YouTube, of course, is the second most-visited website in the world, second only to Google.
YouTube videos bring some serious SEO benefits including more ranking opportunities and–thanks to the thumbnail art and video carousels, a lot more visibility than your average result.
In this article, I’m going to show you some ways that you can turn your YouTube viewers into a reliable traffic source for your website.
What You’ll Learn:
- Making sure your YouTube content is optimized
- Give users a reason to click from your channel to your website
- Ask your viewers to subscribe to your channel
- Use cards for viewers to find your website link
- Use videos as a teaser to your long-form content
- Engage with users in the comments
- Find ways to collaborate with other YouTubers
- Utilize YouTube live streaming to gain traffic
- Use YouTube Premier for authentic engagement
- Run paid YouTube ads for a traffic boost
- Learn more about your audience with Brand Lift 2.0
Know all of the tips and tricks to drive traffic from youtube to your website.
If you want to generate more website traffic (who doesn’t?), YouTube is a great place to make that happen.
Between the blogging and emailing, guest posting and directory citations paid search, and paid social, YouTube tends to get left out of the traffic-boosting conversation. Which, let’s be serious is a real missed opportunity.
Like any social platform, YouTube is another opportunity for people to find your website and get to know your brand. But unlike other socials, YouTube offers some key advantages over the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Optimize Your YouTube Video
This should go without saying, but before you can drive traffic to your website, your YouTube channel, or any other property, you’ll need to make sure your content is in good shape.
Once you’ve determined that your content is good to go, you’ll want to optimize your video. I’ll go over these tips real quickly, as I’ve already covered YouTube SEO in a previous post (you can read the full piece here).
Perform Some YouTube Keyword Research
This is as simple as using YouTube’s Search Suggest feature (like Google’s). Here’s what comes up if I type in “how to build a chatbot:”
If any of the results are relevant to your content (or future content), run them through Google Trends. So, if I continue with this example and type in “how to build a chatbot,” Google Trends suggests “Python programming language” as a related topic.
I might then target “how to build a chatbot using Python” to capture some of that interest.
For a more efficient keyword research process, I recommend using a tool. A few options that can help, here:
- Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
- Keyword Keg
Optimize Your Title & Description
Your YouTube title and description helps the platform understand the content in your video, and optimizing with the right search terms can help you rank higher and attract the right audiences.
While you do have 1,000 characters to describe your video, most viewers probably aren’t prepared to work through a long block of text before they hit the play button. Backlinko’s Brian Dean recommends aiming for about 200 words or so and focusing on the first few sentences.
You’ll want to include your target search terms up top, as well as the most important information–including CTAs, links, and the purpose of your video.
It helps to think of the description like a landing page, in “above the fold” vs. “below the fold” terms (important info up top, additional detail below for those who want it).
Here’s an example from my channel. Notice how I’ve kept things simple at the top, then outlined the key points “below the fold.”
I’ve also linked to the Ignite Visibility site, topical hashtags, and offered the option to subscribe directly from the description.
Create a Clear Call-to-Action
Add a clear call-to-action at the end of every video that encourages people to visit your website.
Make sure to combine your verbal call-to-action with text. This ensures that viewers get the message and end up in the right place.
Give Viewers a Reason to Click Through
If you want users to head to a second location, you’ll need to give them a good reason to do so.
One way you might do this is by promoting a lead magnet in your CTA to drive traffic from YouTube.
This strategy follows the same logic as optimizing a paid ad and corresponding landing page.
So, you’ll want to think about what someone might want to read about after watching a tutorial, live stream, or product tour.
What’s that logical next step in the customer journey?
Naturally, you’ll want to make sure that whatever resource you offer matches the content featured in the video. Examples include:
- Exclusive video content.
- Downloadable templates.
- Personalized reports.
- Email courses.
- Case studies.
- White papers.
- Online courses.
Long-term, you might use your YouTube channel to promote several resources that support viewers from across the funnel.
For best results, you’ll want to look for videos that are performing well, otherwise, you’re unlikely to get much action.
Head over to your dashboard and navigate to the analytics tab on the left sidebar. There, you’ll find top videos and real-time activity, with the option to dig in a bit deeper:
Ask People to Subscribe
Chances are, if you have regular viewers, they’ll throw you a bone and hit “subscribe.”
According to Google, 70% of users follow their favorite creators, making it an effective platform for building loyalty.
While generating more subscribers isn’t the most direct way to drive traffic from YouTube to your site right now, it will help you build out your audience long-term, improve your rankings, and as a result, serve up a steady stream of visitors.
From there, your goal shifts to a long-term strategy, aimed at delivering consistent content that turns subscribers into true fans–and eventually, they might pop over to your site to see what else you’ve got going.
Use Cards and if, Possible, End-Screens
Another way you can drive traffic to your site is by using YouTube cards.
Cards make it easy for viewers to find your website by featuring a clickable link prominently in the video, as opposed to looking for the right link within your description or your “about” page.
With YouTube, as well as any other type of video content, you’ll want to reinforce your CTA message by reinforcing your “ask” verbally, drawing attention to the card by calling it out.
You might double down here and use an arrow to point to the card as you’re telling your audience exactly where to click.
