Five Ways to Optimize Your YouTube Videos

It’s no secret that YouTube is a major avenue for musicians to not only cultivate a fanbase, but to stay in constant contact with their fans. Consistently publishing videos on YouTube shows fans that you’re creating all the time. It also gives them something to enjoy while you’re working on recording new songs, and it shows that you’re more than just a musician.

So, there are a myriad of benefits to posting videos on YouTube. But more than that, there’s a right way to do it. Below, we outline the five best ways to optimize your videos, so you get the most out of using YouTube.

1. Make sure your metadata is in order:

Just like music, metadata on YouTube is crucial. On YouTube, metadata is mainly the title and description. It’s the text featured on the page for your video. If your title is confusing or misleading, viewers are less likely to watch because they won’t know if they’re in the right place.

The same goes for your video description. Accurately describe what’s in your video so viewers know what they’re watching. If you want to get viewers to leave YouTube and head to another page like your personal website, put that URL at the beginning of your video’s description so it appears before the “show more” section.

2. Keywords are crucial:

If you’re trying to build your fanbase, many of your new viewers and potential fans are going to come from people finding your video when searching YouTube for something else. This is where keywords come in. Have you ever searched for something specific and then clicked another video that showed up in the search out of curiosity? Of course you have. Everyone has. This is how viewers come across your video when they weren’t searching for it specifically. Think about what keywords you can work into your metadata to make your video easier to discover.

Your description is especially useful for employing keywords since there’s much more room than in the title. It pays to do some research on keywords related to your topic, and there are a few free services that tell you which keywords you can use. While these sites might not give you something specific, they can jar your brain and inspire some creativity to think of new related words or phrases.

3. Introduce yourself:

Create a short introduction that can be used in multiple videos in a series. This creates a sense of cohesion for your channel. That’s important when trying to establish a vibe or certain tone in your videos. It unifies them. One of the keys to a well-presented channel is that all of the videos in a series flow from one to the next. Using the same intro for multiple videos gives your channel a personal style and establishes character.

4. Make it interactive:

Have you seen pop-ups at the beginning or end of a video linking to other videos or specific URLs? Those are called Cards in YouTube-speak, and they’re a great tool for your viewers to interact with your video. If you have other videos, create cards for a few of them and post one at the beginning and one or two at the end of your video. This will drive traffic to your other videos, so viewers don’t have to search for them. It also leads to the infamous “YouTube Rabbit Hole.” Who among us hasn’t finished watching a video and clicked on the next recommended one, thinking “just one more before bed,” only to emerge from the deep dive an hour later? If you have lots of videos, you want that continuity. In the On-Demand era, convenience is crucial for users. Why make them search when you can point them directly to another of your videos?

5. Professionalize it:

Finish your video by making it look professional. There are a few little touches you can add to really elevate your video and make sure your future videos draw and keep viewers.

A custom thumbnail will make your video stand out in a column of generic thumbnails. You can use this to tease something exciting in the video you’re posting.

Adding a watermark to your video places a signature logo in the bottom right corner. Think of a cool logo for your channel and stick it in all your videos as a watermark. Viewers can click on the logo to head to your channel, where they can subscribe. Subscriptions are what take a channel from good to great. Subscribers to a channel are notified any time that channel posts a new video, which in turn guarantees more views. You want to take any opportunity to point viewers to where they can go to subscribe.

You’ll also want to upload your video in HD quality. Users can select the quality of videos, so make sure to upload the highest quality possible. This is at least 720p or 1080p resolution.

These are just the basics to get you started on your way to YouTube fame and fortune. YouTube adds new functions to its service fairly frequently, so you’ll want to keep apprised of those to take advantage of new tools. To get the most out of YouTube, we suggest joining YouTube Academy to learn everything the service has to offer.