I'm often asked: Is it too late to start a YouTube channel?
With a lot of competition online, (and a lot of noise for that matter) you might be wondering if it’s too late to start a YouTube channel. The short answer is definitely not, in fact, video marketing has only just begun! According to Google, 6 out of 10 people would rather watch a video online than television, and by 2022, online videos are expected to make up over 82% of all internet traffic.
While new channels face the challenge of getting your videos to rank in the YouTube search results, in this article, you’ll learn the newest and most effective strategies to properly research your video topics and optimize your channel so that your YouTube videos get found in the search results!
YouTube Keyword Research
The most important part of the process for getting found on YouTube is knowing what your audience is searching for. Video keyword research isn’t complicated, but it is very precise. The problem most small businesses face is that they target too broad in their category.
The objective is to generate a list of longtail keywords that are applicable. A lot of people guess at what their keywords should be, but that isn’t a good idea because if you don’t have confirmation that the search volume on your keywords is large enough (or if the search volume is too large for the size of your channel), you won’t get the results you expect.
Here’s exactly how to find the right keywords for your YouTube videos:
1. Use YouTube’s Search Suggest to generate a list of longtail keywords related to your topic. Go to the search bar inside YouTube and start typing your keyword, note the dropdown of suggestions that YouTube gives you and write them down. These are the words and phrases that people are already searching for around your topic. Keep using this strategy until you come up with 3 to 6 phrases that are hyper-relevant to your intended topic.
If you’re still in the beginning stages, another strategy is to view a popular video in your niche…and then copy a few of the same keywords (making sure they are hyper-relevant to your video topic). When your video is optimized for keywords, meaning, YouTube can recognize in your voice that you actually say those same words and phrases in your video, then you’ll have a better chance of ranking for that exact word or phrase. Optimization of keywords and phrases is a big factor inside the YouTube algorithm.
2. Keywords Belong in 8 Different Places for the Best Optimization. Most people know that you need to have the exact keyword phrase that you’re trying to rank for in these places:
but, I highly recommend that you also do the following:
Say the keyword phrase in your video several times
Add overlay text of the keyword phrase
Add a transcript
Name your file extension
Name your thumbnail extension
Ensuring that your video is optimized in all of these places will help significantly.
I recommend using a tool such as TubeBuddy to ensure that you optimize your keyword phrases against your competition. TubeBuddy will automatically parse all the existing results and then calculate your rank for each variation of your keyword phrase based on the current results. It’s a huge timesaver, and you’ll sometimes find a handful of keywords that you never even would have thought of. This is incredibly important if you are just starting out or have a very small channel. If you go after super competitive keywords, your video will get buried under high ranking results and never get found.
Instead, you want to find keywords that are less competitive.
What does that mean exactly?
Watch this video for an illustration of how I use TubeBuddy to help me find the best keywords and longtail keyword phrases.
While most views on YouTube come from within YouTube’s platform, your video can also rank in the Google search results. Typically, you’ll find Google ranks videos such as:
• Anything fitness or sports related
• Funny videos
High-Retention Videos and Watch Time
After proper SEO, the YouTube algorithm also looks at Watch Time. In other words, can you video keep people watching for the majority of it before they click to something else? If you tend to be too wordy, this can hurt your chances of getting ranked. If YouTube sees that people only watch the first few seconds of your video and then click away, they will stop showing your video in the results.
The amount of your video that people watch is called “Audience Retention.”
The question is:
How do you create a video that keeps people watching?
I am a mentor inside of 2 private groups for Sunny Lenarduzzi’s YouTube for Bosses and Authority Accelerator programs. The correct methodology is this:
Tell the audience what they are going to learn in the video
Indicate who you are and why you’re qualified to teach this to them
Get to the point quick
Ask the audience to subscribe, like, share, and comment
Why ask for comments, likes, and shares? This is what shows YouTube that your video is a good one. It sends the message to the algorithm that people enjoy your video enough to engage with it, and that audience integration is vital to getting you more views. People don’t bother to comment on or share crappy videos, so the more people actively engage the better.
Another signal is subscribers. If someone subscribes to your channel after watching that video, this sends a message to the algorithm that you have a good video.
How Long Should Your YouTube Video Be?
There is a lot of speculation around length, but the best advice I can give is to make your video an appropriate length for the topic. Obviously if it’s longer then your audience retention can have the potential to go up because you’re keeping people watching longer, however, depending on your topic the information could get very dry.
If it makes sense for your video to be 20 minutes long, go for it. But if you can get the job done in 5 minutes, then do that. Track your analytics carefully to determine where you lose people and you’ll begin to understand how well your videos do (depending upon your topic). It’s kind of like buying a house….the market will dictate!
Promoting Your Video
Promoting your video is the part that most people forget about and it’s probably the hardest part. In order to prove to YouTube that your video is awesome, you need to get views. Posting it once on your Facebook page and hoping that will continue to generate views and engagement will never get you enough views to rank.
Here are some strategies you can use to get more targeted views to your videos:
1. Promote your video on ALL of your social channels, especially during the first 2 days
2. Embed Your Videos in Your Blog Posts
Always embed a video in your blog post to help increase views. I would not recommend transcribing the video and then adding the video to a post where you’re writing the exact same thing that is spoken in the video. A lot of people will say this is a good way to repurpose content but I disagree. If I’m reading something, I don’t want to start playing a video and hear the exact same thing I just read. The video should compliment the written article but not be exactly the same content.
3. Use Playlists
Playlists are a great way to get more views on your videos. A playlist consists of at least 4-5 videos on your channel that have a common theme or topic. You can also add keyword rich descriptions into the playlist itself, as well as add videos from other channels to help get your channel found.
What next? If you enjoyed this article, be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube channel because I publish a brand new video every Wednesday. What questions do you have about video marketing? Let me know in the comments below!