Creating a well-managed YouTube channel with consistent content can help businesses grow better, but doing it right is just as important. Here’s how to do it step-by-step.
1. Register a Google account (if you don’t already have one).
To watch, share, create, and comment on YouTube content, you’ll need a Google account.
If You Don’t Already Have a Google Account
Go to youtube.com and click “sign in” in the upper right-hand corner. From there, you’ll be taken to a Google sign-in page. Click “more options”:
From there, you’ll be asked to follow a few steps to create a Google account. Once you’ve completed them, proceed with the steps below.
If You Do Already Have a Google Account
Go to youtube.com and click “sign in” in the upper right-hand corner. From there, you’ll be taken to the same Google sign-in page above. If you have multiple Google accounts, be sure to select the one you want to be associated with the YouTube channel.
2. Create a new YouTube channel using your Google account.
Once you’re set up with and signed into your Google account, it’s time to create a channel. Back at youtube.com, click your user icon in the upper right-hand corner. This represents both your Google account and you YouTube account (as YouTube is owned by Google). You’ll see a drop-down menu, where you’ll want to click “settings.”
From there, you’ll be taken to your account overview. Under “additional features,” click “create a new channel.”
The first step is to create a Brand Account. It can be whatever name you want, and doesn’t have to be the same name that you used to create your Google account — but we do recommend that it reflects the brand the YouTube Channel will represent.
After you enter the Brand Account name, you might be asked to verify the account via text message or voice call. If that happens, enter the code you receive from the option you choose.
Once you’ve verified your Brand Account, you’ll be taken to the dashboard for your channel. Now, it’s time to start customizing it.
3. Optimize your channel for discoverability.
We’ll start with the fundamental details about your channel. From your channel dashboard, click “customize channel.”
After you click “customize channel,” you’ll be taken to your basic channel page, where you’ll see a cogwheel on the right, as shown below.
Click this cogwheel icon, then click on the section that says “advanced settings.”
Here’s where you’ll enter some basic information about your channel, like the country where it’s based, as well keywords that help it people discover your channel when they enter search terms that describe what videos they’re looking for. These keywords can include what your channel is about, the problems it helps solve, the people and products featured, your industry, and more.
From the page shown above, you can then select whether or not you want to appear as a recommended channel on other account pages. It’s also within these settings that you can link a Google Ads account, add a Google Analytics property tracking ID, and make various advertising selections for your channel when you’re ready to promote certain videos across the YouTube platform.
4. Add links and descriptive details to your channel.
There are two elements of customization for a new YouTube channel: descriptive details, and visuals. Descriptive details tell your channel visitors (and, eventually, subscribers) what purpose your channel serves and the type of video content they should expect to see published by you. Let’s add those details now.
To describe your YouTube channel for your viewers, you’ll want to add a channel description and links to other webpages associated with your brand. Back on your channel customization dashboard, click on the “About” tab.
There, you’ll be asked to fill in such details as a channel description — which you can optimize with keywords for more discoverability — as well as contact information and links to your website and social media channels.
Up to five links can overlay your channel art, meaning that the banner on your profile page will contain icons for the links you choose to overlay on this list. To add these links, navigate to the About section of your YouTube channel and click “+ Links.” This button will reveal a space where you can add branded links directing users to various websites and social networks where they can learn about and consume more content from you. See what this space looks like below, and how a business might add links to its Facebook, Twitter, and personal website.
For example, if you wanted to overlay your banner with a link to your Facebook Page, it might look like this as a result:
Your channel art is part of your channel’s customization, which we’ll move onto next.
5. Upload a profile photo to your channel.
When it comes to creating and adding channel art, Google has a plethora of resources for content owners, from a gallery of images to image editing tools.
Among this channel art is your profile photo — this is how YouTube users will identify the creator of a video when browsing video content. You’ll see this image appear beneath YouTube videos on the play page, as shown below
If your YouTube channel is linked to a Brand Account, as is the example we used in the previous step, you’ll need to update this image in the “About” section of your Google account. Note that this rule also applies to your channel name when using a Brand Account.
When you click “change” under your profile icon, you might see this message:
Click “edit,” and you’ll be taken to the page shown below, where you can edit your Brand Account information, including your profile photo (which will be displayed on your YouTube channel).
We recommend choosing an image with dimensions of 800 x 800 pixels for this profile photo.
6. Add a banner image.
Next, it’s time to add your banner image. Back on your channel customization dashboard, along the top, you’ll see your newly added profile photo on the top-lefthand corner. As far as that gray background surrounding it is concerned, you can (and should) change it to something more, well, you. Here’s how.
Hover your cursor over this gray background to reveal a small pencil icon on the top-righthand corner. Click this icon and select “Edit channel art” when this option appears, as shown below.
One of the trickiest parts of channel art is creating a responsive banner that matches dimensions for various user experiences, like desktop, mobile, or TV. Luckily, Google has this handy image that represents the best dimension for each viewing platform …
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