Have you ever created a YouTube channel, uploaded a video, and then heard nothing but crickets? You’re not alone. This article will show you how to optimize your youtube channel, including 9 specific strategies proven to increase your SEO rank.
We’ll also show you how to create a channel from scratch and provide actionable tips on how to create an engaging and compelling channel.
Let’s get started!
How to Create a YouTube Channel Step 1- Create a Brand Account
Before we get into creating the channel, must first have a Google account in which to create a YouTube account and channel. You have two choices on how you go about this:
1. Use your own personal account
2. Create a Brand Account
For obvious reasons, we recommend the second option. This is so we can keep our personal activity and business activity completely separate. It also allows you to add others to this account to manage it later on.
You can create an account by going to the Google account creation page and selecting the ‘to manage my business’ option:
On the next step, finish creating your Google account and entering personal details. Then you’re all set with this part!
For the next step, head over to YouTube and under your profile picture select Create Channel. Then, you can choose to create a channel as a brand using the Custom Name option.
Next, add in your channel name.
and upload a profile picture.
Now, even though we’re still in the setup phase of account creation, some of the next steps you take have some of the highest potential optimization opportunities. It’s officially time to put your marketing caps on!
How to Optimize Your YouTube Channel Tip #1 – Optimize Your Channel Description for SEO Keywords
One of the very first things you can use to optimize your YouTube channel is the channel description itself.
If you haven’t already, now is the time to conduct a little bit of keyword research for your business. This piece is critical to the rest of this article (as well as your overall content marketing strategy).
After you’ve selected the keywords you want to rank for, you can start adding them in by organically working them into your YouTube description. for this example, we’re working with the ‘miniature painting tutorials’ keyword.
As you can see, the keyword is placed front and center in the description and feels organic and not spammy. I’ve also added the secondary ‘miniature painting techniques’ keyword as well.
After that, you also have the option to link your other sites – and you should! This is a good chance to give them the opportunity to connect with you on other networks.
Now, onto the next bit – creating playlists and videos!
How to Optimize Your YouTube Channel Tip #2 – Optimize Your Playlist Name and Description
Assuming you have content ready and rearing to go, the next step is to create your YouTube playlist. it’s best to group playlists by a certain theme or segment and to strategically use those playlists to reinforce your SEO strategy.
In this example, I’m going to be uploading a video of a tutorial on how to create a base for your miniatures. From my previous research, I found that ‘miniature basing tutorials’ has great potential, and I could create a series of content all about different ways to create scenery on your miniature.
In addition to optimizing the title of the playlist, I also want to add these keywords to the playlist description.
There you have it, our first playlist up and running! Now onto the next step of optimizing our YouTube video itself.
How to Optimize Your YouTube Channel Tip #2 – Optimize Your Video File Name, Video Title, and Description
While you might be tempted to name your file any old thing, the name of the file actually comes into play with the algorithm. In fact, the title, thumbnail, and description are the biggest factors in how YouTube decides when to show your videos.
Before you upload your video, try and incorporate another related keyword into your file in order to keep keyword consistency across your channel.
Next, you can also add a description. Just like everything else we’ve done here, we want to add in our related keywords and a good description of the video here. In my description, I also added a list of the products I used to create the base.
You can also choose to use this space for related links or follow up steps – for example, if you’re a plumber showing a repair tutorial you could add in a link to your website or another relevant CTA.
How to Optimize Your YouTube Channel Tip #3 – Add Tags, Language, and Captions
While most people might skip these sections altogether, this is yet another place where we can reiterate our keywords and even gain some additional rank traction.
While Google mentions tags play a minimal role (in fact, the other items we’ve just edited make way more of an impact) it’s still a good idea to add a few tags that are relevant to your video.
Another great idea here is to add language and captions if applicable. Google’s algorithm looks at uploaded captions in order to gain additional context into what your video is about – so if you’ve used your search keywords in your video’s narration this is another opportunity for you!
How to Optimize Your YouTube Channel Tip #4 – Create an Engaging Thumbnail and Add a Playlist
Like we mentioned earlier, the thumbnail and title/description make up a huge difference in Google’s algorithm – so we want these to be completely optimized for our audience.
In my example above, I did the following:
- Added a clear video title to show viewers what the video is about
- Used bright colors to attract attention
- Kept the overall brand style and appearance
- Stylized the graphic to convey meaning (painting) without context
I also added this video to the playlist we had just created as well. Utilizing these key principles will help to ensure your thumbnail is attractive and converts searchers into viewers!
How to Optimize Your YouTube Channel Tip #5 – Add an End Screen
After you move to the next step, you have the choice to add cards and end screens to your video. We’ll start with End Screens.
An End Screen is, as you guessed it, a screen that appears at the very end of your video that allows you to callout thinks like your subscribe button, and even redirect users to another related video on your page.
As you can see, Google offers a variety of templates and even allows you to choose exactly where to put the End Screen. You can optimize these by:
- Asking users to subscribe to be notified of your next video release
- Link other related videos
- Link unrelated but top-performing content (your most popular ones)
- Link back to your website
If you want to promote something during your video (and not just the end) you’ll want to take a look at the Cards section below.
How to Optimize Your YouTube Channel Tip #6 – Add Cards to Highlight CTAs
During your video, you might highlight certain products used or relevant links for your viewer to visit.
Instead of having to rely on them doing this work after the video ends, you have the ability to use cards to highlight relevant CTAs and direct viewers to your sites or other videos.
The Cards feature allows you to do just that. The box will appear in the right-hand side of your video during the time frame you choose. It’s important to only add relevant cards and to not use too many to avoid looking spammy.
How to Optimize Your YouTube Channel Tip #7 – Make Your Video Public
Now that we’ve done a boatload of work, it’s time to publish our video. It may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember to set your video to public to ensure that anyone across the web can find and watch your video.
If you’re not quite ready to publish to the world (and want an extra set of eyes from a few helpful friends) you can choose to use the unlisted option to generate a link and share it with a select few before you set it live.
How to Optimize Your YouTube Channel Tip #8 – Highlight Featured Channels
Even though we’ve created a channel, uploaded our video, and added relevant cards and end screens, there’s still a couple of other things we can do to optimize our videos. One of which is to highlight featured channels.
If you go over to your channel page, you can choose a few channels to feature. Now, why would you do a thing like highlight competitors? The answer is all in the algorithm.
In addition to everything else we’ve mentioned here, Featured Channels also impacts Google’s algorithm. This feature adds a tacit link between you and these channels, giving extra context into what your channel and videos are about.
In my example, I’ve added other companies that produce miniatures, paint, and painting tutorials as these are all relevant. I also use these products in my videos, so it’s a win-win all around.
In this article, we’ve shown you how to create your own YouTube channel and shared 8 solid strategies you can implement right now to optimize your YouTube channel.
Have any other insights to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!