The way that small business website owners use YouTube as part of their overall marketing campaign has been changing rapidly over the past few years. In fact, the constant changes to YouTube and its consistent additions of new features seem to be growing in frequency.

The most obvious changes have been made to basic items like its video watch page and the algorithm used to create search recommendations. The algorithm, for example, now factors in freshness, so that recent videos now have an edge over old favorites.

Advertising on YouTube has also changed dramatically. The TrueView system, which charges advertisers when their ads are watched in their entirety, wasn’t even around two years ago.

Another fairly recent feature, are the browser-based apps that can be used for editing videos or adding effects within the YouTube Create section. These days, you can make videos without a camera. The GoAnimate tool, for example, creates animated videos based on your script.

Now, YouTube has introduced its own analytics feature, providing deeper viewer insight than ever before.

So, with all of these changes and many expected to come, how can a small business website owner harness the power of YouTube for online marketing?

1. Find someone who can point, shoot and edit. It wasn’t that long ago that you had to hire professional videographers to record your message. However, the bar has now been lowered and all a small company really needs is someone who can work a camera and do a little editing. In fact, cameras built into smartphones and tablets are often good enough. If you want to hire a semi-pro model or actor, you can now get one for less than $500, bringing overall costs down substantially.

2. Grab your viewer’s attention quickly. People watch online videos differently than they watch television. Just like a website, an online video needs to grab a user’s attention within the first 15 seconds.

3. Optimize your video content. Because there are roughly 48 hours of new video content uploaded to YouTube every minute, you need to stand out in the crowd. This means that uploading your content just isn’t enough. Research what keywords will get you the most viewers and use those words in your titles, tags, and descriptions.

4. Spread the word. YouTube is popular because it makes sharing and embedding easy. Let everyone know when you have posted a new video and encourage them to share it, like it and repost it.

5. Utilize the YouTube analytics feature. If you don’t study the free analytics tools that YouTube offers, you are missing out on a valuable resource. Learn where your viewers are located, which blogs are giving you the most referrals, and where people stopped watching your videos and why. This kind of research can help make your next videos even better than before.

Pinterest

The reason that on-page search engine optimization is so critical is because it gives the search engines an informative snapshot of each of your web pages and of your entire website as a whole.

These snapshots, or signals, are similar to the dust jacket of a book.

You can pretty much figure out what a book is about, by reading the cover, blurbs about the book and its table of contents.

Consider the following four essential elements of on-page search engine optimization (SEO):

Body Text

On content-heavy pages, use key phrases no more than twice because excessive repetition tends to look unnatural to the human eye and the search engines consider this sort of repetition to amount to keyword stuffing.

Page Headings and Subheads

Anyone proficient in SEO knows that key phrases can carry a different value based on their placement on a page. By using them in headings and subheads, the search engines will be alerted to their high importance.

Site Navigation Menus

Avoid using generic words in the website navigation menu. Instead, he suggests using specific phrases that are meaningful both to site visitors and search engines.

Image File Names and Alt Tags

Instead of maintaining the image name generated by the camera that took the photo (such as IMG01345.jpg), rename the file with a search-friendly file name. You can bolster this strategy with alt tags that use target phrases to describe images, which will help your search engine placement as well.

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