YouTube channels capture viewers’ attention better today than primetime TV – and TV has a 60-year head start. Research shows that YouTube users are twice as likely to pay close attention to in-app videos as regular viewers watching TV.
70% of people use YouTube to make their purchasing decisions. How can you best use video to guide potential customers along the path to purchase?
Optimizing your business YouTube channel is the best place to start.
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How To Optimizing YouTube Channel
For you to attract an audience to your YouTube channel, you must learn how to optimize your setup. Since there are millions of other YouTube accounts out there, make sure that yours will stand out among the rest.
Brafton, a content marketing agency that helps online businesses, created a list of ways how you can optimize your YouTube setup.
1. Make a YouTube Banner
A YouTube channel banner has different dimensions depending on the platform you are viewing it on. For example, a banner may have different dimensions when viewed on a TV, desktop, or mobile device. According to YouTube, the best size for a channel banner is 2560 pixels wide x 1440 pixels high. Other size requirements you should be aware of are minimum file sizes: 2048 x 1152.
Your header image should represent who you are, what your channel is about, and your purpose. Make it interesting and eye-catching, and make it stand out. A bold, clean image will cause viewers to pause and want to learn more. Make sure it’s high quality. If you can’t create a high-quality header image yourself, hire someone! (Check out Fiverr or Thumbtack.)
2. Fill out the About Us page
Review your Brand, Purpose, Target Audience, and Difference, then write a better bio for the “About/Description” of your YouTube channel based on that information. Your description should tell a story: who you are, why you’re making videos, why your target audience would want to watch, and what they will get out of watching. People like to watch, follow and engage with other people. Make your description personal — and make it real. Don’t forget to include your keywords!
3. Put a keyword into your YouTube channel name
YouTube uses the same on-page metadata as your site. Strategically placed keywords near the front of titles work wonders, but also consider adding a keyword to your channel name.
Try replacing “Company name” with “Company name: Keyword” in which your keyword is your industry, your service, your product, etc. which will help define your brand and enable users to find you. It is best to think of this as a way for users to discover your company organically rather than as an opportunity to fill up extra characters with jargon about you.
As well as transactional searchers who know your name, informational searchers searching for your target keyword will also be able to find your channel. In addition, you teach YouTube (and Google) how to properly crawl and index your channel, allowing search engines to provide better search results.
The same keyword research tools you use for SEO and PPC campaigns can be used for YouTube marketing – Keyword Planner, Keyword Tool, etc.
4. Unload a Channel Icon
People are drawn to people, especially faces. Putting your picture in your header image is optional, but it’s NOT optional in your Icon. Your icon represents you in the YouTube universe. People connect with people, not logos, vans, RVs, scenes, clip art, or even pets. Your channel Icon needs to be a picture of you (you can include your pet). Get a quality photo of yourself in a setting that portrays what your channel is about and use it across all your social media.
5. Add Social Media links to your header
When you create/edit your header image on YouTube, you are given the option to add links to your social media profiles. Add these to help your audience find you.
To add social media links to your header or footer, first create a menu:
- Login to the admin section of your GivingPress website.
- Navigate to Appearance → Customize → Menus.
- Click the Add a Menu button.
- Type the name of the menu (ex: “Social Menu”) in the Menu Name field.
- Click the blue Create Menu button.
Next, add the social media links to your custom menu:
- Click the Add Items button.
- Choose the Custom Links drop down. In the URL field, type the URL of your social network account (ex: “http://facebook.com/my-nonprofit/). I
- n the Link Text field, type a name for the link (this will not be displayed on the site).
- Click the Add to Menu button. The new custom links will appear on the left of the screen.
6. Under Advanced Settings, use channel keyword tags
As you can see in this section of YouTube Studio’s Advanced Settings, you can apply 100 characters of metadata tags to your channel.
Meta tags serve the same function on your site as they do on your YouTube channel, but marketers don’t pay as much attention to them as they should. YouTube and Google are indexing your site for search purposes, so the more relevant, contextual information you can provide, the better. Keep in mind that keyword stuffing died years ago, so don’t overdo it with the tags. You’ll do just fine if you handle YouTube optimization with the same deft touch you use for on-page SEO for your website.
