Imagine organising a party. You book a great venue and then decorate it exquisitely. Caterers prepare a feast and a band is raring to get people going. When it’s time to let your hair down and enjoy all your hard work, you’re a bit disappointed when nobody turns up! Ah, there was one thing you forgot to do – send out any invites. It doesn’t seem very likely that anyone could do this, yet the equivalent is happening with poorly labelled YouTube videos every day. People are preparing, shooting, editing and uploading videos, only to leave them with a bare minimum of information to be found.
This translates to missing out on a lot of potential viewers, which in turn could be limiting the number of subscribers you have and also your potential influence. Putting in the time here will certainly pay dividends.
Here are 6 tips to help you:
1. Make Sure Your Title is Keyword Rich
The best way to do this is to use the Google Keyword Tool to find out how people are searching for this topic. If you’re uncomfortable doing this, then think about the individual words you would use to find this video. Okay, you don’t want a title that goes on forever but you do want it to contain the essentials.
2. Add a Call to Action
Unless you’re the altruistic type, your video should be getting the viewer to do something! Ideally this will be part of the video as well but even if you’ve missed this opportunity there are some simple tricks that will go a very long way. I find the most effective of these is to add a clickable link in the ‘Description’ box.
Of course this link can go anywhere but it makes a lot of sense to point people back to your own website. If they liked your video then they’ll probably want to check out more of your content.
Also, make sure that this is the very first thing that appears in the ‘Description’ box and that it is clickable. www.youtube.com/regenmediauk is not clickable. http://www.youtube.com/regenmediauk is clickable!
Take advantage of the ‘Annotations’ feature. It will not allow you to insert a customised URL to any site you like but it will allow you link to another video, playlist or channel or to subscribe. These are opportunities that you should not miss! One word of warning – while you can put lots of these on a video, they can also be annoying so use them intentionally.
If you want to pay to convert more of your traffic you can add a custom banner overlay. This can be excellent value for money.
3. Create a Short Index in the ‘Description’ Box
The more you pack into your video the more important this index becomes. You are aiming to help viewers get to the bit that is useful for them. Perhaps they have even seen your video before but they want to jump to a bit they didn’t fully understand or maybe the section they really loved. Pave out this easy route for them. This is similar to adding chapters to a DVD, so people can skip through.
4. Create Relevant Tags
Again this is really SEO. You are being given the opportunity to get your video found, so put in as many relevant tags as you can think of.
5. Optimise Your Thumbnail
Typically you only get three choices of thumbnail on YouTube, so make sure you choose the one that is likely to draw in the most viewers. Better still, upgrade so that you can choose your own thumbnail or insert a custom thumbnail.
6. Transcribe the video and upload the .txt file
This may seem like a lot of extra work but that’s why it’s such a great tip. Few people take advantage of this and yet it can give you a big boost in the rankings.