The 5-Minute Guide to High YouTube Rankings

If you create YouTube videos to post throughout your website and blog, you might as well optimize them to rank in YouTube also.

Every little bit of traffic helps. And searchers in general are looking more at videos than ever before.

So what do you do?

Brian Dean’s team at Backlinko researched 1.3 million YouTube videos. And here’s the highlights of what they found:

  1. Keywords Actually Don’t Have a Lot to Do with High Rankings

Believe it or not, optimizing video tags with keywords didn’t have much of a correlation with high rankings.

You should still do this. It does help. But in general, you get much better results from focusing your time elsewhere.

And here’s why…

  1. Engagement Signals Make the Most Difference When Ranking Videos

Think about it for a second…

YouTube doesn’t want the perfectly optimized video at the top of its rankings any more than Google wants the perfectly optimized web page at the top of search.

Why?

Because optimization doesn’t reveal how much searchers actually like a specific piece of content.

Optimization gives YouTube an idea of what searches your video should rank for.

Engagement signals like the number of video views, comments, shares, and likes have a strong correlation with high rankings.

So it’s not the optimization…it’s your ability to produce videos your audience likes – and how well you promote your video to them.

Google search works on the same general concept.

  1. Video Length

Don’t make a video long just to rank.

If you put your focus on length only, you’ll sacrifice those engagement signals because you won’t create valuable enough content.

Instead, the focus should be the afore-mentioned value. And then, your video runs as long as it does.

The more value you can provide to your audience, the better. That keeps them watching and then taking actions – like sharing, commenting, liking, and subscribing.

Brian Dean’s team found the average length of a video on YouTube’s first page was 14 minutes, 50 seconds.

  1. Your Video’s Gotta be in HD

68.2% of first-page YouTube videos are in HD. It makes sense. Google, and YouTube, are all about user experience.

And people would certainly prefer an HD video.

So anyway, that’s what you do to get a video to rank on YouTube. If you want greater depth, you can read the full post here.

How to Stand Out on Social Media in 2018

Doesn’t it seem like Twitter and Facebook are bloated with people screaming their political opinions?

If you get that feeling, you’re not alone. 

As a small or local business, how do you stand out on social media in 2018, without doing something outrageous and making a complete fool of yourself?

Well, you can absolutely win attention.

And here’s a few ways you can do it:

  1. Own Your Unique Personality

Authenticity attracts attention. You could also call it “openness” or “transparency.” Maybe even “vulnerability” would be the right term.

See, most businesses don’t do this. They want to appear invulnerable, always having the answers and saying and doing the smartest thing.

You can certainly share your successes. But share what it’s like to truly be your business. Some of the greatest challenges you struggle with it during the day.

For example, you made an embarrassing mistake. Share it on social media. But also make sure you share what you learned from it and what you’ve done to fix it.

You could even turn it into an opportunity to show what you do for your customers when you make mistakes (because no business is perfect).

  1. Video Builds the Deepest Connections

Thanks to mobile devices, demand for video is surging.

Why do so many people prefer video to podcasts and written content?

Because you get to experience the humanity of the person talking.

It’s the next closest thing to sitting in the same room with that person.

Facebook opened up Watch to compete with YouTube late last summer.

YouTube has all sorts of mini-celebrities.

I’m not saying you have to create some sort of popular mini-series.

But you should include video wherever possible because it’s in such high demand.

  1. Strategize a Unique Approach

Most SMBs simply fill their social media channels with more content.

The market already has plenty of choices.

It wants a unique option.

So, let’s say you sell cleaning products to businesses.

How do you make that interesting on social media?

Record before/after videos of your customer’s experience with the product. Show how it makes the floors or countertops shiny and clean. And then follow up with the business results you get for your customer – such as fewer employee work-related illnesses. Or, time and money saved.

Boom. Now you have an interesting story.

Or, say you’re the standard HVAC company.

Share how the product or service you’re recommending helps your customers stay cool and comfortable.

Creative approaches like these win attention because they’re so rare.

Can you win attention on social media in 2018?

You bet.

It just takes some original thinking and willingness to take small risks!

What Amazing Content That Generates Links, Shares, Rankings, and Leads Looks Like

You produce content. But you don’t get the results you want.

Why?

Well, perhaps you don’t understand how to be the best at creating top-level content in your niche.

…And you don’t have to feel embarrassed or ashamed. Because creating the crème-de-la-crème of content takes painstaking hard work and dogged determination.

