Small Business YouTube Video Optimization

Each of Your Small Business YouTube Videos Should Contribute to an Overall Strategy.

By now you have your small business YouTube channel set up so it’s time to add your video. You want to do this in just the right way to maximize its effectiveness as a marketing tool.

There are a few things you want to do before you add videos to your channel.

First, the video must be compressed into a digital format, so if it now exists on tape or DVD but is not internet-ready, you’ll have to get that done. We offer this service as do others, and for YouTube videos you want a video and audio file in .mp4 format for uploading.

Once you get the video onto your hard drive or server, you want to rename the video so that it shows your keywords. As we’ve discussed before, this is typically the type of business and the city, e.g. “Timbuktu hair salon” or “hair salon Timbuktu.” At this point it is not important that the small business Youtube video file name ends with .mov or .mp4 or other extension.

Next, you want to have the narration or dialogue of the video transcribed.

If you have a copy of the original script it makes this chore very easy — it will be 95% done for you. But you can certainly play and pause the video yourself while you type the script. Another option is to have this done, and depending on the length of the video, you can do this for as little as $5. If you go to Fiverr you can get all sorts of jobs done at incredibly low prices, and in this case you can get someone to transcribe up to 15 minutes of the audio for just $5. (I honestly don’t know how people can do it for that little…)

After you have the transcript and the compressed video, you’ll be ready to upload it.

Log into your YouTube channel and at the center up top will be an “Upload video” tab. Clicking on this will allow you to upload one or more videos to YouTube, which will be connected to your small business YouTube channel.

Depending on the length of the video and the speed of your connection, this could take awhile.

Once the video is uploaded (YouTube will send you an email to let you know that, if you choose that option) you’ll need to make some changes to the information on the You’ll also want to end a hyphen or | to divide the title, and add on the name of the business or even the owner (in the case of lawyers, doctors, or other professionals).

Under the description, the very first line should have the keywords as a title. Then skip a line and add the transcript of the audio from the video, followed by the business name, address and phone. And here’s another key trick: go back and add counter numbers to your description at key points in the transcript. When you add the time prior to the words spoken on the video, they turn into hyperlinks and this allows viewers to go forward and back within your video. And here’s the cool part: when they do that to your small business YouTube video, each click on a time counter number means that YouTube registers another view for your video.

Here’s an example of a short video we did about Penrose Productions’ worldwide travels:

If you click “Show more” at the bottom of the description, the box will expand and you’ll be able to see that those time makers are now links and you can more forward and back in the video when you click on them.

From here, we’ll move on to tags (keywords) for the video. These are used to aid in searching and so have a large impact on your search engine rankings, but it is almost as much art as science. You’ll not only want to add your prime keywords, but related keywords in addition. So besides Timbuktu hair salon, you might want to add best haircut Timbuktu, great hair coloring Timbuktu, etc. You certainly can use your keyword research as a guide, but use your imagination as to related areas whose keywords also deserve to be included.

To add tags, separate them with commas and YouTube will make them into keyword phrases rather than use each word individually.

Below this area you will see the thumbnails that will appear when your small business YouTube video appears in searches. You want this to be as interesting as possible (to get the most clicks) but at this point you’ll have the choice of only 3 different random frames. Later on when your channel builds credibility you can be eligible to use custom thumbnails, but at this point you’re going to have to choose from the 3 random frames which YouTube picks for you. Pick the most appealing to viewers.

After this, you want to make sure that your Privacy Settings are set to Public, otherwise the world will not be able to see it.

As for categories, this does not seem to have much impact on small business YouTube videos (or others for that matter), so just try to choose the one that you feel is most appropriate.

Next time we’ll cover the advanced section to fully optimize your small business YouTube videos.


Small Business YouTube Channel Setup – Continued

A Small Business YouTube Channel Needs to be Stylized to Attract Visitors.

small business youtube channelIn our last post, we began our discussion on how to create your small business YouTube channel. Now let’s make it look attractive, so that you’ll keep visitors coming back. At this point the channel is fairly ordinary and uninspiring. Let’s fix that.

Optimizing your small business YouTube Channel

While you are on your channel page, go to the square in the upper left with the head in two shades of blue. You will be uploading your avatar. Do so by clicking on the pencil icon in the upper right of this box. It will invite you to “Change Channel Icon” and here you will upload your head shot or other picture that will always accompany your comments, etc. on YouTube.

This is a square image that YouTube wants to be .jpg, .gif, .bmp or .png. 800 x800 pixels is ideal. If the image is not square it will be cropped. Maximum file size is 1 MB.

Next we want to “Add channel art” as YT calls it. This is your wide, thin background image at the top of the channel. A word of warning: YT recommends a 2560 x 1440 pixel image, with a maximum size of 2 MB. However, YouTube is trying to use a single image to work on devices of different sizes – a very bad idea in our opinion. For example, if you upload to their recommended specs you’ll see the 2560 x 1440 image will fill the screen for looking at your channel on a television, NOT a computer screen. And it will look even more chopped up on mobile devices.

