If you want to drive relevant targeted traffic to your website you can give your business a significant advantage by setting up a YouTube and Google + account. This article will explain why they will have such a positive influence on your search engine results and why they should be an important factor in your social media marketing campaigns.

YouTube is an absolute must as part of your social media strategy. It is now the worlds second search engine and is one of the most popular websites on the entire Internet.

Recent statistics confirm just hot popular it is:

YouTube has 1 billion users.

  • The estimated revenue for YouTube in 2014 was $4 billion.
  • There are 6 billion hours of video watched every month on YouTube.
  • 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • There are an average of 1 billion video views on mobile devices alone…every day!

The figures speak for themselves. People love watching videos so it is important for you to exploit this incredible platform for your business or company.

YouTube has a ‘get started’ page that walks you through the set-up process. You will want to think carefully about the username you enter because it will become the name of your YouTube channel.

There are a few different ways that you can come up with a username. The obvious choice is to use your company name. That is great for companies that are already known. If you are a new start-up company with a strong brandable name, try and get it as your username or alternatively you can try to use your most desired keyword for the username.

Why is this a good idea? Because Google gives a little more ‘weight’ to a webpage or URL when a keyword is in the domain name or somewhere in the URL.

When creating your YouTube username keep in mind that you can’t have any spaces or special characters. You can however user upper and lower case letters.

Once you get all of that completed, YouTube is going to ask you to sign in with a Google account because Google owns YouTube. If you don’t already have a Google account they are painless to set up and YouTube will offer you a link to set one up if you don’t already have one. We highly recommend you set up a Google account just for your business. You will be using it for your Google+ account anyway, which we will be discussing later.

Don’t tie it to your personal account. In the world of business and personal activities, it is very important to keep them separate.

Make sure you follow the steps to confirm your key account. This is usually done with a confirmation text or email.

Once you have set your account up, click the ‘edit’ button next to the profile section of your channel. Make sure that you fill out every field that applies to your business. Keep in mind that the information that you put in here will help people find you. Tell them what they can expect from your YouTube channel.

If you are bricks and mortar business be sure to put in local information about your business.

You can ignore the fields that ask for interests, about me, books and movies and they like if they don’t apply to your business.

Edit Your Profile

Above your channel are several buttons; one of which says ‘settings’. Click on that to create the right title for your company Channel and make sure you add tags to help people find your channel.

Click on the ‘show advanced options’ link to customise the colour of your channel and upload a background image.

If you don’t have the skills to do this, there are lots of places where you can get this done fairly cheaply. Feel free to contact us for advice.

If you use the modules, you can create different items that show up on your profile such as Friends, Recent Activity and Subscribers. Think about what you want people to see right away on your profile.

Add Videos

The whole point of having a YouTube channel is to upload videos that help your brand. Let’s say you don’t currently have any videos of your own yet. You can look for other industry videos that are relevant to what you do and mark them as a favourite by clicking the ‘add to’ from the drop down menu under favourites.

Once you have a few, you can go to your Videos and Playlist setting and show your favourite videos as featured videos until you have created your own.

Promote your channel

Just as with all other social media platforms, you are not the only user out there. YouTube has millions on millions of channels. Your channel needs to stand out from the crowd in order to be found and seen. Add the YouTube icon to your website, take some time to browse other related channels and comment on their videos.

Using social media tools to promote your business is only one aspect of social media marketing: you will also need to promote the various other social media accounts you are using.

To help you, here is a useful little trick: Where you can, embed your YouTube videos in your blog posts. This is all tracked by Google, and they will give it a higher rank in YouTube, and ultimately Google’s search index itself.

Google+

Google+ (or Google Plus), the search giant’s answer to the dominance of Facebook might not have the numbers of its rival, but its user base is still huge.

After being under-appreciated for a couple of years after its launch, it is becoming more and more popular every month because people are starting to realise that is a very useful platform. It is starting to be given priority in many local businesses social media strategy, even above Facebook.

There are two reasons why:

Google and Google+ are ‘open’ systems and networks. It is relatively easy to syndicate your content from Google+ to other places, including Facebook. It is more difficult to syndicate your content out of Facebook and Twitter.
While it is true that Facebook is the world’s largest social network, Google+ directly ties into the worlds largest search engine. The advantage of this is that Google is increasingly using more social signals like AuthorRank to determine who and what should show in the top rankings for keyword searches.

Getting Started

First you will need to have set up a personal Google+ profile. Once you have a personal account you can begin setting up your business account.

Simply visit the ‘Create a Page’ on Google+ and follow the guided steps to get set up. You will need to pick from one of five categories:

Local Business or Place: this is any business or place that has a local address that customers can visit. If you pick this category, Google will ask for your country and your phone number and if Google can locate you they will use the information they find tied to your phone number to populate your Google+ profile. If not, you can add it all in yourself.

Product or Brand: this could be cars, electronics, clothing and financial services to name but a few. With this option you simply enter your website and page name and pick the category that best fits your product or service.

Institution, Company or Organisation: this category includes pages for non-profit organizations, companies and institutions. For this option you would list your page name and website and just as you would with product or brand, pick a category that most closely matches the type of company.

Arts, Entertainment or Sports: if you are creating a page about a movie, book or sports teams this is the category you would pick. Here again you will need to enter your page name and website as well as choose the category that most closely represents what you fit into.

Other: if by chance you don’t feel that your company really fits into any of the above categories, this is the option you would choose. This will allow you to enter in your page name and website without having to narrow it down further.

All of the above categories require that you state whether your page’s content is appropriate for users that are 18 years old and above or 21 year olds and above and note if the content will specifically be alcohol related.

Edit Your Profile

Again, just like on your other social media platforms it is important that you take the time to make your page noticeable and stand out because you are going to be competing against millions of other users.

Make sure that your profile includes a photo, your logo or the person who is the face of your business, or any other image that is relevant to what you do. Include your tagline.

Once your customization is done, Google+ will ask you to share your page through your personal Google+ account. You can skip this step until you are completely done with your profile and have put content up.

Fill In the Blanks

This is where you are going to go through every possible item about your business and fill in the blanks for Google+. This would include details such as the name of your company to the description of your company and your hours of operation.

Include your website URL and all contact info such as phone, email, Skype and any other messenger service you use and so on. You can also include the links to your other social media profiles.

Adding Photostrip

Don’t overlook this, as it is an important part of your Google+ profile. These five photos will appear directly under your page’s name and tagline. You can pick five photos that best represent your business or take one picture and creatively upload it in pieces. Don’t worry; this can easily be done with Picasa, which is part of your Google account.

Your Google+ business profile is now complete and you are ready to start getting content up and engaging with users.

Not all businesses have the time or inclination to create and run their own social media campaigns. Perhaps, like them you are too busy running your bricks and mortar business but would like an expert that you can trust to run a profitable marketing campaign for you. If that is the case, then please contact us, as we specialize in helping small to medium sized companies just like yours to succeed online.

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