YouTube SEO: How to optimize your YouTube videos for Google Search


One of the most effective ways to direct quality traffic to your YouTube videos is by ranking well on Google searches.

A high ranking on the YouTube search will get you visitors from YouTube internally. However, a Google rank offers a comprehensive solution, targeting audiences even outside YouTube.

With a high Google rank, your video can very easily show up on the All and Video tabs on Google, directing relevant audiences straight to your channel.

Furthermore, whether a business or influencer channel, a high-ranking Google search of your YouTube videos increases your authenticity as it boosts more leads and traffic.

Nonetheless, optimizing YouTube videos on Google isn’t as easy for everyone. So, we’ve shared a foolproof guide on how to optimize your YouTube videos for Google search to generate more traffic to your channel.


How to Rank YouTube Videos on Google

Keyword research – Finding topics with traffic potential

Finding the right keyword and topic should be your number one priority when creating a YouTube video.

As different creators begin to emerge, keywords are becoming even more competitive as each creator struggles to optimize their content. So, the best way to stand out is by diversifying your content.

Unless you are ready to compete, as a general of thumb, do your keyword search and go for less competitive keywords to get you more volume.

You don’t need to complicate the keyword search process. Simple searches using tools like Google Keyword Planner will do.

Nonetheless, you have to remain objective with your choice of keywords and topics. You should just aim at views if you want to create quality traffic and lead generation. For example, if your topic is about air fryers, your videos and keywords have to be relevant.


While making a video about stovetops from the 1940s will get you a lot of views from inquisitive visitors, it will not do much for your intended content and keyword.

However, this alone doesn’t necessarily mean that you are on the right track. You may create videos about different Airfryer brands, while most people are researching the best air fryer videos.

The solution here would be to go with recipes direction, but, figure out how to incorporate air fryer brand comparison during the video. For instance, you can create content about trying out an air fryer recipe in two different brands of air fryers.

Ultimately, it’s not only following the SEO principle. You have to think of the overall user experience. Google intends to offer users what they want. So, everything you create should be geared towards this purpose. Here are three factors to consider when choosing the right keyword and topic;

  • Go for a topic that a lot of people are searching for on Google.
  • Choose a topic that is video-friendly (searchers must want to view that type of topic in video rather than still photos or reading articles)

To do so, you can search databases such as Ahrefs content explorer to look at the most viewed or searched for topics from YouTube.

For example, you can type the word air fryer, and you will get results based on what is researched the most regarding this appliance on YouTube. You may end up with recipes, how-to-use videos, and even how to choose one.

Once you figure out the pattern, focus on creating your videos around these topics and keywords.


Adding timestamps to your videos gives them more value and versatility for the viewers.

But, this is not all timestamps will do for your videos.

They also help highlight key moments in your videos on Google. So, they offer an easy way to get your video to rank on Google searches if you have the right keywords.

Long videos, how-to videos, or multi-step videos can be time-stamped to highlight key or valuable moments. So, when your video is ranking on Google, viewers can easily find links to these key moments within the video, helping them easily find what they are looking for.

Wishpond YouTube Timestamps

So, if you have your YouTube videos time-stamped, Google search will automatically enable these stamped clips to show up.

You can choose to add timestamps manually. But, to let Google pick up the key moments, you also have to add a proper video description, highlighting the key moments.

Here are some of the key things to do on your video to get time-stamped clips to show up on Google searches;

  • Add an elaborative description of the video on the relevant description place, highlighting key moments in the video.
  • Specify the label of each key moment clearly (with details and actual time).
  • Make sure the label is meaningful, brief, and clear ( no more than 40 characters).
  • List timestamps in a proper order, for example: point 1 00:23:05, point 2 00.34:12, point 3 00:56:14. But don’t add too many of them.
  • While describing the labels and timestamps, make sure they align.

Uploading Relevant Thumbnails

Thumbnails play a significant role in the success of your YouTube video.

Thumbnails on YouTube are the reduced-size images that appear alongside your YouTube video title and description on searches.

Wishpond YouTube Thumbnails

When creating a video, don’t just add any thumbnail for the sake of it. This is because it helps the viewer decide whether or not your video will be helpful in what they are looking for.

So, to improve your search rankings, create a thumbnail that easily attracts the viewer’s attention while still being tied to the title.

Optimizing the Title

To improve your YouTube video rankings on Google searches, your title should also be engaging.

When you use keywords on your title, you don’t only increase its visibility on the YouTube search but also in popular search engines like Google.

Start by adding a keyword and creating a title within 55 characters.

YouTube Keyword Tool

Source: Ahrefs Youtube Keyword Research tool

However, keywords alone will not create a dynamic title. You want to create something eye-catching that makes you stand out among creators of the same niche and keyword.

Start by linking the title with what the video is about clearly, and then think of dynamic storytelling words to use.

Optimize YouTube Video Description

A video description is an important part of your video as it lets your viewers know what it is about.

In addition to adding a video description for your YouTube videos, you also want to optimize it for searches. This is because both the video title and description play a role in determining where and when your video appears on searches.

Wishpond YouTube Description

On the Google searchers, your video description will show up as a snippet result, also increasing your chance of getting a view.

To optimize your video description, add the relevant keyword, limit characters to about 160, and curate your description in an eye-catching and engaging manner.

If you are creating a marketing video, you should make it a point to add a link to your site before proceeding with the description. This allows viewers who want to know more about the context of your video to straight to your site.

Work on your Closed Captions

Adding closed captions and subtitles makes your videos more engaging while increasing their success rate on Google rankings.

Remember, there is a difference between subtitles and closed captions.

Wishpond YouTube Subtitles

Subtitles make it easy for your audience to understand the video language, while closed captions make it easy for viewers who can’t hear your video audio.

However, both closed captions and subtitles come with a transcript that matches their timestamp. Like a blog, adding closed captions to your videos allows searchers to pick it up on Google searches.

Related Content


The key to optimizing your YouTube videos for Google search is through employing various SEO principles in one place. Uploading the video and randomly using keywords alone is not enough for the now highly competitive online world.

You can simply invest in an online SEO tool to help you out. While using these results-centered tools, you also have to keep the six essential content optimization tips in mind. You want to ensure you pick the right keyword with potential traffic pulling, add timestamps, and make the content stand out by uploading relevant thumbnails.

Additionally, you want to optimize the title and video description without forgetting to add closed captions. Combining this holistic approach pulls in better results for your content on YouTube searches.

Ecommerce businesses that use video content for their marketing can very easily optimize their video content rankings of Google by integrating them with other marketing automation and efforts using tools such as Wishpond.

A marketing-focused online business solution provider, Wishpond gives developers, creators, and entrepreneurs access to an all-in-one marketing suite for marketing, promotion, lead generation, and sales conversion.

Using the tool can give you access to a selection of creative options to optimize your YouTube marketing video content.

You can always hire an agency or explainer video company to make great videos. But the post-production process like maintaining and optimization are all yours. Make sure you’ll get the best result!

Written by our guest writer Nirbhay Singh

Nirbhay is a top-tier content marketer who helps companies create valuable & insightful content. On the side, he writes about Blogging & SEO on his blog You can connect with him on Linkedin.


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