#SMMW17: YouTube Newsfeed Optimization: How to Improve Video Discoverability

Some of my YouTube videos have managed to get a lot of views, but most have not. Are you experiencing the same issues? Jeremy Vest from Vidpow was able to help me better understand how to increase viewership in his Social Media Marketing  World 2017 presentation. Let me share with you some of the secrets I had learned.

In his presentation, Jeremy shared the obvious, YouTube wants viewers to spend a longer time watching videos so that they can generate more money. The better quality your video in terms of interest the great chance your video will be found.

Vest threw out some really interesting facts that will have an impact on the future. YouTube is ramping up a “cut the cable” campaign. They are looking to get original series onto YouTube. Additionally, YouTube is the largest music streaming application. Finally, there were 65% more videos watched compared to last year.

Vest explained how YouTube determined what videos to recommend. It is a rather complicated algorithm but the are using Google’s Deep Learning artificial intelligence to help make the selections.

YouTube Videos People Want to Watch

Here are the keys Vest shared for creating videos that people want to watch:

  • There are no silver bullets.
  • Your metadata (title, description, categories, tags, etc) must match the video. No bait and switch.
  • You must post consistently.
  • Keep adding fresh content.
  • Narrow your focus to one thing. Do not bounce all over the place with topics. Be the expert.
  • Increase your social engagement. Ask for likes, subscribers, and comments.

It was interesting to learn that descriptions and tags did not play as heavily into the algorithm. However, other presenters encouraged using the descriptions as a place to encourage engagement as well as calls to action.

Call to Action

Vest emphasized including multiple calls to action in your video. This was a consistent request from many presenters throughout the conference. Here are different places you should consider including calls to action:

  • Verbally encourage people to like, follow, and comment. Depending on the size of the video, you may want to do this multiple times.
  • Include an overlay on your video with a CTA.
  • Include CTAs in end cards. I am not as familiar as I should be with end cards. I will be learning more.


Multiple times during the conference, presenters emphasized the use of keywords to hone your messaging. By doing a keyword search, you can find topics to create a video around.

Vest stressed that keywords should be used in the title and descriptions. Here are places to start your keyword search:

When naming your videos, use a similar title. A great example of this is GoPro Tips.

All your videos should also have a consistent thumbnail. This will help them stand out. The thumbnail image should also be the title of your video (Tip from Roberto Blake)

Categories and Tags

Vest shared a strategy for selecting the right categories for your videos as well as including the right tags. You should include similar tags and categories for all your videos.

YouTube Playlists

According to Vest, you should also arrange your videos into playlists that are also keyword optimized for search. Use similar keywords in your playlist title and description.

Vest also recommended adding the playlist title to individual video tag lists.

This presentation had a lot of wonderful information. Lots of great details that needs to be included in your processes. If you have any questions or need help with your systems and processes, please contact me.

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Stan Skrabut

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Stan Skrabut

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