YouTube is the second most visited site in the world. The average person logs over 21 minutes per visit and views more than 11 pages.
Given that YouTube is accessible on almost any device, from smartphones to television screens, it’s no wonder that people continue to flock to the platform. Whether it’s to learn a new skill (86% of people have turned to YouTube for educational purposes) or watch a music video, YouTube’s draw is ever increasing.
So, how do you get a piece of this giant pie? In this guide, we’ll share 13 proven tips to optimize your YouTube channel for growth.
Build Videos Around a Single Keyword/Topic
Link to Yourself
Use Your End Screen
Engage with Your Audience
Promote Your YouTube Videos on Other Social Channels
Post Great Thumbnails
Leverage YouTube Cards
Push for Subscriptions
1. Build Videos Around a Single Keyword/Topic
YouTube is the second largest search engine (Google is number one), and people use keywords and phrases to search for the information they need.
To put it in perspective, there are more than 3 billion searches on YouTube performed every month. And, given that 500 hours of video are uploaded every minute, the competition is fierce.
By creating videos that focus on a specific keyword or topic, you’re providing a clear signal to the YouTube algorithm, increasing your videos’ chances of getting found for the keyword most relevant to your subject matter.
You probably already have a broad topic in mind, but you’ll also need to plan future content and videos around your overall channel theme.
There are both free and paid tools to help you do this, but we’ll focus on the two most powerful, which also happen to be free.
Use the YouTube Search Bar
Let’s say you have a channel teaching people how to edit video. If you type “how to edit video” in the YouTube search bar, you’ll be prompted with longer search phrases that people are using.
Use these for ideas when it comes time to create new content.
Use Answer the Public
For a deep dive into topics, Answerthepublic.com collects all the questions people are asking about a topic and is a goldmine of inspiration.
2. Be Searchable
Focusing on a keyword or main topic for each video is an important first step, but to be searchable, you’re going to have to take things a step further.
In addition to choosing the right topics, you’ll have to incorporate your chosen keywords in the video.
There are several ways to do this:
Include the keyword in your title.
Include the keyword in your description, preferably in the first sentence.
Include the keyword and variations in the tags. You’ll be prompted to create tags when you upload your video. If you need inspiration for tags to use, go to a competitor’s channel that has a lot of subscribers and see which tags they’re using. Then consider using similar tags.
3. Link to Yourself
YouTube creators, from novice to expert, often make the mistake of treating each video as a standalone piece of content.
They fail to realize that there’s a huge opportunity to promote your other videos and even your other online properties by linking to them in your video and your description.
We’ll talk about ways to add end screens and cards in a bit, and there are even more effective ways to grow your channel and your other social media properties.
Here’s a big one: in each video description, include any links to your Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn profiles, as well as your blog, landing page, website.
4. Make Playlists
The Netflix era has introduced us to binge-watching, and YouTube has adapted to this cultural phenomenon perfectly by adding the playlist feature.
When you upload a video, you’ll have the option to create a playlist. This allows you to group related topics. Viewers will automatically be taken to the next video on your playlist without having to think about it.
5. Use Your End Screen
End screens are a golden opportunity to capture the attention of people who