The Secret of Driving YouTube Traffic to Your Website

by James Martell on June 15, 2011 · 25 comments

The Secret of Driving YouTube Traffic to Your Website

When you start talking about all the different ways you can drive traffic to your site, you have to talk about YouTube. It has been sizzling hot for many marketers yet others continue to overlook this highly trafficked video search engine.

4 Stunning Facts

Sure, there are plenty of other video search engines, but none of them even come close to YouTube. Consider the statistics gathered by

  1. 24 hours of video is uploaded every minute
  2. YouTube exceeds 2 billion views a day
  3. The average person spends 15 minutes a day on YouTube
  4. More video is uploaded to YouTube in 60 days than all 3 major US networks created in 60 years

The volume of videos uploaded during 2010 surpassed 13 million hours. When you put all this together, you see that YouTube is the video search engine.

People visit YouTube for all kinds of reasons; some want to stay abreast of the latest entertainment news and watch funny videos, auto enthusiasts visit to check out their favorite cars, do-it-yourselfers maybe needing a video tutorial for a woodworking router they’ve purchased, to a photographer checking out digital camera review prior to purchasing.

Who knows whys they visit? There are more reasons than I could possibly list here. The important thing is the sheer numbers.

Getting Started

I have found that creating an interesting video for YouTube is a lot easier than most people think. Keep in mind you don’t have to be a video expert. All you need is a low cost HD video camera, which you can purchase for around $100.

When it comes to the actual shooting of your video, keep it simple. Less is more. Plan your shoot in advance so you don’t waste time and money. Shoot your video in sequence to keep it organized. Don’t walk and shoot or overuse the zoom feature, as both sequences will likely hit the cutting room floor in the end.

One thing that I actually learned from a quote from Steven Spielberg is that there are three essential shots: the big establishing shot, the mid-range shot, and the close-up. If you use these three essential shots it really helps tell the story of your video with imagery alone.

My First Foray

My first foray into utilizing YouTube traffic was in November of 2007. YouTube had been around for a couple of years and I wanted to see what I could do. So I uploaded a video created by a friend of mine from footage taken by my son Justin of me hot rodding around my hometown in my Shelby Cobra kit car, my dream car.

I was very curious to see how much exposure I could gain and I was very pleasantly surprised. Viewership for the video increased every month and has continued to do so for the past 3+ years. As of this writing, viewership has exceeded 321,000.

I was able to track all of these stats because of the excellent features provided by YouTube. Needless to say, I was really impressed and now have many YouTube videos working for me, and I plan on adding more. If you are not already using YouTube, I would encourage you to get started.

7 Tips to Top Rankings in YouTube

I have learned a lot since publishing that first video back in 2007 including how to highly rank a video within the YouTube search results:

Tip #1 – Be sure to include the keyword phrase you want to rank for in your headline.

Tip #2 – Make sure your video keeps your audience’s attention. If people are clicking away early, your rankings will be adversely affected. The length of your video is not important, as long as it keeps the viewer’s attention.

Tip #3 – You have the opportunity to include a description for your video. It is important that you take the time to craft an interesting and keyword-rich description below your video, i.e. the “Show More” section. You can put links to drive traffic in this area as well.

Tip #4 – Make sure you put your video in the proper category and use the proper tags to help with the rankings.

Tip #5 – Always allow and encourage comments to guide future videos you will be posting. You will also get “likes” and “dislikes” from which you can draw further information. Ask people to add you as a Favorite and visit your site. Include calls to action throughout your video by using text overlays.

Tip #6 – YouTube tracks embeds of its videos, so you can see how your video is spreading to other websites. On that note, make sure that you share your videos with other social networks. If you have a Facebook presence, for example, embed your own videos to further drive your social media traffic.

Tip #7 – Always keep abreast of your YouTube stats. The amount of information you can glean is astounding; you can look at the number of views per day, where they drop off, your male viewers versus your female viewers, great graphs – you can even download this information as a spreadsheet.

