Personally, I'm loving the SEO feature on TubeBuddy, it makes it a lot easier.
Listen, do simple SEO. Target a keyword by doing this:
Open YouTube and/or Google Search in an incognito window (if chrome) or a different browser than what you use
Type in a keyword that relates to your video content, find a longer key phrase to target for. "keyword" is going to be harder to rank for than "keyword keyword keyword keyword".
Put the keyword in your title, near the beginning. Put in the description. They claim to put it in the tags but the tags isn't that relevant to your ranking according to YT-it even says it on their upload page.
Make a thumbnail that stands out and looks great on mobile. You will have more mobile traffic than non-mobile - always optimize for mobile first.
Do that and your content will improve.
Of course you need to have good content and that is all your job! SEO can't hide that.
P.s. in the end, always write for a human before a search engine. Algorithms are different now than they were in the old days, AI has made them way smarter than we are. It's hard to cheat them now.
It seems to me that it is difficult to delve into all the technical points. in my case exactly. so I'm glad the guys at AIR Ads are configuring all these things, which is the AIR Creators Ecosystem service that I belong to. I just want to remain an author, and not bother how to promote my work.