In my previous post we listed out the 8 reasons you should be using YouTube Playlists.
They are huge for session time and therefore SEO but to get the best possible results from playlists you need to optimize them.
These are subtle tweaks that will provide a better experience for your viewer and will provide a better return for your YouTube channel
Optimize your Playlists in 8 simple steps
- Start all playlists with one of your videos
If a viewer watches a video of yours and then goes on to have a mammoth YouTube session your video will reap the rewards in the YouTube algorithm and be surfaced more in Search and Suggested Videos.
Make sure your playlists start with your video no matter what comes after it, as it will be rewarded as the ?gateway? video if the viewer then gets sucked into the YouTube wormhole.
- Make descriptions keyword rich
This is going to be the main piece of unique metadata that YouTube uses to rank your playlist. Like with your video description make sure that you’re using relevant keywords that you want your playlist to rank for.
You are ultimately writing this for viewers though so make sure it?s also inviting enough to induce a click.
- Give it a clickable title
This is the other source of Metadata that YouTube will take from your playlist so again make sure that you make them keyword rich.
Follow the fundamentals of YouTube titles when naming your playlists.
- Select the best Thumbnail
I still think it?s unfortunate that you can?t upload a custom thumbnail for a playlist and this is hopefully a feature in the pipeline.
In the meantime go to the playlist editor and select the sexiest thumbnail in the playlist and click on it to set it as the official playlist thumbnail.
Don’t be shy in selecting thumbnails from other people’s content, especially if it?s more likely viewers will watch the playlist.
The job of the first video in a playlist is to get the viewer to watch the second video. The job of the second video is to get the viewer to watch the third video. The job of the third vid? you get it.
You want the session to be as long as possible so make sure to frontload the playlist with the strongest content. This is especially the case if the playlist makes up a section of your channel page, as this is an advertisement for the kind of videos you’ll be providing.
- Add interstitials
Using short interstitials between videos in playlists is a great way to improve the viewing experience and increase the session time.
These can be made quickly and easily (you can use the basic interstitials editor in the Playlist manager) and can be an easy source of engaged views.
- Trim the fat
The beauty of playlists is that it gives you the option to chose the in and out point of every video that?s included. See my video to see how:
This means you can choose the very best bits and also cut out end cards and branding so that the journey along the playlist is as smooth as possible for the viewer.
This is particularly useful when including other people?s videos as you don?t want the viewer to click on one of their calls to action and leave the playlist.
- Use Annotations
For videos that were made specifically to be watched in playlist mode this is essential.
There are many ways that your videos can be discovered (which is a good thing) and to make sure they are seen as you intended you may need to give the viewer a little nudge.
Add a note annotation at the start of the video that links to the same video in playlist mode:
Also encourage them to do the same above the fold in the comments.
Putting these into practice will require very little effort but will make a massive difference in the quality and success of your YouTube playlists.
Build them, optimize them, track their success in the new analytics module and benefit from the longer session times of your viewers.
If there?s anything else that you?re struggling with on YouTube there are a number of ways you can reach out to me. Click here to find out more.