By Don Sorensen, Online Reputation Management Expert; CEO, Big Blue Robot
Not only do videos get a lot of attention in the search engines ranks compared to just regular old links, they also work really well for reputation management. Sure, they can take up a spot in the SERPs and push more negative link down, but they can also be great tools for getting your positive message across to users.
First of all, if you’re not using YouTube as part of your marketing strategy, you should be. Second, if you haven’t thought about it as a way to create a more positive online reputation, now is the time to start. And it’s not that hard.
Video Isn’t That Hard
There is a perception that in order to do effective YouTube content you have to have a big budget, actors, expensive equipment, and more. And that’s simply not true. A lot of the videos that rank well in a general Google search are just people sitting at a desk with a camera. So don’t be afraid to go out and try something.
All you have to have is a camera (your smartphone is probably just fine) and some good information. Maybe you just want to talk about your company or your services, maybe you want to give advice or create a "how to" video (on a side note, "how to" videos tend to rank better than most types of videos). The point it, if you have some great content about your company—which you probably do—getting a video together shouldn’t be that hard.
Ranking Your Video
Once you have a video made, you need to start thinking about how to get it to rank in the general search. There are only a few factors to take into account:
1. YouTube Rank
One of the factors that Google looks at when deciding to rank a video in the general search results is that video’s rank within the platform it is hosted on. In this case, if a video ranks well on YouTube it is more likely to show up on the first page of a Google search. So, first you need to focus on ranking well within the platform then think about ranking in the general search results.
2. Title, Description, and Keywords
YouTube is not nearly as complicated a search engine as the Google general search. YouTube relies much more heavily on user-generated factors to rank videos: the title, description, and keywords that users create when they upload a video. So, simply make sure that these areas include the words and phrases you want to rank well for.
In general, informational or "how to" videos tend to rank well, and videos with words that are related to products or brands tend not to rank as well. So, although you want to include the name of your brand in the video description and title, make sure it is paired with information-focused keywords as well. For example, "how to install a door knob" would be a great information title. Just make sure your brand name is included in the description (and a link to your official website is good too). Also include a handful of keywords that are relevant to the content of the video (as well as your brand name).
Lastly, ranking well on YouTube is a lot like ranking well on Google, if you have a number of links and social shares that point to your video, it is more likely to rank well within YouTube and in the Google general search. So, do some good old-fashioned link-building to create some authority for the video. Chances are, if you are simply trying to rank for branded searches, a couple of links will be all you need. (Your brand name is not usually a high-competition keywords set.)
Also, keep in mind that a video can serve a dual purpose. Not only can it appear in the general search results (pushing negative links off the page), but it can be a tool for building a positive reputation. Although your video doesn’t have to be a Hollywood production to be good, if you create a video with compelling, informational content — you’ll be building trust in the eyes of anyone who sees it. And building actual trust with real people will lead to real sales and conversions, which should be your ultimate goal in the first place.