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4 SEO Tips to Grow Your YouTube Channel

Phoebe Lyons
Written by: Phoebe Lyons
Length: 5 min read
Date: 30 Apr 2024

YouTube SEO? You’re probably thinking “is that really a thing?” 

I thought the same.

But yes it is a thing; a great thing in fact that can dramatically increase your views on YouTube!

So, if you want to keep stand out from the YouTube crowd, keep on reading.

1. YouTube Basics

First things first, you need to get your YouTube channel in order. That means ensuring it looks the part and has all the basics well and truly established. 

  • Channel identity is everything! Get your Icon & Banner updated.
  • Take time to fill in your About section and fully explain who you are and what viewers can expect from your channel.
  • Add your contact information and links to your website and social media channels so your viewers have more ways to reach you.

2. Research!

Time to improve your ranking on Youtube

It’s really important to have a strong idea of who your ideal viewer is, and how they’d find your videos or channel.

Paint a picture of your audience, and think about what words and terms they would search for in order to discover your content. 

A great way to start this process is by looking at competitive videos on YouTube. See what terms and keywords they feature in their titles, descriptions and channel information. This will help guide you to correctly name and label for your target.

Top Tip: I would highly recommend adding the TubeBuddy extension to your channel. TubeBuddy provides you with additional tools to optimise your YouTube account and increases the chance of more views and subscribers.

3. youtube video optimisation

Now it’s time to focus on the four key elements of video optimisation, which include the following:

  • File name
  • Video title
  • Thumbnail
  • Video description

File name

Many people don’t realise that having a file name that matches what your video shows is really important. Often videos have computer-generated file names and we don’t think to change them, but taking the time to rename the file provides big benefits. 

Renaming the file to your video title or using keywords will enable YouTube to have a better understanding of what the video is, and therefore will show it in more relevant searches. This increases the opportunity for the right viewer to find your content. 

Example: Instead of uploading a file that says ‘Chris_Inspired_V1’ we have changed it to:



Video title 

The video title can have a huge impact on how well the video performs. 

When naming a video, think about intrigue and accuracy. 

When creating your video titles, you should entice the viewer to watch the video, make sure the title is still relevant to the video content, and add any relevant keywords. 

Wherever possible, keep your video title below 60 characters, and never exceed 100 characters.

Example: Instead of using ‘Chris LinkedIn inSPIRED February’, we have changed it to:

‘5 LinkedIn Tips That Will Shock You | inSpired February’

Within this title, we have said exactly what the video is based on, included our keyword and added some curiosity to encourage users to watch.

Youtube SEO Tips Image2



Thumbnails can quite frankly make or break your video. 

You could create the most thrilling and compelling video, but if it doesn’t jump out at the viewer from the get-go, you will never generate high views. That’s because the power of visuals cannot be understated. If it looks interesting or attractive, people will be more inclined to click. 

Did you know according to YouTube 90% of the best performing videos have custom thumbnails?

That just goes to show how much influence they play in converting a searching user into a viewer.

What to include in your video thumbnail:

  • Use a talking head or image of the person - this helps to connect to the viewer on a more human level. 
  • Present your video title in bold font. 
  • Adopt a contrasting background for extra visual flair.
  • Keep them consistent throughout your channel to cement your identity.How to design a good thumbnail

Video description

Your YouTube description is nearly equally important as your video itself. Do you know why? It’s because the YouTube description is the best way to boost your video's SEO and search rankings.

YouTube only displays the first three lines of text on any video, which works out to around 1,000 words. That means you need to front-load your descriptions with the most important and relevant information. This could be precisely what the video is about, as well as any calls-to-action such as links to relevant content, Subscribe to your Channel, or hit the Notification bell. 

Here’s how to structure your descriptions:

  • Feature any relevant calls-to-action or links. 
  • Describe exactly what features in the video.
  • Encourage user engagement, such as Subscribe and Like.
  • Offer a short description of who you are.
    Action points to include in description: CTA, about the video, encourage comments, about you

4. Tagging your videos 

YouTube tags help the platform understand your video’s content, and who to share it with. 

By using tags, YouTube can gauge the video topic and category, enabling it to pair to similar content. This is crucial because it broadens your reach potential (in simple terms: it makes it easier for more viewers to find your video and channel). 

By using tags, YouTube can understand the video topic and category and then will associate it with similar content, broadening your video’s reach.

Make sure to tag your videos with relevant keywords so your audience can find you more easily.

Example of Tube Buddy Keyword Explorer

Tip: If you need a hand with ideas for your tags, look no further than the TubeBuddy Chrome extension. It’ll recommend tag ideas, as well as show you tags which are generating high search traffic.


    1. Master the basics and ensure your YouTube channel looks the business. 

    2. Research beforehand to really improve your rankings. 

    3. Optimise your video - file names, video titles, thumbnails and video descriptions.

    4. Tag your videos so YouTube can better distribute your content.

If you want to find out more on how to increase views on YouTube, make sure to get in touch!

Interested in how you can get social savvy? FINALLY can help!

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