If, like me, you’re wanting to get more video onto your blog or website, then you’ll probably be signing up for a video hosting service like YouTube and you’ll want to make sure you that everyone can find your videos. I’ve been spending a bit of time making sure I’ve optimised my Youtube channel both for search engines like Google and to make it attractive and informative for readers and subscribers.
Here are the things you might consider;
Optimise your Youtube channel
When you set up your Youtube channel, there are some basic steps for best results which you only need do once, then review occasionally (bear in mind that the Youtube interface changes from time to time so you may need to hunt around to find these areas). Sign into your account and on the user name top right hover and choose My Account from the dropdown and from the Account settings menu choose;
1. Set up your profile
In the Profile option, set up a picture, description and your URL as well as any other personal information you’d like to include.
2. Connect to Twitter and Facebook
In the Sharing section, set up your Youtube profile to connect with your Twitter and Facebook accounts, so that every time you upload a new video a notification will appear as a Tweet or on your Facebook wall.
3. Add some Tags
Click on the Channel name top right, and above your video you’ll see the edit channel button;
In Edit channel/Settings – Make sure your title is as you wish and add tags that help viewers and search engines find you e.g. Travel, blog,
Make your Youtube channel look pretty
4. Add some colour
To add some colour to your channel theme, click on the User name top right, and above your video you’ll see the edit channel button. On Edit channel/Themes and colours – choose a colour theme for your channel (I’m using blue in line with the style of my blog).
I’ve noticed that some people have a photo background to their channel page, but I need to research how to do that – if anyone has some useful links on how to do that, let me know.
Update: Thanks to Plaque Guy for letting me know about this useful article on How to set up the background of your YouTube Channel.
5. Organise the look of your page
On Edit Channel/Modules – you can choose what you want to show in your channel, for example comments, recent activity. Play around with this to make your channel page look as you’d like.
Optimise your videos
6. Produce the best video you can
Obviously the key way to make people want to watch your video and tell everyone else about it, is to ensure that it is well produced and contains valuable or entertaining material for your viewers. So make it the best you can, without worrying too much about perfection if you’re just starting out.
7. Link to your website
Make sure you include your website or blog address in your video. You can do this by adding a text clip with the web address at the beginning and end of the video, and if you have a logo you could have it showing at the bottom of the screen throughout the video.
8. Mention your website in the audio
When using any introductory voice-over or film clips,you should make sure you mention your web address – for example ‘I’m Heather from Heatheronhertravels.com’.
9. Use keywords and tags
Make sure your title contains the relevant keywords, in the same way as you would in a blog title. Depending on your type of blog, you’ll find that using contentious terms in your title gets you more hits. A friend of mine once loaded a video entitled ‘bear baiting’ which got loads of hits even though it was a video of dogs playing. Not a technique I particularly use, but worth bearing in mind.
10. Link to your website again!
After you’ve uploaded a video, edit the video information. I always put my URL first to ensure it get’s seen, and then a short, informative and appealing description of the video. Ensure you use the URL starting with http:// so that it’s clickable straight from the Channel page.
Add the keywords that are relevant to your blog or channel to the tags section, to make sure readers and search engines will find the video easily and choose the best category and thumbnail picture, then save.
Promote your video
11. Link from your blog
Once you have uploaded a video, you’ll want as many people to see it as possible. The obvious place to start is to write a blog post which adds some context to the video and embed the video code into the post, so that the video can be viewed directly from the blog.
12. Promote through Social Media
You can also promote your video through the normal social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Delicious etc. This will happen automatically for Twitter and Facebook if you’ve set up your options as described above, but after a few days you could always give the video another mention.
13.Ping directories when you load a video
You can use a ping service like Pingoat to ping other blog directories and let them know that you have made an update. You use this each time you have made an update but no more than once a day, and you can use it to ping both for updates to your blog and Youtube channel. Gideon’s video below gives you more information.
Encourage subscriptions to your blog
You can encourage your blog readers to subscribe to your Youtube channel as follows;
14. Subscribe through Youtube
If your readers are already Youtube users, they can just press the subscribe button on your Youtube channel.
15. Set up a new feed for your channel
You can set up a feed in feedburner so that subscribers can be notified in the normal way through their reader, when you have posted a new video. To do this, log in to your feedburner account, and under the exisiting feeds for your blog, put your Youtube User name e.g. https://youtube.com/user/Heatheronhertravels in the ‘Burn a feed’ box. Once you have set up a new feed, you can publicise it through the Publicize tab. Either set up a Headline animator, or the Chicklet chooser and put the code in your sidebar. To do this I cut the code generated by Feedburner, went into the WordPress dashboard/Design/Theme editor and under the Theme Files Templates, go to the one called Stylesheet(style.css). You will need to find the appropriate place to paste the code in to add to the other things there already.
16. Add a Youtube badge
You can add a Youtube badge to your sidebar – the only one I’ve found so far is by Flashandburn.net. You can see it on the right in my sidebar. If anyone finds any other,s do let me know. I can’t think why Youtube doesn’t provide these on on the website.
There are some great free ‘how to’ videos on Gideon’s other website Getyourvideoonline.com
If you have any more tips to add, do share them in the comments – here’s to loads of viewers for your videos!