Just like Google and Pinterest, YouTube acts as a search engine too. Once you understand that, you’ll realize that the keys to driving traffic with YouTube will be to give the viewers what they want to see.
So, what do they want?
They want information, solutions to their problems and/or entertainment. If you’re a marketer, that means you need ALL 3. Infotainment should be your core YouTube philosophy.
What is infotainment?
We live in a world of instant notifications, Instagram stories, 15-second Tik Tok videos and so on. People have the attention span of a housefly and will flit from platform to platform at a second’s notice.
Infotainment is about providing information mixed in with entertainment so that you reel in your viewer and keep them watching your video for as long as possible.
This will increase the audience retention rate on your channel and YouTube will view your videos and channel in a more favorable light.
Always make the best possible videos you can. This will ensure that you get more views and engagement on your videos… but this is only the beginning.
Now let’s talk about optimization…
There are a few key areas where you must focus on optimization to give your channel and videos an edge when it comes to ranking.
For starters, you’ll need to optimize your channel. Give it an authoritative name and insert a keyword related to your niche, if possible.
Your channel description should be short, state what the channel is about and have 2-3 relevant keywords.
Have some channel art designed for your channel. When you receive the images, rename the file names after keywords relevant to your niche. Then upload them to your YouTube channel.
Add your website and social media links to your channel settings. It’s important to remember that the more fields you fill out in your channel settings, the more YouTube will view your account as legitimate. You’re taking your business seriously here.
Remember to verify your website, add a line in your default settings such as ‘Visit our official website at: YourURL.com’. This will ensure that this line shows up in all your future video descriptions without you having to repeatedly type it out.
You may wish to also add a featured video welcoming people to your channel. Later on, you can replace this video with one that has received the most engagement.
Video optimization is quite straightforward. If you’re targeting a keyword, make sure it’s mentioned within the first 20 seconds of your video.
The filename and properties of the video should contain your keywords. Ideally, you should use an extension like VidIQ (https://vidiq.com/) to find tags that you can use in your properties and in your video description.
Your video title MUST have the keyword you’re targeting in it. For example, if you’re targeting ‘Container Gardening’, your title could be, “5 Container Gardening Tips | Cheap and Easy Ways 2023”
Not only is the title specific, but there are benefits in it and the ‘2023′ in brackets shows that it’s a recent and relevant video. This will encourage clicks.
Each video you upload will have a description field for you to fill out. Add a URL to your blog post here. This is how you DRIVE TRAFFIC to your blog with YouTube.
Now, this link could be a link to your landing page so you can build a list. Or it could be a link to an affiliate product. The more videos you create, the more opportunities you have to insert links.
Your video description should be long enough to include your main keyword and several LSI keywords too. Keep it all looking natural while you optimize it. DO NOT keyword stuff here.
Aim for a minimum of 300 words in your description. Add 7-9 relevant hashtags for your niche.
After uploading your video, post a comment under it with a link to your website and pin this comment.
Then add subtitles for the video (in the settings) so it’s further optimized… and set your video to public and watch it from beginning to end in 2-3 different browsers. This will help with your video rankings.
In your job post description, tell them to search for your video using your chosen keyword, then watch the video from start to end, give it a thumbs up and post a favorable comment below the video.
Doing this will improve the viewer retention of the video.
Also remember to use a thumbnail that’s attractive and gets attention. It’s CRUCIAL you get this right.
This thumbnail is the first thing YouTube users see when your video appears in the suggestions. If the thumbnail perks their curiosity, you’ll get the click and people will watch your video.
If your video does not get much views, change the headline and see if there’s an improvement. If there still isn’t any improvement, you can always create a new thumbnail and test it.
In most cases, if the channel and video is optimized, it’s probably one of these two variables that’s adversely affecting your views.
Generally, short videos do better. Videos that are too long can seem overwhelming to viewers. Short and to-the-point videos will ensure that viewers watch the videos in their entirety.
Reply to comments that people leave under your videos. This engagement will build loyalty and goodwill.
Another way to get people on your channel will be to leverage your other web assets. If you have an email list or a Facebook group, tell them about your new channel and ask them to subscribe to it.
Every bit helps when it comes to gaining momentum.
When does the magic happen?
You must understand that free traffic methods take time to yield results. Give yourself 6-12 months for your YouTube traffic to swell and result in clicks, sales and subscribers.
Your job should be to constantly create content that’s useful. Always remember to ask your viewers to like your videos, subscribe to your channel and click on the links in the description.
Keep sending YouTube traffic to your landing page so you can build your list. Your blog should also have a pop-up to allow people to opt in to your list.
Whether you wish to appear on camera or not is up to you. Generally, appearing on camera can boost your likes and views. People like putting a face to the voice and videos.
But if you’re too shy to, you can always use a tool like Camtasia or Vidnami to create tutorial videos, etc. that will still get engagement.
At the end of the day, it’s all about creating content that’s useful and fun. If you can do that, and you follow the pointers above, you’ll definitely be able to drive traffic to your web properties.
Stick with the plan and you’ll see results in a matter of time. YouTube is an excellent platform for driving free traffic, even if it’s a bit labor intensive. The rewards will be well-worth it.