If you are looking to create a small business YouTube channel for the computer (and you should be), then the IMPORTANT part of the image should be 1280 x 350. Again, that’s what will show on your YouTube channel header, and it’s in the middle of the image.

So you must make it larger to match YouTube/Google’s specs for television and mobile devices as well. They also use this header for your Google+ account, which we will talk about in a later blog post about search engine work.


Finally on this topic, we’ve created a template that you can use to design your banner for your small business YouTube channel. By following the guidelines, you’ll be able to create one that you can use for the various formats. Just click on the image below and you can save that to your computer and use in the proper size:

YouTube banner template

Your Channel Setup Checklist

Now you may have notice the “Channel Setup Checklist” in the upper right of the channel page. This lets you know what remains to be done in setting up your channel page. This handy indicator lets you know if you’ve missed anything, but it does not drill down completely to every possible area you want filled in. And if we know anything about YouTube/Google, they want to know EVERYTHING about us…

So you should try to give as much info as possible, focusing as always on your keywords.

Edit Channel Settings

Just below and to the right of your channel banner (and to the far right from your channel name) you’ll roll over the pencil icon to allow you to edit and add details. Click on that and click “Channel Settings.”

If you need to edit your channel name be sure to do so, using your keyword phrase such as “Timbuktu hair salon.” Also, be sure to add about 4 or 5 of your top keyword phrases, each separated by a comma.

If you have a Google Analytics Account, enter the ID at the bottom of the section. Be sure to Save of course.

That will do it for now. To further optimize, we have to upload videos, so we’ll do that next time…


Small Business YouTube Channel Setup

Small Business YouTube Channel Creation and Optimization is an Important First Step to Maximizing the Effectiveness of Web Videos on YouTube.

small business Youtube channel

To the small business YouTube can be a great advantage for driving traffic through the doors by

  • increasing search engine rankings,
  • establishing credibility, and
  • effectively telling the story of the business and its products or services.

To start, the business must have a YouTube channel on which to post the videos. It’s foundational for the rest of the videos. Here’s how to create the channel.

(Let us add a warning: YouTube is constantly tweaking their interface, so the instructions below may not EXACTLY be correct when you read this.)

Define Your Keywords

These keywords are actually a “key phrase” and will be the term that you people search to find your business in Google. So it’s generally best to try to pick the most popular. This typically includes a location and type of business, so might be a term such as “san jose carpet cleaner,” “palo alto chiropractor,” or “Timbuktu hair salon.” In addition, there may be several keyword phrases that get lots of search traffic and so are worth targeting.

First, the good news: Google has developed a free keyword tool designed to help potential advertisers on Google Adwords determine the search terms they want to target. Rather than use the tool and pay money for Adwords, as small business YouTube users we’ll use the tool to determine what words people search to find our type of business.

Now the bad news: Google is getting rid of the keyword tool some time in the next month. They are replacing it with the the Google Keyword Planner. You’ll have to have a Google Adwords account to use it, so the days of free and unhindered search engine research are gone, at least for awhile. Google has more on the Keyword Planner.

Regardless, we’ll use the keywords throughout our marketing efforts. For the purposes of setting up your channel, try to find the most popular. It may take some playing around with the Adwords Keyword Tool while it’s still active, but you’ll get the idea pretty quick. In subsequent posts, we’ll report on:

  • the advantage of sometimes using “long-tail keywords” that have fewer searches, but draw a much more responsive viewer
  • how to best use the Keyword Planner when it’s available.

Create Your Channel

Go to YouTube and access the page to create an account. If you don’t have an email account you want to use, you’ll can create a free gmail account. From here, fill out the forms using your real info. You’ll notice that Google now automatically creates a Google+ account for you. After acknowledgment that the account is created, click the button to return to YouTube.

Select Your Channel Name

You’ll want to click on your name and then go to “YouTube Settings” and you can click on “Create a Channel.”  Under “My Channel” you’ll want to create a user name for your small business YouTube account by using that keyword phrase we mentioned above.

This will be the search term that you came up with under “Define Your Keywords.” Typically that will be your location and type of business, but be sure to check it out as indicated above. This term is highly searched by Google and YouTube so be sure to make it shout what you do and where you are, not just XYZ Company or the like…

Keep in mind it can only be 20 characters long and may only include alphanumeric characters (letters A-Z or a-z and numbers 0-9) with no spaces. User names can contain capital and lowercase letters. Enter it correctly, and exactly how you want it displayed.

You may not be able to get the keyword phrase you want (it may already be taken) so be prepared with an alternative. Even just adding numbers at the end will allow you to preserve the keyword phrase, however. For example, if TimbuktuRestaurant was already taken, you might try TimbuktuRestaurant1 would also come up in the search engines.

