11 Things I Wish I Knew As YouTube Beginner
When I started my YouTube channel I thought it’s about video quality, camera and length of the video.
I thought videos that are 10-20 minutes long are going to get me more views and subscribers, but I was mistaken.
After I uploaded 30 videos or more, the maximum views I got was 1000 on just 2 of them and the rest went as low as 20 views!
Soon after that, I discovered so many other things I wish I knew before starting my YouTube channel. Like YouTube SEO (Search Engine Optimize) and many options in YouTube Studio that I was missing that could have helped me a lot to grow my first channel.
Let’s start with YouTube SEO: What even is YouTube SEO?
YouTube SEO is the process of optimizing your YouTube videos and channel, which ranks them higher in YouTube’s organic search results. It includes optimizing your videos, meta descriptions, thumbnail, transcript, tags, links, CTAs, etc…
Organic search results are unpaid search results, aka. Natural search.
Search results are affected by the YouTube algorithm. YouTube algorithm operates in a way that it selects which videos will be recommended to users, based on their interests and your video’s performance.
Here are the top 11 things I wish I knew
1 – Keyword
YouTube SEO begins with keywords search. It’s not hard to get strategic keywords that will target your users. There are paid apps and services that do it for you, but if you don’t want to invest in this, there are many free ones!
If you want to do it yourself, first you will need to make a long list of potential keyword ideas. The best process of adding desirable keywords for your list is with YouTube Search Suggest feature.
The keywords that YouTube suggested are 100% popular keyword and that’s what people search for in this kind of niche.
Or use Google search
These suggested keywords are powerful!
These are the terms that people actually search for on YouTube.
This is an example when I started to try this trick. I got this focus keyword from YouTube search suggestion.
Now we have to select the best keywords from that long list. Your main target is low competition keywords. It’s best for you, if you don’t have many views or subscribers.
Look at this example when I used “Full AP Varus” focus keyword.
19,600 results from YouTube! Really high competition keyword. So I decided to use another “Pekinwoof varus” which is the streamer name.
1,620 results. Yes, that’s what I was looking for! Low competition keywords helped me to rank my videos and get more viewers.
Also, there’s a good tool you can use when u get viewers and see what they actually want or like to watch. Not just this, you can use this tool to see which keyword you’ve used in this video is the best, an incredible way to find desirable keywords.
If you have strong competitors with content related to yours, this is important. Choosing high competition keywords can make you almost invisible, low ranking in search. So be aware of this!
2 – Title
The first thing that a user reads is the title. Optimizing your video title can go a long way. Whether someone is going to click on your video can be influenced by your title. Inserting keywords in the title is a big help. Use powerful focus keywords for the best result!
Use Power Words: Power words are words that trigger an emotional response. (e.g. free, how to, explained, best, top) and so on.
“Cute Animals” ✖
“Cute Animals that will make you smile” ✔
Do not use a clickbait title, deceiving your viewers is one of the worst moves to make your videos go viral.
Consider that YouTube pays more attention to watch time. So if your video has a unique and good content, viewers will spend more time watching your videos. On the other hand, if you are using a clickbait, i’ts going to make them leave almost instantly.
3 – Subscriptions
Inspire and encourage your viewers to subscribe!
Leave a comment below to do so. Don’t be aggressive and annoying, or it can have a counter-effect. To better your chances, use video watermarking. It is a small overlay that will appear on your videos in the corner, which has your logo and/or text.
You can’t add subscription links in YouTube Cards, but you can add a button at your End screen, embed one in your video with a nice animation.
Have some fun customizing the button.
4 – Video description
Video description helps YouTube to grasp the content of your video.
Well-written descriptions, besides keywords and title, can heighten your ranking in YouTube searches! The official number of characters for YouTube description is 1000!
You are more than welcome to use all that capacity, but keep in mind that the majority of viewers won’t read that long description.
If you decide to write a longer description, make sure that the first 2 or 3 lines are most interesting, since YouTube reveals only those before viewers must click on “show more” for further reading.
