The WEBRIS YouTube Channel recently surpassed 1 million minutes of 100% organic video views.
When I originally wrote this post, I thought our “organic” views came from videos ranking in Google searches. However, our YouTube Analytics tells a different story. Our top traffic sources are:
So, I’ve modified this post to focus on growth from all organic sources:
Targeting your videos – Understanding searcher intent, keyword research and video creation.
Optimizing your videos – Creating a branded presence, optimizing titles, tags and descriptions.
Promoting your videos – Getting real, engaged views on your videos, building links and embeds to your videos.
That’s a rhetorical question – I know the answer because Google is telling us by showing videos as results.
Some other query types that trigger video results:
This is incredibly important because it tells us what type of videos to focus on. Instead of videos about your business, you should be teaching, sharing, training and helping.
Now, I’m not saying this is the only thing – there’s plenty of directions you can go.
However, focusing on creating videos that inform will put you in the best position to succeed, I promise.
“But…I run a business, that needs to sell stuff to stay open. Why do I care if people are watching a ‘how-to’ video about tying a tie”?
Fair question. Let’s break this down using a funnel:
Let’s say you own an ecommerce shop that sells men’s clothing:
Top of funnel
You can attack this is 3 ways:
Predator Nutrition is an ecommerce site that sells health and fitness supplements. They have their own private label products, but mainly they’re a retailer (meaning they sell other brands as well).
When we were doing the initial keyword research for them, we found that the #1 keyword attached to the products they sold was “reviews”.
We had their team create video reviews of the highly searched products – using the process in the rest of this post, we ranked them in Google for these keywords.
This is important as it’s really hard to rank an ecommerce product page for “review” keywords. Generally, Google is looking to rank an unbiased, 3rd party source for review searches.
Using YouTube, you can sneak in behind the power of the domain and rank for your own products.
I generally start by putting the website’s keywords into YouTube search. Then, I look for signs that it’s a keyword I want to attack:
When I find relevant, high volume keywords with low competition, I build out a content calendar:VIEW TEMPLATE
The calendar breaks down everything:
I pass this document to my offshore team who manages the uploading, graphics and formatting for me.
Before you start uploading videos, you might consider cleaning up your Channel’s appearance.
Creative and Channel branding is incredibly important – you want to customize a number of items, including:
You can get quality design work done for cheap on Fiverr.
In addition, you want to setup Playlists that group your videos logically. I like to create them for display on our Channel page to help people find our top videos.
A good brand helps drive more subscribers – no one wants to follow a channel that looks like shit. Most importantly, that brand will help you stand out in the “Up next” videos, stealing clicks away from competitors.
YouTube is pretty damn smart, but they can’t see what your video is about (yet…). Much like image SEO, YouTube sees your video’s file name.
It’s easy to do:
Now you’re ready to upload your file to YouTube.
When you dump the file in the upload section the raw video name will pull through – leave it as is. This is the title you want for your video.
Titles are incredibly important – they’re a major ranking factor. When I write titles, I include at least 3 of the following in each:
While some think tags have no affect, I kindly disagree – they’re there for a reason.
I like to steal my tags from the competition.
Tags are used by search engines for classification – I believe using the same tags as the top ranked videos helps to associate you with their keywords.
I’ve seen plenty of videos ranking high with NO descriptions, so I don’t image it’s something that even gets crawled by YouTube anymore.
YouTube is not a conversion channel – that action needs to take place elsewhere. The description is a great place to push people to owned platforms.
In the description, I like to:
Now, we’re ready for the next section.
From my data, the #1 ranking factor is user engagement.
That means things like:
The problem is, how can you get engaged views with no audience and no organic rankings?
It’s a pain in the ass, but as I mentioned before, building a YouTube Channel takes commitment. If you don’t have an audience, you have to build one.
When I first got started on YouTube, I had a promotional process. Every time I published a video, I did the following:
1. Post to a Facebook Group
Facebook Groups are awesome, but you have to be careful not to spam the group and get booted (CHECK OUT OUR GROUP). I always recommend spending some time building a presence before dropping links bombs everywhere.
2. Find a relevant Quora thread
Straight forward – search for a relevant thread, write a good answer and embed your video for further info.
3. Post it to LinkedIn
I’ve always had a good sized audience through connections on LinkedIn (which can be built manually also, by the way). I create a new post on my personal page about the YouTube video and embed it there.
4. Embed in the blog
We re-built our blog posts to include an embeddable YouTube video in the header. It’s an extra place to capture views, easily.
5. Hit some Google+ Communities
They say Google+ is dead, but Communities are still hanging on. You can drop a link to your videos in there, the key is finding engaged Communities, which is becoming a challenge.
6. Send to email list
Email is by far the best promotional tactic – you can send a steady stream of engaged views right away, which is a huge ranking and quality signal to YouTube.
The ultimate goal is to build your Channel into a reputable source for YouTube – this comes through building engagement on your videos.
If you can do that, YouTube will do all the promotional work for you.
If you do everything up to this point, your videos will rank well within YouTube. To rank in Google organic Search you need to build links to your videos.
YouTube is a Domain Authority 99 site, meaning the domain has a massive spam tolerance. This allows us to build lower quality links, safely.
1 or 2 quality contextual links will rank just about any video. I like to use guest post and sponsored posts, as often times you can get a nice embed in there as well.
If you find the right SubReddit, and you have the right video, you can get some great links and engagement from Reddit. Read my guide to Reddit.
When done properly, you can get pretty good links from blog comments. Our team is instructed to find opportunity by searching Google for articles about our video, commenting and adding a link or embed for reference.
In certain niches, forums are active and great sources of traffic. They’re also a solid source of links for YouTube videos.
That’s all I got – I’m happy to answer questions if you leave them in the comments!