The following guide was created by a guy named Tom Martin, who blogs over at FAQTube.tv. I’ve gotten to know Tom a little bit lately, as he’s been hanging around in the same communities and comments sections of other blogs that I do. Tom is a certified YouTube channel manager and expert when it comes to using YouTube. His blog provides countless insights to help you achieve better YouTube results. But this guide that he created for Dumb Passive Income actually provides some awesome insights for how to use YouTube for niche site optimization. As I’ve stated before, I won’t accept and publish just any guest post for this blog. The post has to be very high quality and provide incredible value to my readers. This post absolutely does that! So, take it away Tom…
Over 100 hours of content is uploaded to YouTube every hour of the day. It has over 1 billion unique users every month.
Ok, you get it, it’s huge.
But what you may not know is just how useful it can be for those of us looking to generate traffic and improve our SEO. It’s these two points that I’m going to help you with today.
As niche site builders, we don’t necessarily want what other’s want from YouTube (5 minutes of fame, a record deal, brand sponsorship) and that’s not a bad thing. Yes, going viral is a nice bonus but it’s not essential. And having a large subscriber base can be a huge advantage, but you can get great results from YouTube without putting up big numbers. Good news.
I know that time and resources are precious and so you’ll want to gain maximum results from minimal input and depending on whether you run an authority site, multiple niche sites, or something in-between, there’ll be limits to what you can dedicate to YouTube.
With that in mind there are three main parts to this guide, split by tactics that range from the most passive to the most hands-on:
- Using embedded videos to improve your site’s content
- Creating a YouTube channel with minimal videos to help your site’s SEO
- Running a fully-fledged YouTube channel to increase authority and traffic
Part 1 – Embedding Other People’s Content
We’re not reinventing the wheel here. Find a good quality video that’s relevant to your article and embed it into the post.
For example, on Matts homepage on one of his niche sites at BoraxAntKiller.com, he could embed this high quality video on the natural benefits of borax:
If you have the technical knowledge to put together a niche site you know how to embed a YouTube video. But for those that don’t, the code you need can be found under the player of any video.
Hit Share > Embed > Chose your required player size > Deselect “Suggested Videos when video is finished playing” (you don’t want your reader to be sucked into the YouTube wormhole):
Then grab the code from the box below and insert it into any post.
Even though this benefits the uploader of the original video as you send them views, there are a number of benefits to you:
- Authority by association – If the video is quality and provides value then your audience are getting what they came for and are likely to return to your site. Even if the video is clearly not made by you, their authority will be associated with you and your site.
- A more professional look – Video will provide a richer experience for your reader and will help to break up the text. It will appear more effort has been spent on putting together the article and this is good for trust.
- Average Session Duration – If your articles are only a few hundred words it won’t take your reader long to bounce. Adding video will improve the time they spend on page, a big ranking factor with Google.
This may be all you’ve ever used YouTube for on your Niche sites. But, with just a little more effort, you can get some good backlinks and potential traffic.
Part 2 – Get Backlinks from YouTube with Little Investment
By starting a YouTube channel for your niche site you can get at least 2 guaranteed backlinks (and heaps more if you want them) from YouTube which has a DA of 100.
I’ve checked and confirmed that these links are No-Follow links but these are still beneficial, as Google loves a diverse backlink profile. I’ve always thought too that Google gives more weight to links from other Google properties.
Once the channel has been opened (you only need a Gmail address or a new Google+ page) here are the places to drop your links:
The About tab
Navigate to this part of your channel and edit the Custom Links section:
Once entered here you will get a link in the header of your channel page giving you another backlink. You can also add in links to any social profiles your site may have and they will get the same treatment.
You can even add in the URLs of multiple internal pages and you will get links to all of those too, although only the initial link will be shown in the channel header.
Since the YouTube comments system was merged into Google+ there’s been the ability to post links in comments. Find high authority videos that are relevant to your niche or that share a similar audience and drop a link in the comments. Just like if you were blog commenting, add value with your comments or they are likely to be removed. As it stands, most comments with links will be diverted straight into the spam queue. But as the Google+ comments platform matures, this is likely to lessen.
Once you’ve actually posted some videos, you’ll open a new avenue for links:
You can post as many links as you like in here to any site on the web. Make sure to add http:// to all of your links on YouTube or they won’t be active. Go here to see Tom’s full guide to video descriptions on his blog.
You could also approach creators of really popular videos and potentially buy/trade a link from their description. Whatever you offer, approach them in a professional and personal way because YouTube inboxes can get very spammy (I’ve experienced this first hand) and your message will be deleted quickly if you don’t get your wording right.
Every channel, whether you want it or not, now has a dedicated Google+ page. It takes very little time but you can get multiple do-follow links from a very high authority domain and there’s no way they could be seen as spammy. All you need to do is fill in the about tab.
For the channel to not be seen as a total SEO play you’ll need to eventually post some content (bummer I know) but there are some time and cost effective ways to do this:
Re-purpose your existing articles by pulling out the main points and creating a slide show. You can then export those as video files and upload directly to YouTube. This is a simple process and here’s how you can do this on both Powerpoint and Keynote.
The beauty of this technique is that you can also upload the original slideshows to SlideShare for even more links. Matt has actually done this for his Borax Ant Killer niche site. Here is a link to the presentation on Slideshare.
