How to Grow Your Youtube Channel 2018

Resources & Tips for Small YouTubers

So some of your Youtube stats are good and some not so good. We’re going to turn you on to some great resources and useful tips to help get those numbers up.
Last week's video we talked about the importance of calculating certain key performance indicators like how many subs per views your channel gets and how they’re an indication of your channel achieving growth, more views, more subs. This week we're going look at tips and resources to help affect those numbers.
The big advantage of YouTube is that it's a storefront for video. They help potential viewers find your videos and your channel. The caveat? They’re also helping everyone else. So the key here is to help YouTube help you. Youtube wants this because the more viewers that watch more videos for a longer amount of time equal more ad revenue.

Tags & Keywords
YouTube is constantly evolving how they promote videos. It used to be a good idea to copy and paste the script of your whole video into its youtube description. Then it changed to making the video title the first item in the description and your tags. 
But now YouTube transcribes your video for you in order to create closed captioning which means they know what’s in your video and use that transcription for SEO now. So video tags and keywords in your description are just not as important as they used to be.
So what is the prevailing advice? Make sure that the first sentence or two you say in your video contain the important keywords in them. And since you can’t change your video after, you need to put some thought into what you say before you record it.
This brings up keywords, tags and search terms. In order to help someone find you, you need to be clear what is it that they're looking for. If we produce a video about what the hell the difference is between lux and lumens I have to take some time to think and act like a person searching for that video. What terms will they use? 
The general advice out there is to use keyword research sites to find what are the best search terms but to be honest I found them to be marginally useful. There're only so many search terms for lighting, filmmaking, and videography. As I attempt to find which one is the best tag I generally find it’s limited to what I’ve already figured out. I mean, if I'm doing a review of the Canon C 100 guess what I'm going to put in the first sentence and the title: review of the Canon C 100.
It’s not that hard, you just have to think like a viewer and yes, those sites can help get you there or at least tell you if you’re already on the right track. Check out sites like word tracker and buzz sumo and do searches there around your channel or video’s content.  

VidIQ & Tubebuddy
What is also useful is to see the tags other people are using or not using on their YouTube videos with similar content to yours, and we use VidIQ for that. Other Youtubers also recommend Tubebuddy. 
VidIq is a plugin for Youtube and the free service shows you the tags used on any video and make it easy to copy and paste them. It also shows the rankings of that video for its top performing tags. I also find it useful to review our published videos to see how they’re doing with certain tags
It also helps you during the publishing process of your videos to score your potential SEO and the pay version will give you suggested tags.

Youtube Search Rankings
So this brings us to rankings. As you may know, YouTube is the second most used search engine after Google. This means when someone searches for a topic your video covers, it would be nice for it to show up on that first page. 
What currently affects these rankings? A lot and too much to go into but the guys at Backlinko have done it for us. Earlier in 2017, they put out an amazing Youtube search ranking report based on analyzing 1.3 Million YouTube Videos. 
They discovered that the subscriber size of your channel has a small effect on your search rankings. In other words, a video with fewer subscribers could outperform a video from a channel with millions. 
They also found no correlation between keyword rich descriptions and rankings in YouTube search, even though this has been a best practice forever. They’re still important though to help you show up as suggested videos in the sidebar.
They did find that longer videos over 14 minutes with high engagement rates ranked very high. This makes sense as Youtube wants to keep viewers on Youtube for as long as possible, and now have ads that play in the middle of a video vs just pre-roll ads. 
Bottom line I got from their report? Youtube is getting better at what they do and quality content wins in the end, regardless of length.

Youtube Ranking Factors by Backlinko

One online service we recently discovered that’s super helpful is Morningfame. It combs through your Youtube analytics and puts them into a form you can actually use. It's like having your very own analytics team.
They compare all your videos in the order uploaded and track how each video is doing compared to your others. You can see which vids are a snooze and which excel. 
How one video that maybe did okay in views, did great in engagement and actually helped your channel grow.
Or another that had great views and engagement, but didn’t really stick and help with growth.
They also send you an email 24 hours after a video goes live with its stats and show your thumbnails next to yours from similar videos that come up in search. 
They have a detailed strategy advice section showing videos that worked and why, and those they think didn’t
I can not tell you how awesome this service is. The most important objective, is your channels growth and they analyze is so well. 
I know I’m gushing on them like crazy but I just love it when a service actually works. I mean, getting an email with actual useful advice vs the standard BS fluff that is so tiring to ignore, yes, I am gushing, and no, they are not a sponsor. 
Morningfame has a one month free trial and otherwise is $4.90 US monthly.

Your Channel Homepage
The majority of subscriptions come from a channels home page, not the video pages. It’s probably because when a viewer likes one of your videos, they then check out your channel page to get an overview of the content you produce. Help them, and make sure something is there. I see a lot of channels with an empty homepage or very little on it.
There are two tabs, “For Returning Subscribers” and “For New Visitors.” Check the visitor's tab to see what someone unsubscribed sees. Add an intro video or one of your best videos as a highlight reel, channel description text and then throw in some rows of videos below it.

Video Titles
Writing titles is an art. I found Mark Timberlake’s course Write Titles Like A Professional Copywriter on Udemy very helpful. He gets you to think like the person searching for your content and what will entice them to click. The course is geared towards blog posts but works on Youtube. You just need to shorten them a bit more.

Copywriting - Write Titles Like A Professional Copywriter by Mark Timberlake

Don’t number your titles or add your channel name to them. They already know what your channel name is and who cares what number it is in the series. If it’s really important, put it in the thumbnail or end of the title, not the beginning. Otherwise, you’re just making it harder for a viewer to figure out what your content is about.

For some of you might be thinking I just want to make videos and not deal with all this marketing crap. And I can get it but you can either be a person who just makes videos and that’s fine or someone who makes videos that people actually watch. 
If you do all that work to make a video, do the work to help people find you.
Getting good numbers on Youtube feels great. But more important, is knowing when you don’t and why, so you can do something about it. Producing anything creative is a process and getting the useful feedback you need to impact is invaluable.

Editing / After Effects
Gali Segal

“Right Place, Right Time”
by Silent Partner from YouTube Audio Library

“Why Did You Do it”
By Everet Almond from YouTube Audio Library

Our Amazon Affiliate Store

Thanks to our Youtuber buddies at the Small Youtuber Zone group for letting us use their clips

Dylan Swain
The Caitie Diaries

Copywriting - Write Titles Like A Professional Copywriter by Mark Timberlake

Youtube Ranking Factors by Backlinko

Morning Fa-me

Keyword Search terms