The final thing worth mentioning is that you should make sure you stay within YouTube’s terms of use. The easiest thing to run afoul of is using copyrighted music. YouTube can actually detect and remove such music during the upload process, so if you want your video to be presented as-is you should use music that is public domain.

Need More?

If you need more examples of what I’m talking about, I’ll talk a little about ShareASale. If you participate in affiliate marketing, you may already familiar with this site. I’ve attended the ShareASale Think Tank every year since it began back in 2006. I have also for the last four years created a video of the event.

A couple quick examples of rankings:

  1. If you go to YouTube and type in ShareASale Think Tank you will see my videos ranking highly in the results. Give it try.
  2. If you then go to Google and type in ShareASale Think Tank you will also see a couple of those videos ranking highly in the Google results resulting in even more exposure.

While plenty of people are still using text (like I am, naturally, as I type this), more and more people are adding video to their marketing. It doesn’t matter what you are promoting or selling on your website; whether it is mobility scooters, router lifts, Tonka Toys, motorcycle insurance, mobile phones – YouTube needs to be a BIG part of your marketing mix.

In the end, I’m sure you’ll see great results using my techniques. I look forward to your comments and questions, so let’s share our stories.

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Ileane June 15, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Hi James, thanks for this advice. I’m constantly adding new material to my YouTube channel and getting more subscribers, but the growth is very slow compared to other social networks. You mentioned looking at the stats but my question is, after you find out more about your audience, how can you use that information to get more traffic?
Let me know your thoughts about that.

James Martell June 18, 2011 at 5:11 am

Hi Ileane, I am glad to hear you’re “constantly adding new material to my YouTube channel and getting more subscribers”. I use the feedback from the comments mainly to identify topics that the viewers are interested in.

A good example of this actually came from the very first video I had uploaded to YouTube. It is a video of me driving around town. My son captured the video footage and a friend did the editing which included some music.

It was the “music” that provided all of the feedback. It seems car fans would prefer to hear the engine and not the music. Actually the were ferocious about.

It was that feedback — note to self — in my next videos NO music and MORE engine noise. It worked like a charm. I have a number of videos climbing high in the YouTube rankings that are engine noise focused.

The video below for example has surpassed 83,000 views:

It’s been a very interesting experience.


Jane June 16, 2011 at 5:07 am


That is quite timely. After hesitating for months and months, I have started uploading videos to youtube. I just uploaded my second one yesterday. Sure your tips are a lot helpful to me. Thanks for helping and motivating me out. I am really excited to see the results :)


James Martell June 18, 2011 at 5:03 am

Hey Jane, congrats on uploading your first videos. A great step in the right direction. I am glad to hear that you found the tips helpful.

Shower Valves June 17, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Thats true coz YouTube is nowadays in booming stage.
And one thing is very much fact that folks like to see video more than to reading stuff coz they are attracted toward it right from childhood days say watching cartoons and movie every time. So this become habit for them.

And also what we see through video will remain long in our mind memory than compare to reading or anything else
Thus due to like this many reasons youtube gaining popularity among the universe.
So one know it properly can able to get maximum traffic from such powerful media.

Thanks a lot for sharing such a interesting post with useful tips. I am sure if anyone will implement your tips properly then surely he/she will able to reach desired results coz you have shared it here only after you reach at your destiny.

James Martell June 18, 2011 at 5:14 am

Thanks, I am glad you appreciated the tips.

Michael Aulia June 18, 2011 at 5:24 am

Nice tips! One mistake that I made was to have my blog videos uploaded under my name on the YouTube account. I should have made my own channel for my blog (which I will do soon in the future). Wish we can migrate our videos from one account to another without having to re-upload and lose all the ratings, comments, and likes!

James Martell June 28, 2011 at 3:16 am

Hi Michael, yes good point. I did exactly the same thing. Thanks for pointing that out!
James Martell @Affiliate Marketing Podcasts´s last blog post ..Affiliate Buzz #208 – Adventure Travel with Your Laptop – 31 Countries in 20 Months!

