YouTube SEO Guide and Channel Optimization

YouTube, the world’s second-largest search engine, is one of the most critical platforms for your brand’s digital marketing. It is also the quickest way to reach your target audience visually and audibly.

So how to use YouTube and what are its details? Most importantly, how can you implement your YouTube SEO strategy? Let’s take a look at the YouTube SEO and Channel Optimization guide we created for you.

There’s something we always say about search engines: “Current and quality content saves lives.” This is true for all search engines. Even though Google dominates the world, other search engines are also in use. Besides Google, search engines like Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo are used, albeit with smaller shares. Additionally, there’s YouTube, which we don’t often consider a search engine.

Starting out as a video-sharing site, YouTube, with its unique content, has become the world’s second-largest search engine. Like Google, there are many aspects to consider when it comes to SEO on YouTube. One of the platforms feeding SEO is YouTube. The text below will serve as a “YouTube SEO Guide,” and we will try to explain everything we know about YouTube SEO in detail. YouTube is a platform that allows you to reach a wide audience and utilize your past experiences. Its biggest advantage is the ability to maintain the highest level of interaction due to its visual and auditory nature. Initially, YouTube only allowed you to upload and share your videos with others, but now it has become the number one platform used by journalists, filmmakers, musicians, TV channels, and even private and official institutions like a television channel. Live broadcasts, interactive videos, archives, entertainment, art, personal content; in short, everything you can think of is available.

What would it cost you not to be present on such a large platform? There are serious answers to this question. However, if we delve into this point, our article will go in very different directions and unnecessarily extend, so let’s try to look at the ways to exist.

Key Points About YouTube:

  • Founded in 2005 by three former PayPal employees.
  • Acquired by Google in 2006.
  • The second-largest search engine globally.
  • Over 1 billion monthly visitors.
  • Over 6 billion hours of video watched monthly.
  • Known for visual communication.
  • Provides measurable statistics for uploaded videos.
  • Used by individuals and organizations for visual communication.
  • A highly effective and low-cost advertising platform.

Creating Engaging Content and a Good Video:

We can’t give you a brilliant idea on how to make a video “beautiful,” but the one piece of advice we can offer is to make your video as engaging as possible. A video that captures people’s interest, arouses curiosity, and triggers the instinct to share will make your statistics soar. Therefore, if you have no knowledge or ideas on how to make a video engaging, you can seek professional support. To provide a bit more detail on this, we would like to share the method recommended by YouTube itself:

The above example may include methods that are not feasible for every content creator. Considering that not every user has access to professional tools or software, the task can become somewhat challenging. Individual users generally shoot with their smartphones and upload to YouTube. However, the majority of users prefer higher-quality productions. From this perspective, personal efforts lag behind, and if the content is not engaging enough, it does not get watched at all. If you lack production capabilities and cannot use high-quality equipment, having engaging content will suffice to ensure your videos are watched more and reach a larger audience. So, you’ve prepared your video and are ready to upload it to YouTube. What should you do next? By following the steps below, you are more likely to maximize your video’s visibility.

Video Resolution

Visual quality is a crucial factor. High-quality images, videos, and audio files make a significant difference. Today, YouTube hosts videos with a resolution of “7680 x 4320,” known as “8K.” This means the highest video quality you can upload is “8K.” It can also be referred to as “4320p” and is twice the quality of 4K videos, three times that of 1080p videos, and four times that of 720p videos. YouTube is also a pioneer in terms of frame rate, playing videos shot at 60 frames per second (fps). These videos, expressed as “60 fps” or “60,” provide smoother visuals.

Another factor affecting video quality is the bitrate. Setting the bitrate between 2,500 and 6,000 kbps can ensure high-quality video. Sound is another crucial factor in enhancing quality. If you are recording a video where you speak alone, we recommend using a lapel microphone or a high-resolution desktop microphone. Smartphone or laptop microphones can reduce sound quality, making it difficult for your audience to understand you. By using a high-quality audio source, you can convert your video’s audio into formats like AAC, OGG, or mp3. We recommend a minimum bitrate of 128 kbps for audio files.

