Follow my 74 free optimization steps to help you achieve more views and subscribers on YouTube. I cover in the checklist.

  • Video Research
  • Video Script
  • Video Recording
  • Vidoe Files
  • Vidoe Title
  • Video Description
  • Video Thumbnail
  • Optization Video landing page and more.

Follow a to-do list and when this task should be done to get more followers and high search results on YouTube.


Process PhaseTo-doContextWhen should you do this
Video researchConduct keyword researchResearch high-volume keywords relevant to the video's topic to inform content creation and optimize discoverability.Before creating the video
Conduct competitor analysisResearch competitors' videos to identify popular topics, formats, and strategies, informing your own video creation process.Before creating the video
Analyze competitor engagementAnalyze competitors' engagement metrics such as likes, comments, and views to gain insights into audience preferences and trends.Before creating the video
Monitor for trening topicsUsing trending topics is a tried and true method for successful link building in traditional SEO and can also be applied to your video content. These are seasonal, newsworthy, local, unique, or even surprising topics, etc. Use tools like YouTube Trending (country-specific), Popular on YouTube (global), Google Trends, all of which are great resources to discover trending topics to tie into your video content.General housekeeping
Video ScriptOutline video contentDevelop a detailed outline of the video content, ensuring it aligns with the chosen keywords and target audience interests.Before creating the video
Identify key points (arguments), supporting data, and hooksDetermine key points and hooks within the video script to capture viewers' attention and maintain engagement.Before creating the video
Incorporate relevant statisticsIntegrate relevant statistics, facts, or data to add credibility and interest to the video's content.Before creating the video
Differentiate contentIdentify gaps in competitors' content and strive to offer unique value propositions or perspectives to stand out in the crowded space.Before creating the video
Plan engaging intro and outroPlan engaging introductory and concluding segments to hook viewers from the start and encourage continued engagement. Avoid any words or visuals that could lead to demonitization or restrictions to your video.Before creating the video
Include target keyword in video introEnsure the target keyword is mentioned in the introduction of the video script to establish relevance early on. Mention important and relevant, keywords, entities, and concepts that the video will cover within the first 30 seconds of the video.Before creating the video
Incorporate keyword variationsIntegrate relevant related terms and what the video will cover, using common user search patterns within the first 30 seconds of the video to improve search visibility and align with viewer search intent.Before creating the video
Plan for in-video CTA OverlaysStrategically plan for in-video call-to-action (CTA) overlays to prompt viewer engagement, directing them to subscribe, like, share, or visit external links, enhancing viewer interaction and potentially boosting channel visibility and audience growth.
Before creating the video
Script clear and concise dialogueWrite clear and concise dialogue that effectively communicates the intended message and keeps viewers interested.Before creating the video
Include some of the main keywords people search for in the scriptIncorporate some of the main keywords people commonly search for within the video script to optimize search visibility and align content with viewer search intent, improving the likelihood of the video being discovered by the target audience.Before creating the video
Incorporate important related entitiesInclude important entities to enhance viewers understandingBefore creating the video
Plan other content to recommendPlan which videos, pages, or content to recommend as part of your video - these can be included in the video as overlays, or in the description, or any associated document, linked from the description.Before creating the video
Video recordingEnsure the video is shot in good lightingPrioritize filming in well-lit environments to enhance visual clarity, reduce shadows, and present a professional appearance, ensuring viewers can easily see and engage with the content.Before creating the video
Ensure video audio is consistently high-qualityMaintain consistent high-quality audio throughout the video recording process, utilizing suitable microphones, reducing background noise, and ensuring clear voice projection for optimal viewer comprehension and engagement.Before creating the video
Ensure good video quality throughoutMaintain high video quality consistently throughout the recording, editing, and post-production processes, including any added images or videos, to deliver a visually appealing and immersive viewing experience, enhancing viewer satisfaction and retention.Before creating the video
Set up a dedicated recording spaceEstablish a dedicated recording space with minimal background noise and distractions, ensuring a controlled environment conducive to producing high-quality video and audio recordings.Before creating the video
Perform test recordingsConduct test recordings to assess lighting, audio quality, and overall video production setup, making necessary adjustments to achieve desired results and ensure consistency throughout the recording process.Before creating the video