Even skilled and experienced content creators have to put every ounce of their blood, sweat, and tears into their content to remain at the top.

Yeah.

It’s that hard.

And especially so here in 2018 where you have dozens, if not hundreds, of posts, videos, animations, podcasts, and infographics on exactly the same topic.

So, let’s examine what a truly astounding blog post looks like so you understand what to shoot for:

  1. First, You Provide Truly Unequalled Value

Brian Dean’s Backlinko blog is unquestionably one of the top 2 or 3 blogs in the SEO niche.

The guy gets nearly worshipped as a SEO (and content) demigod.

His most recent post, The Definitive Guide to SEO in 2018, spans an amazing 20,000 words.

But it’s not so much about the length.

It’s about the advice the words deliver.

That’s what keeps people coming back. It’s what gave this post 7100 shares (and counting). And it’s what inspired 473 comments.

Well, those words and Brian’s pre-existing status as a leader in his niche.

How long does it take to write those 20,000 words?

I don’t know. But, you can estimate at least a good 40 hours, and possibly up to 60.

By the way, Brian favors the approach of publishing 1-2 blog posts per month. And these days, he may not even publish that frequently.

All his effort goes into a single post that dominates the competition for a long, long time.

  1. Visual Appeal

In many niches, blog posts sorely lack any real visual appeal.

This isn’t a complete killer for your post’s popularity if you don’t take the time to do it.

But it hurts.

In the SEO niche, blogs on average do a better job of focusing on their visual appeal than most other niches.

But if you can find the time and/or money to have a useful and engaging visual appeal added to your post, it makes a huge difference to the number of links, shares, and comments you get.

For example, when you first visit Backlinko’s post this simple (but engaging) image greets you:

…And then when you scroll down, you see this graphical menu which allows you to click and navigate to various chapters in the post:

…And you’re bombarded with many custom graphics and videos throughout.

I don’t know what the cost for this design would be, but since Brian’s so popular in his niche and wants to keep his status, you can bet he didn’t skimp on costs.

Don’t Feel Constrained to This Ideal

Now look, this is the upper end of what you can aim for – the best the web has to offer (in regard to written content).

You don’t necessarily have to match it yourself because it might be out of your budget.

But, the closer you can come to this ideal, the better off you’ll be. Not only that, but your search rankings will stay secure not just for the next couple months, but for years ahead while your competitors figure out what to do.

By the way, other great example blogs to study and imitate include:

You may have your own favorites too. For now, you understand what your blog must look like to dominate your niche.

How to Dominate Social Media (Without Being an In-Your-Face Pest)

You’re excited to talk all about your products and services. You think you have the greatest solution for your customer’s problem on earth.

…And you likely have a good one.

However, you can’t let that excitement distract you from the fundamentals that make social media marketing work.

How do you become a leading voice in your niche? It’s not easy in social media. You can start easily. But to attract a loyal following who can’t wait to hear what you have to say and wants to buy from you…that takes a ton of work. And the success of that lies in these principles:

  1. Be the Most Useful Company in Your Niche

Many SMBs want to talk about their products and services. However, when done too much, that kind of marketing falls flat on its face.

Why?

Right or wrong, consumers want to get use out of what you share. As they get cool information they can put to use and improve their lives, they trust and like you more.

At first, you should share 80% of your content from other websites related to you in your niche. Just 20% of your content should come from you. Some of that should be useful, while some can advertise.

If you overdo that ratio consistently, your followers doubt your trustworthiness. They stop paying attention to your posts and unfollow. Keep the ratio in balance, and they’ll be happy to buy when they have the need.

Feedly is a great tool for finding content from other sources that your followers would love to read.

  1. Consider Paid Advertising Options

Every social media platform has paid options. Facebook practically forces you to use their advertising to reach most of your followers. They’ve written their algorithm to display your own posts to as few of your followers as possible. It’s their business model!

All other social media platforms work in a similar way, although not to as extreme of an extent.

Don’t view paid advertising as a “shortcut” to growing your audience. That will lead to you spending too much money on it. Instead, view it as an opportunity to boost an already successful strategy.

  1. Make the Most Efficient Use of Your Time

Ever wandered around on Twitter? It’s a real mess. Hundreds of Tweets, trending topics, direct messages, and constant notifications flitter about.

Twitter’s not unique. All social media platforms want them to spend as much of your time as possible on their network. Because then, they have the greatest opportunity to get you to click on ads so they make more money.

