I’ve been on a YouTube journey lately, trying to grow my channel and help you grow yours as well! Today we’re talking about how to optimize and improve your content. If you need content ideas, check out my post on that here. This is about how to take the content you do have and optimize it for your fans and so YouTube can find it when people search.
Content Optimization for YouTube Musicians
I spoke about Titles in depth, but this bears repeating: Include the keyword in the title and make it catchy and interesting. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but again, think of your title as a headline for your video. Which title looks better?
“Shape of You cover”
– or –
“Shape of You by Ed Sheeran – Emotional Piano Cover by Mella”
Which would you most likely click on? They could be the same exact video for all we know, but the more specific your title, the more likely people are to click.
This is additionally important because of SEO (search engine optimization). If someone is searching for a piano cover of a song, they’ll likely type that into the search. It’s also important to title your video file correctly before uploading it. If your video is named “08.20.18.Take2.mov” YouTube will have no idea what to do with it. If you name it “Shape_Of_You_Piano_Cover” you’ll have that extra boost of SEO ranking.
Pssst – this works for photos too. Don’t upload a photo called “Untitled_4”! Give it a proper name, like “BandName_PromoShot” or “Artist_Headshot.” This will make sure that when people search for you, they’ll find what they’re looking for.
Your description of the video is important for keywords also. You can make it friendly and interesting, but keep in mind what people are searching for. What looks better:
“Check out my new single on iTunes!!!”
– or –
“Hey friends and Ed Sheeran fans! I hope you like this piano cover of “Shape of You.” I really love the song and hope I did it justice! If you like what you’ve heard, please check out my other covers in my playlist, or you can also hear my new original single on iTunes! Thanks again for watching, please like and subscribe if you want to hear and see more!”
If this seems like obvious information, consider yourself lucky. I see SO many artists who have the top description, if they even have a description at all. You NEED a description. Number one, it makes you seem friendly and personable. Number two, it helps your SEO.
“But Lady Gaga doesn’t have descriptions like that!”
Lady Gaga doesn’t upload her own videos to YouTube. It’s most likely done by a record label intern, and they wouldn’t write anything on her behalf. Also, Lady Gaga already has millions of fans and they don’t really care about anything personal in her description. You want to engage with people and grow your channel, so you need to put in the extra work. You’ll want to write at least 200 words in your description. Also, put links to your other social media in the description to encourage people to follow you on other platforms! Might as well maximize your reach, right?
3). Use TubeBuddy or VidIQ to Help Optimize
I talked about these in depth here. Let’s say there are several other piano covers of “Shape of You” (hint: there are). Find the top rated one and look at their stats in TubeBuddy or VidIQ.
Here we can see the top-viewed cover:
If you scroll to the tag section, you’ll see you can actually copy all of the tags they have:
If you can’t think of tags, this is a great option because you’ll see what got other people ranked so high!
YouTube already makes a transcription for your video, but you can put your own to further optimize content. If it’s just a music video, you should definitely include your lyrics! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten the name of a song, so I’ll type some lyrics into Google. The right song almost always comes up. You want people who search for your lyrics to find you!
Let’s look at the top-rated video thumbnails:
These videos have clean, visually pleasing images. You definitely don’t want to use one of YouTube’s screenshots on your video. I have a step-by-step process on how to make an awesome thumbnail, which I’ll be uploading next week.
6). Create Playlists
This is so important for so many reasons. One, you want to have your videos categorized so that people can find the types of videos they’re looking for. Do you play multiple instruments? Have a playlist for each instrument. Are you making covers of every Kesha song and every Mariah Carey song? Playlist each of those.
Think of your YouTube page like a store. When you go to the store, you want to know what area to search for the Aspirin, right? You don’t want to just meander through the aisles, finding laundry detergent next to the lemons. You want to know where things are, or else you won’t return to that store. Keep people returning to your page with playlists!
Playlists also help your channel because they encourage people to keep watching your videos. If you have a playlist about your thoughts on jazz artists from the 40s through the 50s, and someone is really into that, they’ll use your playlist to watch more. Therefore, YouTube will see this and will start to recommend your videos more to other people. Totally worth it to put in the extra time to create playlists!
Here is a video recap of my blog this week:
I hope this was helpful for you! Remember, the more optimized your content, the more chances you have of getting discovered by new fans and supporters. Let me know if you try any of these and if they work for you!