Use a stable camera supportUtilize stable camera support such as tripods or stabilizers to prevent shaky footage, ensuring smooth and professional-looking video sequences that enhance viewer engagement and overall production quality.Before creating the video
Maintain eye contact whenever there's a person-to-camera shotUse a teleprompter or a software in post-production to minimize eye movements away from the camera, whenever there is a person to camera shot.Before creating the video
Plan 20 seconds at the end of the video for the use of an end screenDedicate the final 20 seconds of the video for the use of an end screen, allowing ample time to display interactive elements such as subscribe buttons, video recommendations, or links to other content, maximizing viewer engagement and promoting further interaction.Before creating the video
Video fileAlign video file title with video titleEnsure the video file title corresponds with the video title and contains the target keyword to enhance search optimization (e.g. the-best-youtube-seo-checklist.mp4)Before you upload the video
Tag video with relevant keywordsUpon upload, tag the video with relevant tags. Include leading with the most important keywords for tags, and ensuring a good mix of common and more long-tail tags to improve search categorization.When uploading the video on YouTube (video settings)
Categorize video under Advanced settingsProperly categorize the video under Advanced settings upon upload to help YouTube's algorithm understand and categorize the content accurately.When uploading the video on YouTube (video settings)
Video titleCraft catchy, keyword-rich titleCreate a title between 60 and 70 characters that is catchy, aligns with user intent, and includes the important keywords and relevant intent variations to entice potential viewers to clickWhen uploading the video on YouTube (video settings)
Ensure the title format reflects with the content of the videoIndicate via the title, the type of video you have - commentary, tutorial, guide, vlog, podcast, etc.When uploading the video on YouTube (video settings)
Write a title that evokes interestDoes the title evoke interest or communicate a fulfillment of a need?When uploading the video on YouTube (video settings)
Video descriptionInclude key video moments in descriptionProvide a breakdown of key video moments (chapters) in the description to enhance viewer understanding and engagement.When uploading the video on YouTube (video settings)
Include relevant links product or website linksIncorporate relevant site, product, and additional recommended content links within the description to provide additional value and drive traffic.When uploading the video on YouTube (video settings)
Include social linksInclude links to social media profiles, or contact pages in each video's descriptionWhen uploading the video on YouTube (video settings)
Optimize description lengthWrite a description between 350-600 words long, containing the a breakdown of the context, topic, entities mentioned in the video, where you use keywords and search terms that are relevant in a natural context, along with CTAs and crucial links, while front-loading important information within the first 2-3 lines.When uploading the video on YouTube (video settings)
Include CTAs in the descriptionIndicate the desired next step after watching the video (e.g. watching another video or playlist, giving a social follow, leaving a comment, purchasing a product, etc.)When uploading the video on YouTube (video settings)
Video thumbnailDesign tumbnails to be mobile-firstDesign for small screens, ensure the thumbnail is visible on a small screen. Test and optimize for a smaller screen.Before you upload the video
Design thumbnails with a consistent brand color palletteCreate a thumbnail following a consistent format in terms of branding, readability.Before you upload the video
Incorporate added context via text or visualsIncorporate the target keyword or context-enhancing variations (textual, or visual) to improve visual appeal and search visibility.Before you upload the video
Design appealing visualsDon't use visual elements that will create a viseral reaction into users, even for shock value. This is unlikely to cause a high click-through-rate.Before you upload the video
Create variations for A/B testingCreate multiple visuals, if you have an A/B test option enabled on your channelBefore you upload the video
Annotations and End ScreensUtilize info cards throughout videoIncorporate informative info cards strategically throughout the video, providing additional context, links to related content, or relevant resources to enhance viewer engagement and encourage further exploration of your channel or website.When uploading the video on YouTube (video settings)
Implement an end screenAllocate a segment at the end of the video to display an end screen featuring interactive elements such as subscribe buttons, video recommendations, or links to other content, providing viewers with clear next steps and opportunities for continued engagement with your channel.When uploading the video on YouTube (video settings)
SubtitlesProvide closed captions for accessibilityInclude closed captions (subtitles) in the video to improve accessibility and enhance viewer experience for international audiences, potentially improving search rankings through increased engagement.When uploading the video on YouTube (video settings)
Content TransformationTranslate the audio of the video (if applicable) and use other translation featuresWhenever applicable, have you taken advantage of YouTube’s Translation tools to reach an international audience?When uploading the video on YouTube (video settings)
