Ways To Improve Your YouTube Channel
Have you been running your YouTube channel for awhile but not seeing the growth you expected? Do you feel like you have tried everything but still haven’t had success? Don’t lose hope we can help you!
This article won’t have a magic bullet but it will provide a framework to help you get ahead on YouTube. Working on content is rather complex, and structured and always requires testing.
YouTubers are people who are driven by their ideas and want to succeed no matter what. So, if you are ready to learn and work hard on growing your channel then continue reading. Below we will teach you how to properly analyze your YouTube channel, identify errors, and determine your strong points.
Guidelines on self-analysis
For most content creators it’s not easy to know what they should focus on when analyzing their channel. Let's divide the work into several categories:
- Quality of your videos
Visual design of the channel and content
Now let's break down each item separately.
First off, it is best to start analyzing the overall appearance of your channel. This way you will understand how it looks holistically and whether it has any unique style and look.
Overall appearance of your channel
A perfectly designed channel should have a unique visual style, which is easily recognizable. There is a psychological reason creators choose specific colors for their channel design. You can affect perception and behavior with the right choice of colors.
When the viewer observes a well crafted design it creates a mood and helps to engage their senses. The more consistency in your branding the easier it will be for users to recognize your content. This will help you to stand out among the various brands fighting for user attention.
There should also be a connection between the visual design and what your videos will be filled with. You do not want to startle your viewer. For example, you have beautiful thumbnail art, but when the user plays the video, the content is poorly produced. The high expectation set by the thumbnail is not met by the video. You will leave the audience disappointed and they may not check out your other content.
When it comes to high-quality visuals, follow these simple tips:
- use no more than three primary colors in the design. For example, you can use a black background, red header, and white titles - these can be your main brand colors.
- choose one or two types of fonts in the design. They should be readable and interconnected with the general channel style. Ideally they should also be able to convey the atmosphere and mood of the channel.
- Header, avatar, thumbnails, and logo: all of them should be consistent in theme one way or another (colors, fonts, etc).
Channel header and video thumbnails
The header, being the main element of the channel's design, should not only include the name of the channel, but also the headings and topics that will be discussed in your videos. It should answer the following question from a viewer - what is this channel all about? Make sure your channel banner helps convey what the videos and topics will be about. If you have a channel about cars then it would be a great idea to add a picture with a car on the banner. Also make sure to make good use of text with engaging descriptions.
Besides general information about your channel, you should also include your upload schedule. This is an important element in increasing the loyalty of your viewers. Your audience should not have to guess when a new video is coming. Keep them aware of what to expect so that your releases will gain traction and immediate views.
If your channel has some kind of motto, slogan, or feature, it is also important to include it in the header.
Now let’s discuss thumbnails. This is the first imagery to catch a potential viewer's attention. Make sure they contain large text that is readable on all devices. The text will be one of the first things to attract the attention of viewers. Always keep in mind that a lot of viewers watch YouTube on mobile phones.
Thumbnail CTR is one of the most important indicators on YouTube. To improve your click through rate it’s extremely important that you have high quality thumbnails.
Besides having well designed thumbnails, the text on them should maintain a balance between clickbait and accurate information. Because if your thumbnails contain only clickbait, you will fail to retain viewers on your videos. At the same time if the text is boring and does not encourage people to click, then no one will hit play on your video.
For the best experience, the thumbnail should be as simple as possible. Keep it relatively clutter free with as few objects and text as possible.
Your header and thumbnail designs will give the viewer a sense of the mood of the channel. The way you design and deliver on these two items will very often play a big role in if you win over the viewers attention. So, please try to consider these design elements both separately and together.
In an ideal world, not only the external visual (headers and thumbnails) should overlap, but also the animation inside the videos should share the same design style as your entire channel. Your avatars and logo also apply to this concept.
Don’t overcomplicate your channel design. Just remember these two main elements: banners and thumbnails, should look appealing and work together.
It is important to understand that the main page is just the same as your about page for a YouTube channel.
It should tell you what the channel is about, what categories it has, what one can find exciting about the channel, and how to navigate your content in general.
You can place a channel trailer on the main page (this is a very important element, without one a viewer may not understand your channel direction). Your main page should also include categories so that the viewer can see what types of videos your channel has. You can arrange your categories as you see fit. For example, you can place popular videos in the first place on your playlist because if your videos have a lot of views, you need to “sell” it to the viewer right away.
You can also post categories that you think will interest a larger number of viewers or answer the most popular requests.
One of the first and most important things to check is the actual quality of your videos. Make sure your content is clear, not pixelated, use Full HD when available.
You must also check the sound quality in your video. Are you using a microphone? Are you processing the sound? Are there any side noises and is the audio too low? These are all questions that you must answer before releasing a video to the public. This is an important point, because if viewers can’t hear you or if the content is mind numbingly loud, you will lose viewers. No one wants to struggle while listening to a video, even if the information is good.
For many viewers, the quality of the audio is even more important than the quality of the video. Think of YouTube as a replacement for television. This can mean that your videos would be playing in the background, and people would want to listen while doing other things.
Yet another point for creating engaging videos is the quality of editing. As a creator you do not have to make cool animated intros or title scenes. It’s more about how seamless your transitions between frames are, whether you cut off phrases and most importantly, how well your audio is mixed in the video.
