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How to Improve Your YouTube Visibility With Better SEO

Chris Christoff
Chris Christoff

Start by including a transcript, creating a catchy title, and tagging semantic keywords.

When you think of SEO, what comes to your mind? Many people think about the Google search bar and building keywords on their e-commerce store or blog. Times have changed, and now more people are watching video content than ever before.

YouTube, the second largest search engine behind Google, is an excellent way to generate traffic and conversions – provided you are working hard to build your channel's SEO. According to The Wall Street Journal, people watch more than 1 billion hours of YouTube video content every day. As such, it can be challenging to make it to the top results and recommended videos on YouTube.

We want to help you improve your visibility on YouTube through video SEO marketing. Here are some tips to encourage growth on your channel.

1. Include a transcript.

Captions are excellent for helping your subscribers and viewers read along and understand what's going on in your video. In most cases, YouTube will use artificial intelligence to generate closed captions for your videos. 

However, there is an issue with YouTube's predictive captions. Just because the words register across the screen doesn't mean that your channel's ranking will increase based on what you say during the video. The good news is you can include your own captions and a transcript. If you generate your own transcript, YouTube's algorithm can easily pick up keywords and phrases in your copy, which improves visibility.

2. Create catchy titles.

Much like website content, your YouTube videos need to have catchy titles mixed with your website's keywords. If your title is catchy and informative, you're more likely to get viewers to watch your videos and subscribe, which increases visibility.

The best way to create titles is by doing some keyword research and looking for words or phrases that have low-medium competition and medium-high search volume. After you've picked your SEO keywords, it's time to create your titles.

According to Google, the four most popular categories used in YouTube titles include how-tos, comedy, music, and entertainment/pop culture. If you can create a great title and blend one of these categories into your video, you may see an increase in visibility based on the popularity of your video and your keywords.

3. Tag semantic keywords.

One of the best ways to increase your visibility using SEO is by taking advantage of the tag feature when you're uploading your video. YouTube allows uploaders to go in and pick semantic keywords to accompany their upload.

Semantic keywords are words or phrases related to your company's direct keywords. You should try to add around 10 of these tags to each video. If you add too many, your video may actually decrease in visibility, because YouTube's algorithm could assume that you're trying to game the system.

Think carefully about the keywords you want to add to your video as tags, and plug them in prior to uploading your content. The more varied and accurate your keywords, the better chance you have of ranking high for those words or phrases.

4. Increase engagement.

YouTube holds audience engagement on a pedestal. Four times as many people would prefer to watch a video than to read about it. This is because videos are easier to understand, and it's easy for them to engage and ask questions. The more people who like your videos, share your content, comment on your uploads and subscribe to your channel, the better your videos and channel will rank.

There are plenty of great ways to increase engagement on your videos in your SEO efforts. It all starts with quality content. Make sure you're passionate and uploading content that you believe in. Some people will let their videos "rest" for a couple of days before they upload them so they can make sure they are delivering excellent content that doesn't require additional editing.

Beyond uploading excellent content, you should try to encourage your audience to subscribe and comment on your uploads. Your content should engage with the audience by asking their opinion on the subject. You can try posing a question, making a statement, and generally asking for people to sound off with their opinion.

If you're getting hundreds or thousands of subscribers a month and people are commenting on and liking your videos consistently, YouTube recognizes this as a quality video and is more likely to show it when people are searching for something to watch.


There's no doubt that video content marketing is on the rise. Now that everyone has a smart device in their pocket, your videos can receive views day and night from all over the world. If you use these tips, you'll get an SEO edge and increase your visibility on YouTube's search bar and featured videos.

Image Credit: Denys Prykhodov/Shutterstock
Chris Christoff
Chris Christoff Member
Co-Founder of MonsterInsights, the leading WordPress plugin for Google Analytics.