YouTube tips and tricks
When having your videos uploaded to the university’s YouTube channel, it’s important to include descriptive titles, good tags and a helpful description. Remember, these will not only help your videos be found on YouTube, but everywhere else too: YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine. So write with search engine optimization in mind:
- Keep it brief and descriptive (100 characters max.)
- Don’t include your school or department in the title; that’s valuable real estate that can be saved for the description
- Include keywords that people might use when searching for your topic
- Make it interesting – would you want to click on this video if you came across it?
- Be concise. Only the first paragraph shows up under your video (before you have to “click for more”) so use it wisely
- You can add a lengthier description after that if needed
- Include the speaker’s name, the topic of their talk, the date the video was recorded and helpful keywords
- By default, all videos uploaded to the Vanderbilt YouTube channel include links to Vanderbilt’s social media. You should also include links specific to your video: more information about the research, a link to your playlist, your school or department’s website, ways to donate, etc.
- YouTube will choose a thumbnail for you, so this is optional
- YouTube doesn’t always choose the most flattering thumbnail, so creating your own is recommended
- Choose a strong, clear image that pops: close up of a face, compelling images, bright colors. Think about how they will look on the Suggested Videos screen that appears after your video has played
- You can use either a screen grab from your video, or a related photo
- Send high res images, 640px x 360px minimum
- Try to use an image that complements your video’s Title
- YouTube uses these keywords to serve your video to new viewers, so keep them both specific to the video and general to the topic
- Use between six and 10 keywords
- Try to include keywords from your Title in your Tags
- Think about how people search, and what keywords they might use
- “Vanderbilt University” is always a tag, as default
- In addition to assisting viewers with hearing loss or who speak a different language, transcripts also help your videos reach a larger audience through keywords
- Because transcribing a lecture is not always feasible, this step is optional
- Providing a transcript for a produced piece, however, is recommended, as the script already exists
- To create a transcript, save the file as plain text (.txt)
- Use brackets to denote background sounds, e.g. [music]
- Use >> to denote a change in speaker
If you have any questions about Vanderbilt’s YouTube channel, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to YouTube’s Creator Hub for the food for thought!