Web 2.0 Properties and Videos for SEO Rankings
I enjoyed that all very much, but I wanted to get back to talking about the kinds of things that I’ve been learning over in the Rankings Institute. The Rankings Institute was an eight week course plus some added on stuff. It’s been over for about a month now and I’ve been going back through that. There’s just an incredible amount of stuff that I personally learned, and I considered myself to be pretty knowledgeable about SEO compared to the average guy walking down the street. I’m very pleased with all the stuff that I learned and I wanted to pass some of that stuff along to you.
Today one of the things that I want to talk to you about is the value of using authority properties in your SEO campaigns. Google is trying more and more to make it difficult for sites that really don’t have any authority to rank for search terms. They’re trying to identify not just artificially generated links or links that really don’t represent people approving of the site, but they’re also trying to do things that ferret out these very thin affiliate sites that we try to work on.
I will tell you that the techniques in the Rankings Institute are robust against most all of this stuff, including Penguin 4.0, but I will also tell you that Google is going to forever be tweaking their algorithm in an effort to really bring up the best sites. As always, the best defense against that is to create a really good site that deserves to be ranked.
But, there are also other things that you can do outside of your own site to help you get off the ground quickly. Let’s face it, most of the things that you’re doing you don’t have time or inclination to go build Web MD or About.com, so if you’re going to compete with those guys you have to use all the possible things you can come up with in your arsenal.
The thing I want to talk to you about today is web 2.0 properties, specifically I want to talk to you about YouTube. We all know that YouTube is incredibly popular, hundreds of millions of hours of video are uploaded each and every year, maybe even more than that now. There’s just a ridiculous amount of content being created on YouTube.
The interesting thing about YouTube is that it’s owned by Google. If you do an analysis of SEO results – and I’m sure you’ve seen this – YouTube videos appear in search engine results all the time. And they have really good click throughs because they have that little video graphic when they’re from YouTube, that draw people to click on those video links. Some people go straight to YouTube and use that for search, that is the second largest search engine on the internet.
We certainly have data that supports the idea that Google ranks YouTube videos preferentially when they go to rank search engine results, they’re preferring that content on YouTube. Typically they won’t rank more than one YouTube video on the front page, but you can get a YouTube on the front page for a lot of search terms, particularly when a video makes sense for that search term. I think they’re doing a little playing around for search terms that don’t make sense for video, maybe they don’t preferentially put those up there – I haven’t quite figured all that out yet. What I can tell you is that YouTube videos are everywhere.
You might be thinking to yourself, “Oh great, I don’t want to have a YouTube video, I don’t know how to make a video and I don’t know what to do even if I do have a video ranking.” I’m going to solve all that for you today.
The first thing I’ll tell you is most YouTube videos are junk. For $5 you can go over to Fiverr and get a video made that talks about your product or service or topic. You can provide a script and there are various kinds of videos that you can make. I like the sketch videos where the guy pretends to be sketching whatever it is the main points are that you want to communicate, but there are lots of other kinds you can do. You can have slide shows with a marketing message embedded, there’s just all kinds of stuff you can do.
Let me tell you, you don’t have to spend much time on YouTube to realize that these videos don’t have to be very good to be better than 95% of everything out there. Actually, it’s kind of like podcasts, you don’t have to do a very good podcast to have a podcast that is better than most of the podcasts that are out there. You just need to create a video and the easiest way that I can tell you to do that is on Fiverr.
If you are interested in creating your own videos, you can certainly do that. I will also tell you that pretty much the most cost effective thing that you can use to make a video these days is iPhone and the iMovie software. If you’re not a Mac person, I’m sure there is some equivalent that you can use on the Windows side, like Movie Maker that’s free. If you have a Mac (and you should have a Mac) and an iPhone, then you’re pretty much good to go on making videos.
The really easy thing to do is to just simply go over to Fiverr, type in marketing video, or animated video, or something like that and look through the choices to find something you like, and just order the thing. It’s going to cost you $5. Don’t worry, in most cases, about the extras. The extras are usually high definition or they will deliver in two days and all of that. You probably don’t need that, you probably just need to spend your $5 and get your video.
Once you get your video you can upload that video to YouTube and immediately you can do two things. One is set a bunch of keywords that are related to the video and use them in the description and in the keyword field. These are the keywords that you want to rank for, not just one keyword, but lots of keywords that are related. Use all of the things that you think someone might type in to Google, put all of those in there even if they’re kind of broad. I think it’s better to be broad than very narrow right now. Make sure they’re relevant to what the video is about.
