Before we begin, let us have a look at some interesting facts about YouTube.
- Did you know? YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
- 60% of people prefer online video platforms to live television.
- YouTube is the third most visited site in the world after Google and Facebook.
- The average mobile viewing session in this platform is more than forty minutes.
- On an average, YouTube gets more than one billion views per day.
- You can navigate YouTube in more than 70 languages.
- The above figures are enough to show the importance of YouTube in digital marketing. So, if you do not own a YouTube video channel for your business yet, you should set up one soon. However, just setting up a channel is not going to work. You have to optimize it just like you optimize your business website. So, in this blog post, you will learn how to optimize your YouTube channel to improve reach and show up in its search, and suggested videos.
1. Plant a keyword into your channel name
On-page metadata in youtube works the same as it does on your business website. The positive impact of keywords usually depends on the place it is used. Keywords that are placed near the front of a title will obviously work like a magic. However, have you ever thought of adding a keyword in your channel name? It is one of the rarest shortcuts in search engine optimization.
For example, instead of ‘Business name,’ try ‘Business name + keyword.’ Make sure the keyword which you use is related to your industry, service, product or any item that you are well recognized with. SEO experts usually suggest to do keyword research and find out the best possible keyword that your visitors use to find the content you share on the video platform.
2. Fill out About Us section
About Us, a page is the most overlooked aspect of a YouTube channel. Even today business owners, marketers, digital marketing partners do not have a clear idea of what should be written in the About us section. Some say company history or business mission should be written, while others say previous achievements.
Not many people know that the first 48 characters of the About Us show up in the YouTube search results. Hence, filling out this section is the must. Doing so will help your visitors understand who you are and what you do. Furthermore, the same content helps the YouTube to put up the best snippet for the content.
The rest of the content present in the About Us page is equally important. This content will help you to do two jobs simultaneously. On one side, you can fully describe what your channel is all about, the type of content you produce, and the goals you want to achieve. On the other side, you can optimize the About Us section with the keywords. Make sure that your keywords match the content and appear natural. Do not overdo it, Google doesn’t like keyword stuffing.
Just in case, if you are not sure about keywords, you can use these tools to find them.
- YouTube Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google Analytics
- Market Muse
3. Create long videos
The most important ranking signal is “video watch time” or “audience retention.” Watch time can be defined as the average time your viewers spend watching your videos. YouTube is more likely to promote your channel via search and recommended videos if you have a boost in your watch time. That is how this video sharing platform rewards a channel that creates good content.
You can improve your watch time if you publish videos that have a longer duration. Well, that is fundamental. Just length of the video is not the only factor to consider. Focus on the quality of the video too. Only if your videos are lengthy and filled with quality, people like to watch you. That is exactly how watch time is improved. Since SEO experts say that the average length of the videos in page one of YouTube is 14 minutes and 50 seconds, it is better to make videos that are in and around this length.
4. Concentrate on the first 15 seconds
In the previous point, we have discussed the watch time and how it impacts the visibility of your channel. If the viewers are hitting the back button after a couple of seconds, your watch time is destined to go low. As a result, the visibility of your YouTube channel shrinks. However, there is this tip or the best practice you can follow to avoid this issue.
Did you ever think what makes a viewer decide whether to hit the back button or continue watching the video? The answer is simple. Viewers have short attention time on Youtube. They will see your first fifteen seconds of your video, based on that experience they decide whether to stay or not. Therefore, the first 15 seconds of the videos play a crucial part. Make sure you have something in the first 10 to 20 seconds of the videos that glues your viewers.
Here are the best practices to improve watch time:
Preview: At the beginning of the video itself state what is your video about and what are your viewers going to gain from it. After seeing the preview, your viewers will be more likely to stick on the video for a longer period of time. For instance, you can add a 20-seconds section called “What you are going to learn in this episode?” at the beginning of a video.
Proof: Explain how your pitch has worked and back it up with previous success stories. For example, “Our clients have tried this strategy many times, and it worked.”
Preview: The preview which we have earlier talked is different from this one. Keep this preview bit lengthy compared to the earlier one and also be more specific. Here you should show fresh information that viewers have not seen before this point. For instance: “Here are the 10 ways to optimize your YouTube channel.”
5. Optimize your channel trailer
What is a channel trailer? It is a small video created to help visitors learn about a YouTube channel. This is something similar to movie trailers. Make sure you enable the channel trailer. Doing so will display the trailer automatically at the top of your YouTube channel Page for new visitors.
