Part 1: Make Sure Your Channel Is In Order
Profile Photo and Cover Art
Make sure you have some good cover art and a good profile photo, these things will help identify your channel and will start to form your brand.
Ensure you have a well written description of what your channel is about.
Set Your Channel Keywords
In your youtube settings you can set relevant keywords for your channel, make sure you set these up and that the keywords you enter are relevant to what you do on your channel.
Create a Custom Thumbnail Design
Custom thumbnails are one of the most important parts to get views on YouTube, thumbnails are the first thing people see when your video shows up in search results and the suggested videos sidebar, make sure your custom thumbnail design is attractive and will make people want to click it, but try not to be misleading, people don't like it when they don't see the video the thumbnail represented.
Part 2: SEO
Your video title is important as it is the first thing people will read when they see your video in search results or in the video suggestions sidebar, making sure your title is attractive and includes your main keyword for that video will help.
Your video description is important for ranking in search engines, YouTube cannot hear your video and know what it is about which is why it is important to write good descriptions for your videos, they should be at least 250 words and feature your main keyword a few times.
Do not use keyword stuffing, keyword stuffing is the act of adding lots of keywords at the end of your description, the description has to be naturally written and if you use keyword stuffing YouTube will catch on and potentially close your account.
Keywords are a common way to kind of categorize videos and help show relevant videos to people in search results, don't go too crazy with keywords, use between 10-15 keywords for each video and make sure those keywords are relevant, another thing that is not known by many people is that order is important, make sure you put your main keywords first.
Closed Captions is a feature a lot of creators don't make use of but is a feature that can actually help. Closed Captions not only makes your videos more accessible to people, but Closed Captions are also indexed by Google and can help your video rank in search results.
Make sure to manually write your captions and delete YouTube's automatic captions, automatic captions are not ranked by Google since they are highly error prone.
You can create playlists to curate your content into specific areas, playlists can increase views as videos play one after the other automatically, you can also reach new viewers in search results by creating playlists, make sure to give them good descriptions to help them reach the right people.
Part 3: Engagment
Reply to Every Comment
Replying to comments triggers engagement signals to YouTube that can help your video rank higher, make sure to reply to as many comments as you can and try keeping a conversation going by replying with another question.
Use a Call to Action
At the end of every video make sure to prompt your viewers to like the video if they like it and subscribe to see more, many viewers won't act unless prompted and this can really help bring people in.
Make sure you know what YouTube's rules are when asking for likes or subscribers, you can prompt them at the end of your video but you cannot say things like "If I get to x likes I'll do this"
Take Every Opportunity to Include Your Audience
Make sure to take every opportunity to engage with your audience and make them feel like they are part of the channel, this can include doing things like shoutouts, asking viewers things like "who won" or "who's next", featuring social media posts in your videos and asking your viewers what they want to see next and credit them for thier suggestion when you make it.
Part 4: Promote Your Channel
YouTube Fan Finder
The YouTube fan finder program allows you to promote your channel for free, all you have to do is make a great channel ad and submit it, if it gets chosen it will be shown to viewers YouTube thinks will like your videos.
Adwords for Video
If paying to promote your videos sounds like an option for you, Adwords for video can achieve this, set your amount, make a great ad and get all over the web.
Make sure you make full use of social media to promote your videos, using hashtags to expand your reach, you can use tools like IFTTT to do this automatically and post your new video to all your social networks and blogging platforms.
Collaboration can really help you out on YouTube and expand your network of contacts, find people who you'd like to collaborate with and send them a message, try to find YouTubers that make similar videos to you and who's channel is of a similar size to yours.
The great thing about collaboration is that you don't need to be in the same country to make a video together, you can use things like Google Hangouts to have a conversation about something or you can record video clips individually and combine them into a video.