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This article is for the absolute newbie – the person who knows that having a search engine optimised YouTube channel is key for a strong business marketing strategy, but has no idea how to go about building and optimising it.

 

It is also for those that have a YouTube Channel already, but are looking to better optimise it.

For those who don’t know what I am talking about when I say that SEO for your YouTube channel is important, here is a brief recap:

As I mentioned in a previous article, YouTube is the second largest search engine and the third most visited site on the web.

While a lot people browse YouTube for entertainment, a considerable number also browse it for “how to” guides, tutorials, product reviews and educational videos. What this means is:

 

If your business does not have a robust presence on YouTube, you are missing out. Click To Tweet

You are missing out on all those potential customers who are for sure looking up information related to your business on YouTube, simply because when they are, you do not show up. So how do you get a robust presence on YouTube?

 

Treat your YouTube channel like what it is – another website to showcase your business. Click To Tweet

And just like your business website, you need to optimise your channel so that it will turn up when people are searching YouTube for terms that are relevant to what you are offering.

Key points:

A website’s authority and ranking capability grows with the number of relevant pages, links and traffic it has. Similarly, the more relevant videos, links and traffic your YouTube channel has, the greater authority it will have, making it more likely to turn up in searches. 
Just as a website needs to be kept fresh, with new content added regularly, your YouTube channel needs fresh content added on a continual basis. 
Now that you understand the why, let’s get into the “how”.
Note: I have included very detailed steps to guide absolute beginners through the entire process. However, a lot of you will have complete many of the steps below all ready. If that is the case, please skip them and go to the section you need.  

Step 1: Create a Branded YouTube Channel

Sign into YouTube with your business Gmail account, agree to their terms and conditions, and you are ready to format and optimise your channel.

The key item to complete is:

 

  • Establishing your business name on your channel, as part of creating a Brand Account

Step 2: Adjust the Settings on Your YouTube Channel

Once you’ve got your branded channel in place, but there are a number of settings in the background that you would do well to adjust for optimum performance.

Key items to complete are:

  • Adjust your Privacy Settings to indicate that you’d like your videos and playlists to be public, but the number of subscriptions you have to be private
  • Customise the layout of your channel to add an “About” section
  • Indicate that comments cannot be posted under your visitors until they have been approved. This will help you to control spammy comments from being posted under your videos.
  • Change the “Country” option to reflect the country where your business is based.
  • Enter in some channel keywords so that people can find your service when searching YouTube.
  • Link to an Adwords account if you have one. This will give you some additional functionality, the most important of which is that you will then be able to embed videos you uploaded via livestream onto other websites.
  •  Add your Google Analytics ID so you can track and analyse how people find and interact with your channel.
  • Set some default settings for uploading videos – this will help save you time in the future.

 

Step 3: Adjust the Branding Elements of Your YouTube Channel

Make your channel your own.

The key items to complete is:

  • Upload your business logo so that it appears on all of your videos. This will help prevent your videos from being hijacked by someone else who then tries to pass them of as their own.

 

Step 4: Verify Your Channel to Enable Additional Features

The basic, out-of-the box YouTube channel is fine, but if you really want to optimise it for maximum exposure and optimisation, you need to enable some additional features, such as live-streaming, custom thumbnails, ability to add external links and longer videos.

The key item to complete is:

 

  • Go ahead and verify your channel
Why are these enhanced features a good thing?
Video length and watch duration are key performance indicators: A key YouTube metric is how long people watch your video for – in terms of percentage of total run time.

Ideally you want people to watch at least 75% of your video. This is a strong indicator to YouTube that your video shares useful content and is worth watching, so it is more likely to turn up when people are searching for whatever it happens to be talking about.

Most videos that you upload should be within the 1-2 minute range to allow for people’s short attention spans and increase your chances that people will watch all the way through.

However, you should have some flagstone content that is longer, maybe even longer than 15 minutes, to fully educate your audience and deliver value.

If these are interesting enough to hold your audience’s attention more than 75% of the way through it’s an incredibly powerful ranking factor for your channel.

