If you create and share your own videos on YouTube, then you’ve already taken the first step in putting your face out there. But there’s another way to put your best face forward: Craft your channel page.
Though your channel’s landing page might appear simple (and it’s grown simpler over the years), there are a number of features you can fine-tune to optimize a viewer’s experience. You can’t customize like you used to, and there’s a lot of white space, but there are very specific ways to make your page stand out. Read on to find out how you can turn curious viewers into devoted subscribers.
Do you have any tips for boosting your YouTube profile? Let us know in the comments.
1. Post a great channel trailer.
As soon as visitors land on your page, you want to hook them. A channel trailer is a great way to do it. You’ll want something brief, attention-grabbing and representative of the kind of content you post. Don’t tell people what you do — show them.
Here’s a good example of a channel trailer, from PBS Idea Channel:
As the first piece of content some will see, the trailer is also a good place to plant the seed for subscribing. Get a quick line in there asking viewers to hit “subscribe.” But do it subtly.
2. Optimize your channel name and description.
Remember that your channel name and description won’t just appear on your homepage. Your channel will appear in searches and suggested channel categories across YouTube, so make sure it’s appealing. Note that your channel name isn’t the same as your URL; you can change the former without affecting the latter.
As you write your channel description, it’s good to think about how it will appear across the site and around the web. You’ll need a description that highlights your most important content right up front.
3. Pick the right icon.
The key here is to select something that will look good at very small resolutions. It’s not like choosing your Facebook or Twitter profile photo; first of all, this is about branding. Your friends don’t care that much if your photo is recognizable, or if it’s even of you. But in the age of short attention spans, this tiny piece of real estate is your best bet for pulling viewers to your channel page.
4. Make beautiful channel art.
Again, it’s important to consider where your content will be seen other than your channel page. Or in this case, how it will be seen. You’ll have viewers on desktops, tablets, laptops, phones, televisions and whatever new format comes out next week. That means you need to optimize your image to look great on every platform.
YouTube recommends the dimensions 2560×1440 px. Check out its image guidelines to see how your art will be cropped across different platforms (who will be seeing what).
Here’s the full art for Mashable’s YouTube channel page. Note that only the illustrated band in the center of the image is visible on desktop.
When you’re drafting the art, try to give the viewer something to connect to beyond a brand or a logo. If you want to throw your pretty face in there, do so. YouTube lists GoPro and Epic Meal Time as well-designed channel pages.
5. Maintain your feed.
As a content creator, you’ll want to keep your loyal subscribers entertained. If you don’t upload on a weekly schedule, the feed can give you the appearance of being active. A default feed will include your uploads, videos you have liked, videos you added to playlists and channels to which you subscribe.
You can adjust your sharing settings if you don’t want to flood your subscribers with updates. But you can also approach it strategically: You might only want to like certain videos or comment on content on certain days of the week, for instance.
Homepage image courtesy of Flickr, Jo Nakashima