Also, in those first lines, try adding essential links and important information.
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5 – Key places for Keywords
Including keywords in the description and titles of your video can improve your ranking in targeted viewers search results.
It includes your channel description as well. Keywords in your “About” page are crucial for YouTube’s algorithm.
Using the same language or writing style that your viewers prefer can get them to revisit your YouTube channel.
Let the keywords naturally flow throughout your text. Don’t pile them on or list them just to use an entire keywords list.
6 – Thumbnail
A thumbnail is a brief image of your video. YouTube can generate one for you after you uploaded the video, or you can make one yourself! Authentic and bold thumbnail is another way to increase views and ranks for your videos.
- Use a high-quality image that represents the content of your video.
- Add some short text that would describe the meaning of the video.
- Be playful with colors, but don’t exaggerate.
I came across an amazing and free website for thumbnail creating – Canva. The website is easy to use (“Drag and drop”) and if you want some better templates, there is a pro version of it.
7 – Tags
Tags are words (keywords) and phrases that the YouTube algorithm uses to understand the content of your video.
It’s also important for ranking. Adding too many tags can have a counter-effect. First tag aka. Primary tag is very important. For your first tag, chose a strong and short keyword.
After you chose primary keyword, add others. More detailed ones. For example, if you make a video recipe for chocolate cake, the first tag will be “chocolate cake”, other tags will be “chocolate cake recipe”, “how to bake a chocolate cake”, etc…
8 – Length of videos
A longer video means increased watch time. This doesn’t mean that you should drag out what you want to say just for the sake of increasing the time of the video.
Make it as long as you can without making it boring. If you do make it boring and start to repeat yourself, viewers are more likely to close the video and never return!
9 – Cards and End screen
Card is a small, white, round and transparent icon with and “i” in the center of it, that appears in the corner of a YouTube video. You can set it up to promote your video, channel, playlists.
End screen is a button being used at the end of your videos. It can increase watch time for your channel. You can use them to link other videos, channels, ask viewers for subscription, playlist.
Remember, keep everything short. Don’t make your viewers feel bored, 10-15 secs end screen is good enough.
10 – Playlist
Your number one goal should be to keep the viewers watching as long as possible and to keep them hooked on your videos. Playlist is a wonderful tool that many YouTube creators don’t take advantage of. It can capture your viewers’ attention. Playlist shows your channel’s charisma, identity and your imagination.
11 – Think about your audience
When you search for something on YouTube to watch, think as a viewer, what’s the most annoying thing about this video? Or what do you expect from this channel?
- Make your intro 5-10 secs maximum. It’s the best to keep it short, so they don’t get bored.
- Yes, take care about your video quality. It matters! It doesn’t have to be 2k or even 1080p, 720p is fine.
- When you monetize your channel, don’t add many ads for 10 mins videos, 1-3 ads are okay.
- Be patient, nothing is easy but not impossible!
- Real life is important, but don’t forget to upload at least 1 per week! Make a schedule.
- Engage with your audience, ask them what they want to watch later, thank them, and like their comments!
- Make social media pages, and share your videos there. Of course, add some useful content, no one likes a page full of ads! They won’t like it or be interested about it.
- Make your content “Unique”, don’t copy others, people always curious about new stuff.
Helpful tools !
It’s a free browser extension, as opposed to software you need to download and launch separately each time you want to take advantage of its features.
- Keyword Tool
As the name implies, Keyword Tool gives you suggestions for YouTube keywords.
It’s another way to monitor and track your YouTube audience analytics.
- Social Blade
Social Blade is another top option for you to consider. I like it because it tracks different statistics on YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, and Twitter.
I already mentioned Canva for creating thumbnails, End screen and more. It’s for free.
I didn’t have all of this information when I started my first YouTube channel. I started to use these tactics and tricks in my new channel. I’m here to show you some tricks that improved my ranking.
P.S. Happy posting ⌨