5 Essential tips to boost your YouTube SEO

Amazing, you are done making your video, time to upload it to YouTube and let that view count explode!

If it only were that easy. I hear you out, we’ve all been there at one point or another.

You wouldn’t believe how often people don’t consider the factors that affect how YouTube will allow for your content to be searched and/or indexed. That is why we wanted to write a quick blog post to remind you of why you should be thinking of it and boosting your SEO.

1) Spend 20 minutes, not 5.

When uploading your video, give it the same love and attention you gave it when making it. That will make all the difference in the world when it comes to people finding your video. Think of it as taking the time to feed the SEO monster with the right mix of nutritious food so he can grow healthy instead of just some quick junk food. Excuse the 5-year-old metaphor, but that is exactly what you are letting go of – the chance for people to find your content.

2) Really think about your video title

The title of your video is its presentation card, and as such, it should be something that people can easily find. Go beyond what is logical to you, and challenge yourself to think of how people would go about searching for this content. A good way to do this is to use Keyword Tool.io, a search engine that will help you find the exact terms people are searching on Google or YouTube.

Just do a quick Google or YouTube search or use someone who does titles really well is Peter McKinnon, who is a phenomenal photographer and cinematographer from Toronto. He is kind enough to share his experience in some of the best training videos you will ever find. (He is seriously worth a bookmark and a follow).

This screenshot of Peter’s YouTube channel shows just a few of the titles that Peter uses and how he makes it so simple for his audience to instantly know what they are in for.


3) Choose the right category and tags

This can be a little tedious, and sometimes the lines can be blurry as to what tags and category you should list your video under. However, spend a couple minutes and think about the areas that relate most strongly to your content.

When it comes to tags, don’t be shy and use as many as you think are relevant. As for categories, just make sure there is some good alignment when it comes to the industry.

Spending a little more time here will once again help your content show up in the right searches and boost your SEO.

4) Write a good description

A good description makes all the difference in providing context to your video. It is here that you can really explain or link people to the content you’d like them to see or know about.

Someone who does this really well is the Filmmaker and Vlogger extraordinaire Casey Neistat. Knowing his audience well, he knows that they like to know about the tech he uses and the projects he is working on. So he makes it really easy for them to find all that content in his video descriptions.


5) Use thumbnails

Good thumbnails attract more attention because they make your content stand out by providing more context to your video than what a simple screengrab can.

If you can add a little bit of text to your thumbnails, and find an image that will capture your viewer’s attention well, then you’ve got a winning combination!

A brand that does this really well is Nike Football, see below how these football clips can instantly capture viewers by giving them everything they need to know in one still.


Another good example of a content distribution platform that takes thumbnails to the next level is Great Big Story. Using a small logo on the lower left corner helps all their videos stand apart and instantly become recognizable to viewers.


That’s it – now you can be certain that your video will have the legs it needs to be able to be easily found and enjoyed in YouTube.

We mentioned some of our favorite YouTube channels in this post, curious to know favorite ones for filmmakers? Check out our blog post on YouTube Channels for Filmmakers