So you’ve created your channel, you’ve created lots of videos and still you don’t have any traffic at all. Sure you’ve told everyone you know (even that girl you had a crush on in high school) but still you’re just working more on promotion and bringing in one visitor at a time, rather than spending your time creating your next video.
Why am I not getting any views on YouTube?
Let’s analyze all the ways you can go wrong and what you can do about it. Being involved with video is not an easy task. Many people are even afraid to show themselves on a video. Let’s see what might have gone wrong with yours and let’s try to fix it!
1. Going off topic
This is my number one reason why I don’t subscribe to a channel on YouTube. When I like a lot a videos on YouTube, I always search what other videos this person has posted. If I find that most of their videos are relevant, I always subscribe so I can watch more.
The problem arises when someone’s channel is not focused. I might love your videos on keyword research and find them very helpful for me but at the same time I really don’t want to see your other videos of you racing your street bike (actually, I’d love to see those too)! If your channel loses focus, it’s not a channel anymore; it’s a personal video diary and most probably I wouldn’t subscribe to it.
Solution: Take for example what iJustine has done with her YouTube Channels. She has a main channel (the one with the link), one for Vlogging (video blogging), one for gaming, one that contains her iPhone videos (shot only with her iPhone), and one with gadget reviews. This is the best example I can find of diversification. You might have many interests but don’t put all your eggs in one basket: create a separate channel for your other interests!
You might say: But on my main channel, I am a YouTube partner and already making quite a lot of money.
If you are a YouTube partner, making your second channel a YouTube partner channel is a much, much easier process than your first one. Do create a new one now because the longer you wait the harder it will be for you to do so.
2. Your Videos Suck!
There, I said it! Happy now?! Let’s see why.
i. When we create videos we most of the time get so overwhelmed by the whole process that we cannot easily put our thoughts together (especially in the beginning) and we can’t pass the information we need to our audience in the best possible way. The best solution for that is to have a script. I am not saying that you should write down every word that you will say in the video but even having some bullets will help you tremendously!
ii. Trying to be funny too much. You can’t be all about business especially at YouTube. You have to be even a bit funny to be able to engage your viewers in the best possible way. The best example of the finest mixture of being funny and at the same time teaching people new things is Frank Kern (and if you’re not subscribed to his newsletter, do so, amazing content there), where he’s funny but at the same time teaches you amazing internet marketing stuff.
Warning: Don’t try to be TOO funny because it’s much worse than being all serious. People might think you’re a joke and not take you seriously.
iii. You’re Afraid! Well, we all are, get over it! Especially in the beginning we’re afraid that everything will go wrong, that we will look ugly, that we won’t be able to speak naturally and everything will look bad. It’s natural to feel that way because with text you’re safe. No matter what you do, no-one will think bad about your bunny pajamas, or that you have been awake for the last 36 hours and look terrible.
Solution: If you don’t have enough time during the week to get a good rest and be the best you can be, just use those days to plan and organize your upcoming videos as well as promoting your previous ones. On Saturday or Sunday shoot all the next week’s materials and you’ll be much more confident.
iv. You think you look ugly on camera.
We all do, don’t worry. If you keep cultivating that thought you will eventually look bad on camera no matter what. Try to get over it, read something motivational, have a good sleep, shoot an episode with a friend.
And if you still can’t shoot a video: Many, many people do screencasting, if you’re not confident about your looks or just don’t want to “expose” yourself on camera, do create screencasts!
With screencasts you will be able to show your viewers your screen (very important for instructional videos) and create a presentation in order for you to teach them something. It’s a very good way to eliminate your fear of video and at the same time it looks really professional.
Camtasia is a bit expensive but it’s really worth it. As for ScreenFlow, it’s the best software purchase you will ever make.
Last but not least, if you still think you look “funny” or strange on video, ask your very close friends for their honest opinion, they’ll know what’s best for you.
