In the age of 4G and Gigabit Ethernet speeds, videos have become the main source of content on the web. While text still reigns as the de-facto language of the internet, the video is taking up a massive chunk of user interest and attention.
As of 2017, the video sharing platform YouTube has become the second largest search engine, behind its parent Google; and ahead of other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo! by a wide margin. From a purely contextual perspective, about 60 hours of video are uploaded each minute, and the YouTube library currently has more than 8 petabytes of data.
All of the above data tells one simple fact. YouTube, just like the web, is a crowded place; in fact, it is a very crowded space. However, since the volume of traffic is huge on the platform, it is a great way to divert some traffic back to your own website.
Also Read: A Detailed Guide to Blog Marketing
How YouTube Ranks Videos:
YouTube is a video sharing platform, hence the models of search engine optimization on YouTube is completely different from that of search engines such as Google. Content on YouTube is displayed in 2 distinct ways:
User Page: The user page shows content from channels which the user has subscribed to, as well as the content that the user has ‘liked’ or viewed multiple times. If the user has not logged in to YouTube and opens the site, it shows the homepage, containing the most popular videos for the particular locale, based on IP address on a wide variety of genres.
YouTube uses an algorithm to find out the latest videos with similar content based on the viewing habits. It takes the following factors into consideration:
- User subscription: YouTube first checks which channel the user has subscribed to, and those videos are almost always on the list.
- Viewing Frequency: YouTube checks the viewing frequency of a user for videos from a particular channel to display those videos on the top of this page. This also takes into factor how long the user has been viewing the video. If a user views a video from the beginning to the end, its score is higher than for a video which has been viewed approximately 60% and then skipped to another video.
- Search Page: The search page shows videos with keywords that users have searched for, and it categorizes search results based on a few criteria:
- The number of Channel Subscribers: The number of subscribers for a channel hosting the video is always the most important criteria on this page, and it influences the position of a video on the search page for a particular topic or keyword.
- Keyword Match: The second criteria it uses is to match the keywords with those given in 3 positions: the video title, the video description, and the video tag; with higher scoring provided in the given order.
- Number of Views: The number of views of a video is also taken into account to influence the position of the video on the search page.
For most YouTube users, the user page is the default page, since it shows up whenever someone opens up the YouTube app on their phone or visits the site using a web browser.
More Interesting: Apps which will make your brand go viral overnight
How to Gain Traffic to Your YouTube Channel
Gaining traffic and traction is difficult, but not impossible on YouTube. It is a great platform to promote your services as well as earn revenue through advertising and cross-promotion.
Unlike the web, where the interaction between the user and the provider is extremely transactional; the relationship between the viewer and a YouTube channel is highly emotional, and people tend to associate themselves with particular YouTube channels which define their lifestyle choices. Given below are some of the factors that influence viewers to view videos:
- Content Quality: Quality always trumps, that is the core tenet of capitalism. Your content must provide something unique and different which is not available in the content of your competition. If you want to promote your products and services, why not make a tutorial? Tutorials are a great way to gain users and subscribers since there are a lot of people who want to learn about using and learning different things and techniques.
- Content Clarity: There is a lot of content on YouTube and one of the most effective ways to make sure that your content has the possibility of being viewed by more people is through clear content. Content clarity takes on a few forms, a few of them are given below:
- Clear Video: The video being uploaded should be clear and the subject matter should be properly visible. If possible, invest in a quality camera to capture proper videos, preferably in Full HD (1080p), so that the video is crisp in a wide variety of screens.
- Clear Audio: The sound of the video should be audible properly. Since there are infections in the volume and intonation of the human voice, the audio should be recorded as close to the subject matter as possible. It is best to invest in a lapel microphone which can be placed on clothing to ensure that all of the sounds are captured properly. A head-mounted headset can also be used.
- Proper Editing: Editing of a video and its audio source is essential before the video is uploaded to YouTube. This ensures that the video is concise and devoid of natural sounds such as ‘uh’, ‘um’ etc. while speaking. In addition, editing a video ensures that parts which are unnecessary are removed from the final video.
- Video Description: The video description includes key aspects such as the video title, the description content and the keywords. These metadata provide YouTube with the necessary information to make its searches more effective, thereby providing the video to a greater number of search result pages.
- Video Title: On YouTube, the title is one of the key aspects that are visible on the search page. To ensure maximum visibility, the desired keyword should be the first set of words in the title.
- Content Description: The description of the content which YouTube uses to look for keywords in the video. YouTube uses a similar algorithm to Google Search to look for keywords in the description. A well-written description not only provides viewers with information about the content of the video but also helps the search bots to effectively categorize the video.
- Tags: The tags are keywords that are used by YouTube to categorize a video. For tags to be effective, they need to be short and precise to let YouTube find the exact niche of the video content. Since multiple tags can be used in a video, it is best to use tags for the keyword, the genre, and the channel name to provide maximum visibility to both the video as well as the channel for search bots.
- Links: YouTube allows links to be embedded in videos and descriptions. This can be used in a variety of ways to redirect traffic to the proper location.
- Comments: Comments appear on the video as speech bubbles which allow for specific text to appear during a specific time-period in the video. Comments are best to be used for linking traffic to external resources such as PDF content on the website with detailed information about the topic of the video.
- Link Boxes: Link boxes are the URL markers of YouTube. Link boxes can appear during specific times in the video and are used to link to other resources, both within and outside the video. It is best to place link boxes to relate to content uploaded previously, which discusses a related topic to ensure continuity for the viewer.
- Description Links: Description links are plain HTTP links that are present in the video description. These links are best used to refer to the home page of the requisite website or to other affiliate links to generate affiliate revenue.
YouTube is one of the best platforms to generate traffic to your website, and more importantly, to develop your own brand online. It combines multiple aspects of the total web experience, including a social aspect and an audio-visual aspect. Why not make the best use of it today?