We feel it’s important that our clients don’t just create engaging content but learn best practice for sharing it. Many of our clients ask us how best to increase views when posting their videos to YouTube. Below are three key things to bear in mind when uploading your video to YouTube...
1) What’s in a name?
Your title is the hook that needs to grab your audience and draw them in. YouTube’s search parameters use it as a key piece of metadata. So, the most important and SEO specific words should be included in your title. It needs to be compelling and informative. If you’re using a celebrity, get their name in there! If it’s part of a series, include that too, and if you have multiple channels then name your channel. This all helps YouTube place it with the correct suggested videos on the right hand side.
Even if your video isn’t part of a series, list your channel name, as this will be picked up as a keyword in another video your viewers may wish to watch. Google has a handy-dandy keyword planner tool, which can help you decide what your keywords should be. Titles can’t be longer than 100 characters, and some people argue that 70 characters is optimum because otherwise your title gets truncated. Either way make every word count!
One of the top keywords in titles is “How to…” but that may not work for your videos. Don’t be scared to experiment with titles and description using “What…”, “Who…” “How…” “Where…” as these can be changed and updated at anytime.
2) A picture’s worth a thousand words
Your thumbnail needs to speak loud and reinforce whatever your title says. If this is a video that’s part of a series perhaps you’ll want to create a bespoke designed thumbnail so that all your videos are grouped by colour or design. Or if you have got talent involved, a picture of a celebrity can instantly grab people’s attention. Of course, bare in mind that thumbnails can turn up pretty small on a mobile so writing isn’t always advised.
3) Some people have a way with words…
Whatever you do, don’t neglect your description! You have 5000 characters – use them well! It doesn’t just tell the viewer what they will watch but also helps YouTube and Google understand what the video is about, which is vital for SEO.
The first 157 characters are shown on the each page above the “show more” so think carefully about what these first sentences will say: they are a mini advert to draw your viewers into watching your video. Not only that, but these first sentences are the metadata which will be pulled through for Google Universal Search Snippets, Youtube Search results, Youtube API, Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
You can also add links in the description, which is really powerful for SEO.
If you wish to drive viewers to your website, try putting the link as high up in the description as possible. If your link is long or doesn’t include keywords, which will help your SEO, you can always customize using bt.ly.
Alternatively, if you’d like to encourage engagement in YouTube and grow your YouTube presence then you should be driving viewing back to YouTube rather than away, particularly to your other video content.
The reason why this is important is that YouTube judges the quality of content by “Watch Time” – content that keeps the viewer hooked all the way through and beyond. Videos that perform well against this metric are ones that YouTube will list when they return the most relevant results for a search query or recommended and suggested videos.
If you’d still like to link away from YouTube, then, unless it’s to your website, it’s best to include those links below the initial 157 character window.
By no means are you going to race up to a million views by following the above, but if you can keep these tips in mind next time you’re posting your video, it will help people find your content, and give it the best chance of being picked up by YouTube and Google search. Good luck!
If you’d like to learn more about making and sharing your own short films, visit our VideoKnowHow website to book a place on our hands-on and immersive one day workshops.
Follow us on twitter @videoknowhow for top tips on creating great videos on a budget.
Ravinol Chambers is the Founder and Director of Be Inspired Films and VideoKnowHow.