According to Alexa, YouTube is the 3rd biggest website for traffic in the world – after Google and Facebook.
As far as search engines go, it’s the second biggest after Google.
And you probably already know that Google own YouTube so you have a good chance of picking up organic traffic from Google’s SERPs too if you optimize your videos correctly.
What Are You Using YouTube For?
Do you think of YouTube as a distraction that’s only good for music and entertainment videos?
What if there was a way to tap into the traffic that YouTube provides and use it to fuel your business?
Well you can.
And even better, you can do it for free.
The Opportunity – Your Competition Doesn’t Do Video Well
See, YouTube is a larger barrier to entry for most people because you have to upload a video.
And people either don’t know where to start or they feel uncomfortable with the idea of doing a ‘talking head’ – i.e. speaking direct to the camera, or they think that video is too expensive to outsource.
But if you know how to use PowerPoint (or Keynote for the Mac) then you can easily record your slides with screen capture software and a microphone and create a ‘screencast’ video.
‘Screencast’ videos are a great way to repurpose existing content. All you need to do is create slides with bullet points of your content and talk over them whilst recording your screen.
Here’s a simple 5 step process that you can follow, regardless of your niche, to help leverage the traffic on YouTube and turn it into free leads for your business.
Like with most websites blogs the key is to be consistent in your content creation.
Step 1: YouTube Keyword Research
If you want to be successful in business, you need to find a way to provide solutions to a problem for your target market.
YouTube videos that pull in a lot of traffic often start with ‘How to…’
–> Think ‘How to lose weight, How to win my ex back, How to fix a burst pipe’ etc.
I’m assuming that you already know what niche you’re in. As an example let’s take a look at the health and fitness niche.
Identify what types of problems your customers are having or common questions that you get asked.
Start by typing in a few words into YouTube and you’ll soon be given suggestions in the drop down below the search bar.
If we type in ‘How to lose weight…’ YouTube returns the following results:
To get more ideas for keywords, you can also try typing in these results into the Google Keyword Planner tool to get related ideas.
This should give you a seed list of 20+ video titles that you can create content around.
Step 2 – Keep It Short And Simple
As we get busier in our lives, with work, family and social commitments, our attention spans have fallen. People are less interested in watching long videos.
Your target audience on YouTube want short tips that are to the point. So make sure that you only focus on 1 problem for each video.
Your videos should ideally be under 3 minutes in length. Any longer and you risk your audience dropping off.
How long your audience stays on your video is a signal to YouTube about how relevant your video is to your keyword.
Just like Google measures time on site (for a website) as a user signal ranking factor, YouTube also measures how long your content kept your audience engaged.
If they watch to the very end of your video, you’ll have a better chance of keeping your organic rankings.
The more videos you have on your YouTube channel, the more you can compound your traffic.
See, unlike a traditional website, where you read an article, browse a little and then jump to another site, YouTube has a fantastic way of keeping users on its website.
It does this by showing related videos in the right hand side bar. An easy way to get into the related video section is to use similar tags in each of your videos.
YouTube also cookies your device based on past browsing history so if you have multiple videos on your channel, chances are that the user will return if they see something related of interest.
Step 3 – Turn Views Into Leads
Once you have repeat visitors to your channel, the next step is to convert them into leads on your own website.
There’s multiple ways of doing this, ranging from putting your full website url in the description underneath your video to having a call to action at the end of your video.
But one of the best ways is to use annotations.
You can redirect your viewers to your website by providing an incentive, i.e. a free gift on your website which they ‘opt-in’ to receive.
You can also ask your viewer to subscribe to your YouTube channel if they like your content and wish to receive alerts about when you release new content.
Another call to action is to ask your viewer to like and comment on your video and tell you what kind of videos they’d like to see from you in the future.
In order to create a clickable annotation link in YouTube, you’ll need to set up an ‘associated website’. You can do this by:
1. Visiting the ‘Creator Studio’ which is under your profile picture
2. Selecting ‘Channel’ from the dashboard
3. Click on ‘External Annotations’ and then ‘Learn More’ to set up external annotations to an associated website.
** Mix up the call to action in your annotations and keep to one per video so that your viewers don’t get annoyed **
Step 4 – Strong Call To Actions
Don’t assume that people know what steps you’d like them to take next.
When people initially find your videos they’re generally interested in solving a specific problem. They don’t care about becoming a subscriber at that moment in time.
At the end of your video, have a clear call to action that tells your viewers what to do.
Yes, you’ve made it clear in your annotation, but as humans we process information in multiple formats.
Hearing the call to action (as well as reading it in the annotation) at the end of a video will reinforce the chances of that viewer actually listening to your request instead of clicking away.
Step 5 – Video Optimization
And remember, once you’ve created your video, you should optimize it by putting your main keyword in:
1. The title
2. The description
3. The video tags
This will help your video to get found in the organic search results.