As a small business owner, ever ask yourself why you’re investing so much time and energy on your YouTube content when you’re already spread thin by all of the things you have to do in running your business? Simple: small business creators get more customers with YouTube!
Why is video important for my business?
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what’s a video worth to your business? The potential to dramatically increase your chances of getting more customers, according to recent YouTube statistics from Google:
68% of YouTube users watch videos to make purchasing decisions.
More than 46% of shoppers will potentially buy from a new brand they discovered through YouTube.
70% of YouTube viewers bought something from a brand they saw on YouTube.
Those staggering numbers show that YouTube videos greatly influence consumers’ buying decisions. And since only 9% of small businesses are on YouTube, if you take the time to create and upload videos, you’ll essentially stand out from 9 out of 10 of your competitors.
Why do I need a YouTube channel?
More than 90% of consumers say they’ve discovered new products and brands on YouTube. Having a YouTube channel allows your business to capture the interest of those consumers when they’re actively exploring their options.
As the second-largest search engine behind Google, YouTube is brilliant in that it realizes the power of giving people options. When viewers are empowered to choose what they want to watch, they pay attention to the content because it matters to them. If you create educational, entertaining or thought-provoking videos, you have a better chance of viewers actively engaging with your brand. Those engaged viewers, in turn, enable you to make more sales with YouTube.
4 things to include to get more customers on YouTube
When building a YouTube channel, there are a few important elements that deserve your attention:
Welcome video and description.
Channel sections and playlists.
1. Channel banner
Think of the channel banner like your billboard on YouTube. This sits atop your channel and can be used to welcome viewers, set expectations for the types of videos you upload, and even drive clicks to a specific page. On Bigger Better Biz, we use the channel banner to drive downloads of our free marketing resources.
2. Important links
When customizing your YouTube channel, you can add important links to your other digital properties. Be sure to use them because they show on your channel banner as well as in your About tab. On Bigger Better Biz, we link to our free download, marketing community signup, LinkedIn and Facebook.
3. Welcome video and description
The welcome video (also known as the channel trailer) gives new (yet to subscribe) visitors to your channel a brief idea of the type of content you’re posting. Use both your video and its accompanying description to instruct viewers to watch your other videos and subscribe to the channel. This is a great way to get more followers on YouTube.
On Bigger Better Biz, we use the welcome video and description to welcome new viewers, outline our video topics, and prompt them to subscribe to the channel.
4. Channel sections and playlists
Your YouTube channel homepage allows for up to 12 sections. Each of these sections can contain live stream content, video playlists, or other channels with which you collaborate. On Bigger Better Biz, our sections include:
Starting your small business
How to Google My Business
Free marketing strategy coaching clips
Digital marketing tools
Small business questions
You don’t need to use all 12 sections, but having three or more sections makes your channel look established and robust to new viewers.
How YouTube can help you gain more customers
To understand the opportunity you have with YouTube, we first have to dive into consumer psychology and take a look at micro-moments.
What are micro-moments?
Google coined the term “micro-moments” back in 2015. Think with Google puts it best when it describes micro-moments:
Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device — increasingly a smartphone — to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped. In these moments, consumers’ expectations are higher than ever. The powerful computers we carry in our pockets have trained us to expect brands to immediately deliver exactly what we are looking for when we are looking. We want things right, and we want things right away.
Simply put, a micro-moment is a moment in time when your potential customers need to:
In these impactful moments, consumers are both exploring and evaluating their options (known as the Messy Middle) and they turn to search engines like YouTube to make more educated decisions. Recent research from Google shows that:
75% of shoppers used a Google product like YouTube in the past week to help with their shopping.
70% of shoppers are open to learning about products on YouTube from brands.
More than 90% of people say they’ve discovered new products and brands via YouTube.
Over 50% of shoppers say they used online video while shopping in-store.
How to leverage micro-moments to get more customers with YouTube
Watching videos in their micro-moment helps consumers compare their options and make better-informed buying decisions. That’s not to say that all of your videos should only focus on pushing your products or services, though. Because consumers in micro-moments are both exploring and evaluating, you want to consider the role video will play in your overall marketing strategy.
