Optimizing your YouTube profile is one of the most important things you can do to make your marketing
strategy work on the platform. To make things a little easier, use this checklist to triple-check that your
profile is the best it can be to help you grow your business.
Determine what you want to accomplish
: Setting your goals ahead of time should be key. Do
you want to drive traffic? Sell directly? Build brand awareness? Highlight company culture?
Determine what you plan to do on the channel so you can build your content strategy around
those goals.
Pinpoint your target audience: Knowing which buyer personas you’re targeting will help you
understand whether your videos are reaching the right people. Knowing your target audience
will help you develop content, and then when you're evaluating the content, you can check
demographics to determine whether you're reaching the audience you initially intended to.
Create your channel: Start by creating a Google account. You might not want to tie your email
to your business’s YouTube channel especially if you need to share access to the account with
team members or an agency partner. Instead, create a common email account that can be used
by multiple people.
Then, visit YouTube. Once you’ve signed in, click on “My channel” in the drop-down menu from
your profile icon in the top right corner. There, you’ll have the option to create a channel right
away. Do not click on “Create channel.” Click on “Use a business or other name” at the bottom.
Enter your brand account name and press “Create.” Note: You can update or change your
channel name from your account settings later, so don’t worry if you need to revise your
selected label.
Verify your channel: You can get started with verification by going to
You'll be asked to provide a phone number for account verification so Google can send you a
verification code via voice call or SMS. Once you've verified your account, you will be able to
upload videos longer than 15 minutes.
Choose a recognizable and memorable profile photo: For most companies, this should be
your logo. The ideal picture size for YouTube is 800x800 pixels a perfect square.
Create your channel art: Keep in mind that people use YouTube on many different types of
devices, and your channel cover image will vary in appearance across each one. Images at 2560
x 1440 will be optimized for TV screens, while desktop computers will display them at 2560 x
423. Mobile devices will display YouTube cover art at 1546 x 423, while tablets will display them
at 1855 x 423.
Add your website and social links: After you upload your channel icon and art, add a channel
description, a company email, and links to your company website and other social platforms
under the "About" tab. Your description should provide more information about your company
and explain what type of video content you plan on sharing. Search engines look at your
description when determining how to rank your profile, so incorporate relevant keywords in your
Choose your channel categories: After you upload a video, YouTube will allow you to choose a
video category under “Advanced settings.” Video categories group your video with related
content on the platform. YouTube allows you to sort your video into one of the following
categories: Film & Animation, Autos & Vehicles, Music, Pets & Animals, Sports, Travel & Events,
Gaming, People & Blogs, Comedy, Entertainment, News & Politics, How-to & Style, Education,
Science & Technology, and Nonprofits & Activism.
Add a watermark: You can add a custom watermark to all of your videos. To do so, navigate to
the ”Branding” section of the Creator Studio. The watermark serves as a custom subscribe
button that viewers can click anytime when watching your videos. To add a watermark, go to
your Creator Studio. Then, click on "Channel" > “Branding.” Follow the instructions to upload a
Add a trailer: A channel trailer is the video version of your description and is shown to all your
unsubscribed viewers. Your trailer should be short and sweet (around 30 to 60 seconds). Focus
on showing visitors what your channel is about and what they can expect to see. Don't forget to
encourage them to subscribe. Your trailer won’t be interrupted by ads, so it'll keep viewers
focused on why they should watch more videos from your brand.
If you’ve checked off the boxes, you’re ready to create videos for YouTube!
Determine frequency: Consistency is key when it comes to YouTube. Make sure you're ready
to upload content on a regular basis. Determine how often you plan to post (we suggest once
a week), and commit the resources to meeting those deadlines. Tell people in your trailer
when they can expect to see your videos.
Consider equipment and lighting: You don’t necessarily need a ton of fancy equipment to
get started, but consider investing in a good microphone, such as the Blue Yeti.
Have custom thumbnails ready to go:
Think about your thumbnail art ahead of time. Create
templates to make the process easy. Make sure you're consistent with fonts and colors. Having
a person featured on the thumbnail is helpful for catching attention.
Research keywords:
You’ll want to use searchable keywords in your file names, titles,
descriptions, and video content. Use a site like Hashtagify or All Hashtag or an extension such
as TubeBuddy or VidIQ to help you find trending keywords.
Have a plan for transcripts:
Adding transcripts and subtitles will help you rank in search and
make your content easier to view for people with disabilities or who are watching without
sound. Consider using a transcription service such as to make it easy.