Step by step guide and infographic to maximise the impact of your YouTube channel.

With over 20 years of video uploaded to YouTube everyday, its essential you make your content as easy to find and as useful as possible. Below we outline 6 key steps to success to consider (blog post, template files and infographic) when setting up your YouTube Channel.

  1. The initial setup of your channel is essential to long term success. Make sure the name of your channel aligns with how you will promote the channel. This means you must include your brand name if your other promotional efforts focus on this, but if your brand doesn’t matter then you can just use a functional name that uses keywords that your channel is all about. The channel banner is the image shown at the top of your channel. This image is shown differently on different resolutions of screens and different devices. It is therefore essential you’re clear about how the image will display and that you understand the “safe area” (the area that will show on all devices and screen resolutions). The image below shows the different areas of the channel banner and you can download our free YouTube Channel Banner Safe Area Template (right click to download the linked image).

    The Different Areas of a YouTube Channel Banner

  2. Within your Channel Settings is an option to “Verify Channel”. This will allow you to “authenticate” your channel and do things like upload long videos or monetise your videos. You should also make sure that you link back to your website and other major social media channels. This can help with driving traffic as well as being useful to help Google understand the connection between your different channels and will help contextualise the content of the videos which can help with search engine optimisation.
  3. The channel description should be an explanation of what you will be covering in your videos and make sure you include any keywords or phrases that you want to be found for when people search within YouTube (and Google). Keyword research tools like Google Trends and the Google Keyword Planner Tool can be helpful to identify key search terms.
  4. Make sure you add a channel trailer. This is a video that will be featured at the top of your channel for all users that are not subscribed. It should be less than one minute long and should explain what content your videos will cover.  It should also include a call to action to encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel.
  5. The actual videos you upload to your channel are obviously the most important factor in driving engagement and sharing, but there are some key factors that will strongly impact their effectiveness. Content should not be promotional and should provide value in the form of education, opinion or entertainment. You can post a purely promotional video that tells your audience about your product or service, but this must be clearly labelled and this type of video cannot be a regular addition to your channel. Adding annotations allows you to add clickable links and calls to action. This can include things like linking to useful related content, linking back to your own website or encouraging viewers to subscribe to your channel. Rather than trying to launch with a large volume of videos, aim to launch with a few videos and then make sure you add videos regularly. YouTube channels audiences generally grow gradually, and adding content gradually will drive repeat visitors and give you new content that you can post about in social media to drive new visitors.
  6. Each of the videos you post must be effectively tagged, so it can be easily understood by users, YouTube and by Google search. This means that the title, description and tags for your video should include the words and phrases that a user may search for when looking for your content. You should also name any video files using these keywords. For example rather than calling your video “movie1.mp4” use a name that includes the topic of the video like “youtube-tools.mp4”.

Conclusions: Nothing can replace great quality content that provides value to your audience, but by using the steps above you can maximise the likelihood your content will be found in the first place, that users will engage and share with your content and that you will grow the number of people subscribing to your channel.