I’m Liron Segev and I’m the Director of Customer Success here at vidIQ, which basically means I speak to creators of all sizes. I speak to YouTube creators with two subscribers, 1000 subscribers, a million subscribers, or 9.8 million subscribers, and all within one day. It means I have a helicopter view of what's going on, on YouTube so that I can help you. I know what's working. I know how to give you help. I know how to strategize with you using the vidIQ tool so that you could do YouTube well.
Typically, this training is usually for our internal customers, but we know everybody really wants to understand their YouTube journey, where they're going, what they're doing, and how they can get better. So, we’re sharing this knowledge with everyone, because we're here to help you. Please check out the vidIQ channel on YouTube where you'll find a huge range of resources about succeeding on YouTube. Live webinars for YouTube and the vidIQ tool can be found at vidIQ Live Training - the sessions are held every Wednesday at 10am PT.
If you're new to vidIQ and you've never used it before, please download the Chrome Extension - it’s free to use but we also have paid options available to all users if you want to access even more features. We have a 30 day free trial of our Boost package available so you can try out the full range of features - just click here.
Winning on YouTube: The Basics
YouTube is a search engine, which means people go there to do searches for the content they want to watch. They want to be entertained, they want to know how to do things, they want to understand things about the project they're about to do, or the product they're about to buy. They go to YouTube to research. YouTube has a very clear mission, and that mission is to marry up your videos with what people are searching. If you do random stuff that nobody is searching for, you're simply not going to get those views.
Many of us at vidIQ actually own our own YouTube channels, and we use those channels to understand what you guys are going through, because we are going through the same thing. We know that when you randomly do stuff, it never comes out as expected. This is what happens with YouTube. We grab a camera. We randomly shoot a whole bunch of videos. We come home. We edit frantically. We think, we have a point to be made. We throw up a title, throw up a description, upload it, and go, "I hope this one works." But that really isn’t the right way to do it because no formula, or ‘recipe’ is actually being followed. It’s no wonder that the results are often random or very disappointing.
The 3 D's of YouTube Success
There's three D's when it comes to YouTube:
Discoverability. People need to discover your content - if people don’t know about you or your content you’re never going to be seen by lots of people because you didn't make it easy for YouTube to discover you.
Deliverability. Are you delivering? When somebody watches your video, are you delivering value? Are you giving them what they came here to find? Because if you are, you'll unlock the third D.
Distribution. People that love your content will share it, and YouTube is going to see that people are loving your content and will distribute your video for you. It's all about the three D's, but you've got to be discovered in order for you to deliver on your promise and in order for your videos to be distributed.
The First Key to Success on YouTube: Keyword Research
Almost every successful YouTube video starts with the creator knowing what the audience is searching for. For the purpose of this video, let’s assume they are searching for ‘chocolate cake’. With the vidIQ Chrome Extension installed, let’s go to YouTube and type that term in. You should see this screen:
The first thing to look for is the ‘Search Volume’ score. Chocolate Cake is a solid 100, which is the highest it can be. What does that mean? Essentially, lots of people are looking for chocolate cake, which is great, there is no point making a video nobody's even searching for. Now we've told you the search volume is nice and high. Perfect. Do we go ahead and just make this video now? No, not yet.
The next thing we got to look at is something called the ‘Competition Score.’ What does that mean? Well, we have a high search volume, but look at the competition! Look how many other people are delivering value on this keyword, and how many videos are being made. The ‘Competition Score’ is a solid 89, which means the odds of your ranking amongst these major videos are going to be pretty slim if you only title your YouTube video with the words "chocolate cake’.
vidIQ Tip: Ideally, find a keyword with lots of search volume, and very little competition. It's rare, but when you find it, it's amazing.
How to Know YouTube Content is Still Relevant?
For many people, the amount of views a video has generated indicates how successful it has been. For instance, this video from Tasty has generated 6.5M views to date so we can assume it has done well, right?
