“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million!” —Troy Olson and Jeff Loquist
When first starting out on YouTube, people tend to just make any kind of video, upload it, and call it a day. A lot of advice out there will tell you to make a video about something that you are experienced in or that you have interest in, and that is pretty much it. YouTube, much like every other social media platform, works on algorithms, SEO, keywords, trends, and general traffic generated to the channel and the video. If you aim to become a successful YouTuber, then you will need to understand all of these concepts.
YouTube is a great place to market yourself and create a stream of income. It is estimated that people watch one billion hours of YouTube videos each day. This platform has become a search engine where people come for entertainment and for information. There are many people out there who would rather watch a video on a specific topic than read an article about it. This is why YouTube has exploded and, even though it is one of the longest standing social media sites, it is still the most popular.
When you create a YouTube video you are serving your audience by giving them the information or entertainment that they are looking for. YouTube videos are a service to the viewers, otherwise the platform would not be as popular as it is now. You have to find a way to target your audience and give them what they are looking for. This means that you need to know what your ideal viewer is like.
Think about the type of person you are targeting and identify the reasons they would click on your video. This is especially important in the beginning, because you are trying to draw people in and you do not have a large following that will be more vocal about what they want from you. If you are using your channel to draw attention to your business, then your content will have to be aligned with what your business provides and the types of customers your business serves. This way you get the right kind of viewers that will be interested in your goods and services.
Let’s say that you own a clothing boutique and are starting your channel to draw attention to that. Your YouTube channel will be fashion-based and most of your content will be around fashion and clothing. You could show people how to style certain items, give them outfit ideas, and teach them about the inner workings of making clothing. Since you are trying to serve them, you would have to give them information that they would be able to use in everyday life and then sneak your product in there every so often.
The next thing that needs to be done is planning out your content before you go ahead and make it. There are a lot of things that you can do to attract people to your videos, we will go over all of that in the next chapter, but if you want people to stay and subscribe to your channel, then you are going to have to create high quality content and be consistent with it. It is one thing to attract people to your channel and another to have repeat viewers.
The first 15 seconds of your video are going to be the most important. This is where people will decide whether they want to watch or not. It really doesn’t matter if the rest of your video is gold standard if people click off right at the beginning. A great opening scene will make people want to watch the rest of the video. Many YouTubers do a quick highlight reel at the beginning, introduce the video with a joke or something fun, or do a quick rundown of what will be in the video. Even if you choose to not plan out the rest of the video, the first 15 seconds have to be strategic and attention grabbing.
When planning out the rest of the video, it is going to be based on you and the type of video you are creating. Vlog-style videos tend to be less planned out because they are just taking the viewer through the day. Tutorials and informative videos need to be planned a bit more so that the right information is given out.
Take some time to think about the type of video you are creating and plan it out as much as possible. This will also save a lot of time with filming and editing, and make the process much smoother.
You will need to understand the different ways people can find your videos. As you grow your channel you will be able to use YouTube Analytics to help you discover many different data points related to your channel. It will show you how people have come to your video and you will be able to customize your strategy based on that. The main traffic sources would be the following:
These are places viewers have found your videos that are not on the YouTube platform. Apps and websites could have your videos embedded into them and this is how people watch them.
When you are on YouTube, you will have many videos suggested to you. This report will show you which of your videos have been clicked on because they have been suggested.
This has to do with how your thumbnail impressions have turned into clicks and views on your video.
Many people add videos to playlists on YouTube and this will show you which playlists led to traffic on your videos.
With the addition of shorts, stories, and lives to YouTube it can help with your reach. People who watch your shorts or stories, and then watch your videos, will show up here as well. Shorts will be suggested to people even if they do not follow you, so make sure you take advantage of this and are consistent with your uploads. Stories offer a way to communicate with your audience between videos and see their opinions on things. Lives are also another way you can engage with your audience and communicate with them in real time. This all creates extra engagement and traffic for your channel.
This will show you what words people searched for that led them to your content.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. When you use SEO and keywords correctly you will be able to generate a lot more traffic to your videos. The three places you can use these words are in the video title, the description, and the meta tags. When people search for a certain thing YouTube will want to give them the most relevant content. The best way to discover this is through the title and description of the video.
When it comes to titles you will be limited to 100 characters. Also consider that YouTube will limit the title once it has reached 66 characters. This means that you need to get your main themes and words used in the first half of the title so that you can increase visibility. When the viewer types in a key word or phrase, YouTube will show them videos with titles that match what they have searched for.
Your description has a lot more character availability, but you still want to make sure that your main keyword is used right at the start of the description. Then you can use your secondary keywords and variations throughout the text. The description should not be word-stuffed as this does not help with the YouTube algorithm. A few well-placed keywords will work best here. You also want your description to actually describe what the video is about, so it needs to make sense.
Title: Beef Lasagna Recipe for a Quick and Easy Dinner
Description: This easy lasagna recipe will keep your family coming back for more. Homemade lasagna is always a winner. This is the saucy, cheesy, and flavourful pasta recipe that everyone needs.
As you can see from above, the words “beef lasagna” are used right at the start of the title and then used again at the beginning of the description. The phrases “homemade lasagna” and “pasta recipe” are also used, which will help with the searches, plus the description actually explains what is in the video. This is how keywords should be used to make sure your video is SEO optimized.
The final way you can use key words is through your meta tags. These are not visible to the viewers and they will just be your keywords and variations of them.
You do not have to go overboard with these because YouTube will be able to recognize what your video is about from just a few. Usually five to ten tags are enough. This is really easy because you do not have to think about where they fit in a sentence or any of that. Once you have done all of this, your video should be SEO optimized.
● Your videos need to be created with serving the viewer in mind. Think about who your viewers are and what they would like to watch.
● Take some time out to plan your video out, especially the first 15 seconds of it.
● Understand that there are many different traffic sources and they can all be used to help you gain more viewers.
● SEO and keywords are the easiest ways to get more views on your videos. Make sure your keywords show up in your title, description, and meta tags.