YouTube is a great space to share your video business stories. We’ve chosen 10 ways to optimize your YouTube Channel that you can start implementing this week because every now and then it’s good to do some “housekeeping” to make sure that your YouTube channel is actually getting your stories seen and shared.
Searchable Filename: Give your video file a name that is both relevant to its topic and keyword searchable – you want to help people find your stories. People are using the search function in YouTube by typing in questions like “How to build a website”, “Algebra for Beginners”, “DIY Chicken Coops” – so make it easy for them to find you with a title that contains relevant keyword phrases. If you are creating videos that teach people how to do something, then think about the keyword phrases they might be using – and use those in your filenames. Here’s a tip: what keyword phrases do you commonly use when you search for videos on YouTube?
Google Matters: Speaking of keyword phrases – Google owns YouTube and the video results for YouTube will always show up first in a list of Google search results. So another way to determine the best keyword phrases/words to use in your video filenames is to do a Google search using them – see what videos show up with those keywords and incorporate them in your filenames – and descriptions too! Getting your video stories seen via a Google Search is going to help drive traffic to your YouTube Channel.
Descriptions, Descriptions, Descriptions: If you do nothing else – then get good at creating informative descriptions for each of your videos. Don’t leave the description area blank and don’t be too generic. Search engines do not crawl your videos – they crawl your descriptions. So it’s a great idea to place your keyword phrases towards the beginning of your descriptions. A detailed description also makes it easy for people who are scanning their search results to get an immediate idea of whether or not your video is worth watching. Give people specifics – “Learn to Knit” is certainly OK but far less informative than “How to Knit a Scarf – Beginner Level. Learn what tools you need, how to cast on and cast off, and how to use the basic knit stitch.” Which video would you choose to view first if you knew nothing about knitting?
Add Additional Links in your Description: If you have a series of related videos you will want to link them. However, you don’t want to clutter up your description with links to all of your videos – just add the link to the next video in your series. Other links you will want to add to the your description are those to your website or the social platform where you are most active so viewers can find out more about your business and contact you.
Annotations: Here’s the tough thing about adding annotations to your videos – you want people to watch your videos – not get annoyed by too many bits of text popping up breaking their concentration. Annotations come across as “advertising” so use them thoughtfully. You might want to use an annotation to encourage someone to to subscribe to your channel, visit your website, or go to another one of your videos. Again, use the Less is More mindset. Don’t litter a 5 minute video with annotations that pop up every 30 seconds. Maybe one at the beginning and another one at the end. If your video is a longer one – then adding one somewhere in the middle of the video is ok. More than that can be overkill. If you are adding links to your descriptions and you have a few well-placed annotations in your videos – that is plenty. People come to your channel for your content – not your advertising.
Attention-Getting Thumbnails: When your video thumbnail pops up in someone’s search results – because your video file name contained keywords relevant to the video topic 🙂 – you want it to be eye-catching but you also want your thumbnail to be “familiar” – always use your company colors/logo – something that lets people know it’s you. This is important – be consistent with your design aesthetic – your thumbnails shouldn’t stand out because they are flashy – they should stand out because they are recognizable as your brand.
Brand your Channel: Along with your thumbnails, give your YouTube Channel the same design aesthetic as your website and other Social Pages. You want your branding to support your business storytelling and to be recognizable online to customers and prospects. Be consistent in your use of colors, typography and imagery – don’t go all hot pink and purple on your YouTube Channel videos if your business storytelling on your website caters to a more monochromatic hipster vibe. When you have a design disconnect between your social channels (yes -your website is a social channel, too) then your audience gets a mixed message – and your branding stops being recognizable.
Share Valuable Content: Post business stories that help others – inspire them, motivate them, and entertain them. People love to watch stories that help them get through a challenging time in life. They also love videos that make them laugh and help them see something from a new perspective. Give them the stories about what you learned while growing your business – how you found your niche in life, overcame obstacles, and what success means to you now. People are always interested in stories that they can identify with, stories that will help them move forward in their lives.
Provide Solutions to Problems: How-To videos are incredibly popular on YouTube – there’s a reason so many people call it “YouTube University” – because it’s where people search for tutorials that will teach them how to fix something, do something or learn a skill. People are using the search function in YouTube by typing in questions like “How to build a website”, or “How to Build a Chicken Coop”. So if you’re a Handyman you can use storytelling through video tips. [Problem – Story] “Here’s what happened to a client of mine – [Solution] so now I want to show you how to prevent the same scenario in your home” and you can use keyword searchable filenames like “How To Fix a Dripping Faucet” or “How To Install A Sprinkler System” to help people find and watch your videos.
Create Playlists: Arrange your videos in groups focused around a single theme. Subscribers want to watch videos they are actually interested in – rather than having to scroll through all of your videos to find specific content. If you have a lot of videos then make it easy for them to find what they want before they give up in frustration and move on to a different YouTube Channel. A personal trainer can group videos based on exercises for different areas of the body – here’s a set of videos for toning arms, or abs, or legs, etc. A chef can create categories around specific dietary needs (gluten-free or dairy-free recipes) or around different proteins (seafood dishes or poultry dishes). Really – there are multiple ways to categorize your video stories so your audience can find what they want quickly.
Take it one suggestion at a time – you might find that your YouTube Channel is already optimized and you really don’t need to tweak a thing. Or you might find an area where there is room for improvement. Either way it’s all about the end result – optimizing your YouTube channel for higher video ranking in search results so that your business stories get seen and shared.