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YouTube Organic 101: What you NEED to know before you upload

A person holding iPhone 6 Space Gray with Youtube app

Whether you are new to YouTube or you just haven’t started maximizing your YouTube organic strategy just yet, there are some simple things you can do to optimize your videos and set your channel up for viral success. The ideal YouTube channel setup has a mixture of these practices.

1. 90% of the best-performing videos have Custom Thumbnails 

Thumbnails are an important element in the whole gamut of YouTube Video Optimization, as this is the first thing viewers see. An eye catching, well designed, topic related graphic in a 16:9 ratio is an important aspect in getting your viewers attention. The best thumbnails are bold, highlight your brand, have text, and illustrations related to your video title. Consider the rule of thirds in your design, the recommended size is a 1200×720 image that is 2MB or smaller. Don’t forget your thumbnail must be ADA compliant. Always aim for high quality images since your image will render differently on various devices.

BONUS TIP: While filming think about grabbing stills that you can use for your thumbnail. An image taken while filming your video, with exaggerated expressions, typography or clip art can give visual signals to what your content is about, and doing it shows your attention to detail and assigns to the viewer an expectation of the video’s mood.

2. Keyword is Key 

Once you’ve decided what your channel is about, your metadata also has to say it. The placement of targeted keywords on your video/channel is important to your youtube organic strategy. Google reads, associates, and ranks your content to a topic based on strategically applied keywords.

Find and utilize relevant keywords to your content in places like the YouTube search bar, Google Trends, and Google Adwords Keyword Planner. Typing a single word in these resources can reveal more words that may be useful to your SEO planning. Exact keyword matches have a slight advantage, so your keyword can also be a phrase or a question.

BONUS TIP: Answer The Public is a great resource to find what questions you want your content to answer. This will reveal conversational keywords that resonate well on quality YouTube videos.

3. Use Keywords to Optimize Video Titles

The keywords you find in your research, help to increase your video’s relevance to a specific word or set of words. Formatting your title to include these words helps improve your visibility through search engine optimization in the YouTube algorithm. Titles have a 100 character limit including spaces, however, it is recommended that you keep your title under 70 characters as to optimize it for mobile., Keep it interesting and don’t force placement. If your topic is ‘apartments’ or ‘moving’ think about real world topics that could fit the title.

BONUS TIP: When you pair your title and thumbnail text together you can create a more cohesive story encouraging viewership.

4. Optimizing Your Video Description

Optimizing your video description means utilizing the keywords from your research and neatly easing them into the detailed copy of what your video is about. The first two lines are most important so your focus keyword should appear in the first 25 words. Tell your audience a bit about your video. Add all your relevant socials, websites, and link any necessary related videos or content. Over using your keyword can count against you, it’s considered keyword padding and you may be penalized for it. Therefore we recommend having 6-7 keywords you want to target and using them  2-4 times in your descriptions.  You have 5000 characters to work with so be sure to use what you can. Check out this example of a fully optimized YouTube description:

BONUS TIP:  When you cannot think of what else to include in your description consider adding timestamps and transcriptions.

BONUS TIP 2: Create default descriptions with your social links and channel info.

BONUS TIP 3: Upload your description in another language if your audience consists of individuals where English or the language you are speaking in is their second language. Rev.com is an affordable option for quick native translations.

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