7. Update your channel trailer
In YouTube Creator Academy, the bible of YouTube tips straight from the company, channel trailers are referred to as “the red carpet you lay out to attract subscribers.” And if you remember our list of ranking factors above, you should definitely optimize for the number of subscribers.
They serve as an introduction to your channel and visually represent what you do. Since channel trailers are only visible to non-subscribers, you do not need to create or curate information that meets the needs of existing subscribers – you need to win over skeptics, non-believers, and the uninformed.
8. Add a call to action
Make sure that your viewers won’t just stay on their couches after seeing your video. Put your call-to-action (CTA) on your YouTube page, within the video itself, and in the video description.
Keep in mind what the video’s goal is when adding a call to action. How will it appear on a webpage if you include it? What type of content will you share in a CTA to go along with a social post? Your call to action must be contextually relevant.
Suppose you made a video about your company culture, and the CTA is “Join our team” linking to an application page. A CTA for “Buy now” makes less sense in this video.
You should begin your calls to action with verbs that clearly state what you want viewers or visitors to do next-shop, visit, buy, order, download, subscribe, learn more, find out how etc. For example, “Shop now” makes much more sense than “Ready to shop?”
9. Add Closed Captions for Improved Ranking
Although adding closed captions to your videos is good for inclusivity and community engagement, did you know that they can also improve your SEO rankings?
The YouTube upload process automatically adds subtitles when you select a language, but this can take a while to generate for longer videos – and accuracy isn’t guaranteed.
During the video uploading process on YouTube, we add closed captions generated by the speech-to-text transcription service Temi. Video audio and translations are available at a cost of $0.25 per minute.
When your auto-translated transcription is ready, you can review and edit it in YouTube Studio, so your community always has perfect captions to read.
10. Regularly Encourage Likes, Subscribes, and Shares
As on Instagram, the more engagement your YouTube content receives, the better it will perform and the more views it will receive.
You may feel uncomfortable asking your viewers to subscribe to your channel and give your videos a thumbs up, but it can make a huge difference to your success on the platform.
It is always possible to make this feel more natural. Consider framing your calls to action with an incentive or rationale, such as: “Subscribe to my channel so you never miss… ” or “Give this video a thumbs up if you found it helpful, so I know whether I should create another video about… “
The use of on-screen text graphics can also serve as a visual call to action. Your video views can be boosted with a simple text overlay.
11. Create playlists that increase watch time
The use of playlists is a trusted way to increase watch time. When one video in a playlist ends, YouTube automatically transitions to the next one, meaning users’ attention is effectively transferred from video to video.
You can also showcase detailed concepts without being limited by the length of a single video by threading videos together as a playlist. Playlists also break up the video project’s file size into smaller videos, making uploading easier.
12. Create Eye-catching Thumbnails
YouTube is a visual search engine, as we discussed earlier in this blog post.
An eye-catching thumbnail that teases the value of your content can make a huge difference to your video’s viewing count.
It’s important to keep text clear and easy to read on your video thumbnail since it’s the best way to convince YouTube viewers to click play. Having a consistent design can reassure viewers that your content is well-produced, professional, and thus reliable.
13. Add context and SEO value with video cards and end screens
YouTube stopped using in-video annotations in May 2017. Publishers were able to provide viewers with additional queues via text, banners, or images embedded directly in videos using these desktop features.
A mobile-first world, however, no longer makes sense with annotations on small screens, especially on non-mobile-responsive sites.
YouTube cards and screens generate seven times as many clicks as YouTube annotations, and they can be created 10 times faster, according to YouTube’s product managers.
14. Analyze insights
Understanding YouTube Analytics is critical if you use YouTube for business. You need to know what’s working and what’s not on YouTube regardless of whether you plan to make money directly from your content or just use it as a marketing tool.
As you dig into YouTube metrics, you’ll discover an incredible amount of information, including audience demographics, traffic sources, and even the keywords people use to find your videos.
Over time, all of this can help you refine your content strategy to create videos that motivate YouTubers to keep watching.
You should optimize your YouTube videos (even if you only have one) if you have a video marketing strategy.
Even if you are not an expert in video production or design, you can still make some necessary adjustments to your existing videos that will have a significant impact. You can optimize your channel on YouTube with little or no knowledge of web development or SEO. YouTube marketing can be mastered by anyone in a relatively short amount of time. So go to your business YouTube channel and start optimizing it. Learn more tips on how to build a good YouTube channel.