Optimizing Your Video for YouTube

October 3, 2023

As of 2023, YouTube has 2.70 billion active users. It is the largest video-sharing platform in the world, and the second largest in overall social media. Suffice to say, if your brand has video content (as it should), you’ll want to make sure it has a YouTube presence as well. Which is why today we’re discussing optimizing your video for YouTube, to reach its full potential.

Types of Video to Post

YouTube hosts every type of video imaginable, but it’s only through optimization and posting within its guidelines that you’ll see success. As to time limits on video posts, non-verified users can share videos up to 15 minutes long. Verified users, on the other hand, can post video up to 12 hours long (or 256GB in size, whichever is less).

But long-form video is not the only option on YouTube. In response to its short-form video competitor, TikTok, YouTube created YouTube Shorts: vertical videos with a duration of only up to 60-seconds. These work well for highlighting a main point or showing a snippet of your long-form videos to gain traction.

It’s important to be clear on your video marketing strategy, which will then inform the types of videos you’ll want to post to your YouTube page. You should post various lengths, with different intentions behind them. Just be clear on what each video’s purpose is, and how to post it will be an easy choice.

Optimizing Your Channel

The most obvious first step in creating a YouTube presence is creating your YouTube channel. This is your home page, where visitors will be brought when searching for you on YouTube or having just clicked the user profile button below your videos.

When first setting up your YouTube, you’ll see a “Customize Channel” to the right of your profile logo/picture. If you click this, you’ll be able to customize the layout of your channel, including adding website links, creating playlists, as well as attaching a “Channel Trailer” video. We highly recommend creating one of these, as they introduce your visitors to what you and your brand are all about. A visual snapshot, if you will, that automatically begins playing when they first arrive.

Be sure to organize your YouTube channel well, by creating playlists according to the types of videos you post. For example, you could have a playlist dedicated to your product(s), with how-to-use videos. Or, to help with brand awareness, you could have a separate playlist, all about your “why”. Maybe include customer testimonials, talking about how happy they were with your service. Be creative! And be clear, keeping it simple for your viewers to navigate.

Optimizing Your Video

Once you’ve started posting your videos, it is imperative you optimize them. What does this mean, you might ask? Optimizing your video means increasing its online visibility and performance when it comes to search engine results. The 5 main components you should focus on when it comes to optimizing your videos on YouTube are:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Thumbnails
  • Closed Captions
  • Tags


YouTube is essentially the second most popular search engine after Google, so consider it as such. Meaning, search engines recognize text so it is important to focus on what text you include on your video posts, starting with titles. Your video title should be clear and to the point, summarizing what your video is about, while being click-able. For example, if you had a video about onboarding, calling it “Onboarding” is not going to be as click-able as calling it “Why Onboarding with Video Works”. So be specific!


Next is your video description. Here is where you can provide more in-depth details, should you need to. But be sure to include the most descriptive, eye-catching words first, as viewers only see the first few words when watching your video.


Thumbnails are up next and are super important. Consider them your video’s “calling card”, as they will either grab (or not grab) your viewer’s attention as they scroll. Colorful thumbnails, and those including humans are ranked to be the most popular. But more importantly, it’s about getting the point of your video across quickly–which can either be done visually and/or via text on your thumbnail.

Closed Captions

Another text-based component are closed captions. By including these within your videos, you not only are being inclusive towards your audience, but are also further boosting your SEO. YouTube automatically adds subtitles to your videos but does not input correct punctuation, grammar, etc. So be sure to edit them yourself, ensuring they make sense to your viewers.


Last but not least, tags! You’re probably most familiar with these, as they’re prevalent on almost all social media platforms. And YouTube is no different! On your video edit page, there is an entire section dedicated to “tags”. It’s here you’ll add any relevant tags to your brand, keywords, your brand’s name, the categories your company may fall under, etc. Consider what your target audience would search for, and include these.

Outside of these, it’s all about posting content consistently, and geared to your target audience. If you are purposeful with your video content creation, and know your end goal, optimizing your video should be quite easy.