5 Ways to Optimize Your Video Content and YouTube Channel

If you've been hard-at-work creating content, then you're probably aware at how powerful of video has become. If you weren't up-to-date on the popularity and influence that video content has, here are some mind-blowing stats courtesy of Digital Sherpa.
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If you've been hard-at-work creating content, then you're probably aware at how powerful of video has become. If you weren't up-to-date on the popularity and influence that video content has, here are some mind-blowing stats courtesy of Digital Sherpa:

  • One-third of all online activity is spent watching video
  • 100 million internet users watch an online video everyday
  • Videos increase people's understanding of a product or service by 74%
  • Every month the average internet user is exposed to an average of 32.2 videos

Of course, when it comes to video there's no bigger giant than YouTube. The Google-owned site has more than one billion unique visitors each month, has over 6 billion hours of watched videos every month and has 100 hours of uploaded videos every minute.

About a month ago I launched a new startup venture called Host. We've started putting up videos to take advantage of this trend. With so many options out there how can you make sure that you're incredible video doesn't get lost in the crowd? After all, why go through the trouble of creating something of high-quality if it isn't going to be seen?

Well, that shouldn't be a concern if you follow the 5 ways to optimize your video content and YouTube channel.

1. Set Up Your Channel

If you want to stand-out from the pack and brand yourself, then capture the attention viewers with a sleek design. While you can't customize your YouTube channel like you could in the past, you can add important features like your logo, social media icons, profile information and background color.

Mashable also suggested that you also do the following in their 5 Tips to Design the Best YouTube Channel Page:

  • Post a trailer - a short clip that best represents your brand.
  • Have an optimized name and description - keep in mind that your channel name and description will appear in search engines as well, so make it appealing.
  • Make it visually appealing - it's suggested that the dimensions be 2560x1440 px.
  • Keep you channel active - post videos and respond to comments frequently.

2. Tagging and Titles

How are people going to discover your videos? Through tags and titles. And, since YouTube happens to be the third most popular website in the world, this is an extremely important tactic to remember if you want to rank for certain keywords.

Here are some basic guidelines on how to effectively achieve tags and titles:

  • Include relevant keywords in your title.
  • The title should be under 66 characters.
  • Use the word "video" in the description.
  • Write a unique description of your video.
  • Keep the description at around 800 words.
  • Make sure your primary keywords are in the beginning of the description.
  • Include exact keyword phrases when tagging.
  • Use Google Trends to discover relevant keywords.

3. Annotations

Engaging your audience is one of the best ways to optimize your video content and YouTube Channel. And you can effectively increase engagement through annotations.

Annotations are "clickable text overlays on YouTube" that include everything from background information on the video, links to related videos/websites, or a visible subscription option. One of the most common practices for annotations is through strong call-to-action-overlays.

Effective CTAs should be creative and placed in plain sight of the viewer in the YouTube page, actual video or video description. Remember, the point of your CTA is to direct visitors to what you want them to do next. So, if if you want them to subscribe to your channel then make that clear. Just keep in mind that you don't want to bombard viewers with call-to-actions. That just comes across as spammy.

4. Thumbnails

Think of thumbnails as miniature banners for your videos. When thumbnails can effectively represent your brand, you'll be able to attract viewers. In fact, thumbnails have the ability to significantly increase search clicks (64% for men, 154% for women).

Its suggested by YouTube that you follow these suggested visual guidelines:

  • Clear, in-focus, hi-resolution (640px x 360px min., 16:9 aspect ratio)
  • Bright, high-contrast
  • Close-ups of faces
  • Visually compelling imagery
  • Well-framed, good composition
  • Foreground stands out from background
  • Looks great at both small and large sizes

5. Playlist URLs

In 2012, YouTube began ranking videos a little differently through a method entitled "watch time." Google describes this metric as an "algorithm for suggesting videos includes prioritizing videos that lead to a longer overall viewing session over those that receive more clicks."

One of the best ways to improve watch time is by creating playlists. Why? Because at the end of each video YouTube will automatically play the next video in the list. If you're able to keep people on your YouTube page, this can boost your time-on-page and time-on-site metrics.


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