With over 3 billion searches per month, YouTube is the second most used Search Engine (next to Google). I know I use it all the time, especially as a first time house buyer for an older home in Hamilton that needed a lot of attention. When it came to researching solutions to fixing my house, YouTube was an invaluable resource as there were many contractors who could step me through the process of fixing anything. Every week, a new problem seems to surface in my house, like an electrical outlet that likes to spark, a faucet that bangs pipes about when you turn it on, or a skunk moving in under my shed. Thanks to YouTube, I’ve been able to fix those issues on my own, saving me a ton of money in service calls.

I’m probably not making YouTube sound great to a contractor as I’m explaining how it steals money out of your pockets, but this just isn’t the case. I’m simply in a demographic where I’m going to try to fix something myself first as I can use that money to knock my mortgage down. They were minor fixes that didn’t require immediate attention. I could potentially go years without using that sparky outlet, and I could just keep my distance away from the shed at night when the skunk would be out and about.

For the larger jobs, I was bright enough to know that I’d need a contractor’s help. YouTube videos were still invaluable, as they walked me through the process of things contractors would do. For instance, I needed new gutters, and from videos I’d learn that I should avoid having my downspout drain into my weeping tile, or onto my neighbour’s lawn. When I did get new gutters, this saved a lot of back and forth between me and the contractor as I had a better grasp of what exactly had to be done and what the limitations were.

Should my Business be on YouTube?

This is a question that only you can answer. Putting videos up on YouTube takes time and effort if you want to do it right. Your cellphone should be able to do a great job of handling the audio and visual component so it looks semi-professional. However, you also have to consider lighting, editing and scripting. Most videos should be 2-8 minutes long and address the solutions you are trying to convey, otherwise you will lose your audience.

You also to have to bear in mind, that if you are a local business, 99% of your video views may be out of your service range. For example, let’s say you’re an Electrician in Ancaster, and you’ve put up an amazing video explaining how to test a GFCI switch. If it’s done really well, and starts getting views, likes, and YouTube comments, most of those views will probably be from more populated areas like the States, or Toronto. So as a local business, you have to decide if the hour or two it takes to make a video is worth the effort for only a couple of leads a year.

YouTube and Product Based Businesses

If you sell a product or are a manufacturer, YouTube is a great spot to showcase the product features and benefits, as well as answer any questions about it. For my house, I needed to buy lots of appliances and power tools, and I did most of my research on YouTube. Typically I skipped manufacturer videos and went straight for unbiased review videos. The great thing I found about YouTube is that there are a lot of positive reviews for products. I think this is because people are putting their own personal reputation on the line to endorse products.

YouTube reviews tend to explain the benefits of the product much better than the majority of videos you’d find on a manufacturer site. For example, I had a tree that fell during a windstorm, and I needed a chainsaw. More specifically, I needed a chainsaw that didn’t cost too much, as I wouldn’t have any reason to use it much in the future. My first step of this process was to go online and see what brands that the hardware stores near my house offered. From there I picked out three potential brands and visited the manufacture’s site. The sites looked great, but as I knew very little about chainsaws, I wasn’t finding the right information I needed to make a decision. Claims like ‘Built to Last’ and ‘Saws through the Toughest Wood’, did not factor into my purchasing process. On the other hand, with YouTube, I got videos that matched exactly what I needed to know like ‘You need this sized saw to handle this type of tree’ or ‘this chainsaw is perfect for light yard work and cutting up firewood’. I’m pretty certain I escaped accidental disembowelment as I nearly bought a chainsaw that was too small for the work I needed to do.

If you sell products, you might want to consider looking on YouTube and seeing if there are any reviews or comments on items you sell. If there are positive reviews, share it on your social media, throw it up on a blog, or post it on a testimonial type page. All of this can lead to conversions, or gained sales.

Will a YouTube video improve my Google Rank?

This is a bit of a loaded question, as there isn’t a definitive yes or no answer.

First of all, if you create a fantastic YouTube video there’s a good chance it could appear high up in Google’s SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) results, but typically these lead to the YouTube site, and not your website. While you can link your video to your site in the description, it has a nofollow tag, meaning very little juice is being passed to it. You still get traffic to your site, and if your site is well made, your pages have a clear purpose, and you have a call to action, all of this is going to get factored in and your rank will increase indirectly.

A further way to increase your Google Rank is by using YouTube videos to create engaging content.

What is engaging content?

There is a pest removal company in Hamilton that does a great job of this. On their blog they constantly embed their YouTube videos of the cute critters they remove from buildings. People seem to love baby raccoons and skunks, so these videos are shared frequently on Facebook and Twitter as they have ‘share me’ buttons that are exactly where you’d expect them to be. One recent video went a little viral as they got a call to a warehouse, where a giant snake had been shipped among the crates delivered. The snake turned out to be dead, but the warehouse thought it may have been hibernating, or potentially poisonous. Along with the video they wrote a textual summary which helped with content as well as improving their long tail keywords. Finally, they have a comment section below the videos, where people frequently leave comments and the company responds to anything that merits a response.

All of this is engaging content as because the videos are interesting, meaning people are going to watch it and spending time on the page. The may also read the summary, leave a comment and revisit the page to read further comments. They may also look at more blog postings with videos while they are on the site, improving the bounce rate. Finally, they might share the video on Facebook or Twitter driving more traffic to that page where others may do the same.

Another company that does engaging content well is MOZ with their whiteboard Fridays. Rand Fishkin posts a video every Friday on an SEO related topic, with a transcription of the video underneath. I usually watch the video once, but I’ll revisit the page and read the transcription over several weeks or months. I typically read or skim through the comments as well.

If you have the personality and the drive to create YouTube videos, it can work wonders for you. Even one or two videos on your site can lead to a conversion. I myself hired a plumber after seeing him on a YouTube embedded video on his blog. One reason why I hired him is that he seemed passionate about his work in his video. The second reason that I hired him is that I like familiarity. In two minutes I knew who would be showing up to my house, and what his personality was like. Even though every contractor I’ve hired has been great, putting a face to the name made hiring this plumber more comfortable.

Rocket Digital in Hamilton specializes in getting your business found on Google. While we can’t make your YouTube videos for you, (that’s something you will have to star in, film and edit yourself), we can ensure you get the maximum potential out of the power of YouTube.