelming as to why YouTube video ranking is so important for helping your business generate leads and sales.

The folks over at recently did some research and found 68% of U.S. Viewers Choose YouTube to Watch Online Video. That is a lot of eyeballs! And it’s no secret that is the 3rd most visited site in the U.S. and the world, according to

Your potential customers love YouTube and they spend a lot of time there, not only watching T.V. shows and movies, but searching for stuff. When they search, you want your message right there, don’t you?

Still not convinced you need to learn how to do SEO for YouTube videos? Here’s a little more data from the article:

  • 63% of respondents confirmed they would cancel their cable subscription if an online provider could satisfy their broadcast TV viewing needs.
  • 36% of all respondents stated that more than 50% of their video consumption is on-demand as opposed to live broadcast television.
  • 28% of respondents indicated they consume 15 or more hours of streaming video content through a game console or web TV device weekly.

People (and by people I mean your customers) are visiting YouTube on their computer and their mobile devices. If you don’t capture them with video, your competition will, and that’s no good for you. So we know people are on YouTube watching T.V. and movies, but what about searching for what you offer?

How to Do SEO for YouTube Videos - Youtube vs GoogleCourtesy of

YouTube is the second most trafficked search engine, right behind Google.

According to, there are more than 1 billion unique users each month, over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month, and 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

People visit YouTube and Google in search of information and entertainment. So we can agree at this point if learning how to do SEO for YouTube videos is not at the top of your marketing list, it really should be.

Let’s get in to the learning so you can rank some videos, get traffic to your website, capture some leads, and generate more sales.

What You Need to Do Before Learning How to do SEO for YouTube Videos

I am going to share the same powerful formula I use when developing my own marketing campaigns. This concept is as important as learning how to do SEO for YouTube videos. The Four P’s Marketing Formula goes like this:

Positioning + Promotion + Process = Profits


Before you even make a video, you need to figure out how to position either you, your company, your product, or your service in the marketplace. In my opinion, figure out your own personal positioning statement before you get started. According to Frank Kern in his recent book titled, “Convert”, there are 5 basic levels of POSITIONING:

  • Generalist – someone who knows stuff about a lot of things
  • Specialist – someone who knows a lot of stuff about few things
  • Authority – someone who is a looked upon as leader in their area of expertise
  • Celebrity – someone who has become famous because due to their authority
  • Celebrity Authority – someone who is the “go to” person about a particular area of expertise

I’m not going to go in to detail on each of these concepts, so I would really recommend reading Frank Kern’s book. It’s excellent and you can read in an hour or two (hey, maybe I’ll do a video where I share these concepts in more detail and rank it on YouTube…brilliant). The bottom line is this, when making your video, figure out exactly who your targeted customer is and how you want them to perceive you, your business or what you sell. Answer these 4 basic questions:

  1. Who are they?
  2. What do they do?
  3. What is there problem?
  4. How can I solve it?


The second part of the marketing formula is PROMOTION. Once you have your positioning and target market figured out, it’s time to decided what promotional methods your are going to master and use to get your message in front of the right customers at the right time.

Obviously, this article focuses on how to do SEO for YouTube videos, so we'll focus on how to optimize video for YouTube, and video marketing in general.

Now it’s time to make your video. If you want to learn how to do SEO for YouTube videos as it's not hard, check out this excellent video from Five Minute Video Marketing. In this video they talk about the key components of your video:

  • Type of Video
  • Opener
  • Introduction
  • Body of the Video – content
  • Call to action at the end
  • The Shorter the better – 2 to 3 minutes in length


Since you’ve already decided to use video a one of the primary marketing channels for your business, this part of the formula is already complete (personally, I like to add Blogging and Facebook to video marketing as my promotion methods of choice). This is about you, not me.

There are some more important questions need to answer before making your video.

  • What is the purpose of the video?
  • What is your call to action?
  • What do you want your viewer to do after they watch the video?

It is important to decide where your video fits in to your sales funnel. Your sales funnel straddles the line between PROMOTION and PROCESS.

Your sales funnel is critical to the success of your marketing campaign and must be thought out in detail and tweaked as your begin to get results, good or bad. Results, good or bad, offer you feedback to help you determine what part of the Four P’s of Marketing you need to work on. There are 3 main components to your sales funnel:

Targeted Traffic to Your Offer => Capturing Leads => Converting Lead to Sales

This leads us up to the next step in the formula, where you will learn how to do SEO for YouTube videos so you can get traffic, leads, and sales. See how easy that is?


Your marketing video is designed to generate targeted traffic to your offer or message. Now that you have your video, it’s time to begin the PROCESS.

The process is everything which comes after you’ve determined your positioning and promotion. This is where you spend time refining, tweaking, and testing your promotional methods.

Too many home business owners jump right to the process without spending any time thinking about what content they are going to provide, what value they offer, who their target market is, and what methods they are going to use to get their message in front of their targeted audience when they are ready to make a purchase.

