0 How to Optimize a Company YouTube Channel

Many brands are finally realising the power of video as a traffic and sales generator, producing video content that both advertises their products/services and informs their customers. YouTube is a natural home for this video content, as it’s not only the 2nd largest search engine in many countries (after Google) but also free and easy to use.
The downside of YouTube’s massive reach is that there are 60 hours of new video uploaded to YouTube every minute, so it’s very easy to get lost in the noise. In order to ensure that your content is amongst the 4 billion videos streamed each day, companies should do everything they can to optimize their corporate presence on the platform. Here are some of the first steps to consider…

Video Content

When producing content for YouTube, you may find (depending on the demographic and viewing device) that most people will prefer to watch short form video content, so aim for videos to be between 3-5 minutes long. If you have a video that is 10+ minutes long, consider splitting it into multiple segments and give each segment a unique title and brief introduction.
If you have a large archive of video content, do not upload it all at once. Instead, drip feed YouTube with a couple of videos each day. This frequency of uploading has been found to really grow channels quickly.
Within any made for YouTube content, Ayima recommends having the presenter/narrator prompt the viewer to Subscribe to the channel, Like the video or Leave a Comment. If you can start to encourage the audience to interact with the YouTube Channel more, your brand will naturally build strong quality score signals.


Even if your company has many brands and products, Ayima recommends uploading all of the video content into a single branded YouTube channel. YouTube channels are like domain names in Google’s web ranking algorithms, consolidating domains/channels to a single location boosts authority and rankings across the board. If you already have multiple channels, it may be worth migrating the videos into a single destination.
Make sure that every video has a unique title, that describes the video and includes the keywords you would use if searching for the video.
e.g. “ACME Widgets Video” could become “How to use ACME widgets” or “ACME Widget in-depth review”.
Don’t include your brand name in the title of each video as a branding exercise – if the video isn’t specifically about your company (e.g. History, Recruitment, News etc), having the company name in the title is merely diluting the relevancy of your video for related searches.
When tagging up a video on YouTube, try to keep the number of tags in the 5-10 terms range. Exclude stop words such as “the” and make sure that you really focus on words that give context to what the video is about. Examples of good tags include:
- Place names
- Peoples names
- Brand, product or model names
Tagging helps YouTube form the Related Videos suggestions, so if you tag videos correctly you can find that your brand’s videos now show up at the end of other popular videos in your niche. It’s worth researching what tags similar popular videos have used – as with the title – avoid dilution of relevancy by only using tags that are exact matches.
A lot of the top YouTube channel owners have built their large audience base by treating YouTube as a social network, it’s not just about having great content. Interact with your company’s YouTube audience as you would a Facebook fan or Twitter follower, user engagement should dramatically improve.

Ranking Videos on YouTube / within Google

YouTube videos rank very well within Google’s universal, aka “blended”, search results – often pushing down organic listings that have significant authority and many inbound links. For that reason alone, hosting your videos on the YouTube domain which has such a high authority within Google, has a clear advantage. But like other content, if you want to increase the chances of a video appearing within the organic search results, you need to look at building links to the video within YouTube just as you would a key page on your corporate site. One way of doing this is to conduct a blogger outreach program where you contact relevant blogs and offer them the video to embed on their website. Within the YouTube “Embed” code (linked to under each video) you can also append a link to the root of your channel or to the video itself.
When a video is embedded on a page – the content of that page provides Google with further context of the type of searches that the video should rank for. So embed the videos on your main site where possible.
With the relevancy of the video taken into account, the following factors will help to increase the rankings of each video within YouTube:
- Number of channel subscribers
- Frequency of new video uploads to the Channel
- Ratio of thumbs up / thumbs down for each video
- Video engagement (ratio of thumbs up/down and comments)
Once the channel is set-up and optimized content is starting to drip in, your company should use other social networks to promote the channel and push people to each new video. This means promotion of the channel to your newsletter, previous customers, active clients and followers/fans on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Five key actions to take away from this…

1. Optimize video titles as you would with webpage titles
2. Increase the uploading frequency of fresh new content (but don’t upload all at once)
3. Embed videos on relevant websites and reach out to bloggers in your space
4. Leverage existing social networks to grow your YouTube Subscriber count
5. Treat YouTube Subscribers as you would Facebook Fans
You can of course buy thumbs up on YouTube in a similar way to buying links, to manipulate YouTube’s ranking factors. It’s a very risky practice unless you know what you are doing and to start with, you’re much better off concentrating on producing more video content and growing the channel organically.

0 Is PageRank Important?

Just Enough Knowledge to be Dangerous

One of the bigger problems with learning in the field of SEO is that there are a lot of people who have a nugget of information. And they spread it far and wide without the proper context needed to evaluate the potential risks and rewards of any given strategy. So new SEOs end up thinking topic x is the most important, then topic y, then topic z. And then someone debunks one of those. Many false facts are taken as truths when the people with a nugget of information (that they found from some source) spread it as fact.

Accurate Answers Need Context

As the structure of the web changes and search engine relevancy algorithms change then so must the field of SEO. This means that the right answer to questions can change frequently, and information from many years ago may not be correct. Does PageRank matter? When I first got in SEO it was crucially important, but over the years other pieces of the relevancy algorithms (like domain age, domain name, domain trust, domain extension, link anchor text, searcher location, search query chains, word relationships, search personalization, other user data, result re-ranking based on local inter-connectivity, input from 10,000+ remote quality raters, and even a wide array of penalties & filters) have been layered over the top of the core relevancy algorithm.

