This is part 4 of my How To Start A YouTube Channel Series.
There are only a couple of places where you can have a direct influence over the SEO of your entire channel and your channel description is one of the most important.
If you can optimize this section of your channel you can not only improve your search rankings but also convert browsers into fans and subscribers.
Check out the short video below to see how to edit your channel description (or watch it on the official FAQ Tube channel) and then check below for my top optimization tips.
5 ways to optimize your YouTube channel description for SEO
1. Make it Keyword rich
Keywords are extremely important to search engines and YouTube is a search engine – the second largest in the world in fact.
Keywords help search engines work out what content you have to offer and uses them to decide what search queries to rank you for.
There are very limited places on YouTube where you can provide keywords on a channel wide basis so take advantage of this by making your description keyword rich.
Keyword research is an art all of it’s own (make sure to subscribe to get my YouTube Keyword Research guide as soon as it’s released) but basically you can increase traffic to your channel and videos by using keywords that you know people are already searching for.
If you don't want to go into too much detail on keyword research a YouTube Trends search is a good place to start so check out my video below to find out how to carry one out:
A word of warning – do not stuff your description with keywords unnaturally as YouTube and Google not only frown upon this but also it doesn't read well for humans. Which brings me to my next point…
2. Sell Yourself
Along with your Unsubscribed Trailer this is the best place to sell what your channel has to offer.
Try to reflect the tone of your videos in your copy, give them a reason to like you and to want to hear more from you.
Most importantly though is tell the reader what benefits they’ll receive from watching your videos or subscribing. In other words…
Yes WIFM or What’s In It For Me? is the question that all of the people reading your description will be asking themselves. Why should they give up their time for your channel over anyone else’s?
· Entertain them?
· Teach them?
· Take them on an adventure?
· Show them something they've never seen before?
Whatever it is spell it out.
3. Outline your schedule
Where possible you should outline your schedule.
Even though YouTube is an on-demand platform humans are strange creatures of habit and they like order.
Set a schedule, no matter how infrequent, and stick to it. If there’s one thing we hate more than uncertainty it’s a broken promise.
Believe it or not this does encourage to get people returning again and again.
4. Include Custom Social and Web links
Adding custom links to your channel allows people to connect with you off platform which is increasingly important as it becomes harder to get into people’s subscription feeds and on to their What To Watch page.
Once added these links not only get overlaid on your channel banner but also into your channel description, allowing for that connection once you've enticed them in with your copy.
You can check back next week to see my video on exactly how to add these optimally.
4. Add a contact email
Apart from the obvious benefit of being able to be contacted directly by viewers (and potential business leads) this also adds to the perception of professionalism to your channel.
Even if you're a Vlogger without a strong business strategy you instantly give the impression of being a media company and not just a Creator.
As only logged in users can get access to the contact button it reduces spam and means that you don’t have to add an unprofessional and un-clickable email address in the description.
Optimizing your channel description is a job that can be done and pretty much left alone save for any major overhaul to your channel or schedule.
The SEO benefits alone are enough to make the effort more than worth it but the “sales” benefit of driving home the value of your channel to potential subscribers and the reputational benefit of appearing like a business entity make this a no brainer.
Take the time to put some extra thought and effort into this and you’ll see a benefit even if not immediate or obvious and set yourself apart from your competition who probably aren’t paying as much attention to detail.
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