How to Drive Traffic to Your YouTube Channel
If you’re not already using YouTube to promote your business or share your ideas with the world, now is the time to get on board. Second only to Google, YouTube is one of the largest search engines in the world. It hosts more than 3 billion searches each month and the platform continues to grow year after year. Whether you’re newly inspired to start your own YouTube channel or you’re a seasoned pro, you’re probably wondering how to increase views and subscribers. Here are some of the best ways you can drive traffic to your channel and start encouraging more viewers to click that subscribe button.
1. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Keywords
If you want to bring people to your channel organically, keyword-rich titles and descriptions are vital. Consider using a keyword research tool, such as Moz, to find relevant, high-volume keywords that are likely to garner you more clicks. Keywords should be used in titles and video descriptions and should always be relevant to the content you’re posting. YouTube and Google’s search algorithm use keywords to identify the subject of your video and also rank your video when someone searches for particular keywords.
2. Tag, Tag, Tag!
While keywords help your content appear in organic searches, tags help YouTube’s algorithms better understand what types of videos users enjoy watching. In most cases, the platform will recommend videos with similar tags to what users have watched previously, so it’s important to ensure you’re choosing tags that other creators are most likely to use. For example, a simple tag such as “sales tips” is likely to garner more common content than “sales tips from Jim.” Taking advantage of this functionality means that users who’ve watched similar content may find your content in their recommended videos after watching those with similar tags.
The best technique for choosing tags for your videos is to view similar trending content and content creators that you aspire to build a similar following with and use some of the same tags on your own videos. Of course, just as with Instagram, it’s wise to mix up the tags you use on your videos to increase your chances of engagement among a wider audience.
3. Optimize Your Thumbnails
We’re not talking about manicures here. Your thumbnail is that little photo that appears next to your video title in YouTube’s menu and it’s the first thing that’s going to draw YouTube users to your content. Incorporate text, use appealing fonts and attract your potential viewers with relevant images and bright colors. Many YouTubers prefer to include the face of whichever person is featured in the video, as well, as these thumbnails tend to get the most clicks.
Make sure to use the optimal dimensions: 1280 pixels wide and 720 pixels tall. The thumbnail should have a minimum width of 640 pixels and follow an aspect ratio of 16:9.
4. Add Your Best Video As A “Featured Video”
On your channel page, YouTube automatically uses your most recent video as the “Featured Video”. Your most recent video might not always be your “best” video, so if you don’t want to use your most recent video, you can simply switch it out for a different video or playlist under “Featured Content” in the “Creator Studio”.
5. Always Include A Call-To-Action (CTA)
A call-to-action tells your viewers what action you want them to take. It can be to subscribe to your channel, view more videos, click on a link, like a video, share a video, leave a comment, visit a website, etc. Formerly known as YouTube “Annotations”, it has since been replaced by “End Screens” due to mobile compatibility.
6. Shameless Self Promotion, Oh Yes!
Make sure to promote your videos across the entire digital gamut. Take it to your social media, blog, email newsletter, and website. You can even send it to influencers who can share it with their network on their channels.
Once you’ve distributed your content to the masses, analyze your traffic metrics and find out which channel is driving the most traffic & engagement. This will help you understand where your target audience lives online and where you should focus your marketing. AND, analyze which content performs the best. If you have a really high-performing video, throw some ad dollars at it to reach a wider audience and potential new subscribers.
7. Pay Attention to Viral Trends
Depending on your channel’s niche, this may or may not be an easy feat. If your channel is known for having a bit of fun, taking part in viral trends is a great way to drum up some extra views. This might include commenting on current events, taking part in the latest internet challenge or spending some time weighing in on the latest and greatest internet debates.
8. Emulate Your Peers
Take a look at some of the best content creators in your industry. Follow their content, see what does well on their channel and emulate their content. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should copy what they create verbatim but it does mean you should consider creating similar content and of course, aim to create content that surpasses your competition.
By following the tips listed above, and by dedicating yourself to creating and posting interesting, entertaining content on a regular basis, you can have your YouTube channel gaining views, subscribers and comments steadily.
If you need help building a video strategy, growing your YouTube audience, or have questions about video platforms, we can certainly lend a hand. Feel free to contact us anytime!