9 Tips for Optimizing Your YouTube Channel

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By Boris Dzhingarov

YouTube has dominated the world of video content for years now, and there are no signs of it being toppled anytime soon. As well as hosting most video content, YouTube is a search engine and social media platform. With this in mind, any YouTube creator hoping to have their videos appear in the searches must spend time on channel optimization, which is no surprise when you consider the fact that YouTube is owned by Google.

Get Your Keywords Right

Just like optimizing a website for the SERPs, keywords play a vital role when it comes to YouTube channel optimization. When choosing keywords, you must play it right, as the wrong choice can see you plummeting down the SERPs. After researching your keywords, you’ll need to integrate them into your content in the following areas:

  • Content titles. Primary keywords should be included in your content titles, but this should feel effortless.
  • Channel information. The name and description of your channel play a part in YouTube’s ranking algorithm, so be sure to include your keyword here.
  • Content descriptions. The video summary helps search engines fulfill user intent, so it’s important to put your keywords here.
  • As spoken words. Use keywords in your videos, as YouTube will transcribe them and integrate them into their ranking system. 
  • Channel about section. Outline the purpose of your channel and link to social channels and your website, but also include your keywords when describing your channel.

Allow Time for Content Mapping

If you create content and upload it without a plan in place, you won’t be reaching your maximum potential. Therefore, long before shooting begins, put some time aside for content mapping. There are a couple of ways to do this – write your content and then add keywords or highlight keywords and then develop content.

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Both of these strategies are viable, so don’t be afraid to target either approach depending on the circumstances. For example, if you create high-quality content first, your keywords should slide into the video naturally. However, there is always the chance that keywords will be forced into the video, which would damage your SEO efforts.

Keeping this in mind, the strongest content mapping method is to devise relevant keywords first and then create from there. By doing this, you’ll ensure that your content is always in line with the keywords.

Only Publish High-Quality Content

The goal of any YouTuber is to create content that will attract more viewers, which will lead to a higher income. However, this will never be achieved if your content is terrible, which is why you need to ensure every upload is of a high standard. To make sure your videos are high-quality, stick to these insights:

  • Prioritize long-form content. Longer videos on YouTube help with brand authority, which is key when it comes to channel optimization.
  • Upload professional-grade content. We live in a world of 4K video, so viewers will pick up on a poorly shot video.
  • Understand your audience. Create an audience persona and upload content that speaks to them, otherwise, your other efforts are pointless.
  • Include subtitles. YouTube offers a subtitling service, but they’re extremely inaccurate. Using a professional subtitling service will open up your videos to a wider audience.
  • Hook viewers within 15 seconds.

Use Video Tags on All Uploads

Tags allow YouTube to easily organize your videos and help the algorithm when it comes to ranking. Therefore, you should make sure every single video has a relevant tag, but make sure you’re including your keywords.

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Arrange Videos into Playlists

If you go and have a look at a successful YouTube channel, you’ll find that its content is arranged into playlists, which makes it easier for your viewers to find the content they will enjoy. For example, if your YouTube channel is full of game reviews, you need to create a playlist for each game or type of review. If you’ve got ten videos about Elden Ring on your channel but don’t arrange your content, your viewers won’t spend too long searching, which means they’ll leave in favor of a different creator. 

Encourage Viewers to Engage

YouTube audiences love to read the comments section, so make sure you’re making use of it. To do this, create engaging content that gives your audience a reason to write content. Going back to the Elden Ring content, you can ask your viewers what their experiences have been like playing the game.

Make sure you check the comment section constantly, as your audience will have open debates, and the next content clue might be in there. As well as this, you will find feedback, which you can take on board to improve your content.

Lead Viewers with Video Cards

If your video comes to an abrupt stop without direction for your audience, there’s nothing to prevent them from leaving your channel. Whereas, if you point them in the direction of the next logical video, they might just stay. To do this, you’ll need to use video cards, which have replaced YouTube annotations.

If you frame it in terms of classic search engine optimization, your video card is the same as a “Call to Action” (CTA), which you’d find in a web article.

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Work on Backlinking

Backlinking is just as important on YouTube because they help to steer more traffic to your channel. As well as this, having a strong backlink profile lets Google know that your channel is authoritative. To effectively generate backlinks, you have to build a buzz around your channel. Therefore, make an effort to share videos across your social channels, your website, and with other influencers.

Create a Vanity URL

When you first create a YouTube channel, you’ll be given a random URL that won’t be easy to remember. Therefore, you will need to create a vanity URL – using your channel’s name is a great option for this.

Your YouTube channel exists to reach a particular audience, but you need to make sure your content cuts through the competition and lands high on the SERPs. To do this, follow the above channel optimization tips.