This trailer is a visual About Us of a Youtube page. Since it is not displayed for the already subscribed viewer, it is a great medium to convert your new visitors into subscribers. Here are the best practices you need to follow while creating a channel trailer:
- Keep your channel trailer in between 30 to 90 seconds.
- Give a quick intro of you and your channel.
- Explain the type of videos you are going to post.
- Include frequency and timing of your posting.
- Ask to subscribe.
6. Post compelling thumbnail
Thumbnails act like a door to your videos. A viewer judges a channel based on many things such as business name, length of a video, quality of a video, channel trailer, and thumbnails. Since we already talked about the rest, let us discuss thumbnails at this point.
Youtube advertises other videos through thumbnails in its sidebar. So you need to put efforts to make your thumbnails unique and attractive. The same thing happens when your video is listed after a search is conducted on Youtube.
Youtube usually ranks a video with great thumbnail better than the others, even if the quality is not that high. This is because good thumbnails improve click-through rate, which is also a ranking factor. Here are some tips for creating thumbnails.
- Use large texts, so that viewers can read.
- Make use of arrow and other symbols.
- Mark or highlight important region.
- Add unexpected, surprising or unusual pictures related to the video.
- Make sure picture quality is high.
7. Make playlists
Playlists help you to organize your YouTube channel. So, with the help of playlists try to keep the videos in a categorical format. Making playlist will improve your Youtube channel optimization efforts in multiple ways. Here we are mentioning some.
- Provides more visibility for not so popular videos.
- Increases the rank of a video.
- Motivates you to create videos with better content.
- Improves watch time sessions.
- Enhances user experience by providing related videos.
- Here are the steps you need to follow to create a playlist on Youtube.
- Go to the video you want to add in a playlist.
- Click on “add to” under the video.
- Next, click on create a new playlist, and enter the name of the playlist.
- Go through the privacy carefully.
- Click on the create button.
8. Promote your videos on social media
Just ask yourself one simple question. How your customers will come to know about your YouTube channel and videos? The answer to this is social media marketing. Promoting your videos on social media is a part of SMM strategy. It will help you to target a new audience. As a result, the traffic from social media will flow towards your channel.
A platform such as Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, and Pinterest have millions and millions of users. If you do it in the right way, you can utilize these platforms to improve ranking and subscribers. Here are some ways to utilize social media platforms.
- Inform your followers about the upcoming videos.
- Discuss the content in the videos in the comment section.
- Collect the feedback to improve the quality of videos.
- Release the trailer on social media, so that people will know when the video will be available and what it is about. In short, you can promote as well as create suspense among followers.
- Engage your audience by asking a fun question, and also answers their questions.
- Share the videos that have fewer numbers of views.
- Repost the videos that were successful in the past, so that your new followers do not miss them.
9. Say keywords in the video
One of the lesser-known facts about Youtube videos is that content spoken in the video can technically impact the search engine ranking. Yes, Google has made some changes in its algorithm. Now the algorithm can crawl videos, images, and transcriptions. So, anything you say in the video can either positively or negatively influence your ranking.
Therefore, along with putting the keyword in the title of your video, you must say keywords throughout the video to ensure a higher ranking. Note that you do not overdo it. Let your keywords appear natural and match the content of the video. Saying the keyword numerous times is considered as stuffing, Google punishes such activities by lowering the ranking. So, read the Youtube guidelines, and stay on the safer side.
10. Gain user interaction signals
Along with watch time, video length, title, description and click through rate, user interaction is also an important ranking signal. These signals help search engines to understand how active your audience is and how much authority you have on a particular subject.
As a business owner, your job does not finish after creating high-quality content. In fact, your work begins with creating the fresh superior content. So, once you post the video, you should focus on generating user interaction signals. Here are some ways to do so:
- Share the videos on Facebook, Twitter, and other similar platforms.
- Join the conversation taking place in the comment section.
- Link your videos to other videos of your channel.
- Encourage your viewers to comment on their views and opinions.
- Be gentle to criticism and publicly accept the mistakes committed.
11. Compelling language and year
Last but not least, language and year are the important ingredients to increase reach and views. Here is how they play their part in your Youtube success story.
The language you use plays a role of attracting the visitors and improving click-through rates. Along with the video quality, a compelling language used in the title is equally important. Make sure you write video titles in such a way that all the videos appear as a part of one collection.
The other smart method to improve click-through rate is by adding a year. For instance, “Places to visit in England, 2019” looks a lot better and up to date than just “Places to visit in England.” Although the year is irrelevant in this case, it still tells the viewers about the freshness of the content. As a result, viewers usually tend to click the video that has a year in its description.