Tips on Making YouTube Videos and Getting More Views
YouTube is a wonderful platform to gain more exposure for your website and build credibility for your overall brand.
In my opinion, it is one of the most underutilized strategies when it comes to marketing your site.
The traffic potential is still pretty sweet. Just as someone could type in "golfing tips" in Google.com and find your site, they can do the same with your videos on YouTube.
Because you can enter a title and keywords for every video you submit and this information helps people find your video when they do a YouTube search. The more popular your video becomes, the more likely it will rank in Google.com.
More and more people use YouTube every single day and this can funnel quite a bit of traffic to your video... especially if the video is done well.
And not only can you capitalize on targeted YouTube traffic, but you can entertain your own site's audience by embedding your video into your web pages by simply copying and pasting the provided code.
How YouTube Ranks Videos
YouTube uses a number of different criteria to decide how a video will be ranked.
1. Number of Likes
How many likes your video receives plays a big role in how your video ranks. Obviously, YouTube wants to show the most popular content, so they tend to rank videos well that have a good amount of "likes."
The dislikes don't really seem to hurt as much as long as the number of likes greatly outweigh the dislikes. So don't get too down in the dumps if your videos receive some dislikes. It comes with the territory. Just focus on quality and you will be fine.
2. Number of Shares
People can share videos on Google Plus, Twitter, and other social networks. This also plays a role.
3. Views and Comments
It probably goes without saying that if your video receives a lot of views and comments that's going to signal to YouTube that your video may be worth watching.
4. Number of Favorites Added
YouTube gives viewers the opportunity to add videos to their favorites on their accounts. Again, this is another metric that is tracked and combed into the ranking algorigthm.
Do you see a trend here? Basically the more views, likes, shares and favorites your video receives, the better. It's all about popularity.
5. Titles, Descriptions and Keywords
These three things are important, but if your video is targeting a competitive topic, then this meta information will have less of an effect on your rankings.
Try to choose titles that include phrases people search for. You can get an idea by typing something in the YouTube search box. YouTube will give you suggestions. You can also use the YouTube suggestion tool.
It may not always be best to choose the most popular phrase because it could be too saturated. Try going with a longer tail (less competitive) phrase if there aren't as many videos that seem to be targeting it.
6. Viewer Retention
The latest factor that helps determine rank is viewer retention -- in other words, how long people watch your video. You can now track this right from your account by going to Analytics >> Audience Retention. This will give you your overall retention.
However, if you want to view your retention for an individual video, you'll have to click the Analytics button while watching the video in question.
Getting Your Video on YouTube
Computers and cameras are making it easier and easier to get video on the Web. It used to be you had to buy additional software just to get your video on the right format. Today many cameras come with a direct YouTube upload feature.
As far as files and editing, YouTube accepts all common video formats and your computer probably already comes with free editing software. Windows comes with Windows Movie Maker and Macs come with iMovie.
Once you publish your video in the software, simply logon to YouTube to upload your file.
What I Use
I use a Mac to edit and publish my videos. My software of choice is Final Cut Express. It's a bit pricey compared to many other solutions, but it's very powerful. If you want to learn more about what camera and software I use for my videos, read this article.
More Video Production Tips
1. Have adequate lighting.
Make sure people can actually SEE you. What are you hiding anyway? ;-)
2. Don't memorize a script...
Unless you're good at delivering it where it doesn't sound like you're talking from memory. I've found if you just talk off the top of your head, it comes across much more conversational and natural.
3. Watch the time.
Your video should be as long as it needs to be, and get to the point. If you start rambling for 10 minutes about nothing, you could lose your audience before the video is finished. If your video seems long, think of ways you can summarize your points, or split it up into multiple parts.
Most of my videos used to be over 10 minutes. That's too long. I try not to go over the 6 minute mark if possible.
4. Check your backdrop.
Remember, this video is representing you and your site. If you've got a junk heap behind you, it will distract your audience. If you don't have a nice background, then just film in front of a blank wall.
5. Watch your filler words.
We don't realize how often we say "Um" and use filler words until we see ourselves on video. It's normal to need a sec to think about what to say next, so practice just being silent in those moments if you are an "Ummer." :)
Worried About Criticism?
If you're like a lot of people, you are hesitant about creating videos because you're concerned about being judged or criticized. I know the feeling. I was worried about that in the beginning too. But the more videos I made, the more comfortable I became.
This video has some words of encouragement for you, and it will help you deal with the fear of criticism.
The Bottom Line
No matter what method or software you use, it's definitely worth experimenting with video to help promote your site. And since YouTube is owned by Google, that can only mean good things if you make a good video and optimize the title and keywords for your audience.
Just like Google.com, YouTube can bring you a good amount of targeted visitors, and people can even subscribe to your YouTube channel so they'll be notified any time you add a new video.
And if your video is good enough, others will want to embed it into their sites. What a great, viral way to promote your site and get your name out there.
So take your time making a quality video. Once the viral effect kicks in, it can make quite an impact in your traffic levels.
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