According to YouTube, the video platform sees 1.9 billion logged-in users each month who watch over a billion hours of content every day. There are local versions in 91 countries and available in 80 different languages, covering 95% of the internet population. So how do you build a YouTube presence in such a rich network?

Ranking your YouTube presence

YouTube ranks videos with the most watch time rather than those with the most views, which means YouTube rewards creators based on the number of minutes a video was watched. You can have a viral video that gain popularity quickly, but if people only check the first couple seconds of it, you won’t get the same kind of traction as one that is consistently watched to completion.

Video search results are affected by keywords and relevance. This means you should be optimising keywords in your video titles, tags, descriptions, content, and thumbnails. Be sure to include a mix of common and long-tail keywords. Relevance is determined by how many videos users have watched from your channel and the last time a user watched other videos on the same topic as your video.

Please note, that if a video on your channel drives a viewer to watch more videos, you’ll earn some watch time credits for the cumulative minutes accrued. The platform also rewards you if people watch multiple videos from your channel, particularly if they show up in the ‘suggested video’ section.

Videos are also ranked according to their view velocity – the number of subscribers who watch your video right after it’s posted. Therefore, promoting your video content across other social media platforms early can help boost your search ranking.

Embedding YouTube videos into your site, linking videos to social channels, and including videos in your blog posts – also boost the ranking of your videos and improve discoverability.

YouTube Presence: Limits and Specs

There are a few character limits to keep in mind. Only the first 48 characters of your ‘About Us’ page shows up in YouTube search results. Also, you should try to limit your video titles to around 60 characters to prevent text from being cut off in results pages. YouTube will only show the first 100 characters of your video description, so include important links of CTAs within the first 2-3 lines to boost your YouTube presence.

You should also be optimising your channel art by ensuring your banner size is correct and the design is compelling. 90% of the best performing videos have custom thumbnails (YouTube recommends 1280x720px).

Also, pay attention to the click-through rate on your thumbnails and audience retention. It helps to have a consistent design or theme in your thumbnails – plus having a spokesperson in your thumbnail and video will help your channel gain recognition and create engagement

Optimise your video by adding subtitles and captions to help your viewers and your video’s discoverability. Translated meta data may also increase a video’s reach and discoverability, so upload your own translation, ask the community to add their own, or turn on the feature to have captions added automatically.

Discover more tips about video creation and design with our free Ultimate Guide to Video Design – start designing impactful videos with ease in PowerPoint.

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