When YouTube made its debut back in 2005, very few people realized how quickly the internet’s user population would adopt their video-sharing website. But hindsight is 20/20 and it’s not surprising why the entire world jumped onboard with YouTube so quickly because it was truly designed for everyone.
According to BrandWatch, YouTube currently operates in over 91 countries and caters to 80 different languages, covering 95% of the internet’s population, and the amount of searchable content is literally infinite. There are over 400 hours of content loaded to YouTube every single day and we are on track to consume more than 1 billion, yes we said BILLION, hours of YouTube content per day. So if it isn’t obvious by now, the internet is never going to get bored of watching video content and because of this, marketers are seeing new challenges in advertising.
Online marketers are navigating rather uncharted waters when it comes to placing their products or services in YouTube videos and new marketing techniques are being developed every day. So how can marketers stand out from their competition in an endless sea of evolving YouTube content? The key to getting in front of your customers on YouTube is through optimizing great, organic content to improve your online visibility but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Making a great video will only get you so far and the key is writing descriptions and titles that help attract the right audience.
It takes some creativity and testing to be ranked among YouTube’s top search results but we’ve decided to help and do our own YouTube research. So don’t just compete with your YouTube competition, leap-frog them with these 3 tips for creating great supporting content on your YouTube channel.
#1 Clickable Titles
Any digital content creator knows that a YouTube video’s title is just as important as the video content but what is the secret to creating the best title for your video?
The first thing YouTube asks you to do when you upload a video is to name it, but ask yourself “What’s in a Name?”. It’s important to think of your video’s title as the key to grabbing a viewers attention and the first step in boosting your search rankings. Your video title should provide viewers with a succinct description of the video’s content and use specific keywords because they will play a huge role in your SEO.
All great titles start with keyword research and a character limit. Very short titles leave viewers confused about the subject matter and longer titles make people lose interest. The perfect title length less than 60 characters and that should include at least 3 keywords or one strong keyword phrase. These keywords are extremely important in your title because they will tell YouTube what your video is about and when it should show up as a search result. Once you’ve nailed down a firm list of keywords play around with different title ideas and test them to see what results in more views.
#2 Spectacular Thumbnails
Thumbnails are the face of your video and they provide viewers a first impression before they read the title. Your thumbnail has an incredibly important purpose, serve as the preview for a video and help with channel page optimization. An eye-catching, high-resolution thumbnail and a strong video title can act as mini-billboard for your YouTube content and you should always upload a custom thumbnail image that directly corresponds to the video title. When vague titles and bad thumbnails are used, there’s a disconnect and that will deter viewers from trusting your content and engaging with it.
The best way to create a custom thumbnail is by taking still photos during your shoot so the thumbnail has continuity with your video content. The trick to taking great photos is having great lighting, composition, and color. If your images and video need help in post-production there are plenty of free and paid tools that can adjust the image’s brightness and add effects to it. Tracking the success rate of your thumbnails is also very important because it will show you any changes in viewership coming from search results where thumbnails are important for attracting clicks.
To help you take the best thumbnails possible here is our QC checklist for YouTube.
YouTube Thumbnail Quality Control Checklist
- Make sure the thumbnail accurately represents the content and supports the title.
- Use a high-resolution image that has bright or contrasting colors.
- Make sure that your thumbnail isn’t cropped or cutting off any important parts of the thumbnail.
- Use expressive subjects – you’re never fully ready for YouTube without a smile 🙂
#3 Dazzling Descriptions
So you want to drive traffic with your YouTube video but what about driving viewers to your channel to explore your other content? That’s where descriptions play their part in the long game of YouTube’s search engine. Descriptions are very important on YouTube because they provide you with 5,000 characters and you can get creative in how you describe your video or support it with relevant links. The first few lines of your description will be shown to viewers in search results so make sure that your descriptions are accurate.
It’s important to make sure that you write great YouTube descriptions from the start because editing the descriptions on your existing videos may affect their placement in search engines. Description changes may result in a drop viewership for several weeks until the video(s) rank again so be careful when making edits! It’s also important to follow YouTube’s terms of service and avoid including misleading information or inappropriate blocks of keywords in your description. This can result in the suspension of your account and crush your chances of ranking well on YouTube.
Here are some good and bad examples of YouTube descriptions.
Good Description: “Today, I’m unboxing the iPhone XR and we will take a look at Apple’s newest phone on the market. During this video, you’ll hear my first impressions on how the iPhone feels and functions compared to the iPhone X, and we’ll explore some of the smartphone’s newest features.”
Bad Description: “Watch me unbox and use my new smartphone!”
As you can see the keywords, ”iPhoneXR”, “Apple”, and “iPhone X” appear the description and it outlines exactly what will happen in the video for viewers and search engines. The bad example is too short, vague, and lacks any specific keywords to help YouTube realize that this video is about the iPhone XR specifically. It’s very important to put the most important keywords in your description first then include any other semi-relevant keywords, like “smartphone” that viewers may also search.
Adding social media links to your video description can also help with SEO and direct viewers to more of your original content. You can also get creative with this section and add emoji’s or formatting to create more interest in your other channels. See our example below!
“Today, I’m unboxing the iPhone XR and we will take a look at Apple’s newest phone on the market. During this video, you’ll hear my first impressions on how the iPhone feels and functions compared to the iPhone X, and we’ll explore some of the smartphone’s newest features.”
? See More Unboxings
? Subscribe To My YouTube Channel!
- Website URL [link]
- Facebook page [link]
- Twitter handle [link]
- Instagram handle [link]
Pro Tip: Use short link tools like Bitly to abbreviate your YouTube and off-platform links to keep your description section neat & tidy.