YouTube Marketing & Optimization Part 1 – Channel & Videos

YouTube Marketing & Optimization Part 1 – Channel & Videos

I’m going to share with you everything I know about YouTube marketing & optimization.

I know there are a few tutorials on the web about this but I wanted to show you how I do it.

Plus I have a few of my own twists and turns to thrown in!

YouTube sends the most engaged quality traffic to the blog so it makes sense to focus on growing it as much as possible!

What You Will Learn

  • Why YouTube is the best traffic source
  • How to prepare all the video resources you need
  • How to optimise your channel
  • How to optimise your videos
  • How to take advantage of playlists
  • How to DOMINATE related video results

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Why Bother With YouTube Optimization?

Since the blog launched YouTube has established itself as the 4th biggest source of traffic to the site.

Not only that but YouTube consistently delivers some of the most engaged traffic.

It has the lowest bounce rate, the best pages/visit, the best time on site, the highest opt in rate and the highest affiliate click rate.

As you can see – it is a traffic source worth spending some time on!

Getting Started

If you want to be really effective with your YouTube marketing there is a lot to consider!

In the ideal world people will discover us on YouTube and either stay engaged with our videos on YouTube itself or visit our site.

We want to create as many opportunities as possible to get repeat exposure to increase chances of people clicking through to our site.

We also want to make sure we are extracting key YouTube ranking metrics like subscriptions, comments & likes to increase exposure further.

Don’t worry – it’s much easier to do than it sounds

Video Resource Preparation

The first thing you need to do is prepare some resources that we will use across all of our videos.

This takes some time to do but once you have prepared them you can reuse them over and over again.

I’m going to drop you in at the deep end with the hardest resources to create first

Video Intro

One of the biggest problems with videos is you only have a short amount of time to capture & engage people or they move on to the next video.

The average time watched metric also plays a critical role in the internal YouTube search ranking algorithm.

I’ll share more tricks on getting people to stick around longer later but for now let’s just focus on the video intro.

We also want to consider that as people move through our videos, they are going to be forced to watch the same intro over and over again.

So with that in mind we need to create a video intro that is short & snappy to get people to keep watching.

I used Adobe After Effects to create my 6 second intro which contains my logo and brand colours.

Creating Your Own Video Intro

Now I realise that creating an intro like that might seem daunting for some people!

But it doesn’t have to be difficult and with a bit of elbow grease and a couple of hours you can knock out a professional intro.

You have a few different options-

VideoHive Template

VideoHive is codecanyon/themeforest of the video world!

They have a huge range of video intro templates you can use.

They are usually priced around $10-$20 each and can be very easily edited with Adobe After Effects. Just import your logo, pick a couple of colours and that’s it!

Take a look at these for example-


You could also use Animoto to create your intro video.

They make it really easy to create videos using one of their predefined templates.

The free account has access to a number of templates that you might be able to use.

Even with the paid templates I have always found Animoto a bit restricting but that might be because I’m comfortable editing video.


The other option you have is to look whats on offer at Fiverr.

As you can see there are a huge range of services available to create intro videos for just $5! Bargain!

Admittedly some of them are pretty poor, but there are some diamonds to be had – and well, you get what you pay for

Calls To Action

Throughout the video we will want to display various calls to action depending on the context of the current video.

Sometimes this might be to get people to visit an affiliate link or sometimes to follow you on a social network.

Now what is really cool is you can actually add clickable external links directly into your video using Annotations!

I have prepared a video below that shows you my various calls to actions as well as the clickable links!

Creating Your Own Calls To Action

First of all you will need to work out what kind of calls to action you’ll be using.

For me I decided I wanted something to direct people to my blog/affiliate links and something to direct people to social channels.


Again you can browse VideoHives huge range of call to action templates that you can use.

These are usually called ‘Lower Thirds’ in the video world!

I really recommend you get comfortable with editing these templates in Adobe After Effects. All I have to do is update the text and hit render each time I need a new one.

Here are some pretty sweet ones for just $8 a pop-


Again you can jump over to Fiverr to see what lower thirds are available.

