With Internet content trending toward video, marketers have turned to YouTube to publish videos and boost their brand’s visibility. And with good reason: YouTube is ranked the second most-visited site in the world and is visited by 1.9 billion logged-in users every month. But simply uploading great videos to YouTube and hoping for the best isn’t enough to gain an audience and foster business growth. In order to make your videos discoverable to a wider viewership, you must implement a YouTube SEO strategy.

Write a Keyword-Optimized Title

Just like you would when optimizing content on your website or blog, use a YouTube SEO tool to find popular topics and search terms for your video title. KeywordTool.io offers YouTube autocomplete suggestions and variations as well as keyword-based video tags and captions. Google Trends also has a YouTube search option. Once you’ve chosen a target keyword, make sure to use it just once in your 100-character title (including spaces), and keep in mind that titles longer than 70 characters will be truncated.

Add a Well-Written Description

Use the description field to write a click-compelling and well-thought-out synopsis of your video. Include information about your channel; metadata; and links to your website and social networks. Although YouTube gives you 5000 characters to use in the description box, prioritize keywords in the first few sentences because the first 150 characters will appear in your SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).

Tag and Categorize Your Video

Tags help YouTube associate your video with comparable videos, which can expand your reach. Choose tags the same way you chose your target keyword, with YouTube SEO tools like KeywordTool.io or get keyword suggestions from the autofill drop-down results in the YouTube search bar. Unlike titles, tags don’t have character limits, so feel free to expand on your target keyword with phrases. Don’t forget to choose a category to group your video with similar content and gain exposure to more viewers who identify with your audience.

Create a Great-Looking Thumbnail

All YouTube videos have thumbnails: the static image that is shown to viewers when they find your video. Thumbnails should be accurate representations of the title and content of your videos. Customized thumbnails are preferable to automatically generated thumbnails, in fact 90% of the best-performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails. A video’s thumbnail is an important piece of your video’s metadata and is displayed in the Google search results.

Transcribe Your Video and Add Captions

Although YouTube transcribes every uploaded video, this automated process is not error free—you must proofread and edit the automated transcript or use a third-party transcription service. An SEO-optimized video transcript enables search engines to index the text of your video. In addition, captioned videos allow search engines to crawl the caption text and extend viewership (another part of the rankings algorithm) because they keep the viewer engaged for longer time periods regardless of their access to audio.

For more information on YouTube SEO, check out our blog on Video Marketing for Business Success or give Millennium Agency a call to discuss the best video strategy for your business.

About Millennium Agency

Millennium Agency is a national, award-winning, digital, creative, content/PR, and video marketing firm. With offices in Boston and New Hampshire, our team unites creative branding and data analytics to accelerate our clients’ growth, while combining our clients’ vision with our marketing expertise to increase sales opportunities and drive brand success. From video advertising and web design to social media and PR, Millennium can guide your marketing efforts every step of the way. Contact the professionals at Millennium Agency to learn more!

Linda Fanaras is the President and Founder of Millennium Agency (www.mill.agency) located in Manchester, NH and Boston. She can be reached at 877-873-7445 or lfanaras@mill.agency.