Yes, because it has an impressive number of views since being published in October 2017. But how many views is it still getting after all this time. With the vidIQ extension installed, you can check how many views per hour any video is still generating. Zero views per hour would strongly indicate there is no interest in this video content right now, and that’s something to bear in mind while researching content to create. While total views tell one story, views right now tells another. The 'Views per Hour' (VPH) score for the Tasty video above is 395.8, which is still very good.
There is more. Click on the ‘Historical’ tab and it will show you the video’s views over time. This will instantly show you the amount of viewer interest in the topic over time. Are people still watching? Is there still a demand for this keyword? Remember, we haven't picked up our camera yet. All we're doing now is the research. We want to be discovered, so we've got to do that research before we touch that camera. Here I can see very clearly, it's still on the up and up. People are still really interested in chocolate cake, and that’s already a good sign.
vidIQ Takeaway: You win on YouTube by making content that's relevant today.
How to Find the Best Keywords for YOUR Content
‘Chocolate cake’ is still a hugely competitive keyword, so I wouldn't create a video without further research on the topic. Let’s talk about narrowing your search down using YouTube’s own algorithm. Its ‘auto-complete’ feature is basically YouTube's way of saying, "Hey, so many people have searched for chocolate cake, but they've also searched for whatever it is." Let me show you what you do.
You type in ‘chocolate cake, and you press A. Look at these titles that are coming up. Chocolate cake ASMR. Good, that's a thing now. ASMR no talking. Twice. Chocolate cake and kool aid. Just rinse and repeat using all the letters of the alphabet for this trick.
Look at all these titles that it is suggesting to us for ‘chocolate cake A’. Essentially, it's YouTube's own algorithm that says, "Look, so many people have searched for 'chocolate cake from home without oven'. Well, isn't that a perfect title for you to make your video?" You see how I'm honing in on the perfect title, and the perfect direction for my video before I even pick up my camera?
YouTube is showing you what people are searching for. Therefore, the odds of you being discovered suddenly start to skyrocket because you're marrying up your videos with search intent. Win win.
But that’s not the end of it. YouTube is a search engine and what do we do with a search engine? We ask questions. Type ‘chocolate cake’ into the search bar, but this type preface it with ‘which’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘who’, ‘how’, ‘when’ or even ‘why’. Look at the suggestions that pop up that tell you what viewers are searching for!:
Solid keyword research is how you get discovered. You need to make sure that YouTube knows your video is going to answer a specific need and what better way to do it, than understanding the search volume, and competition, then immediately using the YouTube algorithm to understand what's working and what isn't working. That really is the way you start.
vidIQ Takeaway: Don't just pick up your camera and start shooting. Always, always, always start with keyword research first.
Optimizing Your YouTube Videos for the Right Keywords
Let’s take a look at how you should be optimizing your video before you publish. The first thing we look at is the title. The title is arguably the most important thing for YouTube discovery right now. If you're going to hit anything right it's the title, then description, then tags.
Think of it this way, YouTube is a search engine, and the more you can feed the search engine information about your videos it can only help. The most important thing is not to clickbait, not to mislead YouTube engine in any way because it will know. Let’s take a look at how we optimized one of our own videos for a particular keyphrase: ‘How to Grow Your Channel Fast in 2019’
We added that keyphrase in the tile, description and tags to tell YouTube in three different ways what this video is about. Basically, we’re showing YouTube via metadata what this video is about and if anybody is searching for it marry us up to that search.
Using YouTube Keyword Tags for Extra Research
Now, here’s a neat trick we want to show you. On the upload page you can add tags and see how they might perform for you in real time. With the Chrome Extension enabled, let’s type in ‘Valentine’s Day’ as a search term. The tool will start to suggest other terms, each with their own vidIQ score:
Now, if we click on the 'Valentine's Day' tag we've just added a new page opens with a new list of related keywords that immediately tell you what you should be using.
On the same new page, in the ‘Interest Over Time’ report, you can choose from the last 30 days (not recommended for once-a-year events like Valentine’s Day if you’re searching in September), from the last 365 days, or by all time.
