10 Tips For Maximizing Your Discoverability On YouTube

By Megan O'Neill Comment

YouTube DiscoverabilityIn the world of YouTube it’s all about being discovered. You want people to find and watch the videos that you are posting, but how do you make yourself and your videos more discoverable? YouTube recently added a section to their Partner Communications Hub with tips for discoverability on the site. We’ve compiled a list of 10 tips for maximizing your discoverability made up of YouTube’s partner presentation, as well as some of our own. Read more after the jump and get ready to be discovered!

Create Lots Of Content

If you really want to get noticed on YouTube then one of the best ways is to create lots of content. YouTube tells its partners, “The more content, the more related video clicks, the bigger the reach.” Additionally, the more videos that you have on different topics, the more searches your videos will come up in.

Think about it this way: If you have a single video on YouTube, let’s say it is about an orangutan playing the flute, your video will only show up in very specific searches (i.e. orangutan, flute, monkeys). However, if you have other videos about Chihuahuas, ducks, zebras and koalas then your videos will show up in a much larger variety of search results. People watching your koala video may even decide to see what else you’ve uploaded and share your Frisbee orangutan video with their friends!

Optimize Your Metadata

When it comes time to write your video title, description and tags don’t rush it. You should spend some time thinking about how you can maximize the SEO of this metadata as well ensure that your title and description will be attractive to potential viewers. YouTube provides a few tips for how to optimize this information.


The title is incredibly important. You want to create a title that is not only catchy, but also describes what your video is by using highly relevant and searched for words. If you need help coming up with keywords, you can use the YouTube Keyword Tool to get keyword ideas.


In your description you should focus on detailed and precise accounts of what your video is about. Include information about places, people and background. You should also account for common misspellings and capitalizations and different languages and use synonyms for words and ideas that are frequently said in different ways. You want to ensure that your video can be found by people no matter how they search, so try to think of all the possible ways people may look for content on the topic of your video.


When writing tags in YouTube, account for related topics, places, people, brands and commonly misspelled words and typos. Again, you can use the YouTube Keyword Tool if you need help coming up with tag ideas.

Utilize Your Social Networks

Don’t rely on YouTube searches alone when it comes to people discovering your content. Share your videos on your social networks – Twitter, Facebook, Digg and more. Email bloggers who write blogs on topics related to your video and send them a link. The more coverage that you can get outside of YouTube the better!

Take Advantage of Annotations

Annotations are one of the most useful YouTube features. With annotations, you can create notes and links within your videos. Ask viewers questions, provide links to direct your viewers to other videos that you have created, link to your subscription page and more. Sure, it may take a few extra minutes of your time to add annotations to your video, but the results are definitely worth it.

Ask Your Viewers To Subscribe

When you upload a new video, add an annotation or a note in the description asking your viewers to subscribe if they like your clip. When a user subscribes to your videos they are more likely to come back and watch more of your videos in the future, share videos with their friends and become a loyal fan. Note that not all viewers will subscribe simply because you are asking, but there are a lot of people who will subscribe because you are asking when they may not have thought of doing so otherwise.

Respond To Feedback

On YouTube, viewers like to feel like they are involved. They like to feel like they are getting to know the power users that they have come to know and love over months of watching their clips. One of the best ways to strengthen the relationship between yourself and your viewers is by responding to their feedback. Read the comments on your clips. Are people making suggestions? Asking you why you did a certain thing? Respond to these people. You can also ask your viewers questions to get them involved in your creation process. By responding to their feedback you are not only making them feel involved, but also improving the quality of your videos by giving the viewers what they want.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Bulletin

YouTube recently launched a new social bulletin feature, which allows content creators to post links and communicate with subscribers. When you post a new bulletin it will appear on the homepage of all of your subscribers. Each time you post a new video, post a bulletin. Of course, if you don’t have any subscribers this won’t help you. However, even if you have no or few subscribers, start posting bulletins to get in the habit. Once your subscriber base grows you’ll start to see the effects.

Create Playlists

YouTube suggests creating playlists “to group your content by themes and which take users automatically to your next videos.” This is especially helpful once you have a lot of videos on your channel, as it helps your viewers to sift through and find the videos about the subjects they are most interested in. Additionally, it will keep viewers on your channel for longer as they will be directed from one video to the next.

Choose The Best Thumbnail

After you upload your video to YouTube you will have a choice of which thumbnail you want to appear before your viewers click to play your video. This is also the thumbnail that will appear in the search results. Choose the option that is the most attention grabbing. Unfortunately, only YouTube partners have the ability to create custom thumbnails and from time to time you may not have any amazing thumbnails to choose from. However, do your best to choose the best option available.

Create Captions and Subtitles

You want your video to be available to as many viewers as possible. If you add captions to your videos, not only will hearing impaired viewers be able to watch them, but people who speak different languages will be able to use YouTube’s automatic translation feature to translate your videos into their native language so that they can watch too!

By following these ten simple tips you can greatly increase your discoverability on YouTube. Have you used any of these methods? What has the result been?