8 YouTube Optimization Features You Aren’t Using Yet


8 YouTube Optimization Features You Aren’t Using Yet

TL;DR YouTube Features to Improve Views and Engagement

Add video branding watermarks

Use video thumbnails for added branding and improved expertise

Section movies utilizing Chapters

Repurpose content material utilizing mobile-friendly, short-form video with YouTube Shorts

Upload captions to movies for added accessibility

Optimize all the things for discoverability, together with however not restricted to: titles and descriptions, hashtags, and curated playlists

Increase channel engagement with playing cards and finish screens

Review YouTube Studio Analytics to regulate and enhance your efforts


Diving Deeper into YouTube Features

YouTube is approaching its 20-year anniversary and stays the highest video-sharing platform in addition to the second largest social media platform. With over 2.6 billions energetic customers as of 2023, there are nonetheless so many alternatives so that you can outshine the competitors.

With so many eyeballs and so little time, what’s a model to do? You could also be creating nice content material however you additionally might not be utilizing YouTube to its full potential. You must sustain your rating and general YouTube search engine marketing afterall.

I sat with Anna Hrach and Amanda Stevenson, knowledgeable advertising strategists at Convince and Convert, to be taught what they’ve found throughout YouTube audits for a number of the world’s high manufacturers.

Check out these YouTube optimization options you might not be doing simply but, however you should be.

Add Branding Watermarks

YouTube watermarks
Credit: backlinko

Located on the lower-left nook of a video, a branding watermark permits viewers to subscribe to your channel immediately whereas they’re partaking together with your content material. This is particularly useful if the viewer stumbles upon your video and has by no means visited your channel earlier than.

Decide whether or not you’ll use a branded picture, like your emblem, or an icon. Also, take into account designing the watermark to appear like a YouTube subscribe button since viewers might not understand it’s clickable, and this may subtly sign the motion they will take in your content material.

Create Custom Thumbnails

Before a viewer clicks in your video, they’ll see a thumbnail picture. YouTube robotically chooses three nonetheless photographs out of your video to make use of as thumbnails, however that you must create a customized thumbnail to maximise your video’s affect. Go past easy display captures with hero-like static photographs to show new titles and create consistency all through your channel.

Thumbnails are like ebook covers and might entice a click on in your video. They give a clear and arranged look to your channel, and so they additionally assist individuals see what you’re all about at a look. You can apply the “rule of thirds” to compose attention-grabbing and dynamic photographs, overlaying together with your branding and descriptive textual content. If you add textual content, be sure that to make use of a font that’s straightforward to learn on-screen, and hold your font selection constant throughout all thumbnails.

For instance, the corporate Elvie affords hands-free and wearable breastfeeding instruments and supplies loads of how-tos, suggestions and hacks. Their video thumbnails are branded, which makes them recognizable, plus they clearly current the subject. Also, the brief textual content offers the viewer a preview of the content material and context of the video.

Elvie YouTube video thumbnail examples
Credit: Elvie

Another model that’s making nice use of thumbnails is Whole Foods Market, as they hold their emblem on video thumbnails for rapid model consciousness .

Whole Foods Youtube thumbnails example
Credit: Whole Foods


Include Video Chapters

Short-form video viewing is excessive, and endurance is low. But that doesn’t imply you must cease creating long-form movies. Instead, break them up into shorter, clearly recognized segments that individuals can simply click on via.

Video chapters assist divide your long-form video content material into digestible sections. You can add info and context to every part, so the watcher can leap to what pursuits them or they will rewatch a bit extra simply.

Youtube video chapters

Credit: tubics.com


You can add your individual customized chapters to every video. Or YouTube can robotically create chapters for you; this might help take away a number of the heavy lifting that may include detailed chapter creation, however the outcomes received’t at all times be good.

Video chapters are additionally extremely helpful and a should for long-form movies which have loads of info, reminiscent of webinars or occasion protection. However, chapters are additionally beneficial for movies the place chapters simply make sense, like listicle-style movies.

Take Advantage of YouTube Shorts

YouTube shorts

Credit: Content 10x

70% of YouTube watch time comes from cell units, and short-form video is now probably the most partaking and sought-after types of content material.

