Get More Views On YouTube By Using The Right Keywords

YouTube is not only a social network to watch cat videos. It’s the second-largest search engine on the internet.

You read that right. With more than 3 billion monthly searches, 2 billion active monthly users, and over 1 billion hours of content watched every single day, YouTube offers a chance for you to generate leads online.

However, the correct YouTube marketing mentality is not to assume that as long as you create good content, it will be selected by the algorithm and put on the front page. It’s not luck or merit.

YouTube is one of the most prominent video libraries on the internet. The key to getting many views on the platform is to tag your videos with information and keywords to make them more searchable for viewers looking for that type of content.

Wait a minute… that sounds a lot like SEO.

Because it is. Let’s talk about that and how you can get more views by using the right keywords.

YouTube is just another search engine

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a key digital marketing strategy that basically consists of optimizing your content with keywords to rank higher in search engines and generate more leads in return. It is most commonly used in blogging, web content, social media marketing, and other marketing strategies that help with lead generation. 

While there is more to SEO than that, that can be another blog article by itself. If you want to learn more about it, download our beginner’s guide to SEO.

So back to YouTube. While many consider it social media (and it is), YouTube is just another search engine. This means you can optimize your content to attract new viewers and expand your audience.

It’s a backward process

First of all, your content must be easy to find. What type of audience is looking for your content?

Know who they are and identify why they would see your content. From here, work backward and tag your video.

The benefit of networks like YouTube is that the audience is already there. However, there’s just too much content and information for you only to expect your videos to be found naturally. You are putting time, resources, and effort into producing content, so targeting specific people is vital.

YouTube Analytics Crash Course

Before we dive into tagging your videos with the appropriate keywords, let’s take a look at the different metrics used in measuring their success:

  • Watch time: This measures the amount of time (in minutes) a viewer spends watching your video. The longer the watch time your channel and content have, the higher the chances of YouTube putting them in recommendations and search results. Low watch time usually means that your audience got bored or lost interest at some point in the video.
  • Engagement: The actions your viewers take apart from watching your video. Liking, commenting, sharing, subscribing, etc. Each action describes something different; a comment can reflect how a viewer resonated with your content, likes and dislikes help you identify if the content worked like you thought it would.
  • Retention Rate: The percentage of viewers that watch the video all the way through. YouTube favors those with high retention rates, making them more relevant and recommending them.
  • Title Keywords: Keywords used in your title that let YouTube know the contents of it. This also aids your viewers in recognizing what your content is about and find it for similar words or phrases.
  • Thumbnails: The thumbnail is the picture that appears along with the title of your video in the search results. It provides a snapshot of your content and captures the viewer’s attention. A good thumbnail can have a bigger impact on whether or not the viewer clicks on the video than the title itself.
  • Re-watches: How many times do viewers watch your video again. High re-watch rates mean high interest to the point of being revisited and watched again. This can be useful to identify what type of content works best for your audience.
  • Demographics: These metrics account for the viewers’ demographics—gender, age, location, etc.

It is essential to understand these metrics. Using them to your advantage when creating new content and knowing their role can help you grow. Still, focus on your objectives and don’t get lost running after the stats.

Now on to keyword usage.

Understanding YouTube Keywords: Relevance>Popularity

What makes a keyword-relevant?

Youtube is this gigantic archive of content. If spamming keywords and making enough noise matter, success on the platform would be easy. As we know, YouTube has too much content for us to put faith into going viral this way.

YouTube (like other search engines) doesn’t recommend the “best” content or information overall. It suggests the most relevant content for their particular searcher. So popularity is not a factor to be considered above relevance.

In marketing, a campaign targeting a gigantic group of people who aren’t engaged will perform worse than a campaign targeting a more minor but highly engaged audience.

Repeat after me. High volume and low engagement won’t work. Ever.

So define your audience, what they need, and what they’re searching for. SEO optimization will be easier this way.

Start with the “why” behind their video searches. The most common motivations behind searching for content on YouTube can be categorized into three groups:

  • They Want to Know: Those who want to know or learn more about something. Tutorials, guides, and explainer videos are trendy in this category.
  • They Want to Purchase: The viewer is searching for information about something they want to purchase—reviews, ratings, unboxing videos, etc.
  • They Want to do: A specific action the user is going to or wants to do drives the search. They are planning for an event, trip, or looking for inspiration to explore a new hobby or activity.

Understanding the motivations behind their searches will allow you to figure out what they type on the search bar. Write down specific keywords or phrases that you would type if you were in their place.

Start by general topic. For example, let’s say the motivation behind a search is that the viewer just got a new puppy and wants to learn how to take care of it.

“How to take care of a puppy” might seem like the obvious answer for an elongated keyword. 

And it is!

Now, let’s build a keyword cloud around that. Relevant verbs like “learn”, “play”, and “care” might also be relevant.

When you finish writing a few sentences or keywords, play around with the search bar’s autocomplete feature. What are the first things that come up?

That was the case for general searches. Try it out for your other keywords and play around a bit. Find channels that talk about the same things with a few thousand subscribers and a decent view count. Pay attention to their title, description, and tags. This can give you an idea of what keywords are overused and highly competed for within your niche and let you know where you may find opportunities for content.

You can also use the Google Trends application. It has a “YouTube search” feature that compares the keywords on your list to see which appear on more searches or rank higher. Here is where you can decide to venture into a highly competitive keyword ranking or seek another that isn’t highly contested.

I’m ready to upload… Now what?


Keyword and SEO optimization for your YouTube videos start before even publishing your videos. You can include keywords in your video’s file name.

The title and description are next. For the title, stick to the point and keep it simple. Youtube’s search results page will cut off titles bigger than 70 characters. As for the description, go big. The more words your description has, the better. You have a 5,000 character limit, so use it. However, don’t make a mess out of it and include keywords placed in relevant information about the video or call to action.

Video tagging is helpful to include top relevant keywords or others that you couldn’t introduce naturally into the title or description. As long as they are all relevant, the more the merrier. Don’t try to trick the algorithm by going too broad. YouTube will identify your video precisely like that, too general and not relevant.

If you are planning to include a transcript or captions, placing keywords there is another option.

Finally, you can even make use of audio keywords in your videos to get more traction. Speak them in the video. Google and YouTube can understand what you’re saying. Make sure your audio file is clear and audible.

This takes time

Mastering keywords, prioritizing relevance over popularity, and working with YouTube as you would a search engine requires time and effort.

Remember, a search engine will try to prioritize the best videos for a particular user. Give Youtube enough keywords to appear in more searches and recommendations. There is no one size fits all, so be sure to experiment and learn what works best for your content and audience!

I hope this information helped you start your journey to getting more views on YouTube. If you are interested in learning more about YouTube marketing, be sure to check out our blog. We post regular content regarding online marketing, SEO, Ad management, and more!

Mrkt360 is a marketing and SEO agency located in Toronto, Canada. We specialize in SEO services and digital marketing solutions. If you are looking to increase your video views or need assistance managing your YouTube ads account, be sure to schedule a free consultation with one of our specialists today!

Alex Zertuche

Alex is a copywriter from Monterrey, México. He graduated from the Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey with a degree in Communications in Digital Media, specializing in Project Management for Creative Industries and Digital Media Production. He is passionate about entertainment, creative writing and generating engaging content through his work.