Practical Ecommerce

Six Pointers for Generating Traffic from YouTube

YouTube ranks only behind Google in the number of searches on its site. This is according to comScore, the Internet measurement and analysis firm. That means there are more searches on YouTube than on Yahoo! search, or Bing, or Ask.com. However, the searches are not general searches like you would find on those search engines. They are searches specifically for video.

From a marketing perspective, it makes sense for ecommerce merchants to take advantage of YouTube’s search traffic. That can be achieved in much the same way you would use traditional natural search optimization. Many of the same search marketing rules apply. But, you’ll need to market by way of relevant video content. In other words, if you want to capture some portion of YouTube’s vast search traffic, you need to create, upload and optimize video content relevant to your ecommerce offerings.

Six Pointers to Generate Traffic Using YouTube Videos

With that in mind, here are six pointers for creating and uploading videos to YouTube:

  • Place Your Website Name on the Video. Remember your goal is to drive traffic to your ecommerce site. During production, place the name of your website in the video. A watermark throughout the video or at the beginning and end gives your site credit for the video whether it is viewed at YouTube or embedded in an third-party website.
  • Watch Your Video Quality. YouTube accepts multiple video-file formats at varying degrees of quality (YouTube will compress and convert the video), but a good standard is 320×240 pixel resolution at 512 kbps (kilobits per second, a data-transfer-rate measurement). Other resolutions will work, but always try to avoid a second-rate video. Do some tests to see how the end-result looks and sounds. Compare it to other videos, such as those of your competitors.
  • Use Relevant Keywords. Apply keyword research on the title, description, and tags during the video uploading process. Use keywords relevant and focused to your product or service just as you would with a new web page.
  • Be Careful With Tag Fields. Think of the tags field much like the meta keywords tag on a web page. Mirror the keywords used in the tags field in the title and description fields.
  • Choose a Category Carefully. Select an accurate video category. It will help point a potential customer to your video.
  • Make The Videos Enjoyable. Remember to have some fun making the videos. If it’s fun for you, it’s more likely to be fun viewing for those you are trying to reach.

Beyond Optimization

Utilizing YouTube for online marketing can go much deeper than this. You can include the use of embedded links, develop a dedicated YouTube channel, and actively participate in the YouTube community to increase positive votes for your video (which affects the results pages when a search is done). None of that will matter much, however, unless these optimization basics are applied.

YouTube search traffic is dependent upon focused keywords that surround the video. Use the same search optimization rules for YouTube that you would use for Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, and you will be on your way to increasing traffic from the world’s number two search engine.

Jeff Muendel

Jeff Muendel

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Comments ( 3 )

  1. LexiConn October 5, 2009 Reply

    Yes, YouTube is a great resource for ecommerce merchants. It’s a simple way to get your products found via search, and the viral factor of the video being talked about and popular can be a powerful sales tool.

    Don’t forget the other benefit, which is offloading large video to YouTube cuts down on site bandwidth bills and frees up lots of disk space in your account. Let YouTube do the heavy lifting, and reap the benefits you outlined above. :)

    Rob – LexiConn

  2. larsomatic October 8, 2009 Reply

    Great post.

    But I would add a few more things.

    1. You can use a call to action in the video itself. "Don’t forget to visit our web site, blah blah blah."

    2. Always add a link in your video description field that goes to the specific page that relates to that video! If it’s a product video, for example, be sure to link to the ecommerce product page in your text description. Put the link first, because YouTube only allows a short number of characters before they hide the rest of the description.

  3. Greg Percifield October 8, 2009 Reply

    I found it interesting (after reading this article) to find so many of our competitors using youtube. I searched their domain name, and they had several videos.

    It’s time for me to step up to the plate. Thanks for the great article!