To be aggressive on this ever scrolling universe, YouTube has rolled out YouTube Shorts. These micro-videos permit your viewers to extra simply watch your content material from their cell gadget, versus the standard YouTube horizontal format.

You can create YouTube shorts as much as 60-seconds lengthy, by recording immediately within the Youtube app. You also can use present video, which makes YouTube shorts a superb choice for repurposing present content material and rising discoverability. Also, as of proper now, YouTube algorithms are favoring YouTube shorts!

Add Video Captions

Youtube captions

Don’t neglect to add your individual captions. YouTube does assist computerized captioning, but it surely’s not at all times correct. You can both edit these computerized captions, or you’ll be able to add your individual SRT recordsdata. While it does add additional time to your content material course of, you’ll be able to proceed to have interaction viewers who could also be watching on mute. Also, creating accessible content material ought to now simply be a regular a part of your creation course of, since not everybody engages with or is ready to devour content material in the identical method.

SubRip Subtitle recordsdata (SRT) are plain-text recordsdata that comprise subtitle info. They embrace begin and cease occasions subsequent to the subtitle textual content, which ensures they’ll be displayed at precisely the correct second in your video.

When you add SRT recordsdata to native video platforms like YouTube, they’re listed by Google and turn into crawlable — a bonus search engine marketing profit! All the key phrase phrases in your video turn into searchable, which helps you present up in additional searches.

Optimize for YouTube Discoverability

Youtube Discoverability Optimization example

Credit: Adam Erhart/ Sample of YouTube playlist with title and outline using key phrases, plus hashtags and hyperlinks.


YouTube discoverability might be improved by optimizing each single component of your video, together with titles, descriptions, hyperlinks, and playlist names. You’ll present up in additional YouTube search outcomes when together with key phrases within the following components:


  • Curated Playlists: YouTube’s algorithm locations extra significance on playlists, because the line-up of content material will hold viewers engaged longer. Use key phrases in your playlists to up discoverability on the platform.


  • Video Titles and Descriptions: Many individuals use video titles as a option to get found on YouTube, however are you additionally being attentive to your descriptions? Make YouTube video descriptions easy, to-the-point, and search-friendly. Also, make the most of the flexibility to share further sources for the person, by including hyperlinks to associated movies or offsite content material, like blogs and social media.


  • Hashtags: Hashtags are proven in two locations on a YouTube video web page: above the video’s title or inside the video description field. And, similar to Instagram and Twitter, once you click on on a hashtag in YouTube, it takes you to different posts that additionally use that very same hashtag. Searchers use hashtags when in search of content material, so related, keyword-rich content material might help them discover your movies, too. Additionally, hashtags assist YouTube higher perceive what your video is about, because it’s crawling for content material.

Leverage Cards & End Screens

You can promote your different movies and channel(s) through the use of Youtube’s playing cards function. Cards seem on desktop and cell units as notifications for viewers. These are wonderful interactive options that will let you share clickable hyperlinks to related content material.

Card varieties embrace:

  • Video
  • Playlist
  • Channel
  • Links
Youtube cards
Credit: Backlinko

Youtube playing cards can be utilized initially of your video, and even mid-video, to drive individuals to associated content material that you really want them to observe.

Want to increase watch time additional? Of course you do! Utilize finish screens to extend viewership of your content material, by directing viewers to different movies within the final 5-20 seconds of the video they’re presently viewing.

Youtube end screens Neil Patel example
Credit: Neil Patel

Use finish screens to advertise as much as 4 totally different components:

  • A video or playlist
  • Encourage viewers to love and subscribe
  • Cross-promote one other channel
  • Link to authorized web sites

Keep in thoughts that it would be best to depart area on the finish of your video in your finish display components to be featured. Also, it’s vital to notice card teasers and branding watermarks are suppressed throughout an finish display.

Regularly Review Data in YouTube Studio Analytics

When you dive into YouTube metrics, you’ll shortly uncover a wealth of knowledge, from viewers demographics to visitors sources, to the key phrases individuals use to search out your movies.

Take benefit of insights from YouTube analytics to establish the place viewers are trying to find you, discovering you, and what content material is most discoverable in recent times. Don’t neglect to verify content material watch occasions to research themes, subjects, and lengths which have traditionally carried out nicely.


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