As a result, it’s easy to waste hours on social media each week. Batch your processes. That just means doing the same task for several hours one time per week or month, rather than spacing it out more frequently for smaller periods of time.

You get your work done fastest and make the best use of social media. It doesn’t suck your valuable time that you could use elsewhere in your business.

Yes, Social Media Works. You Just Need Experience or Time on Your Side.

You’ve probably heard these horror stories of companies spending all sorts of time on social media, but ending up without anything to show for it. That does happen.

So, invest your own time wisely, or hire someone you trust to get you real results that benefit your business.

How To Drive Traffic from YouTube to Your Website

For whatever reason, YouTube floats under the radar when it comes to driving traffic to your website. You don’t need 100,000 or more views to get a significant number of customers. And it’s one of the levelest social media channels out there because it doesn’t take a lot of work to get thousands of views.

  1. First, You Have to Get YouTube Views

The first logical step is that you have to get people viewing your videos. You do that by:

A. Creating amazingly valuable content to your audience, usually by teaching them things they didn’t know. Think about the most common customer misunderstandings or questions you get…and then answer those. This is your foundational step and determines the success of the rest of the process

B. SEO optimize your video’s title, tags, description, and thumbnail. The title itself should address a problem your market has.

C. Create an eye-catching thumbnail.

  1. Send People To Your Website

This one’s deceptively simple. In the intro of your video, say,”Hey, this is [name] from [website.com].”

Close your video by saying the same.

Most businesses don’t do this. They think it sounds too simple. You might also edit your video to include your website URL at the beginning and end of your video.

You can also add an annotation, which is a clickable link that appears in your video.

If you get questions in your comment section, they present an awesome opportunity to send people to your website.

  1. YouTube Rocks Because Marketers Focus So Much on Other Channels

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, organic search, and Google Adwords get all the attention. And they’re great tools to use.

Facebook has precision targeting. LinkedIn is where everyone in business hangs out.

But YouTube doesn’t get a whole heck of a lot of attention by comparison. It presents a golden opportunity for you to snatch up search traffic that your competitors don’t even know of or care about.

And the nice thing is, you don’t even need an existing audience. You can build yours from scratch…with comparatively little competition.

Strongly consider adding it to your marketing mix in the future.

5 Quick Tips on Creating Ads That Drive Sales

How many ads do you get bombarded by on a daily basis? Can you even count? And these days, websites want to send push notifications too. Your Android smartphone offers suggested notifications from Google.

It’s impossible to really get away from advertising. So what makes internet ads work?

Here are several things:

Consistent Messaging Throughout the Customer Journey

What are all the steps your customer has to take before they make a purchase? Their journey may look something like this:

  1. Do a Google search
  2. See a PPC ad and click on it
  3. Arrive at a landing page
  4. Click on a specific product to learn more

You don’t have to use exactly the same title throughout. In fact, you shouldn’t. Because that puts your potential customers to sleep. But you do want to use some of the same words and phrases so they know they’re getting what they clicked for.

Segment

Your audience has multiple segments. Segmentation sounds like a ton of work at first. But it doesn’t have to be. You could segment by geography just to start.

Anyway, when you segment, you get higher conversion rates. So, that should be enough to motivate you to at least do some basic segmentation.

Use Remarketing/Retargeting

Ever notice the ads that “follow” you around the web? Those websites participate in Google’s retargeting program.

You may think that this would bore users or cause them to not want to see your ad. However, this tactic’s been proven over and over again to raise your conversion rates.

Put a Big Benefit Front and Center

Don’t make false or exaggerated promises. Then, you’re “overpromising and underdelivering.”

Give your customers a big potential benefit in every ad and step in their customer journey. Make it realistic, and then overdeliver with your product or service.

If you’re not seeing the CTR you want, A/B test variations of your ads, changing just 1-2 words to improve clarity.

Understand How Your Audience Views Colors

Believe it or not, a large part of your market’s purchase decision is made based on color. Say you sell a financial service or investing guide. Green, the color of money, would be a good color for that audience. You may also try black, which is majestic and royal. Or, maybe you use a dominant green with black as a supporting color.

What if you tried pink? Well, people associate that with Valentine’s Day, women, or breast cancer awareness. So you’d really confuse your market if you went that route.

Color means different things to different markets. So try to understand what color means to your audience, and use meaningful colors to them.

Apply these tips, and you’ll notice better conversion rates in your internet advertising.