Optimizing Your YouTube Channel

Picture of Aliza ShermanAliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.

Optimizing Your YouTube Channel

Video remains an important part of social media marketing, and Facebook and YouTube continue to battle to be the top video social media platform with Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat rounding out the top five video platforms online. YouTube has the advantage of being owned by Google which means videos housed on its servers regularly appear at the top of Google searches.

If you’re looking to optimize and leverage your presence on YouTube, you could start by using it to archive videos you produce. If you have the time and resources, you could treat YouTube more like a broadcast channel where you post regular videos to build an audience. You might opt to do both archiving and regular publishing.

Any approach you take can help make YouTube a more valuable part of your social media marketing, but where do you start?

The Basics

Start with making sure you’ve set up your YouTube channel properly and thoroughly. Your YouTube channel should consist of some key elements, namely:

  1. A clear name for your channel, either brand-related or descriptive.
  2. A concise description containing some key words for searchability.
  3. Links to your most used social networks.
  4. A banner and profile image that best reflects your brand.
  5. A trailer video that provides a first impression for new visitors to your channel.
  6. Calls to action asking visitors to subscribe - in the videos and captions.

Once your YouTube channel is set up, move on to using it more often, either opting for a lower maintenance option or higher one.

Lower Maintenance Optimization

If you are limited in resources but looking to leverage YouTube to improve your Google search results, start with the archive approach. Here are a few steps to take.

Upload to YouTube with Tags. If you are posting videos to Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, or the like, take a moment to also upload them to YouTube. If your videos are saved to your computer, go to the YouTube website to upload them. If you are on a tablet or smartphone, download the YouTube app to your device for smoother uploads.

Make sure to write a concise description for each video and tag each one with relevant key words to help with searchability.

Set up Playlists. Playlists organize your videos under categories and then play consecutively. You can categorize by social network or types of videos with Playlists for your TikTok videos and Instagram Reels, for example, or Product Demos and Live Events.

You can also take a topic approach. For example, if you are a party planner, showcase your expertise through short videos and organize them by Party Decoration Ideas, Quick and Easy Appetizers, and Party Etiquette. If you’re a pet shop, organize content by different types of animals - dogs, cats, reptiles, and fish - or by products - leashes and collars, habitats, food and treats, etc.

By adding all the videos that you produce to YouTube - even those made for other social networks - you are building a library of videos that are representative of your brand. If you want to take your YouTube Channel to the next level, there are more steps you’ll need to take to build it out.

Higher Maintenance Optimization

Placing more emphasis on YouTube and video production could prove fruitful from some companies. Make sure you have a good business reason to put more resources toward YouTube. Here are some things to consider as you plan a more robust YouTube strategy.

Focus. What will be the purpose and focus of your YouTube channel and the videos you publish? You could product educational videos or product demonstrations or go for entertainment like a talk show or episodic show format. You could even stream live on YouTube.

Style. Decide on and design the visual style of your videos. Will you produce short form or longer form videos? Will there be animation, live action, or talking heads? Will you do fast cuts or smooth transitions. Everything about the style of your videos should be on brand and tailored to appeal to your target audience.

Setting. Will you be filming mostly on location or in an office or studio? Where you will do most of your filming could determine how much investment you’ll need to make in equipment to help produce consistent, quality videos.


Once you know the type of videos you want to produce and the setting or settings you’ll most likely use, make sure you have the right equipment to produce quality videos. While you can use your smartphone for a lot of your photographic needs, it may not always be able to capture video at the level that is suitable for your brand image.

Your videos should be well-lit with clear sound, and you may need to purchase lights or microphones to augment what your phone can do. This could include a ring light to evenly light faces and a microphone attachment that is compatible with your smartphone.


A well-managed YouTube Channel usually includes a regular posting schedule. Your posting frequency and consistency can help you build some momentum - and an audience - for your videos.


Your YouTube channel can’t thrive in a vacuum. Simply building it out won’t attract subscribers. While the most direct way to get new subscribers is to pay for advertising on YouTube, Google, and Google’s ad network, linking to your videos from your most-used social networks can also help.

If you put in the effort to optimize your YouTube channel, make sure you give it the attention it needs to continue to grow and provide value in your social media marketing mix.