This is where learning how to do SEO for YouTube videos will help you and your business dominate your niche. Use YouTube to get your highly targeted audience in to your sales funnel.

Before I get in to the actual nuts and bolts of uploading a video and the exact steps on how to do SEO for YouTube videos, it is important to understand more about how Google and YouTube work.

When you understand this, you will be better equipped to get your videos to the top of YouTube, generate more leads, and get more paying customers.

Understand this, you, the business owner making the video, is not YouTube or Google’s primary customer or focus.

The person who comes to Google or YouTube and is searching for information or entertainment is their primary focus.

In order to provide the best user experience on their search and content platforms, Google and YouTube want to provide their users the best results for the information they are searching or the problem they are trying to solve. Ultimately, this is what determines your content will perform when it comes to rankings on Google or YouTube.

There are some key criteria Google and YouTube use in their algorithm when determining how high and where to rank YouTube vides in search results.  John Rampton from does an excellent overview of what’s important in his article titled, “Video SEO Guide: Optimization Best Practices”.

Here is a list of the criteria YouTube looks at:

  • How often the video has been viewed – pretty straight forward; the number of views.
  • How long someone views the video – what percentage of the video is being viewed?
  • How often the video appears in a person’s playlist?
  • The number of positive rankings/comments – are viewers sharing positive comments or any comments at all?
  • The number of subscribers the creator (you) has – does your channel get people to subscribe so you can develop a following?
  • How often the video is added to a playlist – are viewers adding it to their playlist?
  • How often the video was embedded on the web – are viewers embedding the video on their own web pages or blogs?

It is very difficult to manipulate the algorithm which Google and YouTube use, however, there are variables you can control to maximize performance and this is where you can learn to optimize a video for YouTube. In other words, control what you can control. This is similar to on page SEO when you’re doing a blog post, or creating a web page.

Here is how to do SEO for YouTube videos using 14 Ninja YouTube Video Ranking Tips

  1. Become a Keyword Research expert – Spend time learning how to do solid keyword research to figure out what your target market maybe searching for. Start with those 4 basic questions we discussed:
    • Who are they?
    • What do they do?
    • What is there problem?
    • How can I solve it?
    • When you learn how to do solid keyword research, you become a valuable asset to anyone with a business. I recently discovered this very cool free YouTube Keyword Research tool which allows you to find up to 750 keywords. Check it out.
  2. Change your video file name to your targeted keywords – when you make a video on your phone, screen capture software, or web cam, make sure the name of the video is your targeted keywords. For example, when I do YouTube SEO for a video related to this blog post, I will change the file name of the video to “how-to-do-SEO-for-YouTube-videos.mp4”. Does that make sense?
  3. Create a YouTube Channel for your primary targeted keyword and name the YouTube channel using your keywords. Again, using my example, I will set up a YouTube channel titled How to Do SEO for YouTube Videos.
  4. Use your targeted keywords first in the video title and save the branding for the last part of the video title, if at all. This is pretty self-explanatory.
  5. Copy and paste your video title as the first line of your video description.
  6. Be sure to add any link you’re using directly after the keywords in the description (always use http:// and never put www after http://). Remember, the first part of your description is part of the meta data which shows up in search listing on Google and YouTube. The link should be related to your call to action and should act as a way to provide additional information and capture leads. This is extremely important.
  7. Use your primary keyword phrase in the tag box and also included any related keywords.
  8. Go to the new Creator Studio and look on the left hand side for CHANNEL. Under CHANNEL, select Advanced, and in the keyword box for the channel, enter your primary keyword phrase. Optimize Videos for YouTube - Keywords In Channel
  9. Visit the “About” section and add your primary targeted keywords there as well, along with any other information you want to share.
  10. After your video is live, go to the description box, edit it and put the URL of your YouTube video as the very last line of the description box.
  11. Be creative and get as many real views as you can. I do not recommend hiring video view services as these are becoming well known by Google and YouTube and you could actually do damage to your video SEO.
  12. Super Secret Bonus Ninja Tip for Ranking YouTube Videos: Use a non-Gmail email and send an email to the Gmail email connected to your YouTube channel. Put the YouTube video URL in the subject line and in the body of the email. I have no idea how or why this works, but it does. It somehow sends a “signal” to Google and YouTube and announces your video to the world.
  13. Take Massive Action!

Take Massive Action = PROFITS

This is the most important part of this article. You may have heard the term “knowledge is power” right?

Wrong, “Applied knowledge is power”.

What good will this blog post do for you sitting as one of the bookmarks on your browser with no action taken on the information you learned here? You know the answer already so go ahead and start some keyword research, make a video, teach others how to do SEO for YouTube videos.

The more you do practice, the better you will get. What you have learned in this article will help you run your business and provide more value to your marketplace, but it is up to you to learn new information, apply this information, and then teach this information to your audience.

When you do this consistently, you build trust and authority and people want to do business with you and your company. Learning how to do SEO for YouTube videos is a skill and a definite way to provide value to your target audience.

