Optimizing Your YouTube Channel

Having great content is one thing… But, let’s be honest, without the views, does it really matter how good you produce video content? Are you wondering how you can show up in YouTube’s suggested videos and search fields? Creating an optimized channel will offer your viewers a rewarding experience that will help grow your visibility on YouTube.

Module Outline and Objectives:

  • Optimizing your videos to rank high on YouTube'

  • How to find keywords to rank on YouTube and Google at the same time

  • Understanding how to write your title, description, tags and more

  • Create a compelling home page to capture attention

Having great video is great. Now let’s show you how to get those videos ranked high on YouTube by breaking down every way you can optimize them.

Step 1: YouTube Keyword Research

In order to start the YouTube optimizing process you need to find the best ranking keywords. The first part of that is generating a long list of potential keywords and then we will shorten the list down.


How to find keywords for your videos

One of the best ways to do this is using YouTube’s search suggest feature. Start typing a word or phrase in the search field and YouTube will start showing you related keywords.

Why are these keywords great? YouTube is showing you examples of what people actually type in the search bar.

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Using keywords from popular videos

If a YouTube video has a lot of views there’s a high chance that video has popular keywords. The good part? They are easy to find! Go to another channel in your niche (your real estate market, the type of clients you work with, etc. Don’t just write real estate). Under the Videos tab Sort By: Most Popular. This will show you all of the videos ranked by the most amount of views.

Next, choose a video from the list that you too can create.

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Finally, see which keywords the video is optimized around. Just browse the title, description and video tags to find a common theme.

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Side Note: To see a video’s tags, we recommend using the TubeBuddy extension. It shows you a video’s tag right on the page… and, they have a free plan!

We also did a full article on TubeBuddy including how to create an account, install the extension and more. It takes just a few minutes from start to finish and is a MUST if you have a YouTube channel.

Find the best keywords from your list

You’ve now generated a list of keywords (from the search results and popular videos in your niche), now it’s time to choose the best ones. More specifically, you want to target low-competition keywords.

***This is even more important if you do not have a lot of subscribers. If you try to go from 10 to 10m overnight it’s not going to happen.

So you need to find and use keywords with little competition and checking is easy! Just type in your keyword in the search results and check the numbers.

For this example, we used the keyword: realtor

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Here’s another example, this time using the keyword: nashville realtor

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Although the top example has more searches per month, it also has 7.39m videos with that keyword. Meaning, if your channel does not already rank high you will never be seen and the most popular channels will grow even faster.

However, if you use a more micro keyword, ex. nashville realtor, your video is now going up against 75.1k total videos.

But wait, there’s more!

Your video can get 2-5x MORE views if you can also get it ranked in Google!

The easy trick is to optimize your videos on YouTube with keywords that already have video rankings in Google.

Google saves space on their search results for select amount of videos and keywords.

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Word of advice: Google likes to show video results for these types of keywords:

  • How-to keywords (“how to become a real estate agent”)

  • Reviews (“solar panel roof review”)

  • Tutorials (“creating the best curb appeal”)

  • Using the word VIDEO

    • This one seems obvious, but not many use it. Look at the examples above. The video in the middle added the word at the end and the the last video wrote testimonial video instead of just testimonial… and, for years they are ranking at the top!

    • Another Aha!… this is why music artists, tv shows, movies, etc. always use (Official Video). It has the keyword they need to rank on both. Now you know…

If you can optimize your videos to be found on both YouTube and Google then you get more traffic. That simple.

How to find these keywords

Getting your video ranked on both platforms sounds great, right? Well, only if you know how to do it.

All you have to do is search Google using the keywords that you found in the last step and see if any video results pop up. Get creative!

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Nashville Virtual Tour gets 1,300 views a month, however, the last ranked video was from 2015. Now there’s an opportunity to take advantage of!

So, if we are recommending you post on YouTube and you optimize your videos to also rank on Google, we better explain….

Step 2: Publish High Retention Videos

You need to keep people watching if you want your videos to rank high. This is known as “Audience Retention” and YouTube specifically stated,

“Your goal is to keep audience retention as close to 100% as you can (because this means viewers are watching all of the way through your videos). And videos with consistently high audience retention and watch time have the potential to show up more frequently in Search and Suggested location on YouTube.”