A common problem is that the creators do not mix speech and background music well, which greatly interferes with a comfortable viewing experience. Imagine you are trying to watch a video but you first need to turn the sound all the way up to the max and then lower it all the way down to the minimum volume. Ugh… Your poor eardrums will simply tell you to turn it off.
When analyzing video quality, it is also important to consider at what level your niche is in terms of content quality. For example, in the gaming niche in Russia, the quality of the video plays a much smaller role than, for example, the charisma and sense of humor of the creator.
But if you look at the travel niche, the video quality is steadily growing every year. Therefore it is important to understand that a travel vlog’s quality should be at the level of an average channel from its niche. Otherwise, viewers who have watched a steady stream of high-level videos will simply not be interested in poor quality content.
The next area to look for improvement should be the content itself.
Questions to ask yourself.
- Is there a compelling intro, and a clear and coherent structure?
- What dramatic elements do you use?
- Are you able to keep the audience's attention?
- Do you use YouTube tips during the video to motivate the viewer? Tips such as asking for comments, requesting viewers to subscribe, share the video, and watch other videos on your channel.
Here we will consider your image as the creator. Remember: it is important to compare your current content creation to your past videos. Otherwise, you may lose motivation to shoot new videos.
Make sure that you use clear and correct speech on camera and that you pronounce words clearly and captivate the audience. It’s also very important that you enjoy what you do. As for general channel analytics and finding ways to make your videos even better, you should definitely compare how creators in your niche make videos. The main thing is to discard the emotional component like “I’m still a newbie unlike him/her” or “I will never reach that level.”
Of course, you can! You just need to have desire and consistency.
There is a whole playlist on this topic on our Provigate channel: you can find both general facts about channel optimization, and more specific ones such as keywords, tags, design, etc. Click here for more.
But anyway, let's briefly recall what you should pay attention to.
- Channel name. Does it help viewers understand what your channel is about, does it reflect the idea and essence of the channel, does it help to find the channel in search results? For example, if you named the channel with your first and last name, this is good, but this will only work in the future when your name is already on everybody’s lips. But if you named the channel "Sasha Ivanov: how to fix a faucet in 5 minutes": this is already much more understandable and can help you with optimization.
- Channel description. Does it motivate the viewer to subscribe because they must immediately understand how you are different from other channels in the niche? Does the description contain information about what types of content you will make and when it will be released on the channel. Have you also listed your contact details or further information about you as the channel creator? For expert channels, it is very important to talk about the channel owner, because it is important for the viewer to understand why they should trust your experience.
- Channel tags. This includes general information about the channel, so you must first list out all the highly used tags that describe the niche. For example, car, vehicle, auto, truck, review, choice, etc. Then you can specify long-tail keywords. For example, a car review, an auto review, a review of Japanese cars, and so on.
- Playlists. Please note that this is a crucial tool for creators. This will help viewers navigate the content on your channel. Playlist will also help increase your chances of your content showing up for certain search queries. Therefore, do not neglect their quality design.
The next step is to work on optimizing each video separately.
- Video title. It is important to remember that the title should explain to the viewer what he will see in the video. For the YouTube algorithm, the title helps determine which viewers to show content to, and for what requests.
- Video description. Try to keep the same clear description structure. This will contain useful information for viewers, be beautifully designed and easy to read. The description should also contain relevant keywords and search terms for YouTube itself.
Don't ignore things like timestamps. Many people say that timestamps can hurt viewer retention because the viewer will have a chance to choose the part they want. However this point is heavily debated. Timestamps can also help retain the viewer by giving them what they want, without having to wait.
When viewers watch a video without timestamps they may not wait for the information they want to hear. If your video has a long intro or several other questions you may lose your viewer. They were looking for one piece of information but may choose not to wait. In this situation, timestamps will gain you the view and watch time. The person will go directly to the point in your video they are interested in. This is much better than if your viewer leaves within the first minute of your video.
Also, always keep in mind tools such as hashtags. The hashtag in the description works like a hyperlink. It leads to a search results page that contains other videos with the same hashtag.
A wise tip is to create video description templates. This way you will make both your life and your viewers’ life easier.
- Video tags. This is no longer significant, but it is still an important tool for creators. Tags help YouTube determine which viewers, keywords, and queries to showcase your video on. So do your best to include video tags where relevant.
Make sure you use all the platform features: end screens, tooltips, header links, short URLs, premieres, live broadcasts, pinned comments under the video, channel trailer, Shorts, etc. All this is important for creators because YouTube continually recommends those who use its functionality to the fullest.
The channel community is another great tool for maintaining audience loyalty. Posts with current news of your niche and channel, with some backstage picture or behind the scenes content. This will help you interact more and get closer to your audience.
Another important thought that applies to the entire channel content - try to choose topics for videos in a way that they are all interconnected.
This will increase the “series effect” of your content, which is known to motivate people to watch your videos avidly. With the right design of the playlists, you can keep a huge part of your viewers binge watching.
Let's draw one important conclusion from everything we have learned today: self-analysis of your content quality and the channel as a whole is an important part of your work on YouTube. Remember that you don’t need to do these checks all the time.
Ideally, you should have a channel checkup once every six months to simply track the growth of your channel and its relevance in its niche.
This practice will not only help improve your channel but it will keep you focused on continually improving the quality of your content. Good luck!