Just like a website, the longer people stay on your channel and the longer they view your content, the more useful and relevant it is deemed to be, and the better it will rank.

Your channel is judged by the company it keeps: Also just like a website, links to and from your channel help to establish it’s legitimacy. 

With the “External annotations” feature, you are now able to link to your business website, which a) validates that your channel is indeed related to your business, and b) allows you to direct traffic to our website from your YouTube channel.

Depending on how strong your website is, linking to it can also give your YouTube channel a boost in authority.

If you are just starting out and neither your channel or website have much authority yet they are still helping each other simply by being connected.

Your videos need to standout to catch attention: Now that you can upload images to use as custom thumbnails for your video, you can create interesting and eye-catching designs to persuade people to click and watch. 

Having some consistency in the design will also let people quickly recognise your work when scrolling through YouTube – helping you to build up a following and get more views as people start to know whenever they see a certain design that it comes from you.

What are thumbnails you ask?

They are the small screenshot that someone sees before they click on your video – such as what OODA Rocket did for the Eczema Company, see below.

The key is to use your brand colours and the same layout each time for consistency.

You can change the background image or alternate between various brand colours, but it’s a good idea to have something that appears on every thumbnail, the same way every time.

Use a design that will help you stand out, catch the eye, while also giving your videos a consistent and instantly recognizable look.

Live streaming is critical to the successful ranking of your videos.

YouTube and Google (YouTube’s parent company) have long favoured live streamed videos over uploaded “canned” videos, perhaps because live streams are considered immediate and are linked to high audience engagement and interaction. 

If you livestream to a large audience onto an optimised channel, your chances of ranking are as good as they’re going to get.

Luckily, simply by verifying your channel, you have been automatically approved for live streaming – you just need to wait 24 hours before it is enabled.  

While live-streaming is great, it can be a bit awkward since you are after all, broadcasting live.

There is all sorts of potential to make a mistake and mess up your broadcast.

Luckily we can help you broadcast quality branded videos live, using proprietary software. Contact us to learn how.

Embed live streams To get the most out of your live streams however, people need to be able to embed the finished live streamed video onto other websites.

This will help spread the message, potentially making your video “go viral”, but at the very least it will demonstrate to YouTube that your video is considered valuable and worth sharing.

This is why you should link your YouTube channel to your Google Adwords account.

Step 5: Design & Format Your YouTube Channel For Maximum Conversion

When people visit your channel, you want them to be inspired, intrigued, and to want to know more. Their not going to feel any of those emotions if your channel looks like a dogs breakfast.

Take some time to format your channel so that it is pleasing to the eye.

Key items to complete are:

 

  • Update your channel art and profile picture.
  • Update your channel’s “About” section. This should be a couple of paragraphs letting people know about your business, the service you proved, and what you aim to share via the channel. It should let people feel like they are getting to know you, and should establish a connection and trust.
  • In the “About” section, make sure to add links to other key social profiles.

Step 6: Add Featured Channels.

Take a deep breath because you’re almost there! The next and final step for formatting your channel will be to add some featured channels.

These should be channels that are a) interesting channels with lost of subscribers and b) relevant to your business and your offering.

By adding them to your channel your channel you lend it credibility as people (and YouTube) will judge you by the company you keep.

The key items to complete is:

 

  • Select complimentary YouTube channels that are relevant to but not competing with your business, and add them as featured channels on yours.

Congratulations!

You now have your channel created, the background settings adjusted, and the overall channel formatted for maximum conversion.

If you would like to see detailed steps on how to set all of the above up, click here to download our comprehensive step-by-step manual.

The manual also includes information on how to optimise any videos you upload, for ranking and conversion, and how to add featured videos for new and returning subscribers.

Taking the time to do this properly will have you well positioned to rank – and will save you a lot of heartache – in the future, so if you have been following along and taking action along the way, well done!

 

If you have any questions about how to set up and optimise your YouTube Channel, don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

And if you think your friends will find this useful, don’t forget to share!

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