When you add a keyword that's so highly searched for, always look at all time because it gives you a much more realistic overview. Because Valentine’s Day is a tentpole event, every single year since 2008 it's been a thing on YouTube, so the odds of it being a thing next year are pretty good. If you didn't make a Valentine's Day video, be sure that it's going to trend again next year so be prepared.
Going back to chocolate cake content, I’d be thinking about content like ‘how to make a chocolate cake for Valentine's Day for your boyfriend’, or wife, or husband or girlfriend 2020 or 202.. That’s evergreen content that will live forever, and interest and traffic will spike every single year at that right opportunity.
vidIQ Takeaway: Search for tentpole events you can create evergreen content around.
Views Per Hour: The Best Time to Publish to YouTube
Remember how we mentioned how important Views Per Hour (or VPH) was? One of the key signals that YouTube is looking for when you launch a video is what's the audience like? Do people care about this content? Are they watching a little bit or are they watching a lot? Are they sharing? Are they leaving comments? Are they giving it thumbs up? All of these are nuggets of information for YouTube to work out which video to promote. YouTube wants to help you, and show your video to lots of audiences, not just your own. It wants to discover new audiences for you, but you've got to send it the right signals. This is where the initial velocity is really important, which is why the vidIQ tool suggests the best time to publish videos to your channel.
Staying on the upload page with vidIQ install, just select the date, and you’ll automatically see the best times. In this example, we chose a Monday, and the tool suggests that peak traffic occurs at 3am and 12pm PT. To ride the wave of the 12pm spike, we suggest posting your video between 3am and 5am PT. (Don’t worry, the tool adjusts the time zone based on your location).
Why it's important to launch just before the best published time? It's because that's when your audience is online, and that’s the best opportunity you have for your video as you launch. That is beautiful signals for YouTube in watches that video takeoff because a lots and lots of people started to watch.
Optimization Checklist: Give YouTube the Information it Needs
On the upload page with vidIQ installed, you’ll also find the optimization checklist. Ticking off everything you know your video needs to send the right signals to YouTube is a huge time-saver so please make sure you use this tool every time
Recommended Tags & Videos to Gain Views From
Staying on the upload page, scroll further down and you’ll see sections called ‘Recommended Tags’ & ‘Videos to Gain Views From’. Recommended tags offer up extra suggestions for you, and if you scroll over you’ll get a pop-up that shows the competitor score and other metrics. Just click on any keyword tag to add to yours.
When we researching something on YouTube, we tend to watch more than one video, and the platform knows this and will serve up extra content on the subject for you. The ‘Videos to Gain Views From’ section suggests other amazing creators doing similar content to you, and whose videos are likely to be served up to your audience. You can see the keyword tags being used on these videos and add to your own.
Understand Your YouTube Competitors
With the vidIQ Chrome Extension installed, you’ll find a section called ‘Competitors’ on the left hand side of the upload page. Competitors are other creators publishing the same type of content as you - it’s good to know who these are so you can learn from them! You can see from the screenshot that we keep a very amicable and loving eye on our friends in the online video space and have added their channels to understand what’s working for them and what gets their audience excited. This feature really allows you to confirm if you’re on the same track because, again, YouTube is a search engine and people are definitely searching for similar content.
The Competitors tool is sorted by different time frames, and by views, views per hour (VPH), or by date uploaded, so you can really take a deep-dive into the data.
For instance, sorting by VPH will tell you what’s really working at the moment. If you keep an eye on competitor content sorted by VPH by past 48 hours, this week, this month or all time, you’ll really get an idea of what type of content is working for them.
What sort of thing should you be taking notice of here? Do their thumbnail pop? How can you make your thumbnails even better? Are there video titles long, or short? What type of content is working for them - how to’s? listicles? What trends are they jumping on that you should be aware of?
vidIQ Takeaway: DO NOT COPY your competitors - it's one of the biggest mistakes that people often make on YouTube. They compare themselves to a competitor, and they copy everything that creator does and 99% of the time it just doesn't work. We advise understanding what similar creators are doing then confirm anything in your video strategy that might be missing or could be improved.
