Below you will find some common best practices to ensure your videos are optimized for discoverability and to help you convert the maximum number of viewers to actual subscribers of your channel.
Video SEO Tips
- Place high volume search terms (things people are looking for that are related to your video) near the beginning of the title. So if someone had a video of Justin Beiber signing autographs, they would want to title it "Justin Beiber Signs Autographs" not "Autograph Signing by Justin Beiber."
- Only use tags that are relevant to the content of your video. If YouTube's algorithm detects too many unrelated tags in a video, it can have a detrimental effect on your ad revenue. Also, do not place tags in your description field (doing so can result in a community strike against your channel).
- YouTube ranks channels higher that are actively engaged in the community -- so watching a lot of videos, leaving comments, and subscribing to other channels not only prompts others to check out your work, but YouTube's algorithm also sees your higher activity and bumps up your channel's ranking as well. Avoid leaving comments that directly ask others to check out your channel though. Just leave positive feedback on videos you genuinely like. Others will be much more likely to check out yours as a result.
- “Sharability” is a quality in videos in which something is done that viewers don’t find elsewhere. Even if you’re not doing something new, do it with some kind of unique take, perspective, or twist that makes it more likely viewers will want to pass the video along to others.
- Audience retention (how long someone watches your videos) is the metric YouTube is leaning more heavily on lately when ranking channels. You can access Audience Retention at the video level by clicking on the View More Stats button when viewing one of your vids. You can also find your channel's overall retention rank by clicking the Analytics button and then selecting Audience Engagement. You'll see a list of your most recent vids and individual watch time percentage under that chart. Whatever vids chart highest in watch time, make a note of what you may be doing differently on those and do that more. Continuing to do that over time can also help your earnings.
- Use annotations to keep viewers engaged on your channel. Check out YouTube's help page to learn how to use this great feature.
- Upload frequently. For best results, at least twice a week. If possible, 3 times a week. We know that's not easy. But "easy" was never part of the deal :)
- And last, but by no means least: Make great videos that people want to watch. The rest, as they say, will take care of itself.