Best Ways to Promote Website
Here are 9 tactics that will give you the best chance to rise above the noise:
- Create thumbnail images that draw viewers in
- Give your videos irresistible titles
- Use search keywords that show mostly video results from Google
- Include calls to action
- Make sure you’re allowing people to embed your videos
- Cross promote your YouTube channel like a pro
- Make playlists
- Consistency pays off big time
- Engage with viewers through contests, response videos, and collaborations
300 hours of YouTube video are uploaded every minute—if you want to get noticed, you have to get serious about promoting your channel. It’s not rocket science, but it’s not going to happen on its own. Let’s take a deeper dive into 9 best practices and how they can help you grow your numbers.
1. Create Great Custom Thumbnails
You have a split second of a viewer’s attention as they are deciding which video to watch. Other than your video’s title, your thumbnail is critical for enticing that click. Don’t miss this opportunity to design an image that reinforces what your video is all about. VICE’s use of thumbnail optimization led to a promotion on YouTube’s homepage, and one of their most popular videos to date:
Keep a few rules in mind for the size of your custom thumbnail because it will also be used as your preview when someone embeds your video on their site. Google recommends that your thumbnail:
- Have a resolution of 1280X720 (minimum width of 640 pixels).
- Be uploaded in image formats such as .JPG.GIF.BMP, or .PNG.
- Remain under the 2MB limit.
- Try to use a 16:9 aspect ratio.
You can upload a custom thumbnail as soon as you upload a video by simply choosing the custom thumbnail option. To add one to an already-existing video, go to your Video Manager, click Edit for the video you want to work with and then click custom thumbnail.
2. Give Your Video a Killer Title
I know, it seems obvious, but that’s how people decide what they’re going to watch, and creating engaging titles is not as simple as it might seem. You want something descriptive enough to make someone want to watch, but not so long that it’s cut off when displayed. You need to make it sound exciting, but not so over-the-top that it looks spammy. Try to include keywords for search and irresistibly clickable adjectives.
3. Reverse Engineer Google’s SERPs
There are several different YouTube optimization techniques to improve your search rankings, but the SEO tactic that will have the most lasting effect is all about keyword research. One way to think about video keyword research is by reverse-engineering Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).
The idea here is to focus on keyword searches in google that will almost always serve you video results. For example, if someone googles for “cool dance moves” it makes sense that google would serve a results page full of videos because nobody really wants to read an article about cool dance moves. Here’s a screenshot of that search:
If you find a lot of video results instead of just text listings on page one, that’s a great keyword to work with. You may want to try related queries such as “awesome dance moves” or “cool dance skills” to see where you may be getting results that are more related to the video you are producing, and potentially less competitive to rank for.
4. Use Calls to Action to Engage Viewers
Having a viewer watch your video and then leave means you may not have given them a chance to do anything else to engage with your channel. According to YouTube, there are four main types of user action: subscribe to the channel, watch more videos, like or share a video, and leave a comment. YouTube gives several options for including CTAs within a video to get people to take one of these actions:
- Direct Host-Mentions. This is actually a style of video where you talk to the camera and tell people what to do. In this video example at the 4:30 minute mark, you can see that the author directly tells you to “let us know in the comments down below.”
- End-cards. An end-card works similarly to a card except that they appear at the end of a video and take up the whole screen. For example, in the screenshot below you can see College Humor’s end-card featuring large subscribe button. This button is clickable so it makes it easy to take that next step.3 Video Descriptions. Video descriptions are important. Put a link to your website or your social accounts in your description and actually ask people to click! Below is an example of a very thorough description section from ThinkTank:
5. Allow (and Encourage) People to Embed Your Videos
When uploading videos to your channel, you will have the option to either allow or not allow embedding. The embed feature allows people to take your video and then publish it on their website, blog, channel, etc., which will help you gain even more exposure. Just make sure you specify that you must get credit each time your video is re-published. You can turn on the embed feature by visiting the Video Manager, clicking Edit under the video you want to edit, then going to Advanced Settings and making sure the embed option is checked. Below is a screenshot of what you’ll see:
All someone needs to do in order to embed your video is copy and paste the link that will show up when she clicks share, so the more shares you get the better.
6. Cross-Promote Your YouTube Channel Everywhere
This may not seem like an advanced tactic, but you’d be surprised how many people forget the power of their other owned properties for advertising their YouTube channel. Be consistent about how you incorporate videos into your email newsletter, blog, email signature, and other social media accounts. Find ways to make your videos relevant to all your other content and leverage those eyeballs.
Quick Case Study
Life Net Inc. found in their study that the highest YouTube views occurred during the active advertising of the video, but not surprisingly, this ongoing optimization was required to keep the momentum going. Simply optimizing a page and then moving on to the next video isn’t enough. You have to continue to promote, perform keyword research and make changes, and moderate and respond to comments in order to keep your numbers up. Below is a screenshot from the case study that shows how your numbers can change the minute you stop optimizing