3. You haven’t done your research
Your ultimate goal is to help as many people as possible and with video you can do that 24/7! The only problem is that in order to do that, people have to be able to find you. Before creating a video you should do some research to see how you will name your video in order to be able to rank easier in the search engines (both Google and YouTube).
And I’m saying before, because even what you say on your video is important on what keywords you will rank for. But we’ll see about this in a bit.
First of all, you really want to use an actionable keyword as your title and by that I mean search queries that people type when they mostly want to view a tutorial video on a subject. Most actionable keywords have videos in the top of Google because how-to’s are amazing using videos. Do a search for the term that you want to use in Google and see if there are already some videos on that keyword. Unless you want to create a new market, this will increase your video ranking chances tremendously. After all, if that query doesn’t show any video results, you can’t rank!
The second step is to do some keyword research and see if that keyword is hard to rank for and most importantly if that keyword will bring any traffic if you rank well.
Doing some keyword research is essential for you to understand your market and at the same time not doing it is like shooting a weapon in the dark! There are two ways to see your keyword competition. The best free way is to go to the Google Keyword Tool, type your keywords and see what Google suggests and what has the most benefit for you, with the least competition.
The Keyword tool is an amazing tool but the second I bought Market Samurai I saw a huge increase in the visitors I’m getting for my blog posts and videos I do for clients. This happens because Market Samurai digs deep into your selected keywords and suggests exactly those that are fit for you. In a keyword phrase, even changing a single word can have a huge difference.
Top Tip: Check out Market Samurai’s Video Tutorials on how to use their application, it’s so essential I can’t stress it enough! Even if you don’t buy their tool, go ahead and watch their videos, they will provide you with amazing knowledge no matter if you’re a beginner or a pro.
To sum it up: First find if there’s a video market for your keyword and last but not least, analyze the keywords you have selected to see if it easy for you to rank on them with your video.
4. Your videos are not optimized
Next on our guide comes video optimization. Even though it’s the most important aspect for video promotion, most people just ignore it! Let’s change that once and for all, shall we?
The following are the things you should focus on when it comes to video optimization.
i. Video Title. As we discussed in the previous point, the title is the most important aspect of your video page. It will help you rank on search engines and at the same time, you can create your title so that when someone looks at it, they will want to click on it even out of curiosity. Remember, it’s not only about where you rank, it’s also about how many of those that will see your listing will click on it.
ii. Video Description. The second most important element on your video page! This is where you will write what your visitor will learn after viewing this video and also include links to your business blog and/or where this video is posted on your blog. You want to add links there because if you don’t you won’t be able to tell your viewers what you want them to do next. You should also include your main keyword in your description as it will help a lot with your ranking efforts.
iii. Video Tags. You should use tags, it’s one of the best ways to categorize your video and one of the few ways for YouTube to understand what your video is about. Tags play a very important role when it comes to related videos (videos that are suggested from YouTube on the right side of the page or after a video ends) so use them but don’t abuse them.
You should add all the relevant keywords that your video is about and if you are out of ideas, do see what others with almost the same title and content have used.
The more impressions you get, the more YouTube will suggest relevant keywords for you to use on each one of your videos.
That takes us to the next point that could easily be included here but it’s so important that should be a whole category by it self.
iv. Video filename. I haven’t split-tested this personally but there are so many people stating that your video filename should be optimized that I have to include it here also. What they mean by that is that when you upload a video to YouTube, you should rename it before in order to use your main keywords. For example you shouldn’t upload a video named sally004.mp4 but rename it into something like sally-cooks-ravioli.mp4 so that even from the filename, YouTube understands what it’s about.
I would perform a split test to see if that theory actually works, but to tell you the truth, it’s an action step that requires so little time that I always do it no matter what.
5. Video Transcription
When you upload a video to YouTube, it automatically tries to understand what you are talking about inside your video. As you can imagine, this doesn’t work that well for the moment, and it gives back strange sentences.
