Factors that determine visibility
If all efforts at solving the issue prove abortive, it may be because you haven’t figured out the root cause of the problem. Google owns YouTube, and similar to its parent company, it works with machine-learning algorithms. These algorithms determine your channel’s visibility based on the following criteria:
- Length of the video
- Watch time
- Number of subscribers
- User interaction
These factors are crucial to enhancing your presence both on YouTube and the Google search engine.
Now the primary question is; How do you optimize your YouTube channel for the above-listed criteria?
You may be surprised to realize out that the famous Search Engine Optimization (SEO) you hear about concerning visibility for articles also applies to YouTube videos. There is no better route to get traffic on your channel. A great way to start is by understanding the concept of Metadata. For YouTube, the term metadata refers to the information that explains the content of a video. It includes the title, descriptions, and tags.
- The title should not be too long or too brief.
- It should describe the subject of the video
- It should contain keywords and phrases
- Include a relevant URL at the beginning, for instance: the address to your website.
- Use keywords in the very first sentence and randomly throughout your description.
- It should ideally be about 250 words long
- Add ten to twenty tags
- Use words of phrases that are relevant to the video
- The first tag should be the exact keyword
- Variations should be included as well
You can use similar tags from popular videos. It increases your chances of showing up as a recommended video in the sidebar.
Effective optimization includes the incorporation of Metadata. Your videos get discovered, and viewers’ interests are piqued. The greater the number of views, the higher your video will rank among search results.
Focus on the channel
An excellent way to make a lasting impression on viewers is to design an attractive home page. Unless you’re making a random video, your aim should be to sell your brand and gain recognition. Creating a professional profile will let people know that you are serious-minded and that you are good at what you do.
What perfect way is there for people to remember you than with a profile picture. This is the icon that represents your brand and can be considered as a form of advertisement.
The image should be:
- Clear, bright and uncluttered
- Easy to identify
- Appealing even in a miniaturized version
You could think of YouTube channel trailers as the video equivalent of the About us section. It offers an introduction to the channel. The primary purpose is to attract new subscribers; hence, only visitors can view channel trailers.
With this in mind:
- It should introduce your channel and give some info about your brand
- It should be short and straight to the point; between 30 -60 seconds;
- The trailer should contain a call to action urging viewers to subscribe
- It should have rich content, with examples of what you offer.
YouTube channel art is seen at the top of the screen, just below the search bar and just above the title of the channel. This banner is a bold statement and expresses useful information about the site, such as the subject of the channel, days in which new videos are uploaded, and of course, a CTA to subscribe. It is a real eye-catcher and a perfect pointer for channel optimization.
Watch time has been proven to be the number 1 video ranking factor on YouTube. People need to click on your videos, but that is not enough to grow your channel. You need viewers to watch as much of your content as possible. Videos that retain viewers’ attention for longer tend to get recommended a lot more on the platform. YouTube is interested in ad clicks, so they promote those that engage the audience and keep them online for a greater length of time. Most importantly, a video needs to have valuable content and be attractive to retain viewers’ interests.
The actual length of the video is subjective. Excessively long videos do tend to deter viewers, but if it makes sense for it to be 20 minutes or longer, then do it. Remember that quality content is what matters the most. If you can input relevant info at the right intervals, and thoroughly cover a topic, you will get viewers hooked. A video should be short if it has to be and long when it needs to be.
Playlists for increased viewing time
We all love the right audio playlist with our favorite songs on autoplay. YouTube playlists follow the same concept but with videos. Instead of depending on the platform to recommend similar videos of yours, you can group related videos from your library and link them to each other. What this does is increase traffic and, consequently, viewer retention.
Promote user interaction
User interaction is beneficial when optimizing for visibility. An active audience is synonymous with fame and indirectly implies that you hold a higher authority on the subject matter.
Other Social media links
The world is globally connected through the internet and social media, despite its many downsides, is the best medium for promoting effective communication. Shared videos through social media platforms reach a much wider audience. The more people visit your channel, the more subscribers you get. You can include your social media links in the description box or channel art. You could also insert them onto the screen as clickable buttons or mention them verbally during the video.
Embed your videos in articles
There is nothing like too much promotion as long as you adhere to the right guidelines. Strategically placing a link to your videos in personal blog posts and guest posts can optimize your channel to a greater extent. Of course, this requires you to be active as well by being present on the web as much as possible.
Q&A sites like Quora are a fantastic medium to not only showcase how knowledgeable you are on a subject but also to promote YouTube videos. Despite the rumors, embedding videos are so common that people confuse them with myths of buying YouTube views on these same videos.
Second, only to Google, YouTube is the most popular search engine. This means there is a world of opportunities there; you only need to understand how to harness it. There are numerous ways of optimizing your channel and videos, and with these four tips, you are well on your path to becoming one of the innovators.