Optimizing Your YouTube Profile
Set your social marketing plan up for success with optimized YouTube settings
To optimize your Youtube profile, start with your channel title - using your company name is generally best, but if you’re not using it, make sure the name you do use clearly reflects your brand. Next, you’ll want to select a high res image for your avatar that reflects your channel’s branding and that displays well as a thumbnail across multiple devices.
Next, think about how to best organize your content for viewers. Playlists work well for grouping together relevant videos and allow viewers to progress naturally from video to video, generating more views through their session. Channel sections allow you to group multiple playlists together into a single space. For example, say you’re a B2B company that serves both small and enterprise sized companies. You can create two separate channel sections aimed at each audience.
A Channel trailer is what viewers first see when they come to your channel. Think carefully about what you want to convey to visitors, because it’s a prime opportunity to welcome new viewers AND familiarize them with your company. You’ll also want to link your other social profiles to your YouTube channel so viewers can easily engage with your on their network of choice.
When it comes to optimizing videos - there are three areas to consider: first, the individual thumbnail, title and description, second, the metadata, and third, clickable overlays.
The thumbnail image should look good at multiple sizes and accurately represent the content of the video. A well crafted title helps a viewer decide whether to watch the video, and so should be short, descriptive and include keywords first. Where relevant, include episode number at the end of the title to make it easy for someone to view them in order. A good way to gauge the effectiveness of the title and thumbnail is to look at the engagement in the first 10-15 seconds of the video - if a large portion of viewers are leaving, they likely didn’t see what they expected, so take some time to adjust.
A strong description that accurately explains what a viewer can expect also helps YouTube’s algorithms better index your video, which aids discoverability. Incorporate important keywords in the first three lines of the description, since this is what’s automatically visible when the video shows up in places like Search Results, or embeds on other social networks. The description from the fourth line on is only visible when someone clicks “See More”, and so is better suited for relevant links to your website or landing page.
Metatags are important because they help categorize your video for search engines. Use accurate keywords that are relevant to the content of the video. If you are an advanced YouTube user, consider uploading caption files for your videos. In addition to making your video accessible to people in other languages, caption files also provide extensive additional metadata that boosts the discoverability of your content.
And finally, clickable overlays are a great way to maximize engagement with your audience.
Annotations, for example, can be used to drive viewers to more content on your channel. Use annotations sparingly though, and position them in a way that doesn’t disrupt the viewing experience.
Video Cards show up at the end of your video and can be used to lead visitors to a landing page once they have finished watching a video. Note that in order to use video cards, you first need to associate your website with your YouTube account.
Under Branding you can also add a custom watermark with a specific call to action like “Subscribe” for a more professional look.