What role will video play in your marketing strategy?
Before I create a video for Bigger Better Biz, I like to jot down my objective for the video on a sticky note and make sure it’s in clear view as I record. Of course, you’re using video in your marketing to get more customers with YouTube, but each video can have a different objective or goal that ultimately leads to making more sales with YouTube.
Building brand awareness with YouTube
To attract customers, you need to show them your products and services. In the case of building brand awareness, you’re making videos with a goal that consumers will recognize or recall your brand or offerings. To build brand awareness, you might create the following types of videos:
Growing loyalty with YouTube
Once potential customers know about your brand, you want to bolster their loyalty so they are more likely to recommend your business to others. To grow loyalty, you might create videos including:
Thought leadership and advice
Driving sales with YouTube
Last, but not least, you can use YouTube to drive online or offline sales. This is where you turn on the boosters and promote your offerings. It might feel a little shameless, but if 90% of consumers are discovering things to buy on YouTube, it’s in your best interest to sell with video.
Here’s an example of a recent video promoting a new marketing program we developed for small business owners:
Note in the video how I speak to the viewers’ pain points of feeling overwhelmed with endless marketing options and provide them with a solution: our monthly marketing success plan.
If you’re not ready for a direct sales video, then you might consider uploading:
Origin story videos
Product highlight videos
Don’t let the lists above overwhelm you, but use them as inspiration. It’s easy to get sidetracked with fresh ideas when recording videos, so I suggest you start by choosing one objective. Write your objective on a notepad and add two to three bullet points on what you want to cover in your video. As you make your video, consult your note and make sure you’re staying true to your objective.
Once you publish your video on your YouTube channel, spread the word right away because the more views and watch time you gain with your new release, the more YouTube rewards you by suggesting your video to viewers outside of your network. With that in mind, here are some simple strategies to get more eyes on your YouTube videos.
Embed your video in a blog post
If blogging is a part of your content marketing strategy, you will want to write a blog post to showcase every video you upload to YouTube. Why? Because by writing a blog post and embedding your new video in the body of your blog, you’re marrying YouTube and Google for an SEO boost.
Pro tip: Consider embedding a playlist link in your blog posts, so your viewers continue watching your other videos.
Share your video in your email marketing campaigns
When you release a new video that provides value to your email subscribers, send out an email marketing campaign to let them know. If you time it right, you can schedule your video to publish when your email campaign hits the inbox to demonstrate a strong initial demand for your video content.
I’m sure you’re always on the prowl for new content to share on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. By promoting your YouTube videos via social media platforms, you’re spreading the word to social media users who might have never known your YouTube channel existed. If your video content is engaging enough, you have a good chance of winning new subscribers.
Pro tip: Be sure to add short, informative descriptions that motivate social media users to click the video links.
Start leveraging YouTube to get more customers
We’ve established that YouTube is a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal because it influences consumer buying decisions. When potential customers find themselves in micro-moments, they turn to search engines like YouTube to explore and evaluate their options, and the stats show that more than 90%t of people say they’ve discovered new products and brands via YouTube.
Be deliberate with your objectives before recording your videos, and consider modeling some of the examples I listed above. Once you publish your video to YouTube, be sure to share it as soon as you can to get as many views as possible right when it’s live for the world to see.
I’ve given you the inspiration, now put in the perspiration!
Elon Musk said Sunday he “somewhat agonized” over the font designs for his companies Tesla and SpaceX.
The billionaire businessman added he “loves fonts” and has tweaked the logos over the years.
He revealed the SpaceX logo also holds a hidden meaning, representing a rocket’s arc to orbit.
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In a series of Sunday tweets, Elon Musk said he “somewhat agonized” over his choice of fonts for his businesses and revealed a hidden meaning behind the SpaceX logo.
Responding to a tweet about serif and sans-serif fonts, the billionaire businessman took a break from posting cryptic memes and discussing politics to say he loves fonts and put significant consideration into how his companies are presented to consumers.
