YouTube And Article Directories For Internet Marketing
Internet marketing is advertisement and promotion of products and services on the web usually with a website. YouTube videos and articles written for directories are thought to be amongst the best modalities to promote websites.
The first step in web marketing is to bring visitors to the website. There are more than a hundred methods of marketing including advertisements in the press, radio and television, and business networking.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the use of techniques to attract new visitors and potential clients to the website through natural search. There is no charge by search engines such as Google for inclusion of your website on search engine results pages (SERPs). However if you are not on the top SERP for your targeted search terms there will be no benefit. Costs for SEO should be low when compared to other means of advertising and generally high return on investment should make it the most attractive method for internet marketing.
A YouTube video provides a powerful way to promote your message. Nearly two-thirds of all video views in the United States take place on YouTube according to the Internet monitoring firm Nielsen. In May 2011, YouTube reported it was receiving more than three billion views per day. Google has purchased YouTube. Anyone with ethical videos is permitted to upload to YouTube. Backlinks to your website can be placed in the description of your video but these automatically receive a ‘nofollow’ attribute so that no link juice flows out of YouTube to your website.
A recent article explains why we should “kick out webpage SEO and hop on YouTube” as an easy option to success. Two examples of highly competitive keywords were presented where top page positioning on Google has been achieved with YouTube videos – ‘tennis lessons’ and ‘dancing’. It all sounds too good to be true….
The videos sited for the two keywords are on YouTube partner channels – identifiable by ‘/watch?’ in their URLs (Internet address). The problem, as I see it, is that the majority of videos that reach the top on YouTube and Google are from those who have a partnership agreement with YouTube. Only a select few are accepted into such a partnership. The requirements include “You regularly upload videos that are viewed by thousands of YouTube users, or you publish popular or commercially successful videos in other ways (such as DVDs sold online)”. It is, therefore, not that easy to ‘Hop on YouTube’.
Writing a quality article is time consuming. I was recently staggered to look at the number of articles published by the two most prolific authors for a popular article directory – they each had nearly 25,000! Surely those with vast numbers of published articles must have a flood of link juice to their websites resulting in high HomePage PageRank which would translate into Internet marketing success. Analysis of data for the top 10 writers for this directory has demonstrated surprising findings.
Their total number of published articles is 88,758 and the total number of views is 36,440,979 – an average of 410 views per article. There were only 903 comments – 0.01 comments per article.
The 10 authors have a total of 15 websites between them according to their profiles although some have no websites. Their maximum HomePage PageRank of any of their websites is 4 and the average HomePage PageRank is 2.7. The total incoming link count for the 15 websites is 5293 with the average number of links per website being 353 (Yahoo Site Explorer). There is only 1 link for every 17 articles published.
There are many confounding factors that limit the conclusions that can be made from the above observations. The fact that some of these top authors do not have websites demonstrates that we cannot assume that any of them have written the articles to gain links and PageRank for SEO purposes. Some links may have been placed on websites no longer in the profiles. On the other hand, it is possible that many of the links to the websites may not be attributable to the article directory. One conclusion, however, is inescapable: Publication of articles on directories does not inevetably bring vast rewards in terms of backlinks and website authority.
There may be several reasons why authors write articles for publication on article directories. Many of us enjoy writing and no doubt part of the reward is to have our articles read. The best article directories will have the most valuable links identifiable by their HomePage PageRank (HPR). For maximum exposure it is advisable to aim to have articles published on directories with high HPRs as this almost certainly reflects readership numbers.
For those seeking backlinks to their websites to increase their HPR as part of their SEO, the above observations could be misinterpreted as a suggestion that there is no point in submitting articles to directories.
The vast majority of websites have HPRs less than 4 and this severely restricts the number of keywords that would be in range for top positioning on the SERPs. The positioning of an article published on a directory will primarily be dependent on the HPR of the directory. For those who wish to be found for a keyword that is out of range for top positioning on the SERPs for their website, my recommendations are as follows:
- Aim to submit to a directory with significant HPR (5 or more).
- Ensure the article follows the author guidelines before submitting.
- Have an on-page SEO checklist for your webpages and use it for the article you plan to submit.
- The page title as submitted will be picked up by the search engines. Limit it to 65 characters.
- The targeted keywords should be in the page title.
- Page titles of articles tend to be highlighted in article directory results pages and they are the only chance you have to entice potential readers. This is different to SERPs where there is also a description snippet which is usually picked from the Meta description tag.
- The first two sentences in your article summary will often become the Meta Description of your webpage when the article goes live on the directory. Although the keywords used in the Meta Description do not contribute directly to positioning on the SERPS, the snippet from your Meta description can influence Click-Through-Rates which in turn may move positioning up or down. Take great care in preparing your article summary.
- Have a realistic approach as to what is required from an SEO point of view when targeting keywords. The HomePage keyword difficulty (HPR-KD) is the best indicator of keyword difficulty. The title of this article would suggest that it is targeting ‘YouTube’, ‘article directories’ and ‘Internet marketing’. Their respective HPR-KDs are 8.6, 4.5 and 5.4.Guidelines would indicate that for internal pages, HPRs of at least 7 would be required to have any chance of top page positioning on a SERP for ‘YouTube’, an HPR of at least 3 to target ‘article directories’ and at least 4 to target ‘Internet marketing’. My related websites have HPRs of around 4.0.This means that there is no possibility of top page positioning for ‘YouTube’ even with an article directory with HPR6; a possibility of top positioning for ‘article directories’ even with pages on my websites and a chance of success with an article on an HPR6 directory for ‘Internet marketing’. Success will also depend on incoming links to the article pages with the keywords in the anchor text.