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YouTube Optimization Tips To Improve Your Video Rankings

Making sure your videos on YouTube are correctly optimized is critical to ensuring that you’re getting the most views possible. A new viewer may see your video in their recommended section, and they will make a split decision on whether or not to watch your video. A number of factors will contribute to this and you need to get them all right to have the best chance of getting views.

In addition to this, you need to make sure that your video is pulling up for keywords that are relevant to the content in your video. Here are some tips on how you can be sure that you’re reaching your target audience effectively giving you the best chance of prospering on YouTube.

Have a good high-resolution thumbnail

The thumbnail of your video is the image that people will see before clicking on your video.

This will generally be the first thing your audience will see about your video before anything else, so you have to capture at least some of their attention with this. You must also ensure that it captures the general theme of what the video will feature and not contradict it at all.

Most monetized YouTube channels now make use of them as they know the importance of them. How you do them is completely up to you and I encourage you to develop your own style when making them. However, most thumbnails on YouTube follow the formula of bright colours, a silly face, large text over a stock image or an intriguing image.

If you’re looking to create your own, then the resolution you’re going to want to use is 1280 x 720 pixels. There are many generators that you can use on the internet or alternatively use photoshop if that’s something you’re comfortable in. One easy to use tool is Canva.com and it’s great for beginners.

Thinks to keep in mind while making a thumbnail

Try and keep some consistency throughout your thumbnails if as it can be confusing for your subscribers if each video looks different especially if you’re creating a series. You want your subscribers to instantly know it’s one of your videos when they see in their subscription or recommendation box.

If you have old videos without thumbnails you can go back and add a thumbnail to them to increase your future traffic on those older videos. Trust me you’ll be surprised how effective it is!

Finally, make sure that text on your images is easily viewable at a glance and users shouldn’t have to try too hard to read text on the image. Also, remember that the image will be even smaller than desktop so try to use a mobile-first mentality when choosing your thumbnails.

Find the sweet spot with your video title length

Think of a catchy title that’s engaging and fully explains what the contents of your video will be. In other words, If it’s a review make sure to let them know but be sure to think about the length or it, if it’s too long your audience might skip over it or not be able to read the whole thing. The general sweet spot that we’d recommend is around 50 characters which are more than enough to portray the contents of your video while still making all the text visible.

yt title length chart

Next thing to think about is to include important keywords in the title for both YouTube rankings and google rankings. There is a skill to ensuring you’re choosing the right keywords for your video title, but you’ll gradually pick this up as you continue to create content and discover what your audience requires.

When putting together your video title, consider these things beforehand:

  • Include the important names and entities (your interviewee, event name, featured brand name, etc.)
  • Location (especially if you are targeting a specific locale like California.)
  • Your chosen focus keyword that you’d like the video to rank/show up for.

For more help on how to identify keywords for YouTube efficiently see: HERE

Make your descriptions longer

Videos and channels feature description sections as I’m sure you already know, but how do you ensure you use these most effectively. YouTube allows users to upload 5,000 characters or about 500-700 words respectively. This is plenty of space, but it should all be used to make sure that you aren’t missing a trick.

I should start off by making sure this description is overall unique, you can copy some sections video to video but for the most part, it must be different, or you may be punished in the rankings.

We’d recommend starting with 2000 – 3000 characters when you’re just getting started on YouTube, try to fill it with relevant quality content that will be useful to describe your video your audience. It may be difficult to think what to include at first but once you’ve produced a few videos with quality descriptions it will become more natural for you to write them. You’re also going to want to make sure that the content you write isn’t useless filler or it may have a negative impact, this can also happen if you stuff the content with so many keywords that it hinders the audience’s ability to read it.

Make the first 150 characters of a description count

Following on from the previous point you should also make sure that you fully make use of the first 150 characters of your description. Out of all of the words you write, those first 150 characters will be by far the most important. Why is this you ask? YouTube cuts any more text off with a (More) tag meaning that your viewer must actively click to view more and not all of them are going to do that.

yt description

That is why you really need to focus on those first 150 characters to make sure your viewer knows what they need to about your video. After you’ve done these you can begin to fill the rest of the description with more keywords as although they are hidden, they will still count just as much when it comes to ranking your video.

Make use of Playlists

Using playlists is something that many creators might look past when they think of optimization, but they are certainly helpful. To start with let’s say you’re creating a series of fitness workout tutorials for your viewers. You could create a playlist called ‘upper body exercises’ so that people could find them all in one place. That’s not all though.

It will also give your audience the option to watch your next video after they finish the one, they chose to watch. This can reduce bounce rates, increase viewer retention and in turn result in higher views across your videos.

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