Think about people in your industry who you respect and have what you want, and follow them. Read their blog posts. Watch their videos. Subscribe to their email lists. Look to them and learn from them. By providing good will to your audience, and not focusing solely on money, the profits will start to come.

In fact, the more value you provide to society in general, the more you will earn. I have learned this more than ever from two people I respect very much, Lawrence Tam and Noah Kagan.

Lawrence Tam pumps out tons of valuable content. He shares tips and tricks to help anyone learn how to earn more money, become a better marketer, become a better leader, and become a better parent.

In one of his recent articles, he shared 16 unconventional ways how to earn extra money. What is cool about this article is the information provided can be used by you, starting today, to earn extra income from home when you have learned how to do SEO for YouTube videos.

Lawrence offers “Pros” and “Cons” for each one of these 16 unconventional methods during his review (hint: one of the 16 methods is YouTube videos). I would recommend visiting his blog some time, and subscribing to his newsletter. You should also follow him on his Facebook page.

Lawrence is the person who recommended I check out Noah Kagan and his blog, Noah is quite an entertaining character. Noah was fired from Facebook which is outlined in this post, Why I got Fired from Facebook (a $100 Million dollar lesson), and he isn’t shy about sharing his love for tacos.

Noah's teaches his readers how to think differently about their business and attack it from a different perspective. Noah is constantly offering case studies and connecting with people and allowing them to do guest posts on his blog. What I really love about Noah’s content is the pure value he brings. It’s clear he spends time working on his content.

In fact, you would be well served to take what you’ve (hopefully) learned here and combine it with Noah’s strategies so you can learn how to create your first marketing plan if you haven’t done so already. Noah goes in to great detail during his 8 step process.

Of course, subscribe to his list. Noah Kagan = VALUE, VALUE, VALUE

So let’s breakdown this article in to some bite sized nuggets you can take away and apply before, during, and after you begin to optimize video for YouTube:

  1. Marketing with video is important, so become an expert by learning how to do SEO for YouTube videos
  2. Put a video marketing strategy in place using the Four P’s of Marketing Formula:

Positioning + Promotion + Process = Profits

  1. Make videos, lots of videos, and practice what you’ve learned here to become a video marketing expert
  2. Use your knowledge and expertise to provide value to the marketplace and profits will follow
  3. Seek out and learn from people who you look up to and who have what you want
  4. Take Massive Action

How to Rank YouTube Videos - Summary

I mentioned in the section on PROMOTION how I love to integrate Facebook and blogging into my marketing campaigns, along with video. It has been my experience many home business owners do not have the technological skills necessary to set up and optimize a blog in an effective manner, so they get stuck just using Facebook or videos to promote their business, or don't know how to really do any effective promotional marketing activities at all.

When you create a value rich asset, such as a video, it is important to repurpose that content as much as possible. Blogging is one of the best methods I have found to share content and have content shared through social media.

When you make a video and learn how to do SEO for YouTube videos, you can take those videos and embed them in your blog. It’s really easy to do and it’s just one more source of traffic, leads, and conversions to sales for you, which means more profits!

I have found a super simple viral blogging platform designed for people who have a home based business. If you want to get your message out to more people, then it is an absolute must to integrate a blog with your video marketing.

When you make the decision to get started with this viral blogging platform, you will also receive exceptional training on how to get the most out of your blog.

The best part cannot be measured; you will instantly be connected with some of the most brilliant marketing minds walking the earth today.

I highly recommend you take massive action now, make a great decision, and get started so you can start learning how to blog in the next 5 minutes.

Take what you’ve learned about how to do SEO for YouTube videos and get more traffic, leads, and sales by adding a viral blogging platform to your marketing arsenal.


Start With This System Here


Brett Basinski

Brett is a career sales and marketing junkie. He blogs about marketing, stuff happening in his life, leadership, entrepreneurship, and small business hacks. If you want to get some of his best stuff, visit Brett's Blog.

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27 thoughts on “How to Do SEO for YouTube Videos

  1. Thanks Brett. I will have to throughly review this article again and start implementing what you have discussed here.

    • Thanks Alecia! Thanks for adding to the list. The more we can help people get their videos ranked, the better! #howtodoseoforyoutubevideos 🙂

  2. Loved the scope and clarity of your message, Brett. Many thanks! Just wish you had proof-read for typos and grammar. We writer-types get distracted by those things (there when it should be their) and I know your blog readers will appreciate that, as well.

  3. Wow! This blog post is bookmarked so I can double check the YouTube SEO checklist after each upload. I also just created another channel so I can add that niche’s keywords. This is such great information I’m going to share it!

  4. Brett this is jammed with hugely helpful direction and addresses my weak spot- videos -exactly where I need help. Thank you in advance! Looking forward to printing, digesting and implementing these ideas.

  5. Wow! Brett that’s all I can say, i have found this information most useful, I was connected through someone else who referred me to you blog post and I’m glad I did; looking forward to applying what I’ve learned here today… Action, Action and more Action…

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