Then have a really compelling title tag and description in that video that makes people want to click on that link. Remember, in the search engine results what people are going to see is the title tag that you put for the video, so put something in there that’s compelling and that makes people want to click. Don’t call it Bob’s Sales Video, call it This is the Cream that Solved My Problem, or You Won’t Believe What Happened Once I Tried This, or This Video Finally Reveals the Secret – something that is going to compel people to actually click. Then put that thing on YouTube.
In the description, go ahead and make that a really meaty description, a long description. Maybe 500 or 800 words, more is better. Essentially publish an article inside that description. At the very top of the description, put a link to your website, because that’s the blue link that people are going to click on when they watch the video.
At the end of the video you’re going to want to say something like, “For more information, click the blue link below,” and then they’ll look down and the first thing they’ll see in that description is that blue link. Now you’re all set up.
One of the magical things that we’re finding with YouTube is that if you can build links to this video in YouTube, you can really rank it effectively. These links don’t have to be fantastic links. In fact, you can use automated link building strategies like RankCrew of some of the cheaper packages over at The Hoth and you can just hammer this video with links. The thing of it is the site itself has so much link authority flowing to it that your little tiny link campaign to one video is going to go relatively unnoticed, or at least that’s what the data suggests right now.
Bottom line is you can create a video, write a good description, put your website link in, and you can rank that video for your search term if you build links to it. It will be easier than you think.
If you don’t believe me, go find a keyword phrase that you’re interested in ranking for that has a video ranking currently and look how many backlinks there are to that video compared to the other stuff that’s ranking for the key phrase. In my experience, using tools like ahrefs.com, Keyword Canine, or Majestic SEO, when you look at those backlinks that are pointing to the video and causing it to rank, invariably those YouTube video links are ranking higher with less backlinks coming in to them.
I think that’s for two fundamental reasons. One, I think it’s because of the domain authority of YouTube.com, some of that is getting passed to the video legitimately. Second, it’s my suspicion that because it’s in Google’s best interest, they’re preferentially ranking their own stuff. That’s just what I believe, I don’t have data to support their secret intention, maybe that’s not what they’re doing, but my intuition is that Google is preferentially ranking those videos. So you should be taking advantage of that in your campaigns.
Here’s what could possibly happen. You have a great page that you are trying to rank in Google, you eventually rank that in the first slot, then maybe in the second slot you rank your YouTube video. While you’re at it, why not go get another authority property where you can get content like we used to do with Squidoo. There are lots of web 2.0 properties out there that we can maybe talk about in another podcast episode. Then you can rank that and you’ve got space one, two, and three. Now instead of getting 20-30% of the search engine traffic with one link, maybe you can get 30-40% of the search engine traffic because you own the top three or four spots.
I’ve seen this happen in various industries where someone will use this technique and they’ll essentially have all 10 spots. The top spot will be their website, the second spot will be a YouTube video. The third spot will be a Blogspot blog that’s very thin, but has a ton of links built to it so that it ranks third. The fourth spot will be a Facebook fan page that’s also their product. You can rank these authority properties a lot more easily with links than you can some individual website that you have just built two weeks ago that doesn’t have the domain authority yet.
That’s my tip from week four of the Rankings Institute; use web 2.0 to augment and really bootstrap your SEO campaign, because while you’re waiting on your new affiliate site to go up in the rankings as you do link building you can get these authority properties to rank much faster and that’s a good thing to go do.
If you’re interested in Rankings Institute, I recommend that you sign up for the mailing list over at LateNightIM.com/RI. Andrew periodically sends out information and eventually his intention is to reopen the Rankings Institute course and I think there’s going to be an option without the coaching that is just the videos that will be ridiculously affordable. I don’t know if he’s going to offer the one-on-one coaching again or not.
Corn Sheller Site Update
One thing I wanted to talk about today is something we haven’t really discussed in awhile, which is the Corn Sheller site. You’ll recall this is a site that I started back in the spring of 2012 on a dare, so it’s been over two years.
This is a pretty good example of the kind of things you can do to build small residual income. Although, corn shellers are not something that I would have gone after, because it doesn’t have a lot of monetization potential. When you do the analysis that you would normally do for a niche website, you wouldn’t normally go after something like corn shellers.
But at the time they were bringing up Keyword Canine and on a dare Josh said, “If I give you a keyword that’s easy to rank for, will you build a site and confirm that the tool did a good job of identifying the fact that the keyword could be easily ranked?” So I did that and it was, it ranked immediately and it’s made money.
It’s made as much as $50 or $60 per month and then it’s had months where it’s made almost no money. Let me say that the traffic really started to fall off, I really haven’t done anything with the site since I built it. I did a little bit of stuff to promote it, very little, I built some links to it and then just let it go.
At one point back in September of 2013 the site got up to 8,000 page views per month, which is pretty good for something that you’re hardly doing anything with. For some reason, after that summer it kind of fell off and now it’s running around 4,000 page view per month, so traffic has been cut in half.
