Don’t Miss These Crucial Steps When Posting to YouTube
by Valerie Reader
If you’re currently using YouTube but experiencing somewhat lackluster results, be sure not to miss the following crucial steps when posting on YouTube, to get the most out of every video you publish.
1. Use tags on your videos.
When you add tags to a video, you’re giving YouTube the basic information it needs to properly sort and categorize that video. Include the most relevant target keywords in your tags, so your video shows up in YouTube’s search results for those keywords.
Try to adopt the mindset of the average YouTube user who might be searching for a video about your given topic. What keywords would they use to search for a video like yours? You can get a lot of help with this by using YouTube’s own search box, as it will provide you with automated suggestions based on real users’ search queries when you start typing. Use those exact keyword suggestions for your tags, as well as any other relevant keywords you can think of.
For example, if you’re publishing a promotional video for an event, include key details such as the event name, venue, main attractions, keynote speakers, and other related terms. Keep in mind that YouTube’s tag box has a 500 character limit, so try to prioritize the keywords you believe will be the most popular for your particular niche or industry.
2. Include a relevant title and full description.
When you first upload your video to YouTube, it will automatically fill in the “Title” field with the video’s actual file name, so edit the title before you publish your video. You’d be surprised how many people fail to do this simple step, and end up with “DSCN004.mp4” or something similar as a video title.
The title of your video should give people a huge clue as to what your video is all about, and if you can incorporate your target keywords into the title without it sounding contrived or forced, so much the better.
Also, fill out the “Description” box with as much relevant information as possible, and try to sprinkle a few target keywords in this area as well. If you have a lengthy description (which can definitely help for YouTube SEO purposes), keep in mind that most people won’t scroll down to read past the area that’s initially visible, so put the most relevant information–including any website links—toward the beginning.
3. Use customized thumbnails.
Like it or not, people do tend to “judge the book by its cover” when it comes to thumbnails, so if you want to attract more viewers, you have to start by creating customized thumbnails to pique the curiosity of your target audience. If you don’t create a customized thumbnail, you’re at the mercy of YouTube’s very unpredictable thumbnail selection algorithm, which may not capture anything worth looking at. Try creating thumbnails that are clear, bright, inviting, and visually compelling, but always be mindful to accurately represent the content of the video; otherwise, you’re crossing over into clickbait territory.
4. Fill out the pertinent settings for your channel.
Make sure you’ve filled out all of your pertinent channel-wide settings, including setting up the correct country for your channel. You can do this by going to the “Channel” section in the Creator Studio menu, and then clicking the “Advanced” link. Select your country from the drop-down menu, and also be sure to fill out your channel keywords with relevant terms. In addition, verify your website under the “Associated website” section, so you can link directly to your website from cards and annotations in your videos.