Michael Aulia June 28, 2011 at 3:20 am

Created my blog’s own channel, thanks to this post as a reminder :) Thankfully no one has taken the channel’s name yet
Michael Aulia´s last blog post ..Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 Generation 2 Review

Sam June 18, 2011 at 8:10 am

I have never used Youtube for marketing purpose but after reading this post I know I’m missing a great platform where I can attract huge visitors to my site. Thanks for valuable tips about youtube marketing.

James Martell July 14, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Agreed. Youtube should be definitely added to the marketing mix.
James Martell´s last blog post ..Google SEO Tip #140 – Does Google Support Cross-Domain Rel Canonical?

Jasmine June 20, 2011 at 2:45 am

Thanks for your tips, they are helpful. I really hope I can create my very first video soon! YouTube seems like really good to overlook for some good exposure and traffic.

James Martell July 14, 2011 at 9:50 pm

You are very welcome. Good luck with your first video.
James Martell´s last blog post ..Google SEO Tip #140 – Does Google Support Cross-Domain Rel Canonical?

yuvi June 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm

7 Tips to Top Rankings in YouTube is really good and useful too……………. new comers will gain a lot of knowledge from your blog post! Hope i will come back soon to get a lot more info here :)

Nick Stamoulis June 22, 2011 at 2:04 pm

There is a misconception that in order to do video marketing you need to have fancy camera and editing equipment. For most industries, this isn’t the case. If I am speaking at a conference I film it using a simple camera. It makes great video content that can also help my link building.

James Martell July 14, 2011 at 9:55 pm

It’s true. A simple camera is all you need. A simple little $100 flip camera will do just fine for most people. It also makes it easy to keep the camera in your pocket.
James Martell´s last blog post ..Google SEO Tip #140 – Does Google Support Cross-Domain Rel Canonical?

Olawale Daniel June 22, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Wow! I love this and I don’t have anything else to do than to stumble it. It worth paying money for. Thanks for sharing this @James

Swayam Das June 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Yeah! The stats are really impressive.. no wonder we see an increase in the product lines of YouTube video softwares

James Martell June 28, 2011 at 3:20 am

Hi Nick, it’s true that a simple camera is all that’s needed. I use a little $200 Canon for a lot quick videos. It does a great job!
James Martell @Affiliate Marketing Podcasts´s last blog post ..Affiliate Buzz #208 – Adventure Travel with Your Laptop – 31 Countries in 20 Months!

Online Marketing July 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Videos are becoming more and more important every day in online marketing and they will continue to be in the future so it is very important to take advantage of this.
Thanks for sharing all these valuable tips
Online Marketing´s last blog post ..PPC & CRO: Balance your efforts to optimize your campaigns and generate revenue

James Martell July 14, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I personally prefer video in many cases over reading text, especially when it is a quality video. I agree that video is becoming so much more important.
James Martell´s last blog post ..Google SEO Tip #140 – Does Google Support Cross-Domain Rel Canonical?

Bliss Ellison July 4, 2011 at 11:45 am

Undoubtedly, YouTube has certainly become the search engine giant now.
Yes, I would agree that you don’t need to have a very costly camera in order to generate a big bang video, a simpler camera can do a good job for you as far as it has captured the attention of your target audience.
But I would say that if you are a luxury brand, then quality of camera work and editing stuff matters a lot.

James Martell July 14, 2011 at 10:10 pm

It is interesting. Youtube doesn’t really have any competition as far as the other video search engines are considered. The are minuscule by comparison.
James Martell´s last blog post ..Google SEO Tip #140 – Does Google Support Cross-Domain Rel Canonical?

Mat September 7, 2011 at 8:23 am

I have never used youtube or any other video site for traffic. Excellent tips and I will sure use video for traffic in near future. Thanks

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