To be honest you are pretty stuck for choice on Fiverr – there aren’t many people offering them as a service.

The other problem with Fiverr is if you ever need to create one or change text – you’ll have to pay for someone to do it and wait on them.

It really is a good idea to just spend a bit of time learning how to edit them yourself in Adobe After Effects.

Video Outro

You know how usually at the end of videos on YouTube you see a bunch of related videos?

As a content consumer that is awesome and allows us to discover new contest easily.

But as a video creator – all that does is take people away from our videos, reducing the chances of them clicking through to our site.

So I created a bunch of video outros like the one below that groups together my relevant tutorials. I have about 8 of these prepared showcasing different tutorials.

One of these gets shown at the end of every video and by using YouTube annotations we can easily interlink all of our videos, get subscribers and visitors to our site.

Creating Your Own Video Outro

This is where things are going to start getting a bit easier

I used Camtasia Studio (my editing software of choice) to produce this outro and although it looks tricky it’s pretty simple.

All I have done is get a black background and overlay 3 videos with my logo. Took about 15 minutes to make in total!

Having this play at the end of every video is a huge benefit and keeps people moving around your content nicely!

Slide Template

If you are going to use slides at any point in your videos, you will also need a background template to use.

This is one of the easier things to create and that’s coming from someone that sucks at graphics!

Just fire up your graphics package of choice and create a 1920×1080 image-

Now you can use this as a background in PowerPoint or your video editing software of choice!

YouTube Video Thumbnail Template

One of the other templates you need to prepare is a YouTube video thumbnail.

If you didn’t know you can now upload a custom image to be used as your videos thumbnail.

This gives us extra opportunities to stand out in the search results and in the related videos sections.

In fact what you might notice in that screenshot is how all of my videos dominate the related videos section – more on that later

This is what my template looks like and you’ll see I have imported a bunch of gradients to make new thumbnails quickly & easily.


The very last thing you will need to prepare is a watermark to overlay in your videos.

Sometimes you will see my logo in the bottom left corner of a video – this is just a semi-transparent version of my logo saved as a PNG.

When you import it into Camtasia Studio you can place it on its own layer to just sit in the corner nicely

Video Resource Preparation Complete!

You should now have everything you need to create great videos that keep people engaged with you and your content throughout YouTube.

It might look quite daunting at first but even a novice can put all of this together in less than a day. And once you’ve got everything prepared, you don’t have to do it again!

All of these little things add up to create a great user experience for your viewers but also serve to get as much value as possible out of YouTube.

Take time to prepare them – you’ll grow much faster!

YouTube Channel Optimization

Next we need to spend some time on our YouTube channel.

YouTube recently moved over to a new channel design based on Google+ which has really improved things.

It has also introduced some new features that you can use to suck traffic back to your site!

Upload Channel Art

The first thing you should do is upload some channel art.

This is the header image that spans across the top of your channel and you can put whatever you like on it!

To be honest mine could be a lot better, but it’s the best I can do. I included the award logos to build credibility with potential new subscribers.

You can download a template from YouTube to create your own.

Then all you need to do is select edit channel art and upload your image-

Add Channel Links

In the bottom right corner of my channel art above you’ll notice some text that says ‘Click Here To Visit My Blog’ along with some social icons.

YouTube lets us add these links to our channel easily and I suggest you do the same.

When you uploaded your channel art you may have noticed a second option that says edit links.

Add a link to your site as well as all of the links to your social profiles. There are nearly 20 different social profiles you can link up!

Update Channel Description & Keywords

If you click on the about tab of your channel you will notice you can add a description of your channel.

Just write an honest statement of what your channel provides but also use this opportunity to include relevant niche keywords.

Don’t go all out crazy keyword stuffing. Keep things human friendly

Once that is done you can also provide a list of related keywords for your channel.

This option is actually tucked away and quite hard to get to. But if you place your mouse under the bottom right of your channel art, a small menu will come up-

Click on channel settings

Here you can add a bunch of related keywords for your channel.

