One thing that we can all agree on is that creating a high-quality video takes a lot of efforts. Yes, you can choose the easy way and create a low-quality content, but in long-term, that won’t get you anywhere. It’s just a waste of time and energy. Quality content, on the other hand, will get first few subscribers and might even rank in YouTube search.
But even though, you have created a high-quality original video, the job is not done yet. There are several things you need to make sure of, before you publish your video, like – creating a thumbnail, writing optimises description, subtitles, etc etc.
So, here’s the checklist of things you should do before hitting the publish button on YouTube.
Table of Contents
YouTube Checklist Before Publishing a Video
1. Write a Catchy Title
Although you should not write a click-bait title, it shouldn’t be simple as well. Use YouTube autocomplete feature to find out what people are searching. Make sure to include the keyword at the beginning of the title and consider adding your channel name at the end of the for better brand recall. If you notice, Google does it in SERP as well.
For example – I recently did a video on top 10 tools for YouTubers. But, since there are no searches for this keyword, I changed the title to — Grow your YouTube channel fast with these 10 online tools. The keyword is Grow your YouTube channel fast, which I found using YouTube autocomplete feature. The title still accurately represents the content and can rank for the search term – grow youtube channel fast.
2. Enter a Complete Description
YouTube gives most preference to keywords that are in the title, followed by a description, and then tags. So, make sure your keyword appears in the description as well, especially the first two lines of your description, as it comes along with the video in search results.After that, write the brief intro of what the video is all about and include all the links used in the video.
You should include –
- Credit links to music any resources that you have
- Link to related video
- Link to your channel page
- Links to gadgets you use like video editing software and camera etc
- Links to any resources that you have talked about in your video.
- And finally, links to your social media and website.
Pro Tip: You can enter all the common things if your upload default page settings, so that you don’t have to type it again and again.
3. Add Descriptive Tags
When YouTube was young, there was no way to see what’s inside the video, the title was not sufficient; therefore YouTube suggests tags descriptive keywords that will help people find your videos. But, the internet has evolved a lot, The automatic English caption generated by YouTube is pretty accurate, so it’s safe to assume that YouTube already knows what’s the content of the video. I personally don’t focus much on tags as YouTube algorithm has evolved a lot now.
To find proper tags, just search for your title on YouTube or Google and copy paste the title of first few results. Most of them are well optimised for SEO and that’s the reason why they are on the top of SERP. Though make sure accurately describe the video.
Wrong use of tags
tips & tricks, how-to, YouTube, YouTuber, etc
Right use of tags
Tips to grow YouTube channel
How to become a successful YouTuber
Pro tip: You can find tags for any YouTube video by using the chrome extension like Tags for YouTube.
4. Find an Awesome Thumbnail
Thumbnail decides whether people will click on your video or not. So, it makes sense to spend a good amount of time, preparing the thumbnail. No matter what, try to keep your thumbnail consistent from the beginning.
I’ve seen many small YouTube channel putting too much text on a thumbnail. Just remember more than 50% of views come from the smartphone. So make sure your thumbnail should be simple, carry one message or at most two. Take a look at bigger YouTube channel, you’ll see these thumbnails are either only interesting face shots or a combination of face shots with the product. Not fancy text or anything. Keep it simple
I use a close-up face shot (or the product if there is no face shot in the video) and add some text on another side. Don’t worry you don’t have to be a graphic designer to make an awesome thumbnail for YouTube, use Canva to create professional thumbnails.
5. Monetize Your Video
If you have a smaller audience, then it’s better not to monetize your video for first few days after publishing it. There are two reasons why I ask you to do this — one, you won’t make much ad-revenue if you only get few thousand views in first few days, and it’s also not a good idea to show ads to your regular customer.
However, if you have a relatively bigger channel (100k subs or more), then pay extra attention to video monetization before you publish. All big YouTube channels get most of their views from the subs within 24 hours of publishing a video.
6. Add Info Cards and End Screen
YouTube has replaced the clickable text overlay (a.k.a annotation) with smarter, mobile-optimized “cards”.
But at the same time, much like Facebook, YouTube want their users to stay on their platform, so only when it’s necessary, add a card that takes the audience from YouTube to some external site. Also, make sure to use End Screen feature at the end of your video to take the user to next related video.
I prefer leaving a 5 sec black screen at the end of each video. This solves two purpose:
It gives a cinematic feel to your video. You might have seen when the show like silicon valley or game of thrones end, there is long music while the credits are rolling up. This music gives people to time relax and soak in the content. You can add End Screen on the black screen towards the end, this will increase the chances of people clicking on it.
7. Add to Playlist(s)
YouTube is moving more towards lean-back experience, They want people to watch a video like they do in traditional TV i.e. switch to one channel and then relax, not changing the channel every minute. Especially, now that they are using total watch time of your channel for boosting your videos. And playlist is a great way to increase watch time of your channel. Once you upload the video see if it fits any of your playlists. If it does, add them right then and there, this is the only time you’ll get.
The journey is still not over after you hit the publish button, it’s time to promote your video to your social media handles.
Now, there are a plethora of social media and each one has their own audience, the majority of people who use Facebook don’t go to Twitter, similarly Twitter audience don’t follow Reddit. Yes, they might occasionally go there, but most of the time, they stay in the ecosystem they are comfortable in.
Now, keep this in mind, you might be tempted to build your presence on every social media platform, right? But, I don’t recommend that in the beginning. It’s extremely hard to have a presence on every social media platform. Every platform has their own culture. I suggest you stick to one that really resonates with you, and has merely a presence on another platform. For me, I use twitter a lot, if you are into food and travel genre than Instagram works better or even Facebook.
I would prefer being active on one social media while just releasing the video to every other. Before uploading a video, you can mention uploading in your tweet, this way people will know a video is coming in few hours. And will give you an initial boost.
9. Reply to comments
In the early day of your YouTube career, you should reply to every comment you get. It builds trust. The best time to reply is just after you publish the video. This helps in two way –
1. Show that you care about your audience, and they will come back next time to post comments
2. If you have fairly bigger YouTube channel, like mine. Then you’ll get close to 50-100 comments each day, and it’s not possible to reply to them each one of them. However, I reply to most comments after publishing the video.
10. Promote Across Existing Videos
Most of the video is a continuation of your old video. If you make apps review video then chances are you might have an old video on the same topic that is doing well in search, So why not leverage the pin comment.
You can also add links to your new video in old related video and pin that comment. This will drive the traffic from old video to the new one.