Impact of These Factors: Users prefer high quality. When searching for a video, if you come across two videos, one normal and one high quality, you would likely choose the high-quality one (unless you have specific conditions like data limits). Therefore, we recommend providing the highest possible resolution. Users with special conditions (such as limited or slow internet) can reduce video quality to avoid high data transfer. Users with unlimited and high-speed internet can enjoy high-quality videos.

Check out the YouTube Help Page for video size and quality guidelines:

YouTube recommended upload encoding settings (Advanced)

Give Your Video a Unique and Attractive Name

Before uploading your video, change your video’s filename to include your targeted keywords:

Pay Attention to Details on the Upload Screen

After your video is prepared, it is of great importance that you carefully use every detail you encounter while uploading. Each area in the screenshots below will positively contribute to the performance of your video when used correctly.

Carefully Craft Your Video Title and Description

While your video is uploading, you’ll notice that the title is automatically generated from the file name. If the name of your uploaded video file is “Company name – product name – product model,” the title will be the same. We recommend choosing an alternative and more engaging title with keywords among your target terms. The recommended title length is 100 characters.

Using an ideally lengthened title as engaging as it is can increase users’ click tendency. “Clickbait” titles, written solely to get clicks and irrelevant to the video content, will decrease your views and increase your dislike rate. We advise avoiding such titles. We also recommend that your description consists of reasonable sentences and is not too long. Although the upper limit in the description section is 5,000 characters, such a long description will not be read to the end. Therefore, enter your description in the most optimized and minimal size, in sentences.

Listing words in succession, following the outdated “meta keyword” logic from past years, can lead to a “spam” perception. For example, the following description may be perceived as “spam”: “In this video, we will talk about the YouTube SEO guide. YouTube SEO Guide Internet Google Search Engine Video SEO Google Plus Quality Resolution 1080p…” *The second part of our description does not seem like a reasonable sentence; instead, it consists of the keywords we selected listed one after another.

Choose Your Tags Carefully

The video you upload to YouTube is the visual version of the content you create on your website. How will the video you prepare to capture people visually and audibly appear on YouTube? Choosing the right tags is crucial for visibility. While not officially limited, YouTube recommends using around 10 tags. Exceeding this number may trigger a “spam” perception. Using tags unrelated to your content might also cause users to leave if they don’t find what they’re looking for, negatively impacting your statistics.

Choose the Right Category

Ensure your video is uploaded to the correct category. An incorrect category can confuse your viewers, so try to select the appropriate category when uploading your video.

Select a Thumbnail

After uploading your video, you’ll see the “Video Thumbnails” section under Basic Info. Normally, you can choose from three randomly selected images from your video. Verified accounts can upload a custom thumbnail. Choose a thumbnail that is relevant to your video and attention-grabbing.

Use Annotations and Cards

You might have seen annotations while watching YouTube videos, sometimes as small notes or large calls to action covering the entire screen. Which serves which purpose? The larger ones attract attention, while the smaller ones are less intrusive. How about doing both at once?

Update: The “Annotations” feature was discontinued on May 2, 2017, as they did not work on mobile devices, which account for 60% of YouTube traffic. In the “End screen & annotations” section of the video editor, you can add various end screens to your video. End screens are small boxes that appear at the end of your video, showcasing other videos. This feature works across all platforms, aiming to enhance the video-end experience for users. Using the options in the “Cards” section, you can link to your own or another YouTube channel, a website, request support for a project on fundraising sites, highlight your product, or link to your video or playlist.