If you have keywords with spaces in like Internet Marketing you would type in “Internet Marketing” with the speech quotes.

Channel Layout

As an optional last step you can also tweak your channel layout.

If you look at my channel you will see I have selected a tutorial to use as the channel trailer.

This allows you to feature whatever video you want front & centre.

Underneath that you will see I have added a playlist I created (more on that later, important stuff) along with my popular uploads and last my most recent uploads.

You can edit/remove items by clicking on the little edit pencil button.

If you want to add new items just scroll to the bottom and click Add A Section.

Tweak it to your heart’s content

YouTube Video Optimization

So you have your video resources prepared and you have optimised your channel.

A side note, when creating your video remember you have less than 15 seconds to convince your audience to stick around.

The way I do this is by opening with ‘What You Will Learn’ and quickly listing what I’ll be teaching. I do this in both my videos and blog posts.

So now you have a video ready to upload, complete with your intro, outro and calls to action!

I’m going to show you the behind the scenes setup of this video.

YouTube Keyword Research

Now before we start optimizing our video, we need to know which keywords we want to optimize it for.

The problem is the YouTube keyword tool sucks.

The keywords it suggests are usually irrelevant and the monthly search volumes are wrong.

So what I tend to do is use the Adwords Keyword Planner to get a few seed keyword ideas.

Then just type these into YouTube search and take note of the auto suggestions-

Note down a primary term you are going to target and a few other secondary related terms.

It is also worth doing a few Google searches for your chosen terms to see if Google has any current video results on the 1st page. They tend to favour review & how to/tutorial targeted videos.

I went with Link Emperor as my main keyword. Along with Link Emperor review, Link Emperor tutorial & link building service.

Upload The Video

Just before you upload your video you should rename the file to include your keywords.

So I simply renamed my video to Link Emperor Review & Tutorial.mp4 and then uploaded it.
Once you have uploaded your video you have a few options.

This video ranks on the first page of Google & YouTube search results for a bunch of terms like Link Emperor, Link Emperor Review & Link Emperor Tutorial.

Title Optimization

The title of your video should include your primary keyword as close to the start as possible.

Just like with onpage SEO of your website don’t go crazy with keyword stuffing.

In my Link Emperor example I just kept it simple with-

Link Emperor Review & Tutorial – An Easy To Use Link Building Service

Description Optimization

The description also provides a few opportunities to scatter our keywords and improve the onpage SEO of the video.

I always start my descriptions with a link to my blog/relevant post on the first line.

Then I write a unique description about the video weaving in my primary and secondary keywords where possible.

For extra brownie points I use up any remaining characters/words with a partial transcript of the video.

This lets you get picked up for lots of extra long tails while making the most of the description field.

Take a look at this videos description.

Tag Optimization

This is one of the most overlooked areas of YouTube video optimization.

A couple of minor tweaks can have a massive impact!

YouTube uses these tags to help it work out what your video is about and to display it in search results and/or as a related video.

So before I unveil my secret twist to take advantage of this, enter your primary & secondary keywords.

You may also pick some of the relevant keywords that YouTube suggests as well!

My YouTube Tag Optimization Twist

Remember the image before where all of my videos dominated the related video suggestions in the sidebar?

Here it is again if you missed it-

Not too bad huh?

Check out what it looks like when the video ends-

That is complete and utter YouTube related video domination!

Out of the 32 suggested videos in the player and sidebar, 29 of them are mine.

Once you watch 1 of my videos on YouTube it is very hard to escape

So how do you go about YouTube related video optimization? The secret is in the tags!

I add the following 3 tags to every single video on my channel-

  • Matthew Woodward
  • MatthewWoodward

As you can that very small tweak, is very effective

Thumbnail Optimization

During our video resource preparation we created a YouTube video thumbnail template.

Just open that up, change up the text/colours and click on customised thumbnail.

Upload it and this thumbnail will be used in search results & relevant video listings throughout the network.


If you added any calls to action or outro to your video you need to head over to the annotations section.