“I somewhat agonized over the Tesla & SpaceX font design (love fonts tbh),” Musk tweeted. “There are some similarities, particularly use of negative space. We’ve made many little tweaks over the years.”
The Tesla logo — a T-shaped design with a custom, sans-serif font spelling out the brand name — is meant to resemble a cross-section of an electric motor. The SpaceX logo, written in a similar font with an extended X, references the reusable rockets made by the company.
“The swoop of the X is meant to represent the rocket’s arc to orbit,” Musk tweeted.
Other business logos have also held hidden messages: Baskin Robbins, a chain that sells 31 flavors of ice cream, has a secret ’31’ hidden in the letters of its logo. Likewise, Amazon’s arrow logo is meant to represent a smile, while the circular ‘B’ logo for Beats by Dre represents a person wearing the popular headphones.
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The internet has revolutionized the business world and changed how we conduct business. Any business that aims to increase its visibility and boost profit needs to pay much attention to top ranking factors, including local SEO — which introduces the topic of the local search algorithm.
Local SEO is one of the top practices that help boost a business’s visibility and generates more sales.
However, achieving better local SEO rankings is not a walk in the park, especially due to increased competition. To appear higher on local results, businesses and marketers need to understand how the local search algorithm works.
Knowing this helps guide the steps for improving rankings in the local pack.
The competition gets stiffer as more businesses open and optimize for local searching. Besides, Google is updating its algorithm consistently, meaning only businesses that can keep up with these updates can appear at the top of local search results.
Luckily, you have come to this post as this article looks at everything you need to know about Google’s local search algorithm and what you can do to get that top spot in the local pack.
Understanding the local search algorithm
Google aims to provide the best results that match a specific local search query. It constantly updates the local search algorithm to determine which business to rank on top of local search results.
Ideally, Google wants to provide local content that is relevant and valuable to users. As with search engine optimization, keyword stuffing cannot give you that top spot in local search results.
SEO specialists and marketers should consider Google’s local search algorithm updates and make the necessary changes to rank higher. Failure to consider these updates means losing your local search presence, resulting in fewer leads and conversions.
Local algorithms check the Google My Business (GMB) listings to determine where to rank a business in local search rankings.
Ideally, Google’s local algorithm ranks businesses with information that matches a searcher’s query. And the higher a business ranks in local search results, the more chances a potential customer will click on it.
This post looks at the three major pillars that determine local search results to better understand the local search algorithm: proximity, prominence and relevance.
Of course, other factors make up Google’s local search algorithm, but since we cannot identify all of them, we’ll focus on the most crucial ones in this post.
By understanding these pillars, marketers can better position themselves for local search success.
Proximity is one of the major ranking factors when it comes to local search. That means the distance between a business and a searcher is a ranking factor in local search.
When a searcher searches for something, Google considers how far the searcher is from the location of the term they use in the search. When a searcher doesn’t specify the location, Google calculates the distance based on the information they have regarding their location.
Ideally, Google aims to provide the most relevant results to a search query. For instance, why would Google provide a list of coffee shops in Los Angeles if the searcher is searching from Colombia?
That would be irrelevant local search results that won’t benefit the searcher.
Unfortunately, while proximity is a major local search pillar, it’s one of the factors that businesses have little control over. After all, you cannot change where your business is located, right?
You can only ensure your business location is as clear as possible, so that it appears for related nearby queries. Here are steps you can take to achieve this:
Claim and verify the Google My Business listing
Ensure local listings are accurate and optimized for local products or services
Get the Google Maps API Key and optimize for your location and routes
Set up your profile correctly (for Service Area Businesses) to avoid violating Google’s guidelines
Users can perform several types of local searches, including:
Users will perform geo-modified searches when they are planning to visit somewhere. For instance, a searcher in Los Angeles planning to visit Toronto, Canada, may search for a “coffee shop in Oakville.” The results will differ from if they searched for “coffee” while physically in Oakville.
To be specific, geo-modified searches are mainly based on relevance and prominence as opposed to proximity when a user searches for something when outside the city included in the search.
