6 min and 30 sec read
Did you know there are 31 million YouTube channels? That number will continue to grow. With so many channels, are you actively trying to stand out? Are you using tactics to increase your followers, subscribers, and likes? Do you know how to create an optimized YouTube for home builders? Continue reading to learn how…
But before I dive into things, let me explain why this is important. Gaining visibility of your YouTube channel can improve your SEO, your brand awareness overall and numerous other reasons. It’s a great avenue to take advantage of to gain quality backlinks and to gain more prospects.
The first step in having an optimized YouTube Channel is to properly name all of your videos. The goal with step number one is to name these video files before you upload them onto YouTube. This might be challenging if you already have an established channel. However, you could start fresh with a brand new channel and know from the very beginning it’s been optimized to its full potential.
You can’t just name your video files randomly; the name has to contain at least one target keyword. For home builders and developers, a target keyword can be any of the following:
When you consider which keywords to include in naming your video file, think about what your target audience would search for in trying to find your products and services online.
Once you decide what to name your video file, it’s time to upload it to YouTube. You can upload your videos at the top right-hand corner of your channel. Each video title is a requirement for YouTube. In order to maximize your optimization with your title, you must insert your keywords naturally.
In addition, you also have to take into consideration the content of the video. Be sure your keywords in the title relate directly to what plays in the video. For example, one of my developer clients has an optimized channel and one of th video’s title is “Office Space for Lease in Palm Harbor on US19”.
In my client’s example, a viewer can clearly determine what the video is going to be about. Make it as easy as possible for people to find you and your products. For those of you wondering, the keywords were “Office Space”, “Palm Harbor”, and “US19”.
Not only can you optimize your file name and title, but you can also optimize your video description. Keep in mind that there’s a 5,000 character limit (including spaces) for descriptions but only the first two to three lines appear to the viewer at first. In order to read your whole description, your audience would have to click “Show More”.
Because of this, you must frontload the description with the most important information. For instance, include CTAs (call-to-actions) or links for more details in these first lines. In my client’s example, I included the full address of the available property on the first couple lines, so viewers know exactly where the property is located.
I continued to describe the property in the rest of the video description. For example, I included how many tenants it could hold comfortably, square footage of the building, and the stores surrounding the property.
You can always include the video’s transcript after the frontloading information if you wish. It certainly can’t hurt because some viewers might even watch your video without sound. I also recommend adding your brand’s hashtags in the video description for more reach. In fact, I added five to each one of my client’s videos.
After you optimize your video description, the fourth step is to add Tags. YouTube allows you to add tags by entering comma-separated values. Tags also have a character limit, 500 to be exact. Tags inform the viewer and help YouTube classify your video content to show to the right audience.
When thinking of which tags to add, think about the keywords you used in your description, title, and video file name. What’s the most important aspect of your video? What goals do you have with this video? Where was this video filmed? My client’s example tags include “Palm Harbor”, “Office Space”, “US19”, “End Unit for Lease”, and “Near Harbor Hills”.
Other examples for tags you can use include the following:
All tags you create remain in your channel and can be used to categorize your videos. In other words, once each video has appropriate tags, YouTube categorizes your videos with these tags you created.
The next step is to add customized thumbnail images to your videos. Most of the time, thumbnail images are either a snapshot of what is in the video or what drives people to watch the video in the first place. It’s the first impression people have when browsing your YouTube videos and channel.
The YouTube definition of Thumbnail is “A good thumbnail stands out and draws viewers’ attention.” YouTube also automatically creates thumbnail options for you based on interval sections of your uploaded video file. You can choose one of their four options, but it’s better to have it be custom based on your brand’s message.
For your purposes, you want a thumbnail image that includes your brand and something distinctive about the video. In my client’s example, I created custom thumbnail images depending on the Playlist categories. They have different types of buildings for lease and each type of building is separated into its own Playlist. I will discuss Playlists later in this article.
Essentially, my client has different versions of Thumbnails to use depending on the property tour. When creating custom thumbnail images, here are the ideal specs: 1280×720 (16:9 ratio) and no larger than 2MB.
One of the last steps in having a fully optimized YouTube channel is to take advantage of Cards and End Screens. Cards are interactive elements added to videos that can be used to promote videos, playlists, your website, merchandise, or channels. These appear on both desktop and mobile to your viewers and can be added for free to any related and new videos.
You can add Cards by going to your YouTube Studio. Basically, Cards are pop-ups that appear to your audience when they are watching your video. You first go to your Videos in YouTube Studio, then pick which video to add your Cards to. In the Editor tab, you can see the option “Add Card” in the middle of the page after you scroll down.
End Screens, on the other hand, are also referred to as “End Card” or “Endslate”. These are one of the many YouTube features that appear in the last five to 20 seconds of a video. You can use End Screens to promote videos, playlists, merchandise, and external websites. You can add these within your YouTube Studio as well.
You can get to your YouTube Studio by your channel or either by the top right-hand corner near your profile icon. Then head over to your Videos, the tab under Dashboard. Then in your video editing options, go to Editor. Within Editor, you can add End Screen graphics in the middle of the page where it says, “Add an End Screen”. This is the same place as where you added your Cards.
A Playlist on YouTube is a list, or group of videos that plays in order, one after the other. This is a way for your viewers to watch your videos in a specific sequence rather than watching the auto-play videos which could be from any YouTuber. When one video finishes, your next one starts automatically without your viewer clicking or searching for your next video.
In my client’s example, I categorized the playlists into the many types of buildings they are leasing or selling. For example, the playlists are the following: Warehouses for Lease, Retail Spaces for Lease, Homes for Rent or Sale, Office Space for Lease, Automotive Spaces for Lease. Another way to approach this is to create a playlist depending on the style of home you’re building.
Overall, you can create a playlist focusing on anything you’d like. However, be sure it makes sense to the video content. It’s best to create a Playlist containing on similar videos in a related category. In order to create a Playlist, go to Customize Channel within your YouTube profile. From there you can see the Playlists option and hit “New Playlist” to create a new one.
Hopefully, these seven steps land you with new likes, subscribers, and viewers! If you have any tips, questions, or comments about these steps please comment below. How many subscribers do you have on your YouTube channel? How many more do you have now that you have an optimized profile?
About Terry Zelen
Creative Director | Consultant | Author | President of Zelen Communications
Terry Zelen is a seasoned Creative Director with more than 35 years of experience in Home Builder advertising and marketing.
He is the founder of The Punch List, which is an online blog to help inform home builders and developers on strategic marketing insights to fuel their firm.
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