05 May 2021 21:28 IST

A checklist to help you grow your YouTube channel

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Establishing a niche to capture audience interest and regularly optimising your content is vital

Ranking for YouTube has become much harder in the recent past. There are about 31 million channels on YouTube and about 30,000 hours of video content being uploaded every hour. In this huge platform that’s brimming with videos, how does a brand make sure their videos stand out? Maintaining a proper, exhaustive checklist to ensure that all the important guidelines are followed guarantees that you’re putting the best foot forward while publishing content. So, what are the best practices that must go into a YouTube SEO checklist?

Understanding your niche

It is imperative that you understand where your strength lies. There is no requirement for any video creator to be good at multiple fields, it need not even be one entire field. For example, if your channel is about content marketing, then it is not necessary to also know about other aspects of digital marketing. Mastering your niche helps the audience set expectations for your channel. Slowly, your channel’s trust factor and credibility increase for that particular topic.

Keyword research

Once you have chosen a field or a forte, it is time to look for keywords related to the topic. You can make use of tools like keywordtool.io and Ahrefs to hunt for keywords. Some of the most important aspects you need to look for while searching for keywords are search volume, popularity, difficulty level, and length.

Choose long-tail keywords that have low to medium competition. Generally, users prefer keywords that are questions or are specific. For example, “How to use a Nikon DSLR camera” or “DSLR camera tips for beginners” would be better than keywords like “DSLR camera tips.” Keyword research can make or break your video, so choose your keywords wisely.

Title and description

Titles create the first impression for any user. Simply put, they have the power to lure in a user to watch your video. Therefore, the creation of a catchy title should be given the utmost attention. Equally important are descriptions of videos. YouTube allows 4,000 characters for descriptions which provides a huge opportunity to rank for videos. Including a summary of the video, important topics and breakdowns of the video, hashtags, and most importantly keywords can truly boost up your rankings for particular queries. Regular optimisation of these descriptions, conducting A/B tests with different versions of captions are additional techniques that can fetch traffic.

For example, you can check out this video on Registering for COVID Vaccine in Hindi by healthcare firm Practo — which has very specific keywords.

YouTube studio

Once you have published your video, a follow-up using YouTube Analytics can help you understand areas that require improvement. Regularly optimising and understanding your video performance can definitely boost your channel’s traffic and subscriber growth. Important aspects to look for in a video are click-through rates, views, likes, audience retention, annotations, subscribers, demographics, and devices. All these factors provide you with information about your audience and how they engage with your video, which ultimately helps you find out if your video was successful or not.

Competitor analysis

As mentioned earlier, YouTube is a humongous forum full of videos that are competing for the same keywords that you probably are. Therefore, look at the best-performing videos for those keywords. Understand and analyse the different aspects that may be contributing to its traffic. Factors like the length, description, creatives, promotion, and channel engagement are all large contributors to traffic. Drawing comparisons with your competitors bring a fresh perspective to what more can be done.

To conclude, your checklist must have these basic yet quintessential pointers. Correctly capturing your audience, their interests and matching them to your strengths is a very vital part of a checklist. Following the best practices such as the inclusion of optimised and keyword-backed titles, descriptions, audience engagement, and studying YouTube Analytics can completely transform your channel. While there are many other pointers to include in your checklist, these are the most important ones that are required for any video.