If you already have a VA or outsourcing process, use this to get short videos created quickly and cheaply. If you haven’t got the budget to outsource, try places like Fiverr where there are a whole host of cheap video gigs that should cover your needs.
I’ve heard of a number of services that automate the process of turning existing blog content into videos. I can’t recommend any as I haven’t used them personally, but I’m sure a quick Google search will point you in the right direction.
If this sounds like about as much time or effort as you want to spend on YouTube, then no worries. It should get you some good results. Now go check out some more of Matt’s awesome articles on building niche sites. For those that want to delve a bit deeper, our journey begins here.
Part 3 – Using YouTube to Create Authority & Increase Traffic
Like anything in life, the more effort you put in the more you’re going to get out of it. The same is true for a YouTube channel. Better quality content that’s optimized will gain you more views and more traffic. To add to that, those links you’ve already placed will now sit on pages that have higher page rank or page authority. Like with Google, on YouTube success begets success. The better the content is received (audience retention is one of the top ranking factors) the more it’s promoted by the platform in search results and the Suggested Videos sidebar.
With this in mind it makes perfect sense to go the extra mile in terms of content production and also in making sure that at least the fundamentals of the channel are optimized. See the following guides on my blog:
You can still repurpose the content that you’ve already created, but you could also stretch to a professionally produced version that is more likely to be watched and shared.
To help build authority in the space I’d also suggest creating bespoke content just for the platform. You can conduct Keyword research for this in the traditional way using tools like Long Tail Pro and you may find that these videos start to rank in Google too, as they tend to heavily weigh YouTube videos in their results. However there are cases where some things are being searched more on YouTube than Google and vice-versa. For that reason I’d suggest using the YouTube Keyword Tool to validate any video ideas you have.
We have already discussed methods of having videos created for you but what about creating some for yourself?
Here are a few entry-level suggestions for creating your own YouTube videos:
Vlog / Piece to Camera
If your niche site is fronted by you personally, why not record quick pieces to camera. You could use a camera built into your computer, but for a more professional look use an external camera. Most smart phones can now record in full HD. Appearing in video is great for authority sites as it builds up a higher level of trust between you and the reader.
If your niche is computer/internet based, why not create guides or how-to’s by recording what you are doing on screen. These are perfect for YouTube and easy to create and edit. This is the technique I use often and can highly recommend ScreenFlow) if you’re a Mac user.
If you’re already running webinars or hosting Google hangouts with people relevant in your niche, uploading these to YouTube is another great idea. Interviews and lessons with industry experts are great because their authority will be associated with you and your site.
Now you have your content, it’s worth going the extra mile in tweaking it and getting it out into the world. Here are some things that are essential to maximize the benefit of your content:
Associate your site with your YouTube channel
If you’re using the same Google account as your Webmaster tools this is just a one click process – more info here .
YouTube only allows you to link out to certain properties through video annotations (the pop up displays you can add in the video manager) but by associating your website you can link directly to your site. These are created using flash widgets. They don’t count as backlinks, but if lots of people are watching your videos it can be a great source of traffic.
The beauty of this is that you can use a simple re-direct so that these links to your site actually lead to any site on the web, including your affiliate links (check your YouTube user agreement to decide if you should be doing this or not).
Upload a transcript
YouTube gives you the option of uploading a transcript for your video that it converts to a subtitle file. I recommend doing this because it means that every word in the video gets indexed by YouTube, (and Google) as opposed to just those in your tags and description. This is essential for ranking for high competition keywords.
Get involved in comments
You already know all of the benefits of comments and these are even more important on YouTube. Replying to comments will not only cement your authority in your niche, but YouTube also considers engagement on your videos for how they rank them.
Once you’ve made your video, like with your articles, you want it to be seen in the most places possible as these send signals back to YouTube that people value the video. Post and embed your video in communities, forums and definitely on your own site.
YouTube definitely knows where videos are embedded, but there is some uncertainty as to whether this is as strong as a backlink. I don’t leave it to chance, so offer a link as well just before or after the embed:
This way the backlink is guaranteed but the chances of someone leaving the site to watch the video when it’s right there is minimal, so they’re unlikely to bounce.
This just takes a few clicks) if you already have an account. If your videos are quality and attracting lots of views, you may start to see a steady stream of income. It’s unlikely, unless you go viral, that this is going to break the bank. But as part of a portfolio, every little bit helps – right?
From getting basic backlinks to building a media portfolio to increase authority in your niche, YouTube can provide a range of benefits. These will depend on the effort you put into it. It can be daunting to start with, but remember that the platform was created so that anyone and their granny can upload a video. So within no time, you can be running a channel that works to help your money sites.
If you do get stuck along the way feel free to ask questions in the comments below where I’ll be around to help, or submit a question to me directly (and get a do-follow backlink if it gets used as a blog post).
Now, go get your hands dirty.
Thanks for putting together this incredible guide Tom! Dumb Passive Income readers will certainly benefit from your expertise and knowledge with YouTube. I can’t wait to implement some of your suggestions and put some of this into practice. – Matthew Allen
The Dumb Passive Income blog… all things passive income or related to passive income or very loosely (can be) somewhat tied to passive income.