Starting a YouTube channel can be challenging. Starting with a video idea, editing your video, and finally uploading it on your channel takes massive effort. However, everything can come crumbling down if you don’t use the best video format for YouTube.
One of the main reasons to use the proper format for your YouTube videos is because it ensures the platform displays your videos perfectly.
Do this right, and your high-quality video can dramatically increase the chances of you getting some of YouTube’s two billion monthly logged-in users and get the views and engagement you deserve.
With that in mind, According to YouTube themselves, the video format that best suits YouTube is MP4. You might now think, “Well, that’s it, right? I only need to save my video to .mp4, and I’m good?”
The answer to that is both a Yes, and no. While saving the video to .mp4 is correct, other factors influence how YouTube will present your video on the platform.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the best video format for YouTube, how to convert them to other YouTube-friendly formats before uploading, and top tips to optimize your videos for YouTube’s search results.
Without further ado, let’s dig in.
As we mentioned before, the MP4 file type is the best video format for YouTube. However, YouTube went into greater detail about what the MP4 format included. Here are some of YouTube’s recommended upload encoding settings:
These particular specifications ensure your video’s quality is displayed to the optimal quality with a smaller file size. Furthermore, YouTube also suggests uploading videos in a format that’s not too far from the original. Speaking of which, here’s the complete list of the formats YouTube supports.
Besides ensuring the platform displays your YouTube video correctly, there are several other reasons why you should pay special attention to the video format. Here are some of the main ones:
All in all, because YouTube is primarily about watching videos with the best experience, uploading with the proper video format is critical and will only benefit you.
If you somehow couldn’t find your video format after looking through the previously mentioned supported format list, you will need to convert your video to a supported format.
If you have a video saved in your local storage (hard drive), you can use cloudconvert to convert your video format to one of the six formats they provide. You just visit the website, select the file you want to convert, and choose the format you want to convert.
However, if you want to convert already-uploaded YouTube videos, you can use Offeo’s YouTube to MP4 converter.
Just paste your YouTube video link on the page, click download, and choose from our various supported formats.
After video formats, the next thing you need to know about is the optimum video size for YouTube. When talking about size, it’s generally split into two categories:
The safest way to ensure your video gives the best viewing experience for your audience is to upload with the highest resolution. This is because your videos will look crystal-clear on their screens.
However, this isn’t always possible. With that in mind, here is the complete list of video resolutions and dimensions and the expected quality.
Although 6K and true 8K screens do exist and some have used it to watch content, it’s still relatively expensive. This means it’s not yet widely adopted, so we recommend maxing out your video size at 4K.
Furthermore, we mentioned before that YouTube recommends formatting your video with a 16:9 aspect ratio. If you don’t fully understand what that means, this image below of typical YouTube video sizes should help you get a good idea.
If you don’t format your video to the 16:9 aspect ratio, there are two things that could happen:
Once you decide which format you’re going to use, you must ensure that the file size isn’t more than 128GB and doesn’t have a video length of more than 12 hours.
Now that you’ve had a chance to better understand YouTube’s video format, we have a few tips you can apply to your video-making process.
Once you finish optimizing your video with the correct format, you need to ensure your video gets discovered everywhere, especially on search engines. This practice of optimizing your videos for search engines is also called YouTube SEO.
Doing this is important because there are currently more than 100,000 search queries on Google every second, totaling more than 8,5 billion searches every day.
The massive number of people searching for various topics means an equally massive opportunity for your video to be the first thing they see. Here are some best practices to increase your chances of getting a higher rank on search engines.
The title of your video is essential as it helps to give potential viewers what the video is about. YouTube even once said that:
Well-written titles can be the difference between someone watching and sharing your video or scrolling right past it.
Better yet, according to a study by Backlinko, if your video title has your main keywords on it, your video can even rank higher in search results!
To start writing your title, include your main keyword in the beginning and ensure it looks natural, as this will tell your audience what they’re about to watch. To make your title concise (and viewable on search results), try to keep your title less than 60 characters but more than five words long.
After writing your video title, creating a custom YouTube thumbnail for your video should be your next step. Why? Because having a custom thumbnail can help your videos stand out from the rest.
While it’s okay to use YouTube’s provided screenshots as your thumbnail, we still recommend creating a custom thumbnail as 90 percent of the best-performing YouTube videos have custom thumbnails.
To start making your YouTube thumbnail, we suggest using blue, orange, green, or yellow (BOGY) as the primary color to make your thumbnail pop visually.
Furthermore, you should also utilize happy-peak frames (essentially a happy or excited-looking person) on your thumbnail to evoke a “happy” emotional connection with viewers. Use happy-peak frames correctly, and you might just get a 14 percent increase in your video’s attention. It can even jump to 16% if the frame shows up in the video.
If you have little time to think about all of that, you can always use one of our 1000+ templates in our YouTube Thumbnail Maker. Simply choose a template, upload an image that’s relevant to your video, add some text, and it’s done in under 3 minutes!
You should also add subtitles or closed captions to help people with accessibility issues enjoy your videos and rank better in YouTube’s search results.
Not only that, Discovery Digital Networks experienced a 13.48% increase in views in the first 14 days since their video was captioned and an overall improvement of 7.48% in their captioned videos’ views!
Although YouTube can automatically generate captions for your videos, we recommend adding them yourself to ensure your viewers know what you’re talking about and reap all the previously mentioned benefits.
Learn more: How to Add YouTube Subtitles to Your Videos
Yes, as the MP4 is the preferred file format for YouTube videos. YouTube then specified that the MP4 had to have an AAC-LC audio codec and an aspect ratio of 16:9, among others.
It Depends on how you’re sharing the video. If you’re after the highest quality and edits in a professional setting, you should choose MOV. For the most compatibility with most platforms, playback devices, and video sharing sites, you should look no further than MP4.
AVI is good for YouTube. However, we recommend using MP4 because you can compress videos with this format without losing quality, unlike AVI, which will experience a significant loss of quality.
H.264 is good for YouTube. This is because to ensure YouTube displays your videos with the highest quality; the video-sharing platform recommends using the h.264 video codec.
Yes! It is. To make your videos accessible to most people and have an excellent viewing experience, you should use 1080p resolution with 30fps when recording your YouTube videos. If your videos contain fast-moving action, 1080p and 60fps can be an excellent option as it records every single shot exceptionally smoothly.
We hope you’ve got a better understanding of the best format for YouTube videos once you’ve reached this point in the article.
Remember always to ensure your videos are in MP4 format with our specifications mentioned above, at least have a 1080p resolution, and have a 16:9 aspect ratio to give your viewers the best possible viewing experience.
Furthermore, don’t forget to finetune your YouTube SEO by creating a custom YouTube thumbnail, among others.
If you don’t have much editing experience and remembering all these formats overwhelm you, you can try Offeo. Perfectly optimized for YouTube, our online video maker can make it so much easier for you to create thumb-stopping videos.
You can do this by using one of the 3000+ designer templates we provide and adding your spin to it. And To top it all off, you can create great thumbnails with our YouTube Thumbnail Maker to grab your potential viewers' attention and get maximum views on your videos!
It sounds like the complete package, right? Sign up for Offeo today and experience effortless video making with peace of mind, as your video format will always be suitable for YouTube.