How to Create a Great YouTube Channel

How to Set Up a YouTube Channel That Gets Noticed

With over 1 billion unique users each month, YouTube is a powerhouse social network that many smart companies are leveraging for success. The second largest search engine on the planet, YouTube is perfectly positioned to send qualified visitors to your website and blog, armed with more information and closer to making a sales decision than visitors from other search engines or direct traffic. So, how do you get started with YouTube? Create your business channel, and make it great! Here’s how:

How to Create a Great YouTube Channel

  1. Make sure you’re signed in to YouTube.
  2. Go to All my channels.
  3. If you want to make a YouTube channel for a Google+ page that you manage, you can choose it here. Otherwise, click Create a new channel.
  4. Fill out the details to create your new channel.

If you’re creating a new channel with a new Google+ page, the image you upload as a profile image will serve as your YouTube AND Google+ page profile image. It must be at least 250x250px.

1. Channel name

Your channel name will appear across the site in search, suggested channel and channel browse placements, is distinct from your channel URL and should be:

  • Short
  • Memorable
  • Helpful to your audience
  • Making use of some key words.

Want to change an existing channel name? Just visit your YouTube account settings > Overview.

2. YouTube Channel Description

To take advantage of channel description exposure, put your most important information right in the beginning. Make sure the description is accurate, uses keywords and, if you plan to upload images on a regular schedule, tell people when to expect them. Also, let people how you plan to use YouTube. For instance, will you be showcasing “FAQ” videos? DIY advice? How-to tutorials? Edit your description by going to the “About” section of your YouTube channel.

3. Channel Icon

Like the profile photos you’re used to on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. your YouTube icon should be square (uploaded as 800×800 px) and easily recognizable at smaller sizes. This is a good place for a company logo or professional headshot.

4. YouTube Channel Art

Next you’ll need a cover photo, or “cover art”. YouTube offers some cover art templates to help you get the size and “safe zone” right, but I couldn’t get them to open. You can use the YouTube Cover Art template that I created. All dimensions are approximate and not guaranteed to work in every situation – but it worked for me!  Use Canva to create gorgeous YouTube Cover Art for your new channel. It’s free, and the size will always work.

Use this space for a simple image that represents your brand and reflects your personality.  When finished, look at your channel on desktop, tablet and smartphone.

5. Add Your Links

Make it easy for people to find you all over the internet. You can add your website and social links in the “About” section of your channel.

6. Custom URL

Your new YouTube channel will have a long, impossible-to-remember URL. To get one that looks more like, go to advanced account settings. Under Channel Settings, click Create custom URL.

Note: You will not be able to change this later, so choose wisely!

7. Channel Trailer

When an unsubscribed visitor comes to your channel, welcome them with an autoplay preview. First, create and upload your trailer video (try Animoto for easy video creation if you’re not  a pro).  Your video title, description and other meta data will show alongside your trailer, and may be edited in Video Manager.

First, you must enable the new “onechannel” layout. To do so, go to  Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Get started”.  The next step is to enable the browse tab. Here’s how:

  1. On your Channel, hover over the ‘Video’, ‘About’, and ‘Discussion’ tabs and click the pencil icon that appears above and to the right.
  2. Choose “Channel Navigation.”
  3. Click on the pencil icon that appears and choose the “Channel Navigation” link.
  4. Click the button to enable the Browse feed, and then click Save.
  5. When you go back to your channel, you’ll be prompted to add a trailer.

To set your video as the channel trailer,  Click on the ‘Home’ icon of your channel> You will see an option to “Promote your Channel” > Click the “Channel trailer” button to begin the set-up flow

 Review Your Work

Look at your channel on desktop, tablet and smartphones, checking to make sure everything fits. Here’s a great example of a YouTube channel. Cover art shows off her sassiness and tells you what she does. The profile photo is a great image and clear in the smaller size. Her social and website links are obvious, too. You can do this!

YouTube Channel Example




Article Name
How to Set Up a YouTube Channel That Gets Noticed
Take the first steps to YouTube success by setting up a complete channel. This post will walk you through seven essential steps.

About the Author Alisa Meredith (311 Posts)

As co-owner and chief inbound marketing consultant at Scalable Social Media, Alisa Meredith spends a lot of time keeping up with online marketing trends for the benefit of our customers. Computers have been a passion of hers since her first T1-99, so inbound and social media marketing is a natural fit.


  1. Thanks Alisa.

    This is a pretty solid overview of how to set up and optimise a YouTube channel. Do you prefer the new channel updates with the cover artwork instead of the old background branding?

    – Stuart

    • Alisa Meredith

      Thanks, Stuart. Anything you think I should add? Personally, I do like the new cover artwork better. Just looks cleaner. What do you think? The instructions they give on creating an image of a size that works for all platforms is extremely confusing to me. I hope the template I provided is helpful!

  2. Sub for sub, im new to youtube!!


  4. I regard something truly special in this website.

  5. great tutorial thanks

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