One of the best ways to convert YouTube viewers into subscribers is to pay attention to what your channel’s branding communicates to those viewers. Use your YouTube channel’s branding to pitch the value you want to offer to the people who are most likely to care about it. That includes YouTube thumbnails, titles, header image, channel trailer, playlists, and more. In this YouTube channel review we look at Sarah Moran’s Nutrition channel and discuss ways she can improve how her channel’s branding communicates with viewers.

Today we are going to do our very first YouTube channel review. We’re going to take a channel with 1,000 subscribers or less and talk about, in this case, the branding elements and how you can optimize those to convert as many first-time viewers and subscribers as possible.

Today we’re going to talk about how to convert those new viewers into subscribers by looking at a YouTube channel from Sarah Moran Nutrition.

She is growing 56.3% in views over the past 30 days, and 63% of subscriber growth over the past 30 days, which is awesome. Great job, Sarah.

So let’s talk about her YouTube channel. We’re going to talk about some things that she can do, and you guys can learn from her, about how to optimize this page, because this page is so important. If you look at your YouTube Analytics, you’ll see that the majority of your new subscribers are coming straight from your channel page. Right here, they’re clicking the little red Subscribe button. And you’re going to get some subscribers from your videos, but this is where most of them are.

And the reason is a lot of the times, because they see one of your videos, and they’re like, oh, I love Sarah’s videos. They’re awesome. What else does she have that’s like this? And so they come to her channel or your channel. And then they look here and decide, should I subscribe? Is this something that’s offering ongoing value to me, that is for me, that I would want to have? Those are the questions your channel needs to be designed to answer.

Header Image

So let’s talk about how Sarah does it. Very first thing, header image is the first thing they’re going to skim. And she does some things here that are really smart. “Helping you live a real foods lifestyle” is in her header. So right here in the very beginning, right at the header image, she’s pitched a little bit of value that her channel has, which is really, really smart. And I encourage all of you guys to do that.

And then she has new videos every week. Now, that’s really good also, to have your posting schedule. But to keep it generic as new videos every week doesn’t really help you viewers know when to come back to look for new videos. You guys want your viewers to make your channel a part of their weekly rhythm. And that means that you’re going to need to commit to Tuesday and Thursday, or Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, or whatever the case might be so that your viewers know when to come back. So I would probably not just say every week. I would commit to one and just stick to that.

So header image is really important. Pitching the value and who that value is for, which this doesn’t really do. But it does at least have the value. And if you can call out who it’s for, that would be even more powerful here.

Channel Trailer

Next thing is that you need to have a channel trailer. Now, knowing Sarah, I know she’s very familiar with what a channel trailer is, and she’s probably working on one right now to fill into this spot. But the rest of you guys should have a channel trailer, a 30 to 45-second video that just pitches the value of your channel. That’s your opportunity to not just show somebody through the header image what your value’s about, but also pitching. We have other videos on this channel that will take you through how to craft a really effective channel trailer.


So then the next thing that a new person on your channel would see are these playlists. She’s doing some one thing really well that is already better than the average YouTube creator, and that is she isn’t just categorizing her videos and these playlists based on what they are, but the title of these playlists actually pitch value also. So “Healthy Recipes and Cooking Tips”. And then she has the description for each of them, which is really good metadata. Gives more information to Google about what the playlist is about.

She’s doing a good job with that. So I would highly recommend that you title your playlists here in a way that make it easy for someone to want to get into watching these videos. The only thing I would recommend is maybe having a playlist that’s, like, “New to Sarah Moran Nutrition? Start Here”. And the only reason I would recommend that is because some of these videos might not convert well.

So instead, I would make a playlist, curate it with some videos that you know do convert non-subscribed viewers into subscribers, as well as maybe just some videos that you love or you feel like represent your channel the best, or something like that, and add those to a playlist that would make it easy for a first-time viewer to know how they start consuming your content, how they get introduced to who you are, what you’re all about, that type of stuff. So that element, branding element, is really important.


Now let’s talk about thumbnails for a little bit here, because those are also really important. Sara has just two styles. You can see one is her old style from 8 months ago, and then the newer one for the past few weeks.

So let’s talk about her old ones and look at what she changed. So she used to have just a picture of herself, same background, and the sidebar was a different color with different text. And one thing to point out, and she looks like she made this change more recently, she was using a font which is hard to read on mobile. It’s even harder to read at my desktop. “Becoming a Registered Dietitian” So use fonts, when the thumbnail is small like this, that it’s still easily readable, which it looks like she did here with “Emotional Eating” and “11 Reasons You’re Always Hungry.”

The second thing I would suggest is that some of these titles lend themselves to pretty good visuals, like “Is Organic Food Better?” So behind her, she should probably have the big picture of a big pile of something people think of when they think of organic food. Or “How to Find Local Food,” and there should probably be, like, a farm picture behind her. “Dealing With Emotional Eating.” She should probably make an emotional thing herself, you know, with some food or some sort of imagery that works with the title that she’s using for the video– rather than what she’s doing in these, is just repeating the same text in the thumbnail that she has as the title, which remember, the text in the thumbnail is not indexed. Google can’t see it. They’re not reading it. So if you do use text in your thumbnails, use it to complement the title, not just to repeat the exact same thing, because there’s no benefit to that.

But when possible, use visuals. I do think she should continue to keep her face in that, a picture of herself, especially like this one, where you see the whites of the eyes, or this one, or this one. When people can see the whites of your eyes, that helps– that helps them generate– feel trust for you, which is really important, right? So keep your face in it, but do some visuals.

Now, she’s updated some of these, right? So here’s a good visual of “The Kale Recipe You Need to Know.” I would suggest she still has her face, picture of her, maybe on the bottom-left corner or something, because people do connect with people more than they connect with objects. So I would maybe consider that. The cast iron here probably doesn’t need that text right there because we can see that’s cast iron. But her having her picture right there with it, that’s really good.

Also remember, this bottom-right corner, there’s going to be that timestamp on it. So see the picture of guacamole is covered up a little bit, and so is the text “yummy over here”. So try to avoid that bottom-right corner of your thumbnails with anything when possible.

And I think that’s where were going to stop for this one. There’s a lot of really good stuff here that she’s doing really well. And I highly recommend you guys go check out her channel. And I’d love to hear from you guys in the comments below what other suggestions and ideas you have for her that you would suggest that she could make. And also, go check out her channel, subscribe, give her some support as well.

And let me know you think about these types of reviews. Are they helpful for you? Would you like to see more of them? I’ve got a whole bunch of channels that are under 1,000 subscribers that I would like to review that I think have some really valuable lessons jam-packed in them that I want to bring up for you guys. But let me know in the comments below.

Check out Sarah Moran Nutrition

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