• YouTube

YouTube SEO: 6 Most Common Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)

  • Felix Rose-Collins
  • 9 min read
YouTube SEO: 6 Most Common Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)


If you're like most business owners, you know that you need to be on YouTube. But you might not realise that simply creating videos and uploading them isn't enough. You also need to optimise your videos for SEO.

Unfortunately, many businesses make common mistakes that can hurt their ranking and visibility on YouTube.

YouTube SEO

YouTube SEO Mistakes can greatly impact your YouTube channel’s visibility, ranking and overall performance. If you make the wrong mistakes, your channel could be left in the dust and lose out on potential recruits and viewers.

By understanding how to do it right, you can improve your videos and make them more search engine friendly.

To avoid making these common YouTube SEO mistakes, use the following tips we will share in this article.

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This article will discuss the 6 most common mistakes in Youtube SEO. Let’s get started.

YouTube SEO Mistakes you Need to Avoid

1. Short Descriptions with No Keywords

A common understanding of YouTube SEO in the past was that on-page elements like the title, description, and tags were effective ways to rank for keywords.

Even I had the impression that using certain-match tags in your titles was the best approach to show how different keywords are from one another.

If these tags aren't frequently misspelt, they might help your video become more visible. Other than that, tags never affect the exposure of your search result on youtube.

The description can be an excellent opportunity to include all the keywords, also with the same keywords and other contextual detail your algorithm needs to find content more relevant to your particular search string.

  • Categorising your video is the best way to communicate to the youtube algorithm,
  • So start splitting your video into segments.
  • Give them the timestamps for better transparency between you and your viewers.
  • Provide them with the best call to action.
  • Also, include the proper SEO keywords when elaborating on the extra content you want to deliver.

Look at the best example mentioned below for your future reference,

Short Descriptions with No Keywords

  • In this example, a structure will ensure you have all the SEO elements necessary and calls to action while retaining readability.
  • In the opening statement of the first sentence, the displayed content of the search listing is mentioned clearly.
  • The second piece of the description's content is often a short, bulleted list consisting of more targeted keywords and phrases and those that do not quite work within a normal video description.

By using a structure and adding the key pertinent words and phrases to your video, you can help YouTube figure out when to show your video in search results and recommend it with other pertinent content.

2. Leaving Out your Keywords and Phrases

Another benefit of YouTube's unified transcription is that it includes subtitles for all users. YouTube automatically isolates uploaded voice recordings and creates separate files for transcripts. One source of contention is the appropriateness of the transcripts themselves.

Leaving Out your Keywords and Phrases

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Experts in video analysis have established that YouTube will only begin to index a video's subtitles file if it is a custom file transcribed by the software.

Others claim that everything will be fine once the automatic transcription service is used. From my perspective, and based on what I've seen in my work with YouTube clients, I wouldn't rely on automatic captioning.

Automatic captioning only provides roughly 70 per cent accuracy and might potentially lead to YouTube and Google will block the channel because it appears to be a nonsensical mess.

However, Make certain you attempt to speak the target keywords or phrases aloud in your video, particularly if you are uploading your own captions or utilising automatic ones.

SERP results

If your speech is clear, the voice assistant algorithms will see and comprehend what you are saying, and your material will have a better chance of being displayed to your audience.

Also, it is a myth that Google believes a short video clip will answer a searcher's question; it will show it as a featured snippet.

When you look at the image, you would be noticed even when you have an elaborate video about the following topic, the shorter one with fewer key moments appears on the top of the google search engine.

3. A lack of attention to off-page metrics

YouTube's ranking algorithm considers how your viewers act upon a given video more than what kind of content you have.

Consider what the things you're showcasing convey to the algorithms. Would it be more popular if a video is valuable, interesting, and engaging, but the average viewing time is short, and the engagement rate is low?

To understand this principle, you need to know about off-page metrics,

Through off-page metrics, you can notice,

  • Audience retention
  • Engagement and
  • Click-through rate

However, simply understanding what influences video quality isn't adequate. It is more necessary to work out the statistics and improve your video's steps. You're frequently harming your video SEO if you don't do it.

A lack of attention to off-page metrics

Learn how to leverage YouTube's analytics module to boost the strength of your videos, channel, and, ultimately, your video results.

4. Bad Thumbnail Designs

For many search queries, YouTube viewership, click-through rates, and quality of thumbnails jointly contribute heavily to how well a video ranks.

As such, please remember that your audience will interpret your thumbnail copy as your calling card, so if it's not of the absolute highest quality, consider whether or not to invest additional funds in creating a higher quality one of these files.

So you may ask me now, What may cause a thumbnail to fail?

If the thumbnail doesn't grab attention, generate interest, or look good, it may be because it was designed in a way that is not always successful.

The first order of business is to design a suitable thumbnail. Otherwise, your thumbnail will depend on YouTube to automatically select a still frame of your video, which can cause the thumbnail to capture the outline of the video poorly.

Bad Thumbnail Designs

After so much effort, your video may not be as popular as you'd hoped, and it might also affect your clickthrough rate. The fact is that many different components of a YouTube screen can draw the audience's interest.

Take a look at the image below. Do you feel the urge to click on the video?

Bad thumbnail examples

Also, we found they need to work on their titles to gain more attention from the viewers.

The thumbnails show small snippets of the video. This is how magic happens!

Good thumbnail example

Several best practices should be followed while creating an intriguing and clickable thumbnail, including:

  1. Elements with high contrast and large,
  2. Bold text,
  3. Enticing Visual Cues for the Person or Product Featured in the Video.

I hope this guide has answered your question about how to make a perfect thumbnail and cleared up your doubts.

5. Having No Effect on Engagement

Some people think that YouTube comments are a waste of time, while others find them to be a valuable way to engage with their viewers.

According to some, comments can help improve viewership for videos and add value to conversations. However, whether or not comments affect engagement is still up for debate.

There are a lot of factors to consider when creating a comment strategy for YouTube.

Having No Effect on Engagement

One of the most important is engagement. Engagement is how comments are seen and used by YouTube viewers. While not affecting engagement may seem like a disadvantage, it can be a strong advantage if done correctly.

How to keep viewers engaged

No one is sure how much of the decline in engagement on YouTube is due to people not liking the videos or how much to the algorithms, but it’s clear that something needs to change. Some companies are looking to fix the algorithm, but no one knows what that even looks like.

Subscribe button

_However, _there is nothing wrong with addressing viewers to ask for their help, thanks, or to take action.

Even better, add on-screen animations and cues to emphasise what you are asking the viewer to accomplish explicitly.

It is also worth noting that YouTube does not solicit negative opinions or remarks from the audience.

Negative comments

To be noted, Controversial videos frequently perform exceptionally well.

6. Not Promoting to Watch More Videos

If you want to make more money, you might want to consider promoting other people's videos on your channel to watch again and again. It can be a great way to build an audience and generate traffic. However, be careful not to promote too much or too low-quality content.

Not Promoting to Watch More Videos

YouTube is a great place to share videos, but it's important to be creative and not promote other people's videos as your own. If you share a video that is low quality or has bad audio, it can hurt your rank and followers.

Making a popular solo video will influence all other videos on your channel. Getting your videos to work properly for the same reasons will make your channel more discoverable and searchable.

The fundamental issue is that we do not make it simple for users to watch many videos on our channel (or extend their viewing sessions).

Promote channel

Two things happen when viewers watch multiple videos at the same time,

  1. There's a chance of an increase in view duration of multiple videos.
  2. By doing so, you increase the viewer's time on YouTube.

YouTube pays close attention to supporting content for audiences on the channel and the platform. There are many reasons for this, but the chief among them is that YouTube can generate revenue from viewers who keep watching your videos.

If you decide to make content that can keep people intrigued, you'll increase the number of followers you have as well as the number of views your videos receive.

I hope you have come to a better understanding of how to avoid the listed YouTube SEO mistakes.

Now let's see how to fix those mistakes,

How to fix YouTube SEO Mistakes

1. Make your Titles and Descriptions Relatable to the Searchers

For every video you submit to YouTube, it's important to give it some attention, just as you would when creating SEO-friendly headlines for Google rankings. Fortunately, you've already finished the initial stage of your strategy by finding relevant keywords.

Using the list of keywords you've narrowed down, write a video title that is eight words or shorter. Ideally, your video title will accomplish the following objectives:

  • A member of your target audience might type "who," "what," "where," "when," or "why" into their search field. Respond to that query.
  • Include both competitive and less-competitive keywords, as well as those with a lot of monthly searches.

If you’re having a hard time coming up with good titles, bounce some ideas off of a colleague. Remember that simplicity is the goal, but incorporating those researched keywords is essential.

Make your Titles and Descriptions Relatable to the Searchers

Put down your keywords and get the most viewed result. From that piece idea, you can start making videos.

Apply the same guidelines while completing the "description" section. You'll have much more space to deal with, and length is generally advantageous. But simplicity is key, just like with your titles like the below example.

Understand digital marketing

Also, this point was previously mentioned that your video descriptions should be written in the concise, formal language without any typos. You may learn Youtube SEO by naturally incorporating as many keywords as possible.

2. Keywords Matter

SEO marketing for platforms such as Google begins with thorough keyword research, and the same is true for optimising content for YouTube's search engines.

Keywords Matter

It's a good idea to begin your investigation with Google's own Adwords tool, just as you would when developing an SEO strategy for Google visibility. Enter a phrase linked to the topic of your YouTube video, and you'll be presented with a large list of similar keywords and their relevance to your video.

Once you've compiled a list of keywords related to your content on Adwords, there are a few things to consider when reducing your choices for SEO purposes:

  • Select search terms that are most relevant to your video. The better your keywords are at describing your content.
  • Search for terms with a significant amount of monthly searches. It's not a bad idea to mix in lesser competitiveness keywords, but avoid using terms with few searches.
  • Search for terms with more than one word, i.e. search for more long-term keywords used often by YouTubers.

It's time to put your keyword research into practice when you've chosen a list of keywords you want to use for Youtube optimisation.

3. Make Use of the Tags That Your Competitors are Already Using

It's simple to copy tags from other videos that have already been optimised for YouTube because tags are crucial for ranking content on the platform. To beat the competition by utilising their own terms against them, follow these 4 steps:

  1. Enter the appropriate keywords for your content in the search field on YouTube, and take note of the top three video results.
  2. Visit the videos one by one. To view the page's source code on the video page, use "Ctrl + u".
  3. To begin a search, press "Ctrl + f" and type "keywords." A list of tags will appear, each one separated by a comma.
  4. Make sure that commas still separate the terms as you copy and paste those tags into the "tags" section of your video.

Although you should add more tags based on your chosen keywords, starting with tags from other pieces of content optimised is a wonderful place to start.

Meet Ranktracker

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If you are still unsure about applying the above tactic, you can use these sites to find your competitor hashtags,

By doing this, you'll enhance the likelihood that your video will be included in a list of "similar content", and your content will rank higher in YouTube's search results.

The Bottom Line

It's better to conceive of the platform as its search engine with its own peculiarities to grasp because there is a lot to learn about Youtube SEO.

The three elements mentioned above will put you in the proper direction to rank your content and watch your traffic skyrocket. However, a fundamental knowledge of the Youtube optimisation process is required for all digital marketers.

Thus, To become a digital marketing expert, enrol in our online digital marketing course; you can learn how to take videos, make SEO work for you, and drive traffic to your channel; you can enhance your YouTube traffic with SEO and video quality.

Felix Rose-Collins

Felix Rose-Collins

Ranktracker's CEO/CMO & Co-founder

Felix Rose-Collins is the Co-founder and CEO/CMO of Ranktracker. With over 15 years of SEO experience, he has single-handedly scaled the Ranktracker site to over 500,000 monthly visits, with 390,000 of these stemming from organic searches each month.

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