This text is used by YouTube in order to rank your video for the content of the actual video and it’s a really powerful strategy for YouTube to show it’s visitors much more relevant results. So you can utilize something that 99% of the other YouTubers don’t do. Upload a transcription of your own. It will be without mistakes and most importantly, YouTube will rank you for what you’re actually talking about, not just what it thinks you’re saying.
I can’t stress enough how powerful this method is especially for business or instructional videos. If you haven’t done that before, just give it a try! And if you don’t have enough time to do it yourself, you can easily and cheaply outsource it to oDesk in order to gain all the benefits that transcription offers. Navigate to virtual assistants and find someone that can do what you want at a reasonable fee.
Tip: You don’t have to upload your text with the actual content of your video at the same time you upload the video. You can do it anytime you want and you can also use that tip to update your old videos with the actual content in text form. All you have to do is to go to your Video manager, click the More tag of a video and select Captions and Subtitles. Then select Upload and upload your text. And you’re ahead of the 99% of your competition!
6. Engagement. Use it!
Most of us are forgetting about this very important part. Don’t just finish your video with a thank you, use the most valuable time of your video in order to tell your viewers what you would love them to do!
The end of a video is the most powerful part of the video, because the viewer has already enjoyed all of your video, might have learned something, had a laugh or whatever. Don’t just end your video, ask a question, ask them to like the video, subscribe to your channel and visit your site. If your video has helped them, they can’t resist doing so. Ray William Johnson and Philip DeFranco are masters at this. Look how they use engagement without being thought of as needy or anything else. If they can use this method to bring millions of views and subscribers to their channel, you should too!
7. Approve Video Responses
Many people (including me) have been quite grumpy when it comes to accepting video responses. In order for me to accept a video response in the past it would have to be exactly in the same subject as my video and a real response to it. Otherwise it would get a decline. Not anymore ;)
The thing is that when you have many video responses, YouTube acknowledges that many people not only took time to see your video, not only left a comment, but they created a video response for your video and that counts a lot in their positioning algorithm, giving you many “points” if your video has many video responses. What you should do is to accept (almost all) video responses. In order for the last 3 that are actually shown to be as relevant as possible, add a video response too, from one of your videos from your other channels. It’s a great way to “recycle” your viewers from one channel to another without spending any more time!
8. Be everywhere!
When you have a YouTube channel, it’s like having an actual blog, you have to have niche authority. I’m sure that no matter in what niche you are, there are many YouTubers out there in the same niche as you. Reach out to them, connect with them, help them promote their videos and the most important of all, make videos with them! It will create authority for you and at the same time it will strengthen your relationship with your “competition”. And that’s the magic of the Internet… In the real world, a competitor is someone who is in the same market with you and always tries to gain your customers. Not on the Internet. When you cooperate with your competition you both gain value and at the same time create more views and sales for both of you! It’s a powerful thing to utilize and you should do it immediately.
9. Create links to your videos
For the last one I’ve left one of the most important aspects of your videos ranking on Google and YouTube: link gathering.
YouTube and Google both work in similar ways: you need links in order to rank for your article or video keywords. What you can easily do and and gain a lot of ranking power is to submit your videos to social bookmarking sites as well as share them to your social networks. This will not only give you immediate results (friends viewing your videos) but also will strengthen their power against competition. It’s what you always need to do no matter what.
Social Bookmarking sites to pay attention to: StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, BizSugar (again if your videos are business oriented), Delicious, BlogEngage, HackerNews (for technology, programming and business videos), PinBoard, and Technorati.
My intention was to keep this less than a thousand words but the thing is that video is becoming so important that having a strong presence is becoming essential for your marketing efforts.
What you should do before closing this page is to share it with a friend of yours that might have any of the above problems and help them overcome them or any of your friends that you think this would help them in their business. This will help us too because we’d love to see some traffic in a post that took us so many hours to write. ;)
What you should do after closing this page, is to make things happen!