Searchers perform this type of search when looking for something around them. For instance, a user in Los Angeles performing a local search for “coffee.”
Ideally, the user only needs to search for something and is shown results based on proximity. They will get the results that are closest to them.
“Near me” searches
“Near me” searches have been so popular in recent years. Although their popularity has significantly declined, users still perform this type of search when looking for something locally.
For instance, some users could add “near me” when searching for a coffee shop, hoping to get the most relevant results near them. As we’ve stated, this trend has lost popularity because when you perform a local search, you are searching for something near you.
It is not necessary to add “near me” to what you’re searching.
Prominence refers to how important Google thinks your business is, which gets factored into the local search algorithm.
In other words, it refers to how well a business stands from the rest in various aspects, including directories, links, reviews, mentions, among other things.
If search engines view your business as trustworthy and credible, they will likely show it on top of related search query results.
The local search algorithm views businesses/brands with a stronger online prominence as credible and trustworthy. Some of the factors that determine prominence include:
A local citation is the mention of a business’s information online. The mention can include the partial or complete name, address, and phone number (NAP) of a local business.
Citations are an excellent way for people to learn about local businesses and impact local search results.
A business with high-quality citations can rank better in local search results, although businesses must continually manage citations to ensure data accuracy.
Backlinks play a crucial role in local business prominence. Gaining relevant backlinks from high-quality sites is an excellent way to build a business’ online reputation.
If you’re trying to outrank your competitors without much success, your backlink profile could be the reason.
In that case, you should check your competitor’s backlinks and compare them with yours. When doing this, pay attention to the number and quality of their backlinks.
As a rule of thumb, aim to have high-quality local backlinks pointing to your site to improve your page’s authority.
Next, you need to pay much attention to reviews to improve local prominence. Many customers look at a business’s online reviews before deciding whether to engage more with the business or not. Besides, many positive online reviews can increase a business’ ranking factors.
Consider this scenario. A potential customer is looking for a pub around Oakville. When they perform a search, they are presented with two results: one with over 100 reviews and another with less than 10 reviews.
Which business do you think the searcher would trust? The one with 100 reviews, obviously.
As with search engines, customers need to trust a business before they decide to do business with it. Similarly, search engines can view online reviews and analyze them to determine a business’s online prominence.
That said, here are strategies you can use to boost your online review signals:
Have a strategy
You won’t have a strong online prominence if your products or services are not of a high standard. So, the first step to having many great reviews is to develop great products and services.
After that, develop a strategy to encourage your happy customers to leave honest but valuable reviews of their experience doing business with you to help boost your online reputation.
Monitor and manage the reviews
Having many reviews is one thing; you need to develop a plan to engage with your customers for better results. Responding to reviews shows people that you care and are genuine about your products and services.
People will avoid businesses that don’t respond to customer reviews (whether positive or negative).
Search engines, too, can tell whether you engage with customer reviews or not and will use the information to determine where to rank on local search results.
When responding to online reviews, pay special attention to negative reviews and how you respond to them. While no business likes getting negative reviews, how you respond to them can positively impact your business — respond positively to turn the negative reviews around.
As earlier stated, Google wants to provide the most relevant results to a local search query. This key ranking factor will determine a business’s position in local search results — how well does a local business match a search query?
Even if your business ticks the above pillars (prominence and proximity), if the content on your page isn’t well structured and doesn’t cover the topics that a searcher is looking for, you won’t appear on top of local search results.
Here are factors that businesses should consider to create a relevant listing:
Local page signals
Local listing categories and attributes
Social posts and responses to online reviews
Local listing signals and categories
A business GMB listing and category can impact its relevance score for local searches. As such, complete your business profile carefully and continually add quality content to the web page to ensure it is relevant for proximity searches.
More specifically, ensure that all information on all listing pages, including Yelp, Bing, and Google, is complete and accurate. Aside from these factors, here are two crucial features you should pay attention to:
Selecting the right categories for your local business listing is among the crucial factors for ranking locally. With over 4000 GMB categories, you want to choose categories that best describe your business — ensure they are relevant and specific.