If that sounds like a lot, it is because it is!

Yes, PageRank is important to driving indexing, but for rankings it is nowhere near as important as it once was. SEO has become a much more refined art. In an October 2009 interview, Google's Amit Singal stated:

No one should feel, if I dismantle the current search system, someone will get upset. That’s the wrong environment. When I came, I dismantled [Google cofounders] Larry and Sergey’s whole ranking system. That was the whole idea. I just said, That’s how I think it should be done, and Sergey said, Great!

Great SEO Service is Interactive

Search keeps innovating - as it must. Each layer of innovation creates new challenges and new opportunities.

Not only does SEO strategy change over time, but it also varies from site to site. A large corporate site has a different set of strengths and weaknesses than a small local business website. The best SEO advice must incorporate all of the following
  • where you are
  • where you want to be
  • the resources you have to bridge the gap between the above 2 (domain names, brand, social relations, public relations, capital, etc.)
  • what the competition is doing
  • your strengths and weaknesses relative to your market

That is why having an interactive SEO Community is so important. It allows us to look for competitive strengths and weaknesses, and offer useful tips that fit your market, your website, and your business.

Even Search Engineers Don't Know All the Search Algorithms

The algorithms are so complex that sometimes even leading search engineers working for Google are uncertain of what is going on. Search engineers can't know every bit of code because Google has made over 450 algorithm changes in a single year.

When I first wrote about a new algorithmic anomaly that I (and others) saw, I got flamed with some pretty nasty words on public SEO sites...a few of which are highlighted below:

SEO Company.

The above people were:

  • confident
  • rude
  • wrong

And that is part of the reason I stopped sharing as much research publicly. Sharing publicly meant...

  • spending long hours of research and writing (for free)
  • creating more competition for myself (from the people who listen to my tips and advice)
  • watching my brand get dragged through the mud by people who didn't have the experience or capacity needed to understand and evaluate what I was writing about (but who had enough time to hang out in a free forum and blast me).

Whereas if we share that sort of information in our exclusive member forums we...

  • help our customers
  • get to share information and learn from each other's experiences
  • don't get blasted by the trolls hanging out on the public forums

Google's Matt Cutts Confirmed I Was Right

In early 2008 Google's Matt Cutts (one of the top 4 search engineers working at Google) wrote about the above issue that he did not know existed (even AFTER he was alerted to it).

Matt Cutts on Position 6 Issue.

But take notice that Matt would not confirm the issue until he claimed it had been corrected. So if you wanted to research that issue to better learn the relevancy algorithms it was already gone.

SEO professionals either captured the opportunity early or missed it. And, if they waited for the official word from Google, they missed it.

Algorithmic anomalies & new penalties are often written off by the industry & then months or years later the truth is revealed.

Back to PageRank

So PageRank...is it important? Yes, primarily for

  • determining the original source of content when duplicates of a page exist
  • selecting the initial set of results (before re-ranking them based on other factors)
  • establishing the crawl priority and crawl depth of a site

But when determining which site ranks better than the next, link diversity is typically far more important than raw PageRank. And even though PageRank is supposed to be query independent, Google warps their view of the web graph where necessary to improve relevancy, like when localizing search results:

Q: Anything you’ve focused on more recently than freshness?

A: Localization. We were not local enough in multiple countries, especially in countries where there are multiple languages or in countries whose language is the same as the majority country.

So in Austria, where they speak German, they were getting many more German results because the German Web is bigger, the German linkage is bigger. Or in the U.K., they were getting American results, or in India or New Zealand. So we built a team around it and we have made great strides in localization. And we have had a lot of success internationally.

The above quote shows how they look at far more than PageRank and links when trying to determine relevancy.

3 Common SEO Approaches

There are 3 basic ways to approach search engine optimization

  • a mechanical strategy, where you try to outsmart the search engines and stay ahead of their relevancy algorithms
  • a marketing-based approach, where you try to meet ranking criteria by creating the types of content that other people value and making sure you push market it aggressively
  • a hybrid approach, where you take the easy mechanical wins and study general algorithmic shifts...but are primarily driving your decisions based on fundamental marketing principals

Comparing the 3 Strategies

For most people the first approach is simply too complex, risky, and uncertain to be worth the effort. Not only do the sites get burned to the ground, but it happens over and over again, so it is quite hard to build momentum and a real business that keeps growing. In fact, most of the top "black hat" SEOs have "white hat" sites that help provide stable income in case anything happens to their riskier sites. Some people are great at coming up with clever hacks, but most people would be better off focusing on building their business using more traditional means.

If search engineers have access to the source code and still don't know everything then how can people outside the company know everything? They can't. Which is why we take a hybrid approach to SEO.

The approach we teach is the hybrid approach - a marketing-based strategy with some easy mechanical wins mixed in. Our customers take some of these easy wins to help differentiate their strategy from uninformed competitors, and then use marketing principals to build off of early success.

The Paradox of SEO

In using a marketing based approach you build up many signals of trust and many rankings as a side effect of doing traditional marketing. If people are talking about you and like your products then you are probably going to get some free high-quality links. And this leads us to the paradox of SEO: "the less reliant your site is on Google the more Google will want to rely on your site."

If you want good information to find out what is working and what is not, you can use our site searchto find answers to most common SEO questions, and know you are getting answers from a trust-worthy source. The information we give away is of higher value than what most people sell.


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