As a video production company we use YouTube a lot and have watched it grow over the years into the online phenomenon that it has become. Now especially in recent years its power in relation to social media and your video(s) is staggering, Yet people STILL aren’t using it to it’s full capability and so we felt the need to write this article to help those of you who are either new to YouTube or have been using it for years yet never seen any real results.
So with the recent merger of Google and YouTube, your videos can now be a greater asset in regards to people searching online for different search terms and finding your video either at the top of page one, or pretty near. Why is this? Well in simple, since Google now own YouTube your videos will have the power of Google’s search engine behind them when they are live; So when people search for a term, your video can rank higher than WEBSITES if the video has good success. Now before the tips begin, we need to dispel a myth. YouTube doesn’t simply rank your video by how many hits/views it’s had. This WAS the case a few years ago, but the algorithm has now entirely changed, and a video ranks now by hits AND how long people watch your video for. So please ensure your video is interesting enough to watch to the end, to the point and gives people the knowledge you’re trying to get across in an exact manner. So please don’t just get your friends/family to simply click the link and then immediately click off to get some quick hits, since this is very bad for your rankings as it shows YouTube people aren’t finding the information they require from your video. You need a nice number of views and those views need to preferably be from people who watch your video from beginning to end to get the highest success.
So enough of the lecture! Let’s get onto the info:
Comment and Like other users videos:
One of the ways in which YouTube works in regards to your channel ranking/status is on the basis of ‘activity’ from your account, so you must ensure that you keep as ‘active’ as possible and continue to like and comment on other users videos to keep this activity up.
Reply to ALL comments left on your videos:
Another system that YouTube will use for optimizing your videos is how much activity is happening on the video itself, so if someone comments on your video make sure you reply to it to add to the activity. If it is simply to say ‘thank you!’ please ensure you use this as an opportunity to ‘upsell’ your channel and videos, so possibly saying ‘thank you! Don’t forget, if you like this video please subscribe to us for all our latest releases!’ etc.
Constantly subscribe to other channels/users:
This is a simple case of probability, the more channels you subscribe to, the higher the chance that they will subscribe back to you, or people who are also subscribed with that channel may see you in their ‘subscribers’ list and also add you. The more subscribers you can gain the greater number of channel views and chances of people viewing your videos will be.
Link ALL Videos to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Blogs etc:
Unless you are making numerous amounts of videos everyday of every week (as this will be classed as ‘spamming’) then you will greatly benefit from using the power of other social mediums on the web. By linking your YouTube video, every time someone watches it on ANY site it will count as a ‘view’ or ‘hit’. So getting your video linked to as many possible networks will enhance the chances greatly of getting many more views and also the possibility of gaining unforeseen clientele that you wouldn’t have reached otherwise.
Only upload your video once and only to YouTube
The first golden rule when trying maximize your video is to only upload your video ONCE and ONLY upload it to YouTube – if you want to then show the video on other sites (facebook, twitter etc) ensure you use only the YouTube link and do not re-upload the video to that site. Many people make the mistake of uploading their video to more than one site, the problem is that you are simply wasting valuable YouTube views which in turn help your rankings! Just ensure you direct everyone to that single YouTube link.
Timing is Key
Generally the most bulk views your video will receive is during its first 24hours of being live, and this is why you need to ensure you upload and ‘share’ (facebook, twitter etc) your video at the perfect time. Many people get excited once they receive the final version of their video and upload it straight away, sometimes at times like midnight or early mornings when no-one is awake! The problem with this is that the majority of people who would normally be online and watch your video will be in bed or elsewhere and simply will not see the video – and by the time they are online something else newer will have popped up and your video disappears into an abyss of virtual history. You need to ensure your video is uploaded and shared between busy periods of online use, the best times are midday 12pm – 1pm (whilst people are on lunch and on their phones/computers etc) or between 5pm – 8pm after people have returned from work etc and are relaxing online. These are the busiest periods for people being online and the best times to get the most traffic to your video intially.
There are many social media sites, however for video facebook is one of the most effective. So once you’ve uploaded your video to YouTube, you need to make sure you use facebook in the most effective way. So ensure you share your video on your wall/profile etc, but PLEASE do not then update your status/pictures etc for at least a few hours. Since facebook works in chronological order, every time you update something above your video, the videos ranking in other peoples timeline will diminish. Simply ensure you write a good status when sharing the video and to really push it ensure to re-post the video once a day for a few days.
Title, Description and Tags
Your video title is one of the most important assets to people finding and watching your video – in terms of what it is named and also for search keyword terms. Therefore it must firstly be specific to ensure the viewer knows exactly what they are about to watch, so please no general terms like ‘our advice video’. It must quickly inform the viewer as to what your video entails. It also must be correctly written in terms of its spelling, grammar and use of capital letters etc and also contain keywords to help people find the video. We know this sounds really obvious but it’s surprising how many people write bad titles!
The video title should finish with your ‘www.’ web address or Facebook page link etc:
Every time you create a video, ensure that people know it’s from your website/page link and is the simple task of naming each video ‘Title of Video Here – www.yourwebsite.com’. What you must remember is that when people watch your video on Facebook etc, generally they won’t have all the video description included below, it will simply play the video; but by having your web address/page link in the title it allows people to know the place to visit if they do like the video, without needing to read the ‘description’ section on YouTube.
