YouTube is the second most popular search engine, just behind Google. The opportunities this search engine alone offers are enough reason to get busy building and optimizing a YouTube channel for your business.
The goals you should be looking for when creating a YouTube video are:
- Increasing conversion rates
- Improving brand awareness
- Giving viewers something useful
- Creating social engagements and sharing
- Appearing in Google’s SERPS
This article looks at a few of the easiest ways to optimize your YouTube channel to increase your rankings, views, and overall results.
Getting To Grips With Your Keywords
Visit the YouTube Keyword Tool, or your other favorite keyword tool, to look for relevant keywords for
both your individual videos and your YouTube channel as well.
The YouTube Keyword Tool is like the Google Keyword Tool, and will show you search volume for your keywords, and will also give you suggestions for other relevant keywords.
You ideally want to be looking for keywords such as “How to..” keywords, as these type of keywords get a lot of impressions across the YouTube platform. More often than not, people enjoy reading How To guides but they always search for videos to compliment the text-based walk-through.
Equally, any good review keywords are ideal for use with YouTube, for the same reasons as the How To guides.
Explore Call-To-Action Titles
Use keywords at the beginning of your titles when possible, and make sure you accurately represent the subject of your videos in your titles. Include an episode number in video titles if they’re a part of a series.
Don’t forget that your titles also need to entice people to click to watch your videos. Just like with a magazine cover headline or newspaper story headline, your titles need to draw viewers into clicking and watching.
Give Your Videos Optimized Descriptions
Only about the first 160 characters of your description will show up “above the fold” on watch pages or in the search engine results. This means you should especially optimize the first 160 characters (about the first two sentences) with your best keywords. Put them as close to the front of your description as possible. If it’ll work well, use the same keyword(s) at the beginning of both your title and your description for each video.
The end of your description is the perfect place to include a call to action and a link that people can click to visit your website, related content, or to subscribe to your YouTube channel. You can also include a link to the previous or next videos that are part of a series.
Don’t Forget ToTag
Add tags to your videos for an easy way to describe and sort them. You can use any words for your tags as long as it suits the content of your videos. If it works with your video content, use keywords for your tags to gain some additional SEO.
For example, if you publish videos about jewelry making, then some of the keyword tags you might use regularly could be “jewelry making” and “how to make jewelry, ” or even down to the type of jewelry, such as “make beaded bracelets.” For extra SEO, use your keyword tags in your titles and descriptions too.
Think Of Thumbnails As Advertising Posters
Great video thumbnail images can do a lot to attract viewers to your videos. Think of them as being tiny movie posters. You can use one of the three thumbnail images that YouTube automatically generates after you upload your video, or you can create thumbnails in your own graphics program to upload.
If you create your own thumbnails, they should be 1280px H by 740px W (minimum 640px W). Save your thumbnails in JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG format, and make sure they’re under 2MB file size.
Optimize Your YouTube Channel
Make your YouTube channel a true asset by taking advantage of YouTube’s branding options in the “Channel Settings” tab. Upload an avatar of 800px by 800px in JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG format.
Create an upload a custom banner for your channel that is 970px W by 150px H. You can even make your banner clickable to external websites or to different areas of your own channel when you specify an image map code from the “Appearance” tab.
Backgrounds in YouTube are center aligned, so just create a background keeping in mind that your content will be in the middle of your channel page. Your background should be 1500px W by 2000px H saved as a JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG.
Check out YouTube’s other optimization features like captions, custom URLs, playlists, categories, annotations, and about sections.
Whether you’re just starting your YouTube channel, or you’ve had a channel for years, it’s never too late for optimization. So go optimize your titles, descriptions, tags, thumbnails, branding, and more to build your views and results.