Here are guidelines to follow when selecting a category:
Describe your business as opposed to your services
Be specific to minimize competition
Reduce the number of GMB categories to describe your business better
Without a proper description, users won’t know what your business is about. This section is about adding an introduction to your business so that customers and search engines can know more about your business.
However, don’t use this section for marketing your business. Just give users and search engines descriptive info that can help determine whether your business matches their needs.
Local page signals
Another way a business can improve its standing in the local search algorithm is by optimizing web pages for specific keywords. For multi-location businesses, it’s essential to have separate, localized pages for each location, with relevant information and contact details for customers to reach you.
Performing competitor research is advisable to determine what terms or keywords to use for a specific query. Here are top on-page signals to consider when trying to gain relevance for a given topic:
Keyword research — Before creating local content, you need to find keywords that matter to your business. Perform keyword research to determine highly relevant keywords with high intent. When finding relevant terms to use in your content, base your research on the customer perspective; think about what they search for and the type of content they are looking for.
Create local content — After finding the right keywords, it’s time to create your content. Google values the quality of content more than the length of the content, so keep this in mind when creating content. Another crucial thing to pay attention to is localizing the content. For example, you can create content on local news and events or use your city’s name within your content.
The goal is to create a connection between what’s happening in your local area and your business. Also, use pictures with your specific geolocation to increase your content relevance.
Creating quality and relevant content is only the start. You need to optimize your content for on-page signals so local search algorithms can discover and rank them better. Here’s how you can optimize your local content for on-page signals:
Meta descriptions — Include keywords in your meta descriptions to encourage searchers to click through and increase visibility
Title tags — Title tags are some of the factors that search engines use to determine where to rank content. Incorporating keywords naturally in your title tags can help boost local rankings
Image tags — Another way to improve local rankings is by including relevant keywords in your image tags. Including geotags also comes with an added advantage
Headings — Users and Google value pages with clear structures. Consider creating headings within your content to capture readers’ attention and encourage them to read on. However, ensure your heading tags describe the content that comes after them well. Also, include keywords in your heading tags to help search engines understand them and their importance.
Off-page local signals
Gaining high-quality backlinks is a great way to boost credibility and trust. Backlinks refer to external links from another website to your site. Aim to have more high-quality backlinks to boost your website authority.
Ideally, having many quality backlinks shows search engines that your website or page is credible and trustworthy, which boosts the chances of ranking it higher in search engine results.
Guest posting is one of the best examples of link-building strategies you can use. Finding great guest posting opportunities provides an excellent opportunity to share your content to a new but relevant audience, which helps boost your website authority.
Another strategy you can use is to create longer and better content than what is already available on the web. When your content is high quality and relevant, it will be easier to get high-quality backlinks.
Review and social signals
Online reviews can also help boost relevance for your local business. Aim to get as many positive reviews from your happy customers as possible.
Remember, when customers perform a local search, they get not only the relevant businesses but also reviews related to the search. The more positive reviews a business has, the higher chances a potential customer will do business with them.
Closing thoughts on the local search algorithm
Ranking on top of local search results can seem daunting, but it shouldn’t when you know the vital things to focus on. As you have seen above, the local algorithm is based on three pillars: relevance, proximity, and prominence.
Of course, other factors determine local search rankings depending on your industry and competition.
Ah, email. Why did you send my friend’s birthday party invite to my spam folder? Why do you make it so easy to archive an email when I don’t even know what that means? Why are you … blue now … Gmail?
Email is a necessary evil. So whenever I hear about startups looking to innovate on the decades-old communication tech, I’m instantly intrigued considering the huge number of potential areas of improvement. Plus, talk about a large TAM!
Startups have taken note. Boomerang launched its email productivity software in 2010, and since its 2014 launch, Superhuman has raised $108 million to help users get through their inbox faster. Trying to build a better email mousetrap isn’t exactly a novel concept, but it could be big business.
I recently received pitches from two new upstarts, both of which launched their email innovations in the last year, that really piqued my interest. Let’s meet them.