Recently I was contacted by YouTube support offering to help me optimize my YouTube channel. I spent three sessions with them and the optimizing tips for my channel are listed below. Hopefully this will help you get more views and subscribers on your YouTube channel.
1. CHANNEL TRAILER – Use the channel trailer as an opportunity to introduce yourself and your video content to viewers, including any series they might want to check out. You can annotate out to videos and playlists, and this is a great place to remind your viewers to subscribe and when they should check back for new content.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re making your Channel Trailer:
- Have a clear call to action to subscribe scripted and annotated in the video, and in the video description as well.
- Entertain the viewer – when in doubt “show” what your channel is about, don’t “tell.”
- Indicate the type of videos you upload and when you upload them.
- There’s no perfect length, but shorter is better, usually under one minute.
2. CONSISTENT UPLOAD SCHEDULE – One of the most important thing you can do as a YouTube creator is to upload consistently and frequently. Upload at least one video per week and create a programming schedule so your subscribers know when to expect content from you.
3. CREATE MORE SECTIONS – Create “Sections” based on the topics that are relevant to your content, and put your videos in the Section that corresponds best to the audiences interests. On my channel I have sections that show my most popular videos, uploads, recent activity, and select seasonal playlists.
4. CUSTOM THUMBNAILS – Using custom thumbnails can be a powerful tool to grow watch time on your channel. Here are some tips to keep in mind when uploading custom thumbnails for your videos:
- Thumbnails should be high quality and high-resolution. 640 x 360 pixels is the minimum recommended size for thumbnails. Thumbnails should be in a 16:9 aspect ratio.
- Images should be visually compelling.
- Your thumbnails should reflect your videos’ content.
5. INVIDEO PROGRAMMING – WATERMARK – This feature will add your channel logo across all of the videos on your channel. The annotation will lead viewers to your channel page. The watermark will allow viewers to directly subscribe to your channel if they hover over the watermark. It won’t show to users that are already subscribed to your channel. This annotation should be on a transparent background and uploaded in .png format.
6. INVIDEO PROGRAMMING – VIDEO OR PLAYLIST – This feature places an annotation towards the end of your currently playing video. You can display your latest uploaded video, a playlist, or even a tentpole event. InVideo Programming uses the video thumbnail image, so here’s another reason to use quality thumbnails. Keep the annotation short, usually around 10-15 seconds.
7. PLAYLISTS – Playlists allow your viewers to sit back and enjoy your content for a longer period of time. On my channel I have playlists for Most Popular Videos, Uploads, Recent Activity, and videos with similar content. Try to keep your playlists to 10 videos or less.
8. TENTPOLE PROGRAMMING – This is a way to tap into larger cultural events like home shows, major holidays, big sporting events, movie releases, and etc. Videos could be uploaded prior to and in anticipation of the event, and follow-up videos could be done once the event has finished.
9. IN-VIDEO CALLS TO ACTION – While viewers are watching your videos ask them to take action. Invite comments and feedback and ask the viewer to share your content to social media if they liked the video. At the end of your videos use high quality cards asking them to subscribe to your channel. A subscribed viewer is twice as likely to watch your videos as an unsubscribed viewer.
10. ENABLE RELEVANT AD FORMATS – Monetizing videos is one of the nice features about uploading videos to YouTube. From the Video Manager page if you click on the Channel Settings tab and then the Defaults tab in that list, on the Defaults page you can select whether or not you want to monetize your videos.
- Overlay in-video ads are transparent overlay ads that appear on the lower portion of your video.
- TrueView in-stream ads are skippable video ads that are inserted before, during, or after the main video.
- I have both of these types of ads enabled on my channel.
RESULTS – Since I’ve made these optimizing changes on my channel I’ve seen a definite trend up on subscribers and video views. To view these trends I simply click the Analytics tab in Video Manager.