Many people believe all they have to do is create a catchy video and the rest should fall in place.
After ploughing budget and time into the video creation and editing process, they sit there staring blankly at the miniscule number of video views, wondering what went wrong. It isn’t a coincidence some videos and channels go viral or pick off the ground, while others are left eating dust. Below are my top tips in order to optimise your YouTube channel so you can get more eyes on your videos and, overall, more subscribers to your channel.
- Video Keywords
Videos are becoming increasingly present on Google SERP’s, however they tend to be for certain terms, such as “how to” based terms or tutorials. I recommend doing a bit of initial research into the types of terms that show up videos on Google. These have been coined as “video keywords”. If you manage to gain a strong ranking for one of these terms on Google, you will gain a huge amount of viewers, which will help to push more people to your other content and to your channel, providing the video is of a high quality.
- Video Introductions
The length of time people actually watch videos for seems to be getting shorter by the day, with a figure presented to me recently being 8-9 seconds on average. Now if you have an incredibly long intro, most people will have left before you have even shown them any content. When YouTube was young, many intro?s were around 15 seconds, however nowadays the general recommendation is to be a mere 2-3 seconds.
- Keyword Research
I’ve just mentioned video keywords on SERP’s, however it is important to remember YouTube itself is the second biggest search engine in the world. You should therefore look into which terms you should be targeting, how strong the competition is and what is trending. From YouTube?s own search suggestions (where it autocompletes what it thinks you are typing when you put in a letter or a word), to Google Trends and YouTube Trends, there are plenty of ways to research the best key terms to target for a video campaign. Your key terms need to then be included as tags, in the title and in the description, much like the traditional SEO recommendations for any search engine. Tags aren?t as important as they once were, but they are still important as you teach Google what your video is about.
- Pick The Right Category
Make sure you pick the right category for the video you are posting. It might sound basic, but I’m regularly seeing content put under the wrong bracket, which hinges on the results.
- The Channel
You need to put in some initial work on your channel. Make sure the about section is filled in completely and contains all your key terms. You also want to connect all your other social profiles, as well as listing any recommended channel pages (whom you can make deals with to joint push each other). Use the favicon which is used on your website, or if you don’t have one then quickly make one for your channel. Ensure the channel is set to visible to public (I’m covering the basics, but it needs to be stated). Choose a theme colour that will meet the branding you have on your website. Use your company logo on the channel.
- Featured Playlists
People might have a strong interest in your channel, but are only intrigued by one aspect. For example, if you ran a marketing company and spoke on all aspects of digital marketing, you might want to make a playlist based on the different areas (SEO, PPC, Social Media etc), so people didn?t end up watching content which they have no interest in. They can then subscribe to these playlists, so they always know when anything new is posted within the list.
- More Views
This might sound obvious, but you need to increase the views your videos are getting. YouTube keeps its cards pretty close to its chest on the exact factors it uses to rank the videos, but some areas we are pretty certain hold an effect are the number of views, the quality of feedback (more thumbs up the better), the description/title and the relevance. If you embed the video on your website, anyone that plays it will add an extra view to the video on YouTube.
- Call To Action
You will notice this at the end of a lot of videos, but many famous YouTubers have the last 15 seconds of the video actually advertising two other videos they have. This tends to work incredibly well at pushing people to watch more videos by the content creator. They also push people to subscribe during this section, highlighting the reasons why.