YouTube Guide #1: Optimize Channel
A quick guide to how to optimize your YouTube Channel and get the most earning potential.
In the last week I have become immersed with YouTube. I have created a channel for myself, my son, and reviewed several YouTube channels from top to bottom. There were many things I already knew about YouTube, most of my knowledge being on how to monetize YouTube. But since I am obsessed with success, I thought the best thing to do was do the research and learn everything I can. Wow, was I amazed by how interesting YouTube is and how different it is from Google in its formula to index and rank videos.
I have began optimizing all of the channels that are in my control, so I wanted to write this post as a guide to optimizing a YouTube channel. So if you’re looking to increase traffic or earnings from your YouTube channel, this guide is for you.
YouTube Video Meta Data
Titles are one of the most important elements of the video. They are what people see first to attract them to viewing your content. You should make every attempt to create titles that are on topic and engaging. Keep the title under 60 characters to avoid having it cut off in the search results. Five words is generally enough for a title.
Descriptions are important as well. After reviewing YouTube for a little bit I saw so many people putting nothing or little in their video description. Search engines need words to determine what your content is about. So it makes since that descriptions should be of an adequate length, at least a paragraph, but not too long. Remember people are here to watch videos not read.
Since you can only see the first 2-3 sentences before YouTube cuts the description off with the -show more- link then make sure you put any links or call to actions in the first few sentences of the description. Also don’t forget to add any necessary contact information or links to your social networks.
Optimize Your YouTube Channel Tags
These tags are not similar to meta keywords used on websites for bots to determine what the page is about. In fact these tags in many cases will not help you get your video in the main Google Search results at all. Tags on YouTube are just used to relate videos together; basically to tell YouTube where your video fits in among the crowd.
This encourages the general reach that your video has, and helps to increase traffic to your video overall. Put your top ones first and try different strategies, like using long tail keywords and a mix of trending versus less common keywords.
Although you can put as many as you like, I wouldn’t over do it, try to stay on topic. And make sure not to put deceptive keywords or topics that don’t match your video. YouTube will remove your video if they find you are using deceptive keywords. Also YouTube doesn’t appear to be as flexible as Google with certain things like plural versus singular keywords or the ability to associate phrases as similar. So be specific with your tags, this is a key step if you want to optimize your YouTube channel.
So yes, I told you tags don’t help to get your video ranked in the main google search results, and this is mostly true. I don’t know the formula behind what Google is doing but I do know that some tags are like “super tags.”
They are the special few that Google has given potential too. Some videos with these tags may be seen in the Google search results. The best way to find out what these tags are is to do a Google search with the keywords you want to try to rank for, then look to see if there are any other videos there.
If there are not you can still use that keyword, and maybe Google will one day put you there in those results. However if there are videos already there in the results for your keyword’s, then you have a better chance of appearing in the results for that search term. As long as your content is good and being seen regularly, you can compete on that search term for a video spot in the Google search rankings.
Thumbnails can be optimized too. I think it best to create a custom thumbnail for your video. According to YouTube:
90% of the best performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails.
Options for thumbnails are unlimited, but I think even a still cover frame taken from your video is a good start.
Cards & End-screens
Try to keep your video free of static layovers. A better way to promote your website link is with a card. This is a small overlay that you can place over your videos (right there in the Video Manager) to add links and other items directly to your video. This way the link on the card is clickable, and you can get metrics on how many times your links are being clicked. Also use end-screens to promote other content that you want your viewers to see after watching your video.
Coming Soon Part 2 of How To Optimize Your YouTube Channel:
Playlists, Transcripts, Close Captioning & Subtitles, & Annotations
I will try to make this guide more descriptive as I go, so be sure to check back for more information. In part 2 of my guide on how to optimize your YouTube Channel I will be writing about increasing traffic and promotions with playlists, providing options for the viewers who may need transcripts, sub-titles, or closed captioning, and using annotations to increase user engagement.
Make sure to check back soon!