When you upload your video to YouTube, there are certain things you can do to help improve the visibility of your videos on YouTube for people searching on your topic. You’ve already spent so much time recording and editing your video so that it’s perfect; why not do everything you can to improve your videos discoverability?
This article is going to outline the steps that I personally go through when uploading my video on YouTube.
How to Pick a Video Title
The title indicates what your video is about and there’s two ways to go about it.
The first approach is to focus on writing a title that hooks the viewer without being misleading. This can be an art in itself and magazine publishing companies make a fortune just from writing gravitating cover headlines.
The second approach is to target keywords in your video title that get searched the most often. By doing this, you’re increasing your views indirectly because your video will show up in more search results and thereby increasing the chances of someone picking your video to watch.
Personally, I do a hybrid of both approaches while focusing more on the second keyword approach.
I start by using Google’s Keyword Planner to find keywords related to the topic of my video that get searched often. Google has a keyword tool for YouTube but the data isn’t there to support getting good numbers for your search terms.
The Keyword Planner on the other hand has really good data but the data is for Google searches rather than YouTube searches, so just keep that in mind. In my opinion, the data is still really relevant because there’s an overlap in the search phrases that people will use on both Google and YouTube.
Don’t forget that Google also displays YouTube videos in their search results too so your video can benefit from Google search terms.
So using Keyword Planner, you can start by typing in a topic related to your niche and clicking “Get Ideas”.
On the next page, click the “Keyword Ideas” tab and you’ll a table of search terms including their search volume and more.
The competition column isn’t as relevant to us because it pertains to ranking on Google and the ranking factors differ between Google and YouTube.
The gold is in the search volume numbers. I usually will try to include a high search volume keyword into my video title. With the keyword in mind, I’ll start to focus on crafting a catchy video title around the keyword.
By doing this approach, you can get the best of both worlds and get the most value out of the all of the hard work you’ve put into creating your video!
What’s The Right Title Length?
Going back to the two approaches to crafting a video title, I personally opt for longer titles so that I can be more descriptive and include another keyword or phrase.
You can fit a fair amount of text in the title but keep in mind that on some devices, there isn’t that much space to display the entire length of text.
For example, on the YouTube app on the AppleTV, often times I’ll see a series of videos that seemingly have the same title because the first 40 characters or so are the same.
For example, if you have a series of videos and you name it something like:
- Long Series Name Ep 1
- Long Series Name Ep 2
- Long Series Name Ep 3
Then if that title gets truncated, you’re left with
- Long Series Na…
- Long Series Na…
- Long Series Na…
However, I also don’t prefer to put the episode number in front of the title either. So what I’ll do is make sure the episode number is on the thumbnail so at least if all the truncated titles are the same, the viewer can see from the thumbnail which episode it is.
AppleTV is just one example. I don’t own any other set top boxes so I’m not sure about title length on others but it’s just something to keep in mind.
Thumbnail – The visual magnet
One thing that I like to do is perform a search on YouTube for what I think my potential viewer would search for and take a look at the other videos that potentially could be surrounding my own video.
Then I try to think about what sort of thumbnail would make my video stand out from them and be really eye catching.
As you can see below, the search for “iOS development” brings up a series of videos with these thumbnails:
Not really exciting, right?
So when my video is in the middle of all of those results with a thumbnail like below, who do you think is going to attract eyeballs?
Goldmine: Video Description
Oh boy, this area is a gold mine! Don’t just put a one liner and waste all your hard work that you put into creating your video.
Instead, write as much as you can while making it relevant to your video. Talk about the production process, the purpose of your video, where they can find more information or related information for further reading, where they can find more of your stuff etc.
Remember how you dug up all of those juicy keywords with the Keyword Planner? Go back and try to incorporate them into your video description!
The only thing I’d watch out for though is adding too many keywords to the point where it sounds awkward when you read it and it’s obvious what you’re trying to do. Stay classy!
Here’s the descriptions for one of my videos:
The “keywords” at the bottom of my description aren’t actually part of the text that I put for my video description.
Instead, there’s another field to fill when you’re uploading your video:
Specify Your Tags
Here, you have the opportunity to add on-topic or related keywords that potentially people may search for and that your video satisfies.
What I usually do is specify all of the on topic and related keywords first and then go into keyword planner and choose two to three of the ones that I’ve incorporated into my video title and description.
File Naming Is Important?
While I don’t have any hard evidence that this helps, SEO purists will tell you that it does and I believe them.
While Google may not use it as a huge indicator of how to rank your video, they may use it as a clue or hint as to what your video is about.
With this in mind, I make sure that my actual video file and video thumbnail file is descriptive and uses a keyword that I’m trying to rank for.
Other options I’ll make sure to have on are:
– Embedding enabled : This let’s anyone embed your video on their webpage. You don’t know how much I’ve benefited from having people embed my videos. Sometimes I get asked for permission and sometimes they just go ahead and embed my videos on other sites. Either way, I LOVE IT!
The reason is because it increases the exposure for my video (quite obviously!) but in addition to that, I believe that it adds credibility to my video in Google’s eyes and may even be a signal for ranking! We’ll talk about other ranking signals in another article but just know that embedding is good!
– Video responses automatically approved : This one may be controversial but I like to automatically approve video responses to my video. Other people use the strategy to do video responses on popular videos as a way to gain new subscribers. My perspective is that it also benefits me by creating activity and discussion on my property. This is a good thing.
There you go! I’ve found some success following these guidelines for my personal videos and these are the exact steps that I take when I upload a video. The YouTube video marketing doesn’t stop there though; there’s still a lot that you can do post video upload but we’ll cover that in another article.
For this one, I wanted to focus on the things to do during the upload process.
I hope this has been helpful for you! As always, please let me know your own thoughts and experiences in the comments below and if you learned something, please help us spread the word and use the share buttons below to send this article through your social network!