YouTube optimisation in the scope of this article refers to the improvement of one’s YouTube channel and videos in the search ranking within YouTube and the general tips to cultivate a greater audience that remains loyal to the channel. There is a vast number of ways in which one can optimise a channel and videos. Here is a short list of some important points every channel’s producer should see being executed.
1. Have a regular schedule.
If you release your videos at a regular schedule and with frequency one thing you will be incentivising is users to subscribe. A channel that produces regular content is crucial to its strength. A minimum of one per week is a good start, and releasing them at regular times can help people follow the schedule and tune in. Remember that YouTube is not regular TV, but in many ways channels and audiences can behave in the same way and benefit from it.
2. Create and manage playlists.
Playlists can help keep your audiences engaged with your channel for longer. If you set a playlist with similar videos or according to a specific theme, then you can have the viewer sit back and watch for longer periods of time. To join this with the previous point, you can have several different themes and types of videos. Each with its own regular scheduling and each with a playlist, so viewers of that specific scheduling can view more of the same content they like for a more extended period of time easily. One thing that’s important to note is that your channel’s users and your videos might have a better format where the next video is not auto-played. For example, you might find all your users like to engage in the comments section after a video. It’s up to you to think whether auto playing the next video is the best option or is hurting the viewer experience.
Think of big events or trends that your videos and schedule can cater to. Tent-pole programming refers to programming for these big tent-pole events. This can help you drive more viewers when the big events occur. Of course this is very specific to what your channel is about so associating with any random big event may not be the best way forward. The channel’s producer should be able to identify what are the key events for the targeted audience.
4. YouTube Live
This is YouTube’s format and its functionality for live streaming. With this you can cover live events or just have general live content. This is often overlook but in some sectors it is a very big deal and the only way viewers watch content online. To give an example is YouTube’s interest in twitch.tv which focuses mainly on live streaming of video game events, professional players playing and just anyone who enjoys streaming are talking about the subject. It has a very loyal audience which revolves mainly around live streaming.
5. Optimize metadata.
Previous points may fall under the category of channel programming and scheduling rather than general optimization. They all however, optimize a channel. Having mentioned this, metadata changes do formally fall under optimization and may seem more familiar to people that have handled SEO. Split into three sections: titles, tags and descriptions. For titles, represent the content accurately so people don’t click on the YouTube, and not watch it. Add the branding text if any at the end. If episodes are involved, the numbers should be added at the end as well. Keywords at the beginning. For tags, have a standard tag bit that you can to all or most videos and then video specific tags. Include keywords from the title. With descriptions, bear in mind only first few sentences show in the search results. Provide an accurate description of the video and you can follow that by adding links to subscription, channel and other social mediums that you are prominent in.
6. Thumbnail Optimisation
If you have a branded thumbnail that communicates that you have high quality content this will improve your click through rates substantially.
Annotations on videos can help a lot. Two key annotations are the subscribe call to action and links to another videos. These can help keep your audience on your channel for longer and come back in the future. Be careful to not spam with annotations or make the videos less enjoyable. Instead, you could have your subscribe annotation at the end of a video. You could design a custom images that gets shown at the end with a subscribe button and then link that annotation to the subscribe link.
8. Channel Wide Optimisation
The channel name, description, icons and art can have a positive or negative impact on the user experience. Try and use the points mentioned previously and extrapolate to a channel wide optimization.
9. Maintain Your Channel Feed
Make sure you are maintaining your channel feed. This can include your interaction with other videos and channels.
10. Wider Appeal
Try to appeal to a wider audience and use YouTube Analytics to identify key information and have a greater insight onto how you can optimize things. Data is a very important asset.
These are some of the key points and just an overview. For more information you can visit YouTube’s Creator Playbook resource. http://www.youtube.com/yt/playbook/