Make Your Video Stand Out of the Pack on YouTube

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine with two billion videos streamed yearly. Video optimization will expose your company’s brand to a universe of new prospects. Most companies film a video, put it on YouTube, and think they are done. However, if you want to stand out in the pack, there are steps to optimize your video and make your investment worth every penny. To make this post as actionable as possible, we’ve outline the key ways to optimize your videos on YouTube:


Metadata—titles, tags and descriptions—is used to index videos correctly. Your company’s metadata must be optimized in order to maximize presence and outreach.

Make titles compelling and accurate; use keywords first followed by branding

Descriptive keywords that will help people find your videos
Create a set of standard tags for your company that can be applied to any video
Include a mix of both general and specific tags, as well as keywords from the title

Appear in search results or above the fold on a watch page (only first few sentences display)
Add links to other episodes, related videos or playlists
Add links to your company’s site and social media networks
Drive viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel (include a subscribe link)

Thumbnails display in different sizes and formats, whether on YouTube or other platforms. You should use a strong, vibrant image.

Visual Guidelines
Clear, in-focus and high-res (640px x 360px min., 16:9 aspect ratio)
Bright, high-contrast
Visually compelling imagery
Well-framed, good composition
Foreground stands out from background
Looks great at both small and large sizes
Accurately represents the content

Annotations are clickable text overlays used to increase engagement, provide more information and ease navigation. They can be added, edited or deleted at any time. This includes controlling the text, placement, timing and link URLs.

Common Uses
Ask: viewers to like, favorite or share a video; specific questions to enhance viewer engagement
Make it easy for viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel right from your videos
Link to: related videos or content you reference in the video; other videos in the series; other videos, playlists, channels or full versions of shorter video clips; your social media networks
Make areas of videos clickable and interactive
Direct viewers of older videos to newly uploaded content
Add text or clarification to specific parts of videos

Captions, Subtitles and Transcripts
Your company can provide its own captions and transcripts or use YouTube’s features to help create and translate transcriptions. Captions and subtitles make videos more accessible to a wider audience and act as additional metadata which assists with organic SEO and video popularity.

Creating Captions
If you upload a caption track on your video, YouTube can then enable Auto-Translate which will automatically translate into 58 languages (edit and improve via the Edit Video interface)
To create captions, write out and upload text of all audio. YouTube auto-syncs timing to match speech in the video
Use multiple language for titles, tags and descriptions to improve discoverability through search terms
A transcript’s content and keywords are searchable; if video is captioned for multiple languages, it will be searchable in all those languages

Channel Optimization
Optimize your company’s channel for placement in search, related channels, browse channels and the feed so you’ll engage current and potential subscribers.

Channel Description
As first few words appear most frequently across the site, highlight most important content and keywords upfront
Accurately describe your company’s YouTube channel
Use relevant industry keywords in the description