Have ‘http://www.’ web address or company name as the first wording in the ‘description’:
This is a great opportunity to give your watching audience a quick link to click on should they want to visit your website/page whilst watching the video and increase your traffic from the video. This should be the very first line of your description as this will be the main part people see whilst watching the video on YouTube and also when linked to Facebook etc, this will also link in with the quick description that is supplied with the video.
Use KEYWORDS in the description:
The key element about YouTube at this present time is that it is the 2nd highest search engine in the world. This means you can take advantage and increase your views by incorporating keywords which will be searched for.
This sounds really obvious but is sometimes overlooked and can be quite tricky when trying to write something coherently whilst incorporating key words, so you need to think wisely before writing your description. Don’t just write a quick ‘here’s a video about how to do this’ as you description, why? Because that only has one keyword/phrase in it…’how to’…and that is a keyword that is very unlikely to pull up your video first from millions of others searching ‘how to’!
You have 120 characters to use, so use them wisely and ensure that your description is detailed and incorporates the use of numerous keywords. Please note – descriptions are separate to ‘tag words’, do not simply rely on your tags to get your video found, descriptions allow you to formulate keywords within sentences so take advantage of this.
Tag as many words as possible:
Tags are the words used by YouTube for increasing your chance of being found when people search for something on search engines. So ensure you tag as many words as you can possibly think of that would relate to your video. Use a mixture of general terms such as ‘fitness’ and also some specific terms such as ‘weight loss for men’ etc. Using just one type of tag will damage the chances of your video being found, so ensure you use a good mixture and think wisely.
Always put a similar ‘call to action’ ending within each description:
At the end of each description ensure that you have a ‘call to action’ sentence to finish, so simply something along the lines of ‘If you liked the video don’t forget to click the ‘Like’ button and subscribe to our channel at http://www.youtube.com/YOURUSERHERE’. This is just an additional measure to politely remind people watching the video to like your video and subscribe to your channel which are both very important to optimization, as we have discussed earlier.
Add ‘Annotations’ to your video:
Annotations are the small words which pop up around your video whilst people watch, you may have seen these on other videos you have watched, but if you haven’t, then it is simply a case of adding more keywords etc to your video and also helps emphasize moments within your video as you can program each annotation to appear at a specific time, so if it’s a part in the video where something great has happened you can have the words appear in the corner, and again just helps search engine and YouTube optimization. This can also be used to help jump people to different parts of the video and also jump to entirely different videos. So on firstly this can be used as an opportunity to create a ‘menu’ system so people can skip to their desired part of the video and secondly also to allow people to jump to another video in your list, so a great time to maybe advertise your latest video or trailer etc.
This can be done via Video Manager > Click the desired Video > Click the ‘annotations’ icon just below the video in a black bar.
Create ‘Playlists’ for you videos:
A playlist is alike a ‘folder’ which you can categorize your videos. So if you have a few variations of advice videos for example you could create a playlist entitled ‘Advice Videos’ and so on. The benefit of using playlists is that once you have a few videos within a playlist, when someone watches one video within that playlist, then all the other videos within the playlist automatically appear at the side of the video for easy click-through access, allow people to skip between the videos with ease and is as simple as clicking the up and down arrow to jump between videos – again gaining you more views.
How do I create a playlist? Click link below:
Add all your social media pages etc to your channel
On your channel banner you can add your social media site links in the form of small icons such as facebook/twitter/pintrest/Google+ etc. It all helps again with social media aspects and linking everything together and it’s easy to do – just simply click the ‘edit’ button on the right hand side of the channel banner and add your social media pages in the appropriate boxes provided.
Choose a Channel ‘Trailer’
Your YouTube channel allows you to choose and use a video as your ‘trailer’ on the homepage, which is great for new people visiting your channel to get an insight into what you do; so it’s a great idea to put a short promo trailer here or even just create a short piece to camera explaining what you do. This also helps get your ‘views’ up since you can set it to automatically play when people land on the page.
New YouTube Channel Layout
YouTube are constantly changing the layout and the way things look, so ensure to keep your eye open for new developments. The current look is a thin banner at the top of the channel with your avatar icon on the top left of that banner. This is the only thing people can now see when they visit your channel so ensure you have a good looking icon and channel banner artwork to make the page look as professional as possible. Usually your best bet is to ask a designer to quickly knock one up, this is where websites such as http://fiverr.com/ and https://www.elance.com/ are a great asset for getting quick and affordable designs.
Link to your Google+ account
YouTube now allows you to link your channel to a Google+ account, it’s always worth doing just to help you in regards to the social media aspect and to try getting more followers etc on Google+. Also by having your videos on here as well, it helps with search engine optimization on Google.com.
Video Manager > Channel Settings (in left hand bar)
This is where all the additional possibilities can be added to your videos to enhance their available features. You will see 6 Headings:
– Longer videos
– External annotations
– Custom thumbnails
– Content ID appeals
– Unlisted and private videos
– Live events
Each one is its own unique video asset and can be looked into more depth by clicking the ‘learn more’ button beside each of the headings. Each asset will have specific requirements you will need to do in order to make them available to all of your videos. It is highly recommended that you ensure you do all the requirements and get these activated on your videos since each one is an incredible asset to help enhance your video potential. We will short be doing another blog on ‘how to monetise’ your videos – this is how you make money from your videos so definitely worth doing this!
So that’s a quick insight into all the different aspects incorporated within YouTube to gain you the greatest results when trying to get your video out there. By following all the guidelines listed above we can guarantee a clear improvement on your video’s success. Now we’re not saying you’re going to have another ‘Gangnam Style’ on your hands or anything! But most definitely these aspects will enhance your video’s available potential.