YouTube is the second most visited site in the world. It’s the most utilized search engine right behind Google (who also owns YouTube) and the place to be if you’re hoping to market to your client base. Many of our clients want to set up a YouTube channel but are either worried about starting or have started and aren’t gaining any traction. Optimizing your YouTube channel can feel intimidating – but it doesn’t have to!
By making sure you’ve fully set up your page, posting content regularly, optimizing your key words, including accurate subtitles, and taking advantage of new features, you can be sure that your YouTube channel is set up for success.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at each of these steps and by the end you should be equipped with five things you can do to optimize your YouTube channel for success.
Make Sure You’ve Fully Set Up Your Page
If you’re looking to optimize your YouTube channel, the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you have the basics covered and have an attractive, fully set up channel page. Your channel page is your home on YouTube, and just like your website, you want it to be as attractive and easy to navigate as possible.
First, make sure that your channel has a good-looking, easy-to-recognize profile picture. Like most social media platforms, the profile picture is how you or your business will be recognized by users.
Then you’ll want to be sure you have a channel banner set up. Keep in mind, the banner shows differently depending on the user’s display, so make sure your graphic designer makes a design that will still display well no matter how your customer is viewing the channel.
Also, make sure your basic info is filled out correctly. Under Customization > Basic info, you can edit your contact info as well as adding links to your website or social media to your page’s banner.
One of the most basic yet most important things you can do to ensure that the YouTube algorithm favors you and that your customers and viewers are engaged is to set and stick to a regular content schedule.
YouTube has historically favored channels with regular, engaging content schedules, and if you’re looking to optimize your YouTube channel this is one of the first things you’ll want to tackle.
Not every business has the time, team, or budget to release weekly videos, which is understandable. If this is the case, sit down with your team and plan out a series of videos ahead of time. Focus on useful, evergreen content that will continue to draw in viewers. Evergreen content on YouTube refers to videos that will always be useful and have an audience – think tutorials and other how-to related content.Then, if you can, produce that content ahead of time and then release it on something like a monthly schedule.
Keywords are King
Like Google searches, keywords play a huge role in how your content is discovered by YouTube’s algorithm, and the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) apply when publishing your YouTube videos the same as when making a piece of written content for your website.
When it comes to YouTube, you have several spots to optimize your keywords: the title, description, subtitles, and keyword box. The keyword box used to play a much larger role in how videos were discovered, but recently it’s become apparent that your title and description play a much larger role.
Create a title that people will want to click on, and make sure your keywords are as close to the front of the title as possible. Do the same with your description, reiterating your title as naturally as you can in the beginning of it. Mention your keywords as many times as you can – naturally – in the body of your description. Avoid just making lists of keywords that don’t make sense in a sentence – YouTube will be able to tell and can make the argument that this practice (sometimes referred to as keyword soup) violates their terms of agreement.
YouTube is also analyzing the audio of your video, either via their automated subtitles or the subtitle track you can provide and using this as a huge source of meta data. When you write your script, make sure to include your keywords at the beginning of the video, and throughout the script where it makes sense.
Accurate subtitles aren’t important just to make sure YouTube has the largest supply of meta data for your content possible, providing accurate subtitles also makes sure that your content is accessible and available to as large of an audience as possible.
Not only does providing accurate subtitles make your content more accessible to the world’s population of deaf and hard-of-hearing internet users, it also ensures that the growing population of users who scroll through their feeds on mute are still digesting your content even when they don’t have the sound turned on! This is becoming more and more common, and making sure your content can be digested even without sound ensures you aren’t losing out on potential customers.
Plus, YouTube wants the content on their site to be consumed as much as possible and for as long as possible, and is said to promote more accessible content higher than similar content with no accessibility measures taken.
Chapters and Taking Advantage of New Features
Another thing you can do to help optimize your YouTube channel is to use YouTube’s chapters feature (as well as making sure you’re taking advantage of any new tools and features they roll out in the future.)
Chapters help keep your content organized, allow users to jump straight to sections they will find useful, and soon individual chapters will be displayed in Google and YouTube search results alongside the full video. In fact, YouTube has started adding chapters automatically to users’ videos in an effort to prepare for this upcoming change.
When chapters first became a thing on YouTube, users noticed that videos that started enabling them on their videos immediately were getting higher and higher views, and this similar phenomenon seems to happen whenever YouTube rolls out a new feature. YouTube’s new shorts feature, for instance, was helping YouTube creators amass incredible views and subscribers when it first rolled out. After all, it’s only natural for YouTube to promote content making use of their newest features in an effort to gather more data and encourage feature adoption.
If you can stay ahead of the curve and jump on new YouTube features as soon as they roll out, you can take advantage of this and maximize the views on your content.
There you have it! YouTube can be intimidating and it’s easy to get lost in all the talk about the algorithm when you’re starting your channel, but if you stick to the basics with these five ways to optimize your YouTube channel, you’ll be setting yourself up for success!
Written by: Joseph Davidson Originally Posted at: Thrive Web Designs
Joe is a Boise native with a background in creative writing, video production, and web design. He has played many roles in his lifetime, but has now found his place with the Updates Team at Thrive helping to maintain, update, and build the various projects taken on by our company.
Outside of Thrive, Joe serves as the Assistant Director for Storyfort – a part of Treefort Music fest, and enjoys streaming video games, writing, and hanging out in the hills with his dog.