Transcribe the video to turn into a blog postHave you written a video transcript to be hosted on the website (e.g. blog), which you can link to from the video description?After the video has been published
Create lead magnets and added value resources from the contentCan you create associated resources from the video content (e.g. case studies, checklists, guides, infographics)?After the video has been published
Repurpose the video to other formats and platforms (if applicable)Can the video be turned into another content format and repurposed for other content platforms, beyond YouTube (e.g. podcast)?After the video has been published
Repurpose the video to shortsCan you create shorts from your video?After the video has been published
PlaylistsGroup videos into series, whenever applicableWhen you have a group of videos, are they organized in a series?General housekeeping
Create playlists for videos of the same topic or contet formatWhen you have a group of videos, have you created a series playlist to keep these videos in order for a better viewing experience and to keep viewers watching?General housekeeping
Video publishing variance and frequencyUpload videos consistentlyDo you upload videos on a consistent basis?General housekeeping
Upload videos of variyng lengthDo you upload videos in varying video length - both long and short?General housekeeping
Experiment with livestreamsDo you sometimes incorporate livestreams?General housekeeping
Experiment with short-form contentDo you sometimes upload Shorts?General housekeeping
Implement consistent content strategyFollow a clear and consistent content strategy aligned with user intent, search trends, and trending topics in the niche to maintain audience interest and relevance over time.General housekeeping
Channel landing page optimizationProvide clear CTAs for people to subscribeDoes your channel include a prompt for users for subscribing when they visit it?General housekeeping
Organize the landing page cohesively, promoting important content via featured videos and playlistsDoes the channel visit offer a good UX? Are the layout and tabs, playlists and videos organized and consistent with the brand identity?General housekeeping
Provide a good visual experience on your channel pageAre all banners in line with YouTube’s thumbnail and banner image guidelines?General housekeeping
Highlight key topics coveredEnsure you provide a good understanding to visitors what your channel is aboutGeneral housekeeping
Create and improve your channel descriptionInclude relevant information like uploading schedule, topics covered, and motivation behind creating content.General housekeeping
Add branding elementsAdd branding elements like logos and watermarks.General housekeeping
Add links to other web sourcesAdd links to other websites or web sources you want to promote (social channels, product pages)General housekeeping
Create a channel intro videoCreate a video to introduce visitors to your channel's purpose, structure, content, and entice them to subscribe.General housekeeping
Engagement and Social behaviours on YouTubeComment on videos from the same nicheEngage with other creators within your niche by commenting on their videos, providing valuable insights, fostering relationships, and increasing visibility within the community, potentially attracting new viewers who share similar interests and encouraging collaboration opportunities.Engagement and Relationships
Utilize the community tabRegularly post updates in the community tab and update your audience on your posting schedule, topics you're covering, or other updatesEngagement and Relationships
Post pollsYouTube polls are an online poll created by the YouTuber to share viewers’ opinions and responses. Results can be shown in real-time to the creator and the audience. Created through the YouTube Community, polls are an easy way to gain knowledge and use it to your advantage. A YouTube poll can help creators bridge the gap between brands and customers without using an external page or survey.
Engagement and Relationships
Utilise the comment, comment like, and superlike functions on your own videosActively engage with viewers by utilizing the comment, comment like, and superlike functions on your own videos, fostering a sense of community, encouraging interaction, and signaling to the algorithm that your content is engaging and worthy of promotion.Engagement and Relationships
Collaborate with other channels in your nicheForge partnerships and expand your audience reach by collaborating with other channels in your niche, creating joint content, cross-promoting each other's videos, and leveraging each other's audiences to mutually benefit and grow your respective channels.Engagement and Relationships
Video Off-PagePromote product-associated videos on product landing pagesHave you embedded product-associated videos on product landing pages?After the video has been published
Feature your videos in blogsPromote YouTube videos in associated blog posts on your websiteAfter the video has been published
Tag the video with structured data, whenever you control the publishing processHave you marked YouTube videos with the appropriate Video schema, when embedding them on landing pages?After the video has been published
Promote the video in communities of interestReach out to site owners and in various communities to get your video featured on other websites, and in other videos on YouTube.After the video has been published