In a nutshell, YouTube wants to keep people on its platform. It does that by showing videos that have are optimized for audience retention. The longer they stay watching your videos the more opportunities YouTube has to click money.

Creating High Retention Videos in 3 Steps

  1. Start off the video with the summary of the video

  2. Jump directly into the content (meaning stop the long introductions about who you are, what you do, where you work, how many homes you sell, etc.)

  3. Add open loops

    • Previewing what’s to come later in the video

Step 3: Optimize Your Videos

Say your Targeted Keywords

Yes, we mean what you say in your video matters! Why? Have you ever uploaded a video and turned on the auto transcription service for subtitles? YouTube can “hear” your videos. If YouTube “hears” you say your targeted keyword they know what the video is about and know that it is relevant to the tags you chose.

Video Title

The title of your video should be at least 5 words. This way, you can include your targeted keyword without adding too many fluff words.

For this example, the title is 7 words, but only 3 are the targeted keywords (“nashville virtual tour”).

Word of Advice: Similar to a blog post, YouTube video rank higher if your keywords are closer to the front of the title. So for this video, if they wrote Harper Virtual Tour | Nashville, TN | Beazer Homes, they would rank higher and get even more views.


Your video description tells YouTube and Google what your video is all about. The better they understand the video (based on the keywords) the higher it will rank.

Here are the recommended steps when writing your description:

  • Include your keyword in the first 25 words

  • Make the total description at least 250 words

    • A good trick is to set default uploads to add information into your description like your brief bio, web links, social media, links, etc.

  • Include your keyword 2-4 times

Your description is now SEO optimized and ready to be ranked on YouTube and Google.


Tags are not the most important, but they give you a slight boost.

Recommend steps when adding tags:

  • The first tag is the exact target keyword (nashville realtor, nashville virtual tour, starting a real estate team, etc.)

  • Include variations of the target keyword (nashville tn realtor, nashville real estate virtual tour, starting a new real estate team, etc.)

  • Finish your tags off with tags covering other topics on your channel that you want to be ranked for

4 More Ways to Increase your YouTube Rankings

Source: Brian Dean

Source: Brian Dean


    • If someone leaves a comment on the video they are engaging with your video. That’s great news! It also indicates, hopefully, they enjoyed the video.

    • Encourage people to comment by saying it in your video

    • Video comments are a leading indicator of rankings

  2. Subscribes to your video

    • If someone subscribes to your channel they are also telling YouTube they like your channel.

    • How do you get more subscribes? Ask in two ways: physically ask, add end screens with a Subscribe pop up

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3. Video Shares

  • Do you have people sharing your videos to other social media platforms?

  • This is a simple concept, YouTube will reward you for taking traffic off another site and bringing them to YouTube.

4. Compelling Thumbnails

  • Anything compelling draws the eye onto it.

  • It doesn’t matter if it has all of these optimization tactics. A compelling thumbnail gets a visitor to click on your video.

  • The percentage of people that click your video make up your click-through-rate (CTR). If people click on your videos that number goes up, if not, it goes down, and so does your video.

Create a Compelling home page

Like other social media platforms, you home page is the first thing people see, so you must make a great first impression. Your home page should showcase what your channel is about and why someone should be interested.

This includes:

  • Choosing a profile picture that is consistent with other platforms. Your goal on social media and marketing in general is to be easily identifiable.

  • Choose a channel trailer. Your trailer is a video that will automatically play when someone visits your channel. This is your best chance of getting a new visitor to subscribe to your page.

  • Customized channel art. A single image of the ocean looks great, but let’s be honest, it doesn’t help you. Again your channel art should be recognizable and formatted to the right platform (don’t use the exact same images that you would use on Facebook and LinkedIn because they are different sizes)

  • Categorize and organize your videos using playlists. You can rearrange based off the most views, most recently updated and more.

Was that too much info? Just enough? Mind blowing? Let us know in our Facebook Group and leave a comment below!

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