9 Easy Ways To Optimize Your Youtube Channel
YouTube is certainly not the new kid on the social media block, so many entrepreneurs are choosing to focus their energy on Instagram and Snapchat instead. But over the years, this behemoth has proven that it has serious staying power. With 3 billion internal searches every month — more than AOL, Ask, Bing, and Yahoo combined — YouTube is a powerful search engine that connects people to their topics of interest.
Wellness practitioners can leverage YouTube to reach more students, clients, and followers, while simultaneously promoting their unique personalities and brands online. Even if you’re already offering stellar classes through Namastream, supplementing your paid memberships and courses with a YouTube channel is a must if you’d like to dramatically expand your online business.
If you need more convincing, or a primer on how to launch your YouTube presence with pizzaz, this post will get you started. But if you’ve already established your channel and are ready to amp it up, this post is for you! We’ve got nine great tips that will help you grow your YouTube following and optimize your channel for SEO.
How to optimize your YouTube channel for SEO
What’s that? You didn’t know SEO even mattered when it came to YouTube content and strategy? Totally understandable. Most tutorials focus on making the videos themselves enticing and engaging, or offer techy tips on specifics like how to make videos load quickly. There isn’t nearly as much discussion about using your SEO savvy to ensure your videos pop up first in user searches.
But just like anything else on the Internet, YouTube content can and should be optimized. YouTube is owned by Google, which means the infamous Google algorithm must be considered in your SEO efforts. Here are some simple ways to optimize your YouTube channel so it’ll be SEO-friendly and imminently searchable.
- Consider your channel name: Although you definitely want to build brand recognition through your channel name, you don’t want to assume that your business name alone will attract hordes of new viewers. When picking a channel name, consider including an explanatory keyword phrase. If you run a studio called Lotus Yoga, try something like “Lotus Yoga Tutorials + Instructional Videos” for your channel name. This will help YouTube recognize your channel as a resource for a specific subset of yoga videos. Then folks looking for — you guessed it — tutorials and instructional videos can find you and your content quickly and easily.
- Write a killer “about” description: Your channel also needs a short narrative description, and this section is vital to overall SEO health. Be sure to highlight your specialities and outline the content viewers can expect to see when they visit. Infuse this blurb with your personality as much as possible, but also be strategic. Think about the terms your quintessential clients would use when searching the web for resources. Consider, too, the ideas you most closely associate with your practice — flexibility, recovery, strength, weight loss, health — and pack those into this section. When YouTube and Google crawl your page, they’ll register those as your areas of expertise, and rank your page accordingly. YouTube pulls the first 48 characters of your description in search results, so make sure that first phrase is both concise and inviting!
- Pick specific and strategic channel keywords: After inputting your title and description, click on Channel/Advanced Settings to select keywords for your channel. Separate keywords or keyword phrases by putting them in quotation marks, and include as many as you can cram into the allotted 100 characters. Again, consider words and phrases that potential clients or students might be searching for, and ones that truly represent your offerings and expertise.
Don’t forget to make your channel homepage attractive and appealing by creating a branded banner. Be sure to include your channel name and a phrase or two echoing your description in the graphic. Optimize this piece of the YouTube puzzle by giving it a strategic filename; instead of untitled.jpg, go with something like yoga_instructional_videos.jpg.
How to boost your YouTube following
The actions above will help people find your channel page, and ensure that it gets the best possible ranking in search results. But in addition to beefing up the channel SEO, you want to be thoughtful about how you name, describe, and promote individual videos.
- Create and use a channel trailer: OK, you caught us. This one is more about the overall health of the channel than it is about promoting individual videos. BUT, it’s a brand-building component that can entice visitors to click on other videos within your channel. Your channel trailer plays automatically at the top of your page as soon as a new visitor arrives, giving you the opportunity to create instant rapport. Create a short video that showcases who you are and what you do. You can structure this as a friendly Q&A, or just speak authentically about your experience and expertise. Whatever format you choose, have fun and be yourself!
- Keyword repetition: When it comes to individual videos, you want to settle on a few key search terms and hammer them home. Repeat them in the title, description, tags, and any supporting social media plugs that may send viewers to your channel. Need help settling on the best keywords? Try a keyword planning tool.
- Give your videos keyword-heavy titles: Your YouTube video titles are among the most important SEO considerations. Once again, think about people who need a specific video and which search terms they might use, then pack those into your video title. “Great Yoga Stretches” won’t snag nearly as many viewers as “Easy Yoga Stretches for Stiffness and Back Pain” or “Simple Yoga Stretches for Beginners.”
- Write descriptions with care: As you might imagine, video descriptions give potential viewers a preview of what to expect if they click “play.” Vague or badly written descriptions will annoy and discourage views, which is bad enough. But an equally important reason to craft great video descriptions is that this tidbit of text can boost your SEO. Load it up with relevant keywords that tell YouTube, Google, and searchers what a specific video is about and what it offers.
- Pay attention to pacing: Since people have begun buying fake views for their YouTube videos to game the algorithm, the company has switched metrics. Now “watch time” is the real ranking gold. If users click away from a video within the first 10 seconds, that negatively affects watch time. What you want is for viewers to stick around to the very end, proving to YouTube that you’ve created captivating content. This means every single video you post needs to be energetic, interesting, and fast-paced from start to finish. If you let things slow to a crawl, you’ll lose viewers and stunt your watch time, so consider pacing as well as content when you’re scripting and shooting new videos.
- Create great thumbnails: Most viewers will see your video thumbnail image before they even bother to read the title or description! Make sure it’s branded, eye-catching, and easy to read.
Bonus tip number 10? BE CONSISTENT. A YouTube channel is similar to a blog; if you don’t offer new content on a regular basis, people will lose interest. Don’t push yourself to post three times per week if that’s not truly feasible, but set a schedule and follow it. Twice per month, once per week, and always on the same days of the week so subscribers get to know your rhythm. Doing this might not crank up your SEO or make your individual videos easier to find, but it will reinforce your goal of making your channel a valuable resource for your community.
A YouTube channel is the perfect marketing partner to your Namastream site. Folks who might not find your individual site or classes can stumble upon your YouTube channel, become fans, and happily invest in your paid offerings. We hope you’ll take these tips to heart, start building your YouTube presence, and learn to reap the benefits from this social media powerhouse.
Originally published at namastream.com on May 17, 2017.