End-screens are a similar feature, though most users won’t be able to use them. You’ll need to be part of the YouTube Partner Program and have an approved merchandise or crowdfunding site.
If you do meet the eligibility requirements, I highly recommend using end screens. Not only are they a super-effective hack for boosting YouTube subscriber counts, but they can also be used to drive traffic to your website, other videos, and for e-commerce stores, merchandise.
Use Videos to Tease Your Long-Form Content
This is one of my favorite strategies for marketing on YouTube.
If you’re a reader of the Ignite Visibility blog, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of my posts include a YouTube video covering the same topic.
The benefit here is, visitors can read the long-form post or get an overview from the video (it’s also a great way to boost page rankings).
On the YouTube site, users might find this post by searching for #digitalmarketing or #pressreleaseseo, or maybe it was served up by YouTube’s recommendation engine.
The video is a 10-minute overview of how press releases impact SEO.
Those interested in learning more can click the link in the description, which brings them to this corresponding blog post:
Pro tip: you’ll want to make sure that both resources feature unique information.
Connecting two pieces of content related to the same topic allows you to help your audience build their understanding, and ideally, encourages them to check out what else you have to offer.
Engage with Your Commenters
YouTube is often lumped in with the rest of the “big socials,” though it’s not necessarily considered a social platform in the same way as say, Twitter or Instagram.
That said, YouTube is home to a thriving user community where people actively engage with content through comments, likes, and for better or worse, dislikes.
For brands, comments–good or bad–also offer valuable insights that can be used to improve your strategy and learn more about what your audience is looking for.
What’s more, the new YouTube Studio allows creators to filter comments that contain questions, which opens up another opportunity to drive traffic to your site (and could be the starting point for the kind of content that lands you the snippet).
Team Up with Other Users
Partnering up with another YouTube user in your niche is a classic way to reach new viewers. The right collaboration allows both creators to share audiences and drive traffic to their respective channels and websites.
This strategy also offers a shortcut to winning viewer trust, as a creator they follow is essentially vouching for you. As a result, you’ll likely win some new subscribers, too.
So, how do you find a collaborator?
Okay, if you’ve done any guest posting, influencer marketing, or other types of brand collaborations, finding YouTube users to work with follows a similar approach.
I recommend checking out my post on how to find influencers if you’re not sure where to begin. Additionally, YouTube offers a great overview of how to identify and connect with potential collaborators.
YouTube Live Streaming
Live streaming has gone beyond trend status and proven it has some serious staying power–particularly in this new era of social distancing and digital events.
While you can use YouTube Live for a wide range of content, make sure you offer something that audiences can’t easily find otherwise. For example, this isn’t the best format for rehashing key points from your latest blog.
Instead, you might try:
- Behind the scenes content
- Interviews (bonus points if you can book key players in your niche)
- Live tutorials
- Q&A sessions
- Product demonstrations
- Contests and giveaways
- Live consulting sessions
Prepare Your Specs
Just because you’re live-streaming doesn’t mean you shouldn’t come prepared. Before you start rolling, make sure you have the following items prepared:
- Select a descriptive, keyword-rich title that accurately reflects the content of your live stream.
- Same general best practices as outlined above–include up to 15 relevant hashtags, links, and front-load the most important information.
- Script: It doesn’t have to be much–a polished outline or a set of bullets will work just fine, so long as it offers your audience a sense of what to expect.
- What happens next? Make sure you reinforce your CTAs by including them in the description and script.
- Finally, be sure you have an original thumbnail prepared. Images must have a resolution of 1280×720, with a minimum 640px width.
Another way you might drive traffic is through the YouTube Premiere feature.
According to Google, Premieres allows you to schedule an upload so that you and your viewers can experience your content together.
Like YouTube Live, Premieres allows you to build an event around your content and live chat with audiences while they watch. Creators can participate in the conversation, answer questions, and link to website content when relevant.
A quick note: do be cautious about linking to your content.
YouTube Premieres are designed for engaging with your community and should be used for more genuine interactions. In other words, brand mentions must add value.
Another benefit of using this feature is, after the Premiere, participants receive a copy of the chat transcript. For creators, that means any resources you link to or key points made can be referenced later–making it easy for viewers to access any information referenced during the event.
Run Paid YouTube Ads
While most of these efforts are organic, it’s worth mentioning that YouTube’s paid ads can help you build more momentum as far as traffic goes.
I won’t get into it too much, but here’s a quick list of YouTube ad formats you can choose from (read more about them in this dedicated post).
Run Brand Lift 2.0 to Learn More About Your Audience
Brand Lift 2.0 is a feature baked into YouTube’s advertising platform that allows users to measure the impact of their ad campaigns. Users can participate at no additional charge, and can choose to collect performance insights based on the following goals:
- Purchase Intent
- Ad Recall
PPC Hero offers a really great breakdown here on how the Brand Lift 2.0 program works if you need a bit more info.
The main benefit of the program is that it allows you to capture detailed audience insights that can be applied to both future paid campaigns and organic content.
Ultimately, driving traffic to your website from YouTube follows many of the same principles as any off-website campaign.
Your goal is to attract the right audience and offer them content that speaks to them at that exact moment. Give audiences a compelling reason to click. Exceed expectations post-click. Offer resources they can’t find anywhere else.