This is what the Link Emperor video looks like in the annotations editor-

It is pretty easy to use and I just use the spotlight annotation to overlay anything that should be ‘clickable’

There are options on the right to mark the start and end point, along with where it should link to.

If you are having problem creating clickable annotations to your website read this.

Closed Caption Optimization

The last point of optimization for your video is with the closed captions feature.

A lot of people skip over this but what it allows you to do is upload a full transcript of the video.

YouTube automatically syncs this up with the video which serves a couple of important purposes.

Firstly it allows people with disabilities to read along instead of listening. I am constantly surprised with the amount of emails I get from people thanking me for creating them for that very reason.

Secondly, YouTube can’t understand the context of a video automatically. So by providing a full transcript it knows exactly what is said.

It’s like having the video in article format, which is much easier for YouTube to digest and understand what your video is about.

This means your video will have even better chances of appearing for related searches and long tails!

I used to transcribe all of my videos myself but now I just outsource it to Yeison.

I also use the transcripts when I post the videos on the blog here so they serve a few purposes and are well worth having.

YouTube Playlist Optimization

When you do a search on YouTube you can either get a video, a channel or a playlist returned as a result.

This provides yet another opportunity but this time with YouTube playlist optimization.

A playlist is pretty much what is says on the tin, a list of videos that play in a predefined order. You can add your own videos or other peoples.

This is a great way to try and rank for some shorter tail phrases.

Creating A Playlist

Just browse to any video and click on Add To which looks like this-

Give your playlist a keyword focused name – In this example I created a playlist targeting the term link building tutorials.

I kept it nice and simple with a title of The Best Link Building Tutorial You Will Ever See.

Now just repeat the process until you have added all of the videos you want to your playlist.

In this example I added all of the tiered link building videos in sequential order.

Optimizing Your Playlist

Next open up the video manager and go to the playlist manager.

Click Edit to the right of your newly created playlist and you can edit the title and add a description.

Just like you optimized video descriptions before, you can use this box to optimize your playlist description to rank for your target keywords.

Make sure it is set to public on the right hand side!

The Results

Once you have setup your playlist and let some time pass it will begin to appear in the search results!

As you can it’s #1 for ‘best link building tutorial’ and is currently at the top of page 2 for ‘link building tutorial’.

Perhaps I need to improve on the description some more!

Other YouTube Playlist Optimization Strategies

I have to admit creating a bunch of playlists on YouTube has been on my to do list for a while now.

But I thought I would share with you a couple of strategies I plan to use to take advantage of this.

Grouping My Own Tutorials

The first thing I want to do is go through all of my tutorials and assign each of them a very top level category.

Off the top of my head I have content that could easily be broken down into categories like SEO, Link Building, Social Media & Traffic Generation.

Just like the example above I will create playlists that target broader industry terms like social media marketing.

Curating ‘The Best Of’

You could also use playlist to curate ‘the best of’ any given topic using your own videos and other peoples.

Think of things like-

  • The Best Link Building Tips
  • The Best SEO Tutorials
  • 10 WordPress Tutorials You Need To watch

You could easily expand that into other niches, that’s just a few examples of things I plan to create

With a bit of time and planning both strategies will offer some quick wins!

Is It Really Worth The Effort?

I know all of this seems like a lot of hardwork, so I thought I would share all of my stats with you.

First of all let’s take a look at YouTube stats. Appearing in search results, related videos & the channel page itself has created-

  • 60,085 views (30.4% of all my YouTube views)
  • 330,520 minutes watched (that’s 230 solid days of watch time)

In terms of website traffic that has sent-

  • 14,658 unique visitors
  • 60,391 page views
  • 7 minute 54 second average visit duration
  • 265 email subscribers
  • 2,008 affiliate clicks

So all in all, I think the extra bit of effort is more than worth it.

Having people exposed to my videos for an extra 230 solid days alone does it for me!

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Wrapping It Up!

So there you have it – everything you need to know to optimize your YouTube videos & channel step by step.

In the we will be looking at some tips and tricks to grow your channel with !

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