Search Engine Optimization Strategies That Make Money

There’s a lot of talk going on about how “search engine optimization” or “SEO” for short is increasingly becoming irrelevant, but trust us, you’ll only hear that from people who think that SEO is the same as keyword stuffing. The truth is that search engine optimization is crucial when it comes to making your YouTube videos more profitable, which depending on your objective, might mean increasing the chances of getting people to click on your affiliate links, growing your audience to score higher-paying sponsorships, or getting more leads for the businesses you promote on your videos. So here is a list with our top picks for SEO strategies that have been making us money on YouTube in 2018!

Use Attention-Grabbing Thumbnails

This might sound a bit too obvious for most of you, especially if you are already familiar with YouTube and some YouTube marketing, but did you know that thumbnails can dramatically increase your channel’s relevance by increasing click-through rates? That’s right: it doesn’t matter how catchy your video title is if your video has no personalized thumbnail, because only viewers who are already looking for content using the keywords in your titles are going to click on your videos, and if they see a video with a similar title but with a more attractive thumbnail, then they are going to click on that one.

Adding an attractive, attention-grabbing thumbnail to your videos will not only help you get more clicks from people looking for content in your niche, but also from people who stumble upon your videos by chance, and people who find your videos on an external website or a “recommended” queue. Visual tricks that will help you make your thumbnails more attractive than your competitors’ include adding large text, highlighting or magnifying some areas on the image, and pointing with red or yellow arrows at something unusual on your images.

Build Backlinks

One of the most powerful ways to increase your rankings and to stay on top of search result pages on YouTube and on Google, and to also increase relevant traffic to your videos, is by building backlinks. Backlinks are links to your videos and to your channel that are placed on authoritative sites, blogs, and social media pages that target specific keywords in your niche. Backlinks also include guest posts, video embeds and other types of links to your content, such as when someone shares one of your video URLs on a social media comment or on a YouTube video description.

There are several ways to build backlinks, and we recommend you to start by using your channel to comment on popular videos in your niche to increase the likelihood that your comment will stay on top, by asking authoritative bloggers if you can guest post on their sites, and by embedding your videos on high-traffic pages on your own sites. You can also power up link building by buying backlinks on, where you can find “Private Blog Networks” that sell SEO packages that will provide you with backlinks to your videos on hundreds of authoritative blogs, social media pages, as well as with hundreds of video embeds.

Name Your Video Files After Your Target Keywords

We’re pretty sure that you don’t put too much thought into your video file names beyond naming your video files after the title of the videos, or maybe by giving them simple names that will help you to identify them separately inside your folders. What you should do instead though is to name your video files after your target keywords. That is because when you name your video files after your target keywords you are essentially using the file name as a keyword that Google and YouTube can recognize. Because their algorithms can’t analyze the content in a video, they analyze the keywords in the file name just like they would analyze a tag to learn what the video is all about. This helps the algorithm to index your videos more easily!

Use Closed Captions

We recommend you to upload a text transcript of the narration of your video because the keywords inserted into your transcripts will also be indexed by the YouTube algorithm. You can also paste your transcript in your description to get more of your target keywords indexed without using keyword stuffing. You can add closed captions to a video from your “creator studio” by clicking on the “video manager” tab located on the left-hand menu and then on the “videos” option. Then you’ll just have to click on the drop-down menu icon corresponding to a video which you’d like to add closed captions to, and then to click on the “subtitles/CC” option.

Now you have to click on the “add new subtitles or cc” menu button. Then you’ll just have to select “English” or another language by typing the name of the language in the “search other languages” menu. Finally you’ll just have to select how to add your closed captions. You will have the option to “upload a file” if you already created subtitles on a subtitle format, you will have the option to “transcribe and auto-sync” so you can simply transcribe the narration and let YouTube to automatically sync it with the voice over, and the option to “create new subtitles or closed captions” so you can type and sync your transcript as you watch the video.

Additionally, we recommend you to upload timed subtitles in other languages if you can afford to. Doing so can help you attract viewers that may otherwise be unable to watch your content as well. Think about it this way: If a potential viewer that doesn’t speak your language is willing to activate closed captions to get an idea of what your content and offers are all about, that means that you’ve just made a lead!