Youtube SEO Guide: How to Rank Your YouTube Videos in 2021?

Youtube Guide

Not more than a decade ago inbound marketing was a fairly new idea. Marketers were then learning that not only do they have to publish high volume content but they also needed to make it high quality. Moreover, this content had to be optimized in many ways that could make it discoverable in search engines.

Once, the content was mostly limited to written words. However today, this is no longer true. Today, marketers have to employ a comprehensive strategy that includes visual assets like videos along with written content.

Videos continue to be on the rise constantly. As per the report of 2018 by the State of Inbound as much as 45% of marketers are investing in YouTube. This is an astounding figure! With a rise in formats of different content, we are facing the need to optimize our material for search engines. YouTube is the most important place to do the same.

How Does YouTube SEO work?


YouTube SEO mainly comprises of optimizing your channel, metadata, description, and the videos on your account You are allowed to optimize videos for search both outside and within YouTube. The most important part of YouTube SEO is making use of your video’s text through subtitles, closed captions, and transcripts.

Here are a few tips for improved YouTube SEO:

  • Keyword and Closed Captions

Just as you would optimize written content, you will first have to use an SEO tool to identify keywords. These keywords can be found through various apps and have to be used in describing the video. When a keyword is identified, the very first place to put it in is your video file.

This is because YouTube cannot examine your videos visually to see how relevant it is according to your keyword.  But YouTube can easily read the name of your video file along with every code that is attached to it at the time of uploading.

Similarly, even search engines can just crawl text. However, they cannot watch your videos. Thus your You Tube video transcript should have a host of relevant keywords that will indicate everything your video holds.]

Why do This?

Digital Discovery Networks published a report that shows captions to improve SEO on YouTube images. They’ve seen a 13.48 percent increase in views in the first 2 weeks and a 7.32 percent increase overall. They were searching for a keyword phrase that was only present in their video captions, not in the title, description, tags or metadata. Videos captioned were highly ranked for the phrase because search engines could examine the caption.

  • Translate the Video Transcript

Just like English captions render your videos accessible to more audiences, subtitles in other languages can broaden your reach much more. Brad Ellis, Google’s YouTube marketing manager, highlights the need for multi-lingual subtitles:

“We actually have 80% of views on YouTube coming from outside of the United States. That’s huge, and a lot of that is non-English. Translating captions is very important. It’s a huge opportunity for growth. We see huge demand from non-English uploaders as well to get their content translated.”

Foreign language subtitles lead to the appreciation of your videos by foreign and non-native English speaking audiences. Even more exciting: search engines can store your interpreted caption files in certain languages and feature your video in the search results.

This could be big for YouTube SEO because you have a greater chance of higher ranking with non-English keywords thanks to reduced rivalry.

Just note to always test for accuracy on your translations!

  • Importance of Video Description

First things first: The maximum character cap for explanations on YouTube videos is 1,000 characters according to Google. So though utilizing all that room is great, note that your audience most definitely came here to see a picture, not read an essay.

If you choose to compose a longer summary, note that YouTube shows only the first two or three lines of text — around 100 characters. At that level, viewers will click on “show more” to see the definition in full. This is why we recommend that the definition be filled front with the most relevant material, such as CTAs or vital connections.

For optimizing the video itself, adding a transcript of your video is probably the best, especially for those who need to watch it without sounds. That said, research conducted by Backlinko also found no correlation between descriptions optimized for a certain keyword and the rankings for that term.

The official Creator Academy on YouTube suggests that you use tags to let viewers get an idea of what your video is about. But not only will you be notifying your viewers — you are informing YouTube itself as well.

  • Categorize your Video

Even after you upload videos, you can classify it under “Advanced settings.” Deciding a category is yet another way to team your clip with comparable stuff on youtube so that it ends up in different playlists and becomes exposed to more viewers who can come under your audience.

however, it’s not as easy as it seems. In fact, the Creator Academy of YouTube suggests that marketers go through an extensive trial to assess which category each video relates in. It’s beneficial, the guide says, “to think about what is working well for each category” as you answer questions like:

  • Who are the top creators of the category? What does the audience like about their content?
  • Is there any pattern that can determine the audience of similar channels?
  • What are the length, value, and format of the videos within this category?

  • Upload a custom thumbnail

When flipping through a compilation of video information, the photo thumbnail is the first picture viewers see. That thumbnail, along with the title of the video, sends a signal about the content of the video to the viewer, so it can impact the number of clicks and views your video receives.

While you can still choose one of YouTube’s auto-generated thumbnail choices, we strongly recommend that you create a custom thumbnail. The Creator Academy estimates that “90 percent of YouTube’s best-performing videos have unique thumbnails.

It’s important to note that to upload a custom thumbnail image, your YouTube account has to be verified. Visit to do that / verify and follow the instructions listed there.

  • Cards

Have you ever seen a small white, circular icon with a I in the middle appear in the corner when watching a video, or a transparent text bar asking you to sign up? These are Cards that are identified by Creator Academy as “preformatted notifications that appear on desktop and mobile which you can set up to promote your brand and other videos on your channel.”

There are 6 kinds of cards you can add:

  • Channel Cards
  • Donation cards
  • Fan Funding
  • Link Cards
  • Poll Cards
  • Video and Playlist Cards


Every minute as many as 500 hours of videos are uploaded on YouTube. If you are a YouTube marketer who wants to stand apart in the sea of videos, then you need to optimize your content. With the tips given above, you can easily form your own YouTube strategy and start expanding your audience right away!

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