Small business YouTube channel creation and optimization is an important first step to maximizing the effectiveness of web videos on YouTube.
To the small business YouTube can be a great advantage for driving traffic through the doors by
- increasing search engine rankings,
- establishing credibility, and
- effectively telling the story of the business and its products or services.
To start, the business must have a YouTube channel on which to post the videos. It’s foundational for the rest of the videos. Here’s how to create the channel.
(Let us add a warning: YouTube is constantly tweaking their interface, so the instructions below may not EXACTLY be correct when you read this.)
Define Your Keywords
These keywords are actually a “key phrase” and will be the term that you people search to find your business in Google. So it’s generally best to try to pick the most popular. This typically includes a location and type of business, so might be a term such as “san jose carpet cleaner,” “palo alto chiropractor,” or “Timbuktu hair salon.” In addition, there may be several keyword phrases that get lots of search traffic and so are worth targeting.
First, the good news: Google has developed a free keyword tool designed to help potential advertisers on Google Adwords determine the search terms they want to target. Rather than use the tool and pay money for Adwords, as small business YouTube users we’ll use the tool to determine what words people search to find our type of business.
Now the bad news: Google is getting rid of the keyword tool some time in the next month. They are replacing it with the the Google Keyword Planner. You’ll have to have a Google Adwords account to use it, so the days of free and unhindered search engine research are gone, at least for awhile. Google has more on the Keyword Planner.
Regardless, we’ll use the keywords throughout our marketing efforts. For the purposes of setting up your channel, try to find the most popular. It may take some playing around with the Adwords Keyword Tool while it’s still active, but you’ll get the idea pretty quick. In subsequent posts, we’ll report on:
- the advantage of sometimes using “long-tail keywords” that have fewer searches, but draw a much more responsive viewer
- how to best use the Keyword Planner when it’s available.
Create Your Channel
Go to YouTube and access the page to create an account. If you don’t have an email account you want to use, you’ll can create a free gmail account. From here, fill out the forms using your real info. You’ll notice that Google now automatically creates a Google+ account for you. After acknowledgment that the account is created, click the button to return to YouTube.
Select Your Channel Name
You’ll want to click on your name and then go to “YouTube Settings” and you can click on “Create a Channel.” Under “My Channel” you’ll want to create a user name for your small business YouTube account by using that keyword phrase we mentioned above.
This will be the search term that you came up with under “Define Your Keywords.” Typically that will be your location and type of business, but be sure to check it out as indicated above. This term is highly searched by Google and YouTube so be sure to make it shout what you do and where you are, not just XYZ Company or the like…
Keep in mind it can only be 20 characters long and may only include alphanumeric characters (letters A-Z or a-z and numbers 0-9) with no spaces. User names can contain capital and lowercase letters. Enter it correctly, and exactly how you want it displayed.
You may not be able to get the keyword phrase you want (it may already be taken) so be prepared with an alternative. Even just adding numbers at the end will allow you to preserve the keyword phrase, however. For example, if TimbuktuRestaurant was already taken, you might try TimbuktuRestaurant1 would also come up in the search engines.
Optimize the Profile
To do this properly small business YouTube users must be sure to fill this out completely.
Go to the drop down menu in the upper right next to the icon representing your keyword phrase and choose “My Channel.” Click the “About” tab and “Channel Description.” Write about your business here, using keyword phrases that would apply. Be sure to be thorough is telling what your business does. While you do want to use your keyword phrase liberally, do not repeat it over and over as Google and YouTube do now like “keyword stuffing” and will penalize you for it.
Be sure to include your company homepage url in this description as well.
Next, in the far left column, click “Social” to link up with your company’s Twitter site, if applicable. Unfortunately their Facebook account link only applies to your personal account. You’ll only want to link to your personal account if your name is strongly identified with the product or service
Under Custom Links you can add a wide variety of other social media accounts to your small business YouTube profile. These include Google+, Zazzle, Tumblr, Flickr, iTunes, Pinterest and Instagram. If you have these sites for your company, be sure to add them and create as many links as possible. It’s all search engine “juice.” Google is loving social media links these days.
In the center section under Description and to the right of Links you’ll find a pencil icon that comes up when you mouse over it. It’s right next to the Joined Date. This pencil allows you to edit this section so click that and on the “Joined Date” box uncheck it . No use letting the world know you’re new at this!
You’re getting close now!
Next time we’ll proceed to stylizing your account page and more…