When your video is ready for YouTube, your work is only half done. Now it’s time to get that image on YouTube and make sure you have the best possible chance of it being viewed by many people. Uploading a video is simple. Just log in to YouTube and click on “Upload”. Navigate to the video and upload it!
Now comes the fun part. Because YouTube doesn’t know how to “read” your video to use it in search results, you’ll need to tell it what your video is about.
Optimizing a YouTube Video
Under uploads, select Video Manager and then click Edit under the video you just uploaded. From here, you’ll want to:
Enter a Title
Using words people might use to search for your video (keywords), briefly describe the video in 100 characters or less. Make it compelling, but accurate. No one likes to be tricked into watching. Good example: “How to optimize YouTube videos for search.” Bad example: “Awesome movies get watched.” Worse example: the default when your video is uploaded.
Enter a Description
You have 5,000 characters to work with here. Your first few sentences will be the most visible, so put your most important information and keywords there. You should also include a link to your website near the beginning using the format http://URLhere so it’s clickable.
Always include a call to action. Do you want people to visit your site for more information? Do you want them to call you to order now? Tell them so and make it easy by providing another website link or a phone number.
Want to give people a really easy way to jump to the most important part of the video? Give them the exact spot (ie., “In a rush? Skip to 2:34 for the big announcement!”).
Tags are another way to tell YouTube what your video is about. Use keywords relevant to this video. Choose up to 10.
Choose a Category
Just another way for YouTube and browsers to know what’s in your video.
If applicable, enter the location and date of the shoot.
Add in a call to action or a link to another video or your Google Plus account if appropriate. Don’t use them just to use them, though. Make sure they’re useful. There are some pretty clever way to use link annotations – choose-you-own-adventure style, for example. Learn more about using annotations right from YouTube.
With some setting changes and additional verification, you can add links to your own website by adding an Associated website (see printscreen – it’s in Advanced settings). Learn how here.
Add a Video Thumbnail
YouTube will choose a print screen for your video’s thumbnail – sometimes it’s pretty terrible. Instead, you could either take a printscreen of the point on your video you want to use, or create a custom thumbnail (.jpg, .gif, .bmp., or .png) with a resolution of 1280×720 that’s at least 640px wide. Note that your account must be verified before you can utilize thumbnails.
To upload a custom thumbnail for an existing video:
- Go to your channel Video Manager.
- Locate a video and click the Edit button.
- Click the Custom thumbnail button and upload a thumbnail.
- Once the thumbnail is uploaded, don’t forget to click the “Save Changes” button.
Add or Edit Captions.
Captions make it possible for the hearing impaired (or those who prefer to watch videos with subtitles) to view your videos. They also allow YouTube to “read” your script so it knows exactly what your video is about, which makes captions great for increasing your visibility! Go to CC Captions. The automatic captions will be visible. Watch the video and change text as needed. Save a copy. When you’re done, look at all the tracks, click on the automatic track and disable it (Actions > disable).
Save changes and publish!
Add it to a Playlist
This isn’t so much about optimizing your video as it is about optimizing your channel. Arrange videos in a way that makes sense to browsers. You might have a category for: commercials, FAQs, products, interviews, and anything else particular to your business.
Bonus Tip – Upload Audio Files as a Video on YouTube
- How to Set up a YouTube Channel That Gets Noticed (scalablesocialmedia.com)
- Bad Marketing Goals That Could Cost you Big (scalablesocialmedia.com)
- 5 Tips for Effective YouTube Video Descriptions (newmediarockstars.com)
- Optimizing Videos for YouTube Search (clickz.com)