YouTube videos and link building
By Kellen Kautzman
Developing and increasing online awareness is key for small business owners, and there are many simple, inexpensive strategies. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a battle. Each of the hundreds of businesses I’ve worked with over the last decade have wanted the same thing – return on investment. Most believe if they rank well in Google, they will see the desired return. Their success, of course, is completely dependent upon the keywords which they can rank for, the likelihood of getting to rank high with those keywords, and their competitors’ strategies and tactics. With SEO, every advantage counts. The top tips I recommend to my clients involve utilizing YouTube videos and link building.
A billion hours per day cannot be ignored, and yet many businesses still live in a world where a YouTube video is considered to be more like a TV commercial than an online video. Quantity matters online. In the television age, you had 30 seconds to advertise your message, and that cost you handsomely. Now you have as much time as you’d like to push forward regular content. One easy SEO tactic to implement is using YouTube to increase your company’s SEO by creating “insider tip” videos. However for many small and mid-sized businesses, the fear of creating videos or being the face of the company is paralyzing.
The reality is that most people feel self-conscious throughout their entire lives, and YouTube heightens feelings of insecurity. Our faces online, talking about whatever, is a nightmare scenario for many people. As Nick Morgan of Forbes.com points out:
About 10 percent of the population loves public speaking. That group experiences no fear and gets a huge buzz being in front of a large crowd.
Another 10 percent are genuinely terrified. Those are the people who are physically debilitated by even the thought of public speaking. True glossophobics will go to great lengths to avoid speaking in a group situation, and will experience nausea, panic attacks and extreme anxiety.
The rest of us – roughly the 80 percent in the middle – get butterflies, get anxious, don’t sleep much the night before – but we know that we’re going to live through it. It’s just not much fun.
That fear we experience – whatever the precise physical symptoms – is adrenaline-based. That means that it’s unpleasant but not debilitating. Here’s the good news: with a little work, we can turn those butterflies to our advantage.
Nick is right. To overcome fear of public speaking is paramount for Internet entrepreneurs and business owners. YouTube is simply too large and powerful to be ignored, and there are significant SEO benefits to having YouTube videos and links in the description area of the video and annotation links (the notes that appear within the video that you can click on). Annotations often include a link to another video, the website or the option to subscribe to the channel.
Business owners are experts in their industry, and yet speaking in front of a camera is horrifying for many of them. You can turn this to your advantage! Simply answering basic questions on YouTube, publishing them with Google Adwords and embedding those videos within your site’s blog gives you an advantage.
Bottom line – start making YouTube videos! They are assets that will stand the test of time. They also build links back to your website through annotations. If fear is stopping you from moving forward, download a video and record a tutorial on something you do every day.
Here are a few key points for utilizing YouTube videos to increase your rankings: always include annotations that link back to your website, edit the closed captions, include a link to your website in the description, embed the video into a blog on your website and share it on social media, share the blog with your email lists, and always ask viewers to subscribe and like your videos. Follow these steps and you will be ahead of 95% of local business owners who are intimidated by the price of video and the time commitment. You can also build an audience with in-stream ads, as anyone who watches for 29 seconds is an impression. Viewers can’t skip the ad for six seconds, so the key to growing an audience is leveraging that time.
Link building is the foundation for increasing SEO, and now possibilities are exponential with the use of images and video on social media. For years, link building referred to any link from a site outside of your own which points to your site. There was a time when we could trick Google’s algorithm to believe that we were more important than we actually were, but those days are over. When link building is done right, it creates content relevant to your business, which is shared on social media platforms that Google recognizes and can be measured via Google Webmaster Tools. Google Webmaster Tools, an absolute essential for anyone seriously interested in SEO, shows a detailed list of links that Google has found on the web that point to your site.
As the second largest referrer of traffic to websites, Pinterest presents amazing opportunities to share quality content and simultaneously reap SEO rewards. On Pinterest, when you link an image back to your website it counts as a backlink, and that link can be measured in the Google Search console. Furthermore, every time the image is re-pinned (shared), the link duplicates. This means that a picture that is relevant to your business can create hundreds of backlinks, which is huge for SEO and rankings.
Your ability to provide evidence in the form of photos, videos and blogs will define your Internet presence and rankings in search engines. Give your employees the ability to promote your business through photos and videos. For example, we work with a garage door repair franchise with locations throughout California, and we’ve made it abundantly clear we would love photos and videos from them. They sent us a video, taken from a smartphone, of a garage door that had gone off its railing. The whole situation looked like a train wreck. Our client was called into fix the garage door, and the tech had been told by management that, should they run into something noteworthy, photos and videos would be appreciated. That video is up on YouTube, was embedded in the blog and shared via social media. The tech was also wise enough to take some pictures. All that media provides the evidence we need not only to rank well in Google, but to create blog and social media content that is worth watching, liking and sharing. When you create blog content, remember that you can build links from YouTube and Pinterest, and those links will appear in Google Webmaster Tools. Remember to always take and share photos and videos!
Kellen Kautzman is the founder and operator of Send It Rising Internet Marketing, a Las Vegas-based internet marketing agency. Kautzman is a well-regarded expert on growing small business with digital marketing and SEO, a public speaker, and published author of the book, “Everybody’s Doing It – Advertising Redefined by SEO Expert Kellen Kautzman”, which initially launched as the #1 New Release on Amazon.com in the SEO category.