Trend Alerts: Get Insights into What People are Watching on YouTube
Talking of trends on YouTube, in the same left-hand column you’ll find a feature called ‘Trend Alerts’. Using this feature is really a golden ticket for YouTube creators because instead of keeping an eye on the trends, you can say, "Hey, trends come to me!"
Let’s use ‘Fortnite’ as an example. Add that term as a keyword, and select a VPH Threshold of 100 views per hour. Then select how often you want to be notified of any Fortnite-focused video on YouTube that’s achieving that view metric.
Why should you care? Because you are going to get a report that confirms how content around a certain keyword is performing, and if you see a topic going from 100 views per hour to 500 views per hour and then the same videos hitting a thousand views per hour the following day, guess what? It's a trend! Keeping an eye on videos that are generating significant VPH gives you an opportunity to create your own content - and quickly.
vidIQ Takeaway: Load up those trend alerts, and let us do the work for you. We'll let you know when something hits those milestones.
Discover the Most Viewed Videos on YouTube Right Now
In the left-hand menu bar you’ll also find the ‘Most Viewed’ tool. This gives the user some insights into what’s happening on YouTube right now, but sorted by VPH, not just what’s trending on YouTube’s official page. At the exact time of writing, Disney’s official trailer for ‘Frozen 2’ is the top result on its Trending page:
Using the vidIQ most viewed tool, it’s also the top result but we can go one step further and confirm how many views per hour it’s actually generating in real time - an incredible 337.5K! How awesome is that?
This tool is great for research so you can truly uncover what videos are getting the most views on YouTube right now as the results sometimes differ from the official Trending page results. But you can also determine what content is most viewed over 48 hours, 7 days, 30 days, and in the last 6 months.
You can also filter the search results by keyword, engagement, category, location, duration and YouTube channel size. The latter is a great feature as you can choose to sort by ignoring all channels with 1 million subscribers and above, or those that have between 10 and 100,000 subscribers, which might match your channel size more closely.
YouTube Channel Audit: Find Out How You Are Really Performing
Sticking with the left-hand menu, take a look at the ‘Channel Audit tool, which does exactly what it says on the tin. You’re making videos but what’s really working for you and what isn’t? This is where the Channel Audit tool comes into play, as it’s going to give you an insane amount of information.
The first thing you're going to see is how you are performing month over month? Are you growing or shrinking? Are you getting more subscribers? More YouTube views? More Watch time? Those are the important metrics you should have at your fingertips.
Then comes ‘Content to Double Down On’ which you can confirm by VPH, engagement rate, views, and subscribers gained. Double down is an American term, and it basically means do more of this, it works!
The vidIQ tool will do this for your own channel by taking a look at your published content and confirming which of your videos are giving you new subscribers, plus other invaluable information.
As you scroll further down on the Channel Audit dashboard you’ll also discover which search terms viewers are using to find your content, what your End Screen and Card click through rates are, as well as a host of other metrics over 30, 60, or 90 days.
Publicise Your Achievements!
Going back to the vidIQ YouTube Channel, are we hitting those milestones? Are you hitting yours? We have something called Achievements that goes out, fetches your information that says, how are you doing, and allows you to share those milestones. Here’s a snapshot from our current achievements - pretty good, right?
In the tool, just pick an achievement, and open it up to reveal a new certificate that you can share it with your audience. This works especially well on social media, because your audience want to be part of your journey. How many of us do this at the moment? We see a big creator who is celebrating another milestone and we like that tweet and we retweet it. We reply back to the creator, "Hey, I was with you when you had 400 subscribers. Look how well you've done now."
Our audience loves it, why not share it your achievement with you? You should be proud of what you're doing on your channel.
Join Us Every Week for Live vidIQ Training
Join us every Wednesday for a live webinar that takes you through every feature, including those we’ve just released. Download the free vidIQ Chrome Extension and take advantage of the free 30 Day trial of Boost to really explore what it can do for your videos, your content strategy, and your YouTube channel.
Want To Get More Views on YouTube?
If you want to take your YouTube channel to the next level then make sure to download vidIQ. It will help you research YouTube, analyze videos, audit your own channel, and take actionable steps click here to install now!