Optimize the Profile

To do this properly small business YouTube users must be sure to fill this out completely.

Go to the drop down menu in the upper right next to the icon representing your keyword phrase and choose “My Channel.”  Click the “About” tab and “Channel Description.” Write about your business here, using keyword phrases that would apply. Be sure to be thorough is telling what your business does.  While you do want to use your keyword phrase liberally, do not repeat it over and over as Google and YouTube do now like “keyword stuffing” and will penalize you for it.

Be sure to include your company homepage url in this description as well.

Next, in the far left column, click “Social” to link up with your company’s Twitter site, if applicable. Unfortunately their Facebook account link only applies to your personal account. You’ll only want to link to your personal account if your name is strongly identified with the product or service

Under Custom Links you can add a wide variety of other social media accounts to your small business YouTube profile. These include Google+, Zazzle, Tumblr, Flickr, iTunes, Pinterest and Instagram. If you have these sites for your company, be sure to add them and create as many links as possible.  It’s all search engine “juice.” Google is loving social media links these days.

In the center section under Description and to the right of Links you’ll find a pencil icon that comes up when you mouse over it. It’s right next to the Joined Date. This pencil allows you to edit this section so click that and on the “Joined Date” box uncheck it . No use letting the world know you’re new at this!

You’re getting close now!

Next time we’ll proceed to stylizing your account page and more…


Small Business Uses YouTube to Get Customers

Small Business Uses YouTube to Get Much-needed Web Visitors and Brings Them Through the Doors.

small business on youtube

The savvy owner of a small business uses YouTube these days, but it hasn’t always been so.

We’ve been producing videos for large and small businesses for over 30 years and have served customers in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world. In that time period, we’ve seen video distribution change dramatically.

When we began in the early 1980s most businesses weren’t using video as a marketing tool, but those that did had to supply customers and other interested parties with copies of their program on both VHS and Betamax video tapes — the home format wars of that time period had not yet settled down in favor of VHS. Later in the decade with that decided, companies no longer had to ask their customers “Would you like that on VHS or Beta?”

In that time period we would make hundreds (and often thousands) of copies of VHS copies for our clients to distribute. Mailing houses carried special packaging for tapes and the marketing materials that might accompany them, and the postal service was a constant visitor to our door, picking up the many copies headed around the country.

In fact, we even had VHS duplicating machines in foreign television formats so that we could make copies to send to other nations with different TV systems.

When the 1990s rolled around, DVD machines became popular and distribution of programs on DVD became the norm. The postal carrier’s back was spared, as the bulk and weight of video distribution became a fraction of what it was in the 1980s.

Then, in 2005 a most amazing thing happened. YouTube was born. This video distribution format allowed users to post their videos on the internet for free, and for viewers to access them, also at no cost.

But the real turning point came in 2006 when Google bought YouTube. The rest, as they say, is history.

YouTube videos are leveraged by their Google ownership, and now YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. This shows the incredible power and popularity of videos in this day and age. In fact, Google integrates videos into their search engine results, and as one could expect, gives YouTube preferential treatment.

As a result, small businesses ignore web videos at their own peril.

In the next several weeks, we’ll be sharing with you how and why to get your small business YouTube videos noticed and drive customers into your door.



Video Production the Fun Way

We Love a Video Production That Inspires Us to Get Creative.

We’ve done an awful lot of video productions in our 30+ years in the San Francisco Bay Area.

As with any job or profession, the work varies from the mundane to the truly exciting. And like others we revel in the opportunity to do a video production that is flat out fun — and get paid to do it

We’ve done lots of video productions over the years, but the trend for quite a while has been away from that as companies feel they can’t afford to appear frivolous.

We just put the finishing touches on the first edit of a marketing video for Abbey Carpets/Blossom Valley Interiors in San Jose.

Owner Steve Delamore is one of those business owners that is truly marketing-focused and he realizes the need to do videos as part of his marketing mix. And we love how he lets us get creative with the vision.

In this particular case Steve wanted to highlight the opening of the new Karndean Design Center in his store. His store is the only one in Santa Clara County where such a center exists, and his goal is to use it as a great competitive advantage.

He actually had to close his store for a week to install the design center and when he told us that he was going to do so, we suggested that we create a video production around it. We further helped him find a video camera that shoots at a very low frame rate, so that when the video is played back at normal speed everything is in fast motion.

We suggested that he set up the camera in a fixed location in the store and keep it running during the installation.

Steve did that and got some very cool video footage of the installers and workers scurrying around.

Watching the fast motion inspired us to create a script done in the style of an old time silent movie, complete with black and white footage, film scratches, title cards and piano music in the background.

Steve approved and embraced the video production concept wholeheartedly.

Here is the finished video:

Fun and creative video production projects like this one are too few and far between, but they serve as a source for great satisfaction and inspiration when they come along.

And we’re always going to be on the lookout for more.