Find out how you can leverage YouTube for better online visibility

YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google

With more than one billion users, or nearly a third of all Internet users, YouTube is considered the second largest search engine in the world after Google. The total duration of the videos played daily is about one billion hours. On the video platform, therefore, an enormous number of searches are made. This makes the challenge of finding exactly your video from users. But if you want to be found, you should optimize your videos and the YouTube channel – i.e. use YouTube SEO.

How does YouTube SEO work?

SEO for YouTube videos works similarly to traditional search engine optimization: there are certain algorithms and parameters that determine the visibility of the videos. Unlike Google, however, these ranking factors largely refer to the videos and the platform itself. Google is pretty focused on the factors. Nevertheless, some assumptions can be made about ranking factors.

Top Ranking Factors for YouTube SEO

More generally, they can be categorized into three categories: video, channel, and engagement factors. Video factors are particularly important for the title, description, keywords, transcription, content, quality, thumbnails, and file name. Video frequency and channel maintenance play a major role in the channel. In addition, the engagement factors include aspects such as views, playback time, likes, shares, and playlists. We introduce you to the most important ranking factors and give you tips for optimization.

Video optimization

Content and quality

Any optimizations are of no use to you if users become aware of your videos and click on them, but then do not find the expected content or poor video quality. The first few seconds are decisive here. So be sure to pay attention to these two aspects first before optimizing your channel and videos.


The video title is the most important ranking factor and helps both the search engine and users to understand the content of your videos.

  • Our tip: An ideal title consists of 60-70 characters to avoid being truncated. Put the main keyword as far as possible at the beginning. Your brand should end, if at all.
  • Describe the video content as accurately as possible.
  • Awaken curiosity from the user, but only create expectations that your video meets. Encourage users to click, but avoid a clickbait title.
  • Use a unique title for each video, name the title at the end of a video series.
  • Our rule of thumb for the title: [main keyword] [descriptive text with side keyword or variation of the main keyword] ([possibly additional information])[Brand]


In the video description, you can provide users and the algorithm with a maximum of 5,000 characters to provide more information about the video content.

  • Our tip: The description should be at least 200 characters long. Accurately summarize the content of your video, use a table of contents with ski marks to the appropriate location in the video.
  • “Above the fold” is only space for 100-120 characters. Formulate this area as appealing as possible and place the most important keywords there. In particular, shops should always have a link “above the fold”. By the way, this area is also displayed in the Google search results.
  • Use the space and insert your longtail keywords here. Questions that are answered in the video should also appear in the description.
  • If necessary, link other videos of your channel, your social media accounts, etc.
  • Add a call-to-action that asks users .B to like or comment on the video, subscribe to your channel, or ask questions.


Keyword tags on YouTube help the algorithm to understand the content of your video and play a big role in video rating. They are not displayed in public, but can be read in the source code.

  • Our tip: Select about 15 tags per video.
  • Be sure to use the main and relevant additional keywords.
  • Use plural variants and synonyms for important keywords.
  • When selecting, be sure to use a mixture of generic and specific terms, even brand tags can be introduced.
  • Set standard tags that are relevant to your channel, such as.B your brand. These channel keywords should be mentioned in every video in your channel, as they help you add you to your channel among the other recommended videos.

Transcription (Subtitle)

Subtitles are important not only for the deaf, but also for search engines to better evaluate the content of your video.

  • Our tip: YouTube can create subtitles automatically. However, since speech recognition is not yet fully mature and flawed, you should write the transcript manually or at least manually revise it.
  • Name the main keyword in the video so that it also appears in the transcription.


The thumbnail is the thumbnail in the video search results and the first visual impression you Have YouTube users have of your video. Therefore, it significantly influences the click rate of your video.

  • Our tip: Customize the thumbnail in the Creator Studio on YouTube.
  • Use a high-resolution image: 16:9, 540×360 pixels.
  • Use an appealing image that arouses curiosity but no false expectations among the user.
  • Use bright colors, emojis, bordering or close-up faces with eye contact to generate attention.
  • Add the core message of the video or your claim.
  • Create an individual thumbnail for each of your videos.


The file name of your video also helps the algorithm to better classify the content.

  • Our tip: Formulate the file name of your video file as precisely as possible.
  • Make sure that the most important keyword is preserved in it.
  • Separate words with a hyphen.

Channel optimization

In addition to optimizing each video, you should also present your entire YouTube channel in the best possible way. The user should be able to quickly find the relevant information there.

Video frequency

YouTube likes timeliness and users will also stop by more often when they notice that you regularly post new content.

  • Our tip: Publish new content as often as possible, provided the video quality remains high.

Channel design

When users visit your YouTube channel, they should find a professionally designed channel.

  • Our tip: Make sure your channel name is accurate.
  • Use a header graphic that matches the contents of the channel; communicate fixed transmission times here if necessary.
  • Link your social media profiles in the Social Bar.
  • Add a precise channel description and your imprint.
  • Use a channel trailer to give users an idea of what the channel is all about.
  • Create meaningful playlists where users will find related videos. Use keywords relevant to your playlist titles. If necessary, add third-party content to your playlist, allowing you to direct users to your channel.


User signals are an important indication of whether a video is relevant or not, making it extremely important for a good YouTube ranking. Important is the number of subscribers and video views. In addition, Watch Time, which tells you how much percent of the video is actually watched by users. YouTube also rates it positively when users stay on the channel and on the platform for even longer after watching a video. Another ranking factor is the ratio of likes and dislikes as well as the number of comments. Other user signals are shares and the number of embeddings of the video on other websites. The commitment can only be influenced indirectly by you as a channel operator.

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