Don’t Neglect Subtitles

Your video can be watched by people speaking different languages. First, create subtitles in your own language for hearing-impaired users. Then, upload subtitles in other languages for foreign viewers. Subtitles enhance comprehension and visual communication. Since users can choose to turn subtitles on or off, it’s crucial to provide them. For more information on subtitles, visit YouTube’s help page on Adding Subtitles to YouTube Videos.

Note: Some claim that keywords in subtitles affect search results, but there’s no verified evidence supporting this.


With YouTube’s translation feature, you can translate titles and descriptions into different languages. This allows users who speak those languages to see your video’s titles and descriptions in their own language, increasing click rates.

Carefully Choose Sharing Options and Visibility

You can control the visibility of your uploaded videos with three options:

  • Public: Your video is visible in both search results and through the link.
  • Unlisted: Your video won’t appear in search results; only users with the link can watch it.
  • Private: Your video is visible only to you.

You can also determine sharing and embedding options. If the “Allow embedding” option is selected under “Distribution options,” users can embed your video on their websites. For example, the following video is embedded on our page using the provided embed code:

Allow Embedding

If you do not allow embedding, your video may not be viewable on other websites. Having the embedding option turned off can significantly decrease your video’s view count. For general information on embedding options, you can refer to: Video and Playlist Embedding

Create Playlists

After uploading your video, grouping it with other similar videos will enhance the user experience. Adding similar videos addressing a specific topic to the same playlist makes it easier for your users.

YouTube Channel Optimization

Now that we’ve covered points to consider when uploading a video, let’s look at your channel. After watching a popular video, will a user be pleased when they check your channel? To optimize your YouTube channel, consider the following points:

Create Profile and Channel Art

If a user visits your channel and doesn’t see your profile and channel art, they may have doubts. Some users may not be sure if the channel truly belongs to you, so it’s crucial to welcome them correctly. Profile and channel art are significant both for this reason and for visual diversity. You can even change your profile picture and channel banner periodically. For special initiatives, campaign-supporting visuals can be very beneficial.

Optimize Your Channel Description

Your channel description should summarize your channel’s mission and content concisely with reasonable sentences. Leaving the description blank or excessively long directly impacts your channel’s visibility. A description around 140 characters long, avoiding “meta keyword” logic, will make your channel look more polished. You can also translate your channel descriptions into different languages, allowing users who speak those languages to see the content in their own language.

Don’t Forget Your Social Media Accounts

In the “About” section of your channel, don’t forget to add your social media accounts under “Custom Links.” You can also enter an email address for business inquiries.

Displaying Subscribed Channels and Liked Videos

Users can see other YouTube channels you own, partner with, or follow, as well as other YouTube videos you like, if you allow it. Depending on your company’s or brand’s purpose and mission, you may choose to show subscribed channels and liked videos to users. This can open new opportunities for your users. We recommend that the channels and videos you choose in this section should not only belong to your own sector. Allowing users to see videos representing different sectors and ideas can be beneficial.

Channel and Video Optimization Completed. Now What?

You’ve optimized your channel and uploaded your video completely, and users have started watching your video. What should you do next? YouTube has an internal analytics system. As you know, these statistics are summarized on the video page. You can get general information about your videos using the “Analytics” tool.

The YouTube Analytics statistics page allows for detailed analysis. You can see which of your videos are watched and liked the most, the average watch time of your videos, and comprehensive data such as seasonal variations. This can provide insights for your future video preparations. Through your analyses, you can strive to improve your content. You can create ad campaigns for specific videos and advertise your videos and channel using your own videos via Google Ads. Today, YouTube has become a key component of video advertising.


YouTube continues to be the largest visual repository and the second largest search engine on the internet. Maintaining its dominance over other video sites for years, YouTube is the most powerful tool for visual communication. If you don’t have a YouTube channel or if your existing channel is not sufficiently optimized, we recommend starting work as soon as possible. This way, you can attract more visitors and reach more people with higher-viewed videos. You can also follow our YouTube channel (in Turkish):

Stradiji YouTube


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