If you aren’t doing the little things to optimize your YouTube channel, what are you waiting for? Google (YouTube’s parent company) is the largest search engine in the world and YouTube, as a separate entity, would actually rank as the second largest search engine.
So, anything you do to enhance your channel and videos has immediate impact on search rankings. In addition, these simple tips will provide a better user experience that will attract subscribers.
First, make sure your channel images are clean, readable, and relevant. Your circular account icon is actually uploaded through your Google account. It is recommended that your image is a 250×250 pixel square, but remember the corners will be cut off. Choose a meaningful representative image. Text will most likely be unreadable unless it is a short bold word.
Your channel art (header image) can be changed by clicking the image icon in the upper right on your channel page header area. You’ll need a 2560×1440 pixel image at 72 dpi that is under 6MB file size. This will fill a TV display, but will be cropped for desktop and mobile displays. As you see in the image below, the dark blue area that I’ve highlighted in the TV image is what displays on desktop or mobile. Unlike the account icon, there is more room here for text/taglines and appealing imagery.
When you click the “Your Channel” or “Customize Channel” option, you will see menu headings running horizontally below your channel art. The “About” section is important to fill out. Be sure to add a description for your channel, including keywords that are relevant and helpful for your search rankings. This section is also where you can add a contact email. Be sure to add custom links, such as your website and social media channels. These will appear over the bottom right corner of your channel art image.
You can create a video, or trailer, for new visitors to your YouTube channel. This video is not shown to channel subscribers, so the goal is to create a short video to explain your channel and get newcomers to subscribe. You can also choose a video or playlist to play here for returning subscribers.
As your video content grows, proper organization will help viewers find what they want more easily. You should put your videos into Playlists, which is a group of videos. You can order the videos, so put your best or newest content at the beginning of the list. Make sure your playlist is properly named with relevant keywords.
Then, on your channel page, you can add a Section. Inside each section, you have many options of what to display. The above image shows the complete list of options. This is a good place to list multiple related playlists.
For example, if you have a sports channel, you could make a section for Football Videos and one for Baseball Videos. Inside the Football section, you could have several playlists, such as Player Interviews, Best Running Plays and Best Passing Plays. This helps the viewer find what they are looking for and presents a more professional and organized appearance.
Simply posting video content won’t set you apart from the millions of other channels. Your videos need titles that are descriptive and catchy. Test different keywords in titles and/or descriptions to see what works best for you. Also, try out using hashtags in both titles and descriptions.
When uploading your videos, it is important to add many relevant tags in the Tags section. This not only helps your video be found in a Google search, but also increases the chance it shows up as a YouTube suggested video for a relevant search in site.
It cannot be overstated how important this is. One YouTube channel that I run achieves roughly 40,000 monthly views. Over half of those views come from YouTube search and being a YouTube suggested video. That is huge!
The final points I’ll make about maximizing your video content are to ensure the intro is catchy enough to keep viewers watching (that is where most viewer drop-off occurs), that you use Cards to keep viewer interest in longer videos (by offering nuggets, related links or skip ahead choices), and that you end with a call to action or a promotion of your other social channels.