When I look at the rankings, the rankings have all fallen from the top of the one, two, three rankings and into the four, five, six range. It’s just slid down in the rankings. This is typical of an affiliate site where you’re not actively building links on a monthly basis, watching the keywords and paying attention, and just maintaining it. I haven’t done a thing.
It got my attention this month because it spiked up and in one day it made $40. I got to looking at the rankings and I think what makes sense is for us to try an SEO experiment. I have some decent ranking data from the site, historical ranking data. It’s not great solid data, because I haven’t been tracking the rankings aggressively, but I do have some of the historical ranking data. I’m going to start monitoring the rankings several times a week using the SEO keyword ranking software that use called Rank Tracker.
You can find out more about that at LateNightIM.com/ranktracker. It’s really good software, I like it because I don’t have to pay something monthly to use it. The downside of rank tracker is if you use it to track tons and tons of keywords then Google detects that and they will start throwing Captchas at you. It has pluses and minuses, but I really like it and I like that I don’t have a monthly fee associated with it and I can track thousands of keywords with it.
So I’m going to track these and I’m going to use some combination of link building techniques against the site and see what happens. We’ll report back on that.
It looks the site this month is going to make $40 or even $50 – no idea why. In fact, here’s a lesson learned. Everything here at LateNightIM.com is not perfect, as you know. I went over to the site to see what was going on over there and the plugin that I use for listing eBay auctions, PHPbay, was broken. Something in the last release of WordPress broke the plugin. I’m sure there’s an update that I just need to go get, but since I never look at the site I didn’t even know it was broken. So somehow the site has made $40 this month and it’s broken, I don’t know how all that works.
Look for an update on that in the coming weeks. I’ll let you know exactly what I am doing with that site. I may spend some money on links. I’m definitely going to spend some money on Rank Crew links – I may do that first and we’ll see what happens. We’ve talked about Rank Crew a little bit already, we’ll build some social bookmarking links to the site through Rank Crew.
Then we’ll decide what to do. If we like that effect then maybe we’re okay with that, or maybe we’ll do something more powerful using some of the more expensive but more powerful techniques that I learned from Rankings Institute. We’ll see how it goes with that.
Another fun thing we could do, since we were talking about web 2.0 videos, is we could order a web 2.0 video from Fiverr like I was just talking about and try to rank it for corn shellers and see how that does. Maybe I’ll do that as well and we can do those two things together, that will be a nice experiment that you can look forward to on future episodes of the Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast.
So Much Potential Everywhere You Look
One of the funny things about affiliate marketing is you create these things and they keep earning money. I’ve heard Lynn Terry over at Clicknewz talk about the fact that she couldn’t turn off the income if she wanted to, money just keeps coming once you build these assets.
I know the Corn Sheller was just a thing, it wasn’t even a real fully fledged attempt at making money, but the site has made $699.72 lifetime. In over two years that’s not that great, but it is a lot better than zero and it’s a lot more money than I invested in it, so that’s kind of cool.
You could imagine if you’re not even breathing hard and not even trying or paying attention and you can make $600-700 on a site, what can you do when you’re really trying to do something, really paying attention every day, when you’re adding content every day, when you’re picking something to begin with that monetizes well, when you’re using sophisticated techniques like creating web 2.0 properties to drive additional traffic to your money site. What’s the potential? The potential is enormous.
That’s the magic. The other magic is you can just do whatever you want to do and walk away. If you do it well, a lot of times money keeps rolling in. If you have a site that makes $700 over two years, if you make 10 of those then you’re talking about $7,000 over two years, and if you do it 10x as well then you’re talking about $70,000 over two years. All of a sudden you’re talking about a full time income. That’s the potential, that’s the exciting idea that makes all of this possible. That’s why I talk about the Corn Sheller site, because it’s a silly simple example that demonstrates the potential.
Wrapping Things Up…
I’ll give you a little behind the scenes look at what’s going on here today at Late Night Internet Marketing. Right now, my four year old is in the chair with me at my desk. I’m working on the podcast and she is brushing my hair. Morgan, say hi.
Morgan: Hi, podcast!
We’re hanging out and we’re doing the podcast thing. I stayed home from work today to play with her and she was watching Barbie and taking a little break, but she decided she need to do my hair, so now we’re doing that while podcasting.
I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about the Corn Sheller site and hearing about what’s going on with web 2.0 properties and how you can use those to leverage your SEO.
I’ll be back again shortly, hopefully within the next week, with more exciting content. We’re going to talk a little bit about week five of the Rankings Institute and what I learned from that. Until then, I’ll see you next time. Thanks.