YouTube Optimization


YouTube has become (or still becoming) a necessary platform in marketing. Optimization of your YouTube videos is the most important part of marketing.

As a second most visited page on the internet and second biggest search engine in the world, YouTube has become (or still becoming) necessary platform in marketing, and its optimization a must. In my post YouTube Marketing for Beginners, I explained the step-by-step procedure on how to open and customize your channel, and upload videos. I thought that optimization of your videos deserve a whole another post because this is the most important part of (every) marketing.

Besides creating engaging content, there are several more ways to attract subscribers to your way to success. You can improve your YouTube optimization in a few ways:

  • Add high-ranking keywords to your title
  • Add more keywords to your video description
  • Choose the right tags for your video



Your video title is the first thing people will see when they scroll down the tons of content. If you are a YouTube user, then you know the importance of the title that will catch your attention. It should be clear, but in a way that you let the user know it will solve his problem.

If you think filling your video title with keywords will make it less catchy, you don’t have to choose. Most of the good titles are compounded between the two. Here is an example of a good title:

In the first part “No-Bake Yogurt Cheesecake” you can see the catchy part which will attract the user. You can put a separator or a colon, or some kind of divider between the too. The second part “How to Make Easy Rare Cheesecake Recipe” is filled with keywords and offers a solution to the problem. If you need some help with the keywords, you can do research here. It is best if you can keep your title under 60 characters, so it won’t be cut off in search results.



YouTube will only show the first few lines of your description (around 100 characters). To see more, a user has to click on it. But we rarely do that, don’t we? So, it is best if you can put important information and links at the beginning of your description.

Here is an example of a Facebook link seen at the beginning of the description. (And, yes, I really like cheesecake!) This link will drive users to a Facebook business page, but you can put any link that is important to you.

After this, you need to put your video description, which can highly increase your SEO. Those descriptions need to be filled with keywords; if you have more links put them also, video credits, and hashtags. Except for Google’s Trends we already mentioned, you can find useful keyword research here, specifically for YouTube.



Tags will connect your video with similar videos. Highlight your most important description words first, and then include common keywords you can find by researching.



When you finish uploading your video, you should pick a category. The way to do that is to go under “advanced settings”. This will also connect your video with related content, which means in a group with similar videos. Here is the list of YouTube categories.



The video thumbnail is your main photo users will see when scrolling down the list of videos. Therefore, it is very important and can have a large influence on the user’s decision to click or not.

YouTube will auto-generate a few thumbnails, but I think it is better to create one of your own, which suits to your brand. Choose a high-quality photo. Recommended size is 1280 x 720 px. If you can paste your logo on it, that’s great! Your account needs to be verified to use this feature, and you can easily do so by visiting this link.

The statistic shows that 90 % of best ranked YouTube videos have custom thumbnails, so consider this an important part of your optimization.

Look at these five examples of the thumbnails from the same brand. Their logo is discreet and put in the same place every time, so it makes it recognizable. And their photos make me wanna go and bake all these sweets right away!

Subtitles and Closed Captions

This is another way of YouTube optimization that’ll help you push your video through different searches. And another way of highlighting your keywords.

You can add subtitles and captions by implementing a full transcript of the video, and YouTube will time it automatically. You can also upload a supported text for the subtitles. The third option is to type subtitles or translation while you watch the video (or have someone else do it for you). You can do that by going to your channel and going to “YouTube Studio”:

When you enter the YouTube Studio, click “videos” on the left side:

Hoover across the video title where you want to add subtitles and you will see “details” option. And click on it. Then, choose the “more options” tab and the video language. (Your default language will not be set, so you need to choose something to be able to perform the next step.)

When you do that, the link “upload subtitles/cc” you can see below will go blue and you’ll be able to click on it. So, you can upload your subtitles or closed captions. Don’t forget to save changes.



If you are uploading videos that are mostly one or few themes, this option will let you create collections of videos from yours and other channels. This has two benefits: one is that you’ll be able to organize your videos, and after some time when you will have a lot of them your channel will look nice and neat. Which means easier to search and to manage.

The other benefit is that those videos are shown separately in search results and that makes them more discoverable. When you want to create a new playlist, find a video that you want to add, and click “save” under the video. After that, select “create new playlist”, enter the name and click “create”.

YouTube marketing is all about optimizing your videos to get higher rankings and visibility. This post should help you with your old videos and with the new ones you intend to create, and once you figure out the basics it will be easy.

Most of it is just concentrating on good keywords. Be prepared to invest some time in it from the beginning, but later it will be a piece of cake. Cheesecake.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.