Unfortunately this was a very lazy period for me earlier this year where I only posted one video in about 4 months and in world where more frequent uploads is increasingly important this was pretty much channel suicide.
It?s not all bad though.
By this time I was starting to get more exposure through some of the work I was doing on my website (such as my Beginners Guide to YouTube that I launched in January) BUT I became increasingly embarrassed to share my YouTube channel ? and rightly so.
The final straw came in late February when I was invited by YouTube expert and teacher Gideon Shalwick to be an expert Guest on one of his Live streams.
I think the stream was a huge success and I was very happy with my performance and the advice I gave ? check it out below for some really cool Optimization tips:
And although I saw a small spike in subscribers that day, around 5 (see screenshot that daybelow) I realized this would have likely been much bigger had I had a YouTube channel of note for people to see once Gideon sent people across to me.
Time for a change.
Time to get my house in order and as my buddy said to me, time to eat my own dog food.
The first thing I needed to do was take stock of just how bad of a state the YouTube channel was in and what I needed to do to turn it around. I?d do this with an YouTube Channel audit.
I recorded this process live as I went through my channel so that you guys could not only follow along on my journey and see what changes I was making but also so that you could audit your own channels. Here?s the video:
There?s also some more detailed tips and a Free downloadable audit sheet (which will even give your channel a score) which you can check out at the link below:
This audit left me with a juicy to-do list, which I have listed below for you in full because I believe in being totally transparent throughout this whole process.
? Update all Thumbnails and use a standard template going forward
? Update my Featured Channels widget
? Create bespoke videos to introduce playlists
? Tweak my Channel description to include more keywords
? Update my custom links
? Add a business email
? Update my upload default tags to be more keyword rich
? Update my default description to include a blurb and updated links
? Increase my Channel Tags
? Create and implement a subscribe watermark
? Appear in video
? More calls to action in video
? Implement cards
? Implement some basic video branding
Seeing this list I feel ever so slightly less guilty for not publishing for a while seeing just how much work I needed to undertake to give the channel an overhaul.
Even before I could get started on this work though there was one more thing left to do and that was to benchmark my YouTube analytics.
My success managing other people?s channels on YouTube to date can mostly be put down to experimentation, and in the main had been how I?ve learned what works and what doesn?t.
However before undertaking any kind of change or experimentation you need a benchmark or baseline to compare measurements to.
If you don?t have a benchmark how will you know if a change has had an effect and how much of an affect it?s had?
With that in mind I dived in to my YouTube Analytics and took down the statistics I thought were most important and in most need of measuring.
You can see this whole process in the video below as again I recorded it live:
Fear not I?ve also created a full guide for you to follow with a free downloadable worksheet here so you can do the same.
I won?t bore you with the statistics as most of these you can find in my first race update but here is a list of things that I wanted to measure and improve going forward.
? Views and Subscriber (no brainer)
? Engagement - likes, shares, comments
? Watch Time/Audience Retention ? YouTube?s most important ranking factor
? Views from Suggested Videos - huge improvements to be made here)
? Views from Search
I now had a very clear idea of where I stood using the benchmarking process and what I needed to change to improve from the audit process.
Now I just had to get down to doing the work.
I suggest all of you check out those two guides and start looking at your channel in the cold light of day. It can hurt but it?s powerful.
Let?s dive into the numbers:
? Total views for period = 5565 (61% down)
? Total subs added = 31 (70% less added)
? Total subs lost = 5
? Total subs = 112 (30% growth)
? Total Watch Time = 4259 (64% decrese)
? % views from Search = 18% (6% increase)
? % views from Suggested = 4.2% (45% increase)
? Ave views on new videos = 42
? Ave retention on new videos = 58
It?s obvious to see why the numbers are so disappointing. Too much red and not enough green (growth).
Firstly from a math standpoint I?m comparing a much smaller period of time than the previous update.
Secondly and more importantly I simply wasn?t publishing any video in this period and on YouTube, now more than ever you will be punished by the algorithm and be served less in Suggested Video and Search if you don?t upload regularly.
Good to see some subs growth despite not publishing and also happy to see views from Search and Suggested go up but still a long way to go.
Yes ? no more odd time periods ? from here on out this will be strict monthly updates.
? Re-launch YouTube channel ? pretty huge task if you see the to-do list above
? Publish a collaboration ? very important for early channel growth
? See an uptick in views, subs and watch time
? Dust off my Sunday best and get in front of camera
? Dust off my editing software and cut the stuff together
Not much then!