5 Ways to Optimize Your YouTube Channel
Gone are the days when musicians and comedians had to get discovered in dive bars and county fairs. Everyone and their grandmother uploads videos to YouTube and people are getting famous with a host of how-to’s. From daddy’s demonstrating little girl hairstyles to video game commentary, the enthusiasm that surrounds online sensations is reminiscent of the Beatle craze of the 60’s. Fans flock to gatherings such as Vid Con, squealing as their favorite YouTube celebrities make appearances. These “YouTubers” didn’t reach stardom on luck alone, they all have one thing in common: they fully optimize their YouTube channels.
Brands need to do the same. It may seem intimidating at first, but fully optimizing your YouTube channel and the videos they live on can be as simple as marking items off a checklist.
Each of your YouTube videos should include a specific trio of factors. Keyword(s), a compelling reason to click, and your brand name. It’s also important to consider whether it will be more effective to use a nested keyword strategy with a broad keyword and the main keyword or simply the main keyword alongside the emotional clickbait.
Yes, quality content is the most important element of SEO these days but keywording hasn’t died yet. The right keywords can make or break a video’s discoverability. Lack of, or improper keyword research is a perilous mistake that we see far too often. Thorough comprehension of your target’s search intent along with the utilization of free online tools such as Keyword Planner.
Never discount the importance of the thumbnail. At the very minimum, choose a good image. Nine times out of ten you should use a custom thumbnail image rather than those provided by YouTube. And remember, that is the bare minimum. I would suggest going a few steps further and branding each and every thumbnail on your channel with a color bar and logo. It may take a bit of extra time in the beginning but with a Photoshop template, future thumbnails are as easy as dragging and dropping.
4. Channel Settings
Too often, brands don’t optimize their channel settings. The list is long but here are some beginner tips. Make sure to include something in every possible place on the channel.
- The “About” Tab should capture the brand while using every possible bit of real estate. It should be keyword-rich and include links to your website and social media.
- A channel trailer should never be forgotten.
- I can’t stress the importance of a subscribe button! It’s how you turn a one-time viewer into a loyal fan.
- Use a custom channel URL. It’s easy to change so you have no excuse for a long, character-heavy URL!
- Add a branded watermark. This will appear on all your videos and is a clickable link to your channel’s main page.
- Set up a Channel ad. There’s no guarantee that it will get seen, but on occasion, YouTube will show your video as a pre-roll ad for free. Free advertising. What?!? That’s every marketers dream. It’s true. Your mind has officially been blown.
Utilizing YouTube Playlists is a good way to prevent competitor videos showing up upon the completion of your video and can increase overall time spent on your channel. The auto play function keeps the viewer watching which can improve your search ranking in the long run. Binge-watching is more than just a fad and there is someone out there looking to “geek out” on whatever it is you have to say so make sure you don’t lose them after just one video by employing playlists.
So, what are you waiting for? Now that you know which steps to take to optimize your YouTube Channel, get started!