Video optimisation isn’t too far removed from website optimisation, and could make all the difference when it comes to growing your audience.
So you’ve got a great video. It delivers your message in a concise and insightful way, and is exactly what you need to reach out to your audience. However, reaching your audience in the first place might be more difficult than it seems if you don’t already have an established channel.
It’s not simply a case of uploading your video and wait for views to come rolling in. Of course, you can outreach to blogs and social media channels to get your video out there, but why not optimise it?
YouTube uses a video’s title, description, and tags to index it properly.
The title acts as the video’s headline, and is often the first thing a user sees of the video. A headline should be compelling enough to attract the user’s attention when appearing in a list of results, as well as being an honest, accurate representation of the video’s content. Ensure keywords come first and branding follows, and that the title matches up with the thumbnail in order to tell a cohesive story.
The video description appears beneath the title and should describe the content of the video in just a couple of sentences. Only few lines appear in the description without having to click further to see more, so ensure the major points you want to get across appear immediately. Include a link back to your website (with the http://) to encourage referral traffic.
Be sure to include descriptive keywords, or tags, to help users and YouTube better understand what the content of the video is and who it is for. Including the keywords of your video’s title as well as using a standardised set of tags across your channel to ensure your video is properly indexed.
On the surface, annotations may appear to be just irritating text that users will want to delete as soon as it appears. But it doesn’t have to be – there are plenty of innovative and creative ways of overlaying annotations. Asking viewers questions; linking to other videos in the series; and placing interactive games in your videos are all great ways to increase and retain audience engagement with your channel.
Other things to consider
Optimising your channel
Optimising your individual videos is one thing, but if you want to make the most out of YouTube then make sure your channel is designed to complement its content. Choose an honest and compelling channel name; upload art and an 800×800 icon; and include relevant keywords in the channel description.
You can access YouTube Analytics to analyse and report on the types of traffic coming to your videos. Understanding who and where your audiences are will help you to craft great content, helping you build a loyal fanbase as well as reaching out to new people.