All the YouTube Terminology You Need to Know

Posted on in Blog

YouTube is a powerful search engine and social media platform. Video is an incredibly popular format, and it’s no wonder marketers prioritize YouTube strategy.

Our YouTube glossary of terms includes the common words you might run across when working in YouTube:

Average percentage viewed (APV). Percentage of your video a viewer watched before clicking off.

Average view duration (AVD). How much of your video a viewer watched.

Cards. Popups that display on the right-hand side of the screen while a video is playing. Creators can set the cards to be a video, playlist, website or channel.

Category. Select which category your video best falls under. Available categories are Film & Animation, Autos & Vehicles, Music, Pets & Animals, Sports, Travel & Events, Gaming, People & Blogs, Comedy, Entertainment, Science & Technology, and Nonprofits & Activism.

Channel. A YouTube page is commonly referred to as a “channel”.

Snag a free YouTube channel optimization checklist.

Closed captioning/transcription. Makes videos accessible; provides minimal SEO value when keywords (tags) are included in the transcription.

CTR. Click through rate. Calculated by the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions.

Description. Up to 1,000 characters describing the events of the video. The first 157 characters show above the fold; consider those a hook. Below the fold, include timestamps, relevant links, and hashtags.

End screens. Displayed during the last 15 seconds (or less) of a video. Creators can choose which elements to display. Possible end screen elements include video, playlist, subscribe, channel and link.

Hashtags. Formatted like Instagram hashtags (#example), these populate above the video title when typed into the description. Only three hashtags display above the title.

Live. Creator streams video in real-time. Can interact live with the audience via the chat feature.

Playlist. Collection of related videos. Title and description also provide SEO value.

Retention. Similar to the average percentage viewed and average view duration, retention refers to the percentage of your video a viewer watched.

Short. Similar to TikTok videos and Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts are short-form videos that are up to 60 seconds long with YouTube’s multi-segment camera.

Story. Similar to Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, YouTube Stories are short mobile videos that expire after 7 days. The Stories feature is in beta and available to all eligible channels with over 10,000 subscribers. It may take up to 7 days for Stories to show up after reaching 10,000 subscribers.

Subscriber. YouTube’s equivalent of follower.

Tags. List of keywords related to the topic of video to help videos rank in organic search results and suggested video feeds. The primary keyword should appear first in the tags list as well as in the video title and description.

Timestamps. Formatted 0:00 (minutes:seconds), they outline a specific time in the video and a corresponding title. When clicked, timestamps jump the viewer directly to x:xx in the video. Timestamps help videos with chapters rank.

Title. 50-70 characters describing the purpose of the video. Ideally includes the primary keyword (tag) and branding, if applicable.

Thumbnail. Cover image for a video that has a resolution of 1280×720 (with a minimum width of 640 pixels). Thumbnails are uploaded in image formats such as JPG, GIF, or PNG, and must be under the 2MB limit. Try to use a 16:9 aspect ratio, as it’s the most used in YouTube players and previews.

View. YouTube counts a “view” when someone watches 30 seconds of your video (or the duration if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or interacts with the ad, whichever comes first.

Watch time. Usually calculated in hours, watch time refers to the cumulative number of hours your viewers have spent watching a specific video. Can also be calculated for the channel as a whole.

Curious to learn more about YouTube? Check out our FAQ.

YouTube Channel Optimization and More from Oneupweb

Our full-service digital marketing agency specializes in working with midsize and enterprise businesses to achieve their marketing goals. If you’re interested in YouTube marketing, video creation, or more, reach out online or call (231) 922-9977.

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Name: Allie Crippen Position: Graphic Designer What’s your average day like at Oneupweb? Coffee. Reading up on design/UX blogs or a daily sketch. Then diving into daily tasks or projects I’m working on, lots of snacking, and laughing with my coworkers. Tell us about your favorite Oneupweb moment. It’s hard to choose one, especially being...

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