Whether you are new to posting content on YouTube or you feel you aren’t getting the views you were expecting, this checklist will make sure you are doing all the necessary SEO items to maximize your potential video views. Check out the SEO tips below.


Ultimate YouTube SEO Checklist

You should do these things before you make your video public.


Custom Thumbnail

Start off with a custom thumbnail. This is the picture your viewers will see in YouTube search and on your personal channel. Normally, the thumbnail is scraped from your video. However, I would highly recommend creating your own custom thumbnail. When you create your own thumbnail you can make your video “pop.” Your thumbnail should draw the viewer to your video. A great way to check out some examples is to do a search on YouTube of your own video topic and see what other people are doing. Canva is a great website to create free YouTube thumbnails that look great.


Be mindful of your titles length. It should be descriptive but shouldn’t be a full sentence. Use emojis in your title to really make it stand out. You may have to copy and paste them.

Description with Backlinks

In the video description make sure you are backlinking to your website and social media sites. If you are referencing something specific like a topic you wrote a blog on, then make sure to link the specific post, product or service.

Add to a Playlist

Make sure you create a playlist for different groups of videos. This makes it as easy as possible for the viewers of your channel to check out other videos you have done on certain topics. An example of what a company like ours might do would be create a playlist for “Small Business Marketing,” “Sales Tips,” “Social Media Tips,” “Case Studies & Results.” If someone new came to our channel and was only interested in “social media tips” then it makes it really easy for them to find the content that would be most valuable to them and spend as much time on our page as possible.


Make sure you add as many tags for the video as possible. Try to think of as many search term variations people would use to find your video. If we post a video for businesses on “How to Create Instagram Stories” we might add the following tags “how to create Instagram stories,” “Instagram stories for beginners,” “social media marketing,” “social media marketing for businesses,” “Instagram marketing,” “Instagram marketing for small businesses.” You get the idea.

Closed Captioning

Add closed captioning to your videos. If someone has the sound off or isn’t in a position to watch the video with the sound on, you still want them to be able to watch it. Especially when posting the video to social media, it is often the case that before someone decides to invest the time to really watch your video, they might watch a few seconds with the sound off to see if it is worth their time.


YouTube has a number of pre-set categories you can select from. Make sure you select one that is most closely related to your video content.


Cards are links during your video that can pop up and link to your past video. If you reference something in your video that you have created a previous video on don’t miss the opportunity to link to that video. The goal of your YouTube channel should be to keep the viewer on your channel for as long as possible and give them helpful content to build trust. Example: If we did a video on our Ultimate YouTube SEO Checklist and during the section of creating custom thumbnails I would link back to a previous video we have done on using Canva to create custom YouTube Thumbnails.

End Screen 

Toward the end of your video you can create pop-ups that encourage the viewer to keep spending time on your channel. You can link to previous videos, playlists and your website, among other things

Download our Ultimate YouTube SEO Checklist to make it easy and make sure you aren’t missing anything as you post your videos.

For more SEO resources & tips check out our website 


No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *