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Guide to YouTube Optimization and YouTube SEO in 2021

Jan 07, 2021   |   Social
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How to do video and YouTube SEO and marketing Milestone Inc

Employing a specific YouTube and video strategy to drive your business success during 2021 will be key to ensuring your customer relationship will sustain and grow throughout further pandemic-induced lockdowns.

Atop this, understanding how to use YouTube optimization strategies efficiently will work towards driving your market statistics, brand recognition, and post-pandemic digital footprint ongoing.

Check out the Milestone YouTube channel.

It’s important your business makes use of the customizing capabilities of YouTube SEO in 2021 in order to effectively target your audiences without loss of attention. Examples of this could include reducing the length of webinars into 3-minute segments while providing viewers a link to full-length videos should they wish to view them.

Then, it’s about ensuring your content feels human, genuine, and personal for organic YouTube optimization.

Here are 9 ways you can achieve YouTube optimization for your 2021 marketing goals and become an online-based consumer-centric business:

1. Understand the current statistics

It’s important to know the current statistics for YouTube optimization in order to know where to place the focus, what the likely demographic will be, how your audiences will respond, and what your YouTube analytics mean.

For example: if you upload a video, don’t be surprised if you find the average watch time to be around 50% of the video, as this is completely normal for YouTube SEO in 2021.

So, the team here at Milestone have gathered some key statistics for you:

2. Become familiar with YouTube Studio

Now you know the statistics as well as why your online media campaign should incorporate understanding how to use YouTube SEO in 2021, and the kinds of audiences you’ll be premiering to, you need to create a channel using the YouTube Studio and develop your knowledge within the platform in order to gain the most benefit.

Benefits such as: channel and video customization that will allow your video’s to organically rank higher and reach wider audiences.

When you’re logged into the YouTube Studio, you’ll have all access to upload videos, edit pre-uploaded videos, write the about section, create playlists, edit playlists, delete playlists, view the in-house analytics of your channel, see the comments, reply to your viewers, look at the channel’s dashboard, see the route to monetization, add plug-ins such as Omniture, write community posts, and more.

3. Customize your channel

Customizing your channel for YouTube optimization is the next step to ensuring it stands out from the crowd. Instead of having a blank canvas, you’ll be able to link your YouTube account to your business through other social media platforms in your omnichannel marketing solution as well as your website. This will allow Google to make viable assumptions about your audiences and the relevancy to your videos.

As well as this, it’s important to understand the mechanisms of monetization; as you’re a business with the goals of increasing overall SEO, brand recognition across multiple platforms, and heightened consumer footfall, your primary aim is not going to be gaining funds after learning how to use YouTube videos in your campaign.

When you reach both 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 publicly watched hours, your channel will be made eligible for monetization and YouTube will begin to place adverts at the front, middle and end of your video. However, these can have a detrimental effect on your viewership as audiences click away to avoid watching adverts. So, in order to relent against consumer avoidance, you’ll need to go into your YouTube Studio settings, head to ‘Channel’, click ‘Advanced Settings’, and check the box to ‘Disable interest-based ads’.

Other customization tools that will aid in your brand’s valued response of viewership include customizing the basic information to echo your business accounts and licenses, select the country in which the head office is based, and show the number of subscribers you have to your audiences for transparency.

4. Optimize your channel

One of the key tips for YouTube optimization includes consistent uploading in order to tell the algorithm that your channel and your content are relevant to the masses of viewers that flock to the streets of YouTube each day.

Your followers will know what to expect and when atop new subscribers being able to look back on a wealth of video content allowing them to build subconscious trust and value for your brand.  

Here are some examples of the regular content we could upload here at Milestone for YouTube SEO in 2021:

  • Erik’s Research Roundup: Erik covers in-house and external research findings for around 2.5 minutes a couple of times each month.
  • Samson’s SEO Standup: Samson takes a humorous approach to the wonderful world of SEO for about 2.5 minutes a couple of times a month.
  • Sam’s Omnichannel Update: Sam takes us into all of his cross-channel topics, tips, and tricks for about 2.5 minutes a couple of times a week.
  • Benu’s Market Musings: Benu riffs for about 15 minutes on the market on-goings once each month.

When you’re sure about the regular upload schedule, you can begin to optimize your YouTube channel by ensuring content is regular, relevant, and refreshing. We’ve put together a checklist for you to use:

  1. Verify your business by confirming an email address and a phone number to gain access to uploading longer videos while increasing your verifiability to the algorithm and new viewers.
  2. Link your business YouTube account to Google Ads so you can begin to promote certain video content to chosen audiences.
  3. After reaching at least 250 subscribers, you can learn how to use YouTube to change your business’ channel URL and make it far easier for people to find your channel, for example: going from to
  4. Share your YouTube profile (and every newly uploaded video thereafter) onto your other social media accounts for omnichannel reach.
  5. Make sure to insert around 40 channel keywords into the metadata so the algorithm understands what your channel will offer to prospective viewers and who to rank for.
  6. Create a video with the sole purpose of being a channel trailer; using the TOP method to create a 30-60-second-long video, you’ll be increasing your viewer chances and overall YouTube SEO in 2021.
  7. Refresh the channel header to communicate new and popular products or services.
  8. After reaching 1000 subscribers, post a community post once per day to keep your subscribers in the loop.
  9. Update your ‘About’ text periodically, making sure the core message and the links are still relevant to your business, your products, the context of the year, and your audiences.
  10. Network with other channels so you can feature each other’s channel on your profiles and direct traffic to each other.

5. Create enticing playlists

Playlists rank just as well as individual videos but have the added benefit of providing additional and subconscious call-to-actions (CTAs) that increase watch time, click rates, and viewer counts as the most crucial aspects of ranking for YouTube SEO in 2021.

They tell viewers the exact breadth of your channel in just a quick glance in the same way a contents page would tell a reader about the chapters and content of a book.

It is one of the video features that work as part of the necessary funnel to tell the algorithm in 2021 that your video is relevant and has multiple pieces of value for viewers.

However, when it comes to YouTube optimization of the individual playlists (because pairing any old videos into a playlist will be an ineffective endeavor), you should always ensure you make playlists using fresh content while updating these playlists with time. As well as this, you should deprecate any out-of-date playlists or videos from the selection, so your content always appears relevant. Finally, there’s always room to guarantee the playlists adhere to the site menu.

6. Ensure each video conforms to the algorithm

YouTube’s first ever public video was uploaded by Jawed Karim in 2005 and was entitled “Me at the Zoo”. Since then, YouTube has grown to see over 500 hours of new content uploaded every minute.

So, it’s key to think about how your video is going to stand out against these millions of other videos that make a home on the YouTube platform.

Here’s ten easy things you can do to each and every video to ensure you’re maximizing reach potential through best practices of YouTube optimization:

  1. List the top 40 keywords that best relate to your video and what your audiences are searching for.
  2. Check what your competitors are uploading and tagging as well as deciphering their publishing rate in order to match these statistics or better them.
  3. Develop a series of around 20 short-form content pieces that link to each other in order to drive returning viewers.
  4. Ensure you edit the videos to crop out dead space, optimize audio levels (to binaural standard) and cut out bloopers for a blooper reel later on.
  5. Make use of one or two meta keywords but know that less is more for YouTube SEO in 2021
  6. Engage with your audiences and invite them to like, subscribe, comment, share, answer a poll, etc., to increase your recommendation chances.
  7. Develop a custom thumbnail like we mentioned earlier to increase your click rate by 154%.
  8. Add timestamps and links to your description and comments to help audiences scrub to where they want to be while increasing your SEO.
  9. When you have famous guests in your videos, ensure to write their name in the title, description, and pinned comment.
  10. Add an end card to each video as a CTA and invite your audiences to continue engaging with your brand.

7. Drive consumer engagement

Given the best time to upload a YouTube video (depending on your content type) will be between 12pm and 4pm, this will be the most likely time your viewers are engaged, active, and ready to continue interacting with your omnichannel media solution. To find out more about how to use an omnichannel solution to a social media marketing campaign, read “The Guide to Social Media Marketing in 2021”.

When you know how to use YouTube enough to grab your viewer’s attention, it’s always best to then look toward leaders in the industry to find inspiration about engaging these viewers onto other channels and – ultimately – into the checkout.

The YouTube channel currently holding the most subscribers is called T-Series and has around 167 million subscribers at the time of writing. They engage their viewers through various CTAs and linking strategies. For example:

  • Placing an in-depth description.
  • Leaving links for other ways to watch, listen to, download, stream, buy, or share their content.
  • Sharing the teams behind the content to personalize and humanize.
  • Providing links to other social media channels for people to follow and see new content through.
  • Uploading a new song three times each day.

And, while these are all good ways to engage audiences, there are more practices your business could adopt in order to tailor the engagement to your target demographic. After all, 8 out of 10 marketers believe YouTube optimization to be the most effective form of online video marketing. Take a look at other engagement techniques employed by these many businesses:

  • Requesting viewers like, comment, subscribe and share.
  • Increase your subscriber count by first getting employees to subscribe and then install a progressive web app (PWA) pop-up to alert new page visitors to the prospect.
  • Adopt a constant flow of uploading content whereby regular intervals and dates can be identified by your audiences.
  • Remember that fresh content will always be more valuable to new viewers.
  • Keep your videos to an engaging length of 1 to 3 minutes while linking to the longer videos of 15 minutes or more.
  • Disable advertisements so your audiences aren’t tempted to click away.
  • Ensure your videos are in HD MP4 format rather than 480p or below to increase ranking YouTube SEO, and keep audiences wanting to watch more.
  • Respond to comments so audiences know they can get through to you and trust you.
  • If any new information comes through, add it to your comments and your description so audiences are updated, and the video remains relevant.
  • When you upload a video, create a comment with similar information to your description and pin it as the top comment for all to see.

8. Check the upload defaults

YouTube features a section called ‘Upload Defaults’ and allows you to generate a selection of information and data that would be blanketed to each and every video you upload. This includes the title, a description, the visibility of the video, the relevant tags, and – in the advanced settings – the license, the language, the captions, and the comment allowance.

Creating a set of upload defaults can be a game changer if you’re a business looking at how to use YouTube to incorporate a schedule of frequent video uploads. As they can sometimes take a long time for each video to upload, you need to be able to use your other time efficiently and wisely, such as: to edit the next video. And, having the upload default (especially in the case of uploading a series as previously mentioned) can aid in timesaving, organization, and consistency.

To find your upload defaults, you’ll need to head to YouTube Studio, login to the business account, scroll down in the left-hand menu, and click ‘settings’. In the new pop-up box, click ‘upload defaults’ and then set your default data. This can be changed on a video at any point in order to keep the video relevant for the time and the audience.

9. Other tactics from the Milestone team

When it comes down to it, there are so many ways to personalize and optimize your YouTube channel in order to increase engagement, be seen by new audiences, create lasting relationships, and work toward the engagement and lead generation goals.

As we’ve mentioned, there is an array of industries including hotels, restaurants, finance, healthcare, technology, and so on, that have audiences who can benefit from your videos and vice versa. So, it’s key to be able to target these specific audiences in one of the cheapest strategies of marketing.

Here are some final tips your social media or marketing teams could work with in order to further tailor your channel toward your goal and for full YouTube optimization:

  • Customize your logo to fit with YouTube’s specifications as well as to alert viewers to know that it’s your YouTube profile and other online profiles exist.
  • Keep videos as short as possible because watch minutes and the overall watch time percentage are the most important ranking metrics.
  • Create a cover design of your branding specifically for your YouTube profile.
  • Always conduct keyword and competitor research on a monthly basis to ensure you’re targeting the right metrics.
  • Develop a channel trailer that introduces new audiences to the content they can expect to see as well as linking to other platforms for engagement.
  • Annotate the video in YouTube Studio by clicking on ‘details’, ‘cards’ and adding cards such as polls or suggested videos for increased interaction.
  • In your branding section, be sure to add a watermark to the bottom right-hand corner of your video, it will be another CTA for your subscriber count.
  • When you’ve got the subscriber count and your YouTube profile is ready, customize your URL to make it easier for Google and audiences to find you.
  • Verify your business’ YouTube account by confirming details, such as your phone or email address.
  • Ensure you are updating the description of your YouTube channel, so it remains relevant for audiences and the information is valued.
  • Keep your YouTube sitemap developed and up to date. Learn more about video sitemaps.

It’s important your business makes use of the customizing capabilities of YouTube SEO in 2021 in order to effectively target your audiences without loss of attention. Examples of this could include reducing the length of webinars into 3-minute segments while providing viewers a link to full-length videos should they wish to view them.

Then, it’s about ensuring your content feels human, genuine, and personal for organic YouTube optimization.

Don’t forget to check out the Milestone YouTube channel.

Contact us at +1 408-200-2211 or email us at [email protected]

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