The Ultimate Research-Based Optimization Checklist
If you want to optimize your YouTube channel for influence, authority, and growth, then you need to run down this optimization checklist and ensure you’re doing everything you possibly can.
When it comes to optimization, your goal is to get your video suggested to viewers on YouTube and Google. YouTube videos can rank high in search results, and if you can get one of these coveted spaces, your channel will be destined for growth.
Also, you might not know that YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. That means your success on YouTube does come down to certain statistics and figures.
Luckily, we’re breaking all that down in this ultimate checklist for YouTube optimization.
Know SEO and Keyword Basics
If you know anything about SEO (search engine optimization), you know that keywords are, well, key. Keywords (which can be words or phrases) tell the search engine algorithm what your content is about.
Based on these keywords, the algorithm decides whether your content is relevant to the person who is searching.
Now, you don’t want to blindly use popular keywords in the hope of click-baiting viewers—it’s a bad strategy because most people will click away (not adding to your Watch Time and lowering your retention rates). Instead, focus on relevance.
When finding keywords, your goals should be to:
- know what your viewers want
- understand viewer intent
- use terms that are relevant to your audience and your business
- discover words and phrases with high volume (lots of people searching) and low competition (not a lot of people making content in this area)
Perform Basic Keyword Research with YouTube’s Search Suggest
Now that you know about keywords, it’s time to find some. An easy way to discover relevant keywords is by using YouTube’s search suggest feature.
If you want to see more metrics (like search volume, cost per click, competition, and trend data), download the Keywords Everywhere Chrome or Firefox extension.
Then, search for a term that is relevant to your niche. Let’s say you want to run a beauty vlog. Maybe you start by searching “makeup,” and you see that the top search results include:
- makeup storytime
- makeup tutorial
- makeup asmr
- makeup videos
- makeup hacks
- makeup artist
Then, go down the list to find more keywords, such as:
- makeup hacks tiktok
- makeup hacks for beginners
- makeup hacks for oily skin
- makeup hacks for black skin
Doing basic keyword research like this will help you become discoverable, and it can also give you ideas for content.
When you perform this research, gather more than just keywords. Also, consider:
- keyword variants (makeup vs. make up)
- related keywords (makeup vs. mascara)
Perform Advanced Keyword Research with Devoted Keyword Research Tools
You’re not the only one out there who wants to optimize their content, and businesses have capitalized on that. There are tons of keyword tools out there for you to use, and we recommend:
These apps and extensions will give you a better look at keyword data and help you make decisions to optimize your content.
Analyze Competitor Videos
Essentially, see what works for other people, and use that to your advantage.
Hop on Trending Keywords
If you’ve noticed recent trends on YouTube, you should see that as an opportunity for exposure to a new audience. Trends are opportunities for creators, and you can utilize trending keywords to your advantage.
Some examples of trending keyword topics include:
- seasonal words such as fall fashion, Halloween costumes, Christmas dinner, etc.
- recent news such as celebrity drama, political information, or natural disasters
- online trends such as challenges or dances
- industry-related trends such as innovations, news, or names
So, pay attention to the world around you because trending topics can get you clout.
Optimize Your Video Title
Once you’ve gathered all your data, it’s time to apply it. First things first, you need to optimize your YouTube video title.
In general, a 5-word 70-character video title is the sweet spot when it comes to a YouTube title length. You also want your title:
- to be readable and concise
- to be catchy and clickable
- include relevant keywords
- to have target keywords as close to the beginning of the title as possible
- include an intent modifier like best, top, review, comparison, free, local, etc.
Optimize Your Video Descriptions
One of the absolute worst things you can do for your YouTube videos is to have little to no description. YouTube allows you to have up to 5,000 characters (about 800 words), but you don’t necessarily need to use all that space.
The ideal YouTube video description:
- is between 300-350 words
- includes plenty of relevant keywords, phrases, and even questions
- clearly tells your viewer about the video content
- offers value to your viewers
- will drive traffic to your videos and your channel
You can also drive traffic to your main website or other social media by including a link in your video description.
Tag Your YouTube Videos
Tags are another opportunity for you to attach keywords to your YouTube videos and make them discoverable to your desired audience.
YouTube allows you to include as many tags as you like as long as all tags are less than 400 characters total. The ideal number of tags is between 5-8 tags.
These tags should dip into each of the following categories:
- general tags that broadly describe the category of your video
- topic tags that dip into specific ideas in your video
- refined tags that identify in-depth details such as episode numbers in a series
- error tags that include intentional misspellings that a large portion of your audience make
Create Video Thumbnails for Your YouTube Videos
This next item on the checklist is only for YouTuber’s with a verified YouTube account (which you should do if you haven’t already).
With a verified YouTube account, you can upload custom images to use as thumbnails for your videos, helping each video stand out from others in your niche and convince viewers to select your video.
Your image can’t be over 2MB, but it should be a high-resolution image (around 1280p x 720 p).
YouTube accepts the following file formats:
Use thumbnails that are aesthetically pleasing, will attract viewers, and give your audience an idea of what they’re getting into.
Conclusion: Search Engine Optimization Will Help You Grow Your Influence and Authority on YouTube
Follow this simple optimization checklist, and you’ll see your growth on YouTube skyrocket. Focusing on keywords and SEO can increase your exposure on YouTube and Google, in turn growing your audience and influence.
If you need additional help growing your YouTube audience, consider using Managergram’s services, including:
- YouTube views
- YouTube subscribers
- YouTube likes
Managergram can help you boost your authority online, jump-starting your growth as an influencer.