I had the opportunity to help out our Co-creation team at Mindshare Australia with their ‘Uncomfortable Ideas‘ session at Sydney’s Vivid Festival. I went a bit beserk with the level of detail so I thought i’d post the bulk of it here. The question asked was…

How do you get more exposure for my YouTube channel?

YouTube Optimisation Tips

Top YouTube Optimisation Tips:

  1. Do your research:
    YouTube has a great tool, the YouTube Keyword Tool, which reveals the phrases people search and how often. The word “how to” is search over 8 million times a month in Australia! This tool will give you some ideas about what the people want and how often they want it. This information is gold when it comes to content planning and video optimisation (see point 2).
  2. Video optimisation: being as descriptive as possible
    Videos & channel pages can show up in YouTube & even Google search results – if done right, this could lead to heaps of additional exposure! To do this, we need to give the YouTube robots as much information as possible so that they can understand our content. Use the research from point 1, do following:
  3. Write snappy titles.
    Try and summaries your title in a short, keyword rich 1 liner. I.e. “VW Gold GTI 2014 Australian Review”. Don’t be afraid to tweak your existing titles
  4. Write a comprehensive description. Explain what your video is about. Try to write about 150-300+ words per video. Firstly, write a short paragraph which summaries the entire video. Then secondly, create additional meatier paragraphs. Thirdly, add links to anything relevant such as the official webpage – we do this to try and help user continue their journey once finished. Completing this step, will also help improve your chances of being shown as related video. Remember, a picture tells a thousand words and you are talking to a robot – it can’t see what you can see!
  5. Feature your sparklers! If something really cool or someone really famous appears in your video make sure you mention it in your description. Robots won’t know this till you tell them. If you’re talking about a product mention the full name. I.e. ‘VW Golf 2.0 GTI 2014 Review’ is waaaay more descriptive than ‘VW Golf Review’.
  6. Accurately describe your channel. Your channel page is like your homepage, it is the gateway to your video content and kind of acts like a content page would in a book. With that in mind, it is really important to include a keyword rich description on your YouTube About page as it will help YouTube understand what your channels theme is.
  7. Encourage users to subscribe:
    Subscribers are like votes; the more you have the more important you are. To get more subscribes we need to communicate the value that you have to offer. What’s the benefit if they subscribe? Why should I follow you? You can do this in 3 ways.

    1. Verbally prompt users at the end of your video to subscribe. Eg. “For more weekly XXXXX tips press subscribe”
    2. Show an annotation at the end of your video prompting users to subscribe. Do this inside your video manager
    3. If you have a website or another Social channel then add the ‘YouTube Subscribe Button’ to your website and post regular prompts on your social channels. Be sure to highlight why we should subscribe.
  8. Be 100% Complete:
    It’s all about experience. YouTube channels with 100% information on their profile perform better than those with less. Create an about page. Fill in all your fields. Be as descriptive as you can.
  9. Engage commenters:
    YouTube users love to comment. YouTube knows that higher quality videos tend to have more comments. Therefore, videos with more comments tend to get more exposure. Often, channel owners or companies negate to reply as quickly (if at all) as they might on a Facebook page. This often leaves users feeling under appreciated. If someone asks question or critiques your content you should engage with them.
  10. Tag with pride:
    YouTube can better understand your video if you write tags that are really relevant to your content. Try to think; what questions does my video help answer? Include these as part of your tags.
  11. Create lots of short ‘How to’ videos:
    We saw earlier how the phrase ‘How to’ was one of the top searched queries on YouTube. The beauty of phrases such as these are that they happen all year round (evergreen). If you have the skills to answer a common question then you should look to create a quick video about it. Try to do one video per question. For example; ‘How to jump start a car’ or ‘How to pot a plant’, ‘How to re-wire an Australian plug’ or ‘How to clean a Playstation’. Views from videos like these will quickly add up, driving more exposure.
  12. Build relationships influencers & competing channels:
    Try to collaborate with other YouTube users who run similar channels. Comment on their videos and try to offer some extra value with your own knowledge. Where appropriate, link to your videos but be careful not to spam – YouTube & the channel manager could remove your comment. 
  13. Post your content on websites & forums:
    Outside of YouTube you should also look to be sharing your content in relevant communities such as forums or blogs. As a rule of thumb, in forums try to answer questions instead of creating new threads/subjects. To find relevant posts use the ‘search’ function.
  14. Post regularly & consistently:
    YouTube uses a complicated algorithm which probably looks at thousands of factors. One of those is ‘dormancy’ or frequency of update. Where essentially channels which aren’t updated often enough gradually become buried or no longer trusted. Keep your channel regularly updated. Try to post weekly, or bi-weekly.