Unlike creating a Facebook or Twitter account, navigating all the features of a YouTube channel is actually pretty challenging.
Whether it’s your personal account or one you’re creating for your company, there are a lot of hidden features that can make your YouTube channel really sing. Executing all of them will not only make your channel look more polished, but it’ll drive views, which is really the name of the game.
That’s why we’ve created a starter YouTube channel optimization checklist. Is this everything? Of course not, but it’s an excellent place to start. Cross each one of these pro tips off your list and you’ll be left with a platform fit for a YouTube star.
Add a Channel Icon
First and foremost, upload a YouTube channel icon like a company logo or headshot. This will represent your brand across both YouTube and Google, so choose wisely.
Add YouTube Channel Art
This is the artwork that appears across the top of your channel. Upload something that’s at least 2560×1440 px. You’ll see how the image appears on a desktop, mobile device and television. Crop it so it looks good on all three.
Enabling YouTube Channel Navigation/Customization
Before you’re allowed to do any updates, you need to enable customization. This will allow you customize your channel further, making it look more professional.
- Right next to your red “Subscribe” button beneath the channel art, click on the gear button to open your channel’s settings.
- Click “Customize the Layout of your Channel”
- Click “Save”
Update Your YouTube Channel’s Home Page
After you’ve enabled customization, play around on your home page. You’ll notice you’re able to customize two different views – one for returning subscribers, and one for new visitors.
Head over to the “For new visitors” section to add your channel trailer. This is the video new people will see first when the visit your page for the first time, so make a good impression!
Only unsubscribed visitors will see the channel trailer. If the viewer is already subscribed, they will see a video under the heading “What to Watch Next,” which is populated based on the user’s previous activity.
Also, don’t forget to click on “Add a Section” beneath it so people see more than just a few videos. Sections can be customized based on what content you want to feature, with all the options listed in the dropdown.
Updating Your YouTube Channel’s About Section
Let’s start with the basics. Your About section is where people will obviously go to get more information about your company, so make sure you fill out all these sections:
- CHANNEL DESCRIPTION: The maximum length for this section is 1000 characters, and should be used to describe your business, including any descriptions of what type of videos you plan to feature.
- EMAIL: Add a general email address where people can reach you for business inquiries.
- COUNTRY: So people can find you easier, choose your location from the dropdown.
- LINKS: Icon links are featured just below your description. You can add a variety of links to this section, like your official website, blog and other social media channels. Add your most important ones first, as you have the option to overlay up to five of them on your channel art at the top of your page.
- FEATURED CHANNELS: A featured channels section can be added on the right-side column, highlighting other channels. Edit the name of the section and add the URLs of YouTube channels you would like to link to. This is a great way to cross-promote other channels with similar content, or other channels your business manages.
- POPULAR CHANNELS: Make sure to enable this, as it increases the chance your YouTube channel and videos will be recommended.
Feature Your YouTube Content
Featuring a specific video across all your content is a good way to drive viewership. In the Creator Studio, click on “Channel” and then “Featured Content” in the dropdown beneath. That’s where you can activate this hidden gem and advertise your latest uploads within your own videos. You can also select your channel advertisement here if you have one.
YouTube Channel Keywords and Website Linking
In the Creator Studio under “Channel,” there’s another section called “Advanced.” It’s here where you can really get in the weeds, like adding keywords associated with your channel to make it easier to discover. Also, you have the opportunity to link your channel to an official website for SEO purposes. Just know the link-up needs to be approved via your website administrator.