How to Harness the Power of YouTube to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Today’s guest post about YouTube traffic is written by Marketing expert James Martell.

Read this carefully if you want to drive tons of visitors to your site.


Internet marketers are always looking for new ways to drive traffic to their websites, and for my dollar YouTube is indispensable.

YouTube is an extremely valuable asset for many marketers, yet some continue to disregard what is obviously the top video search engine as something that can push their business to the next tier.

The Bare Bones Facts about YouTube

While, yes, there are other video search engines on the Internet, none of them scratch the surface of YouTube. Here are some statistics accumulated by

  1. 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every single minute of every single day
  2. YouTube easily exceeds two billion views a day
  3. the average person spends fifteen minutes a day on YouTube
  4. YouTube has more videos uploaded to it in sixty days than has been created by all three major US networks in the past six decades

If you can believe it, during 2010 over 13,000,000 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube. The math bears this out. When you see all these stats laid out before you, it’s hard to deny that YouTube is the best video search engine out there.

Every day, web surfers go to YouTube for various reasons. Who knows why they come?
Some are there to catch up on the news. Some visitors are car enthusiasts to see videos of their favorite cars. Some people merely want to watch funny videos. Some visitors are DIY specialists there to watch a tutorial for a woodworking router. And some visitors are photographers there to watch digital camera reviews.

No one can list all the reasons why people go to YouTube. Really, the most important thing for you to remember is the statistical significance.

How to Get Started on YouTube

Creating your own video you can upload on YouTube isn’t rocket science. Kids are doing it every day, so it’s not like you have to be an expert videographer. You just need a low-priced HD video camera that you can usually find for about $100.

The first thing to remember when actually shooting the video is: keep it simple. Less, as the saying goes, is more. Plan the video shoot ahead of time so there’s no money or time wasted. Shoot the video in sequence so it’s more organized for editing.

Here are two more tips to think about:
– avoid walking and shooting your video at the same time and
– avoid using your camera’s zoom feature, as both instances will likely be cut from your video in the end.

Something I heard Steven Spielberg mention once on TV is that there are three fundamental shots:
– your wide shot that establishes your scene,
– your mid-range shot,
– and then your close-up.
If you stick with these according-to-Spielberg shots the story in your video will be told in much clearer terms through your use of imagery.

My First Baby Steps into YouTube

My first baby steps into really exploring the power of YouTube traffic were back in November of ‘07.
YouTube back then had not yet morphed into the powerhouse it is these days but it had been successful for a few years and I wanted to know what I could make happen using it.
So I went ahead and registered and then uploaded a video a friend of mine had created from some video my son Justin had shot of me driving around town in my Shelby Cobra kit car, which is my dream car.  

The whole point of my journey into YouTube had been to find out how much exposure I’d gain.
When I started getting the numbers I was actually very surprised at how well my video was doing. My Shelby video’s viewership increased every month and it still gets viewed every day to this day. Today, over 313,000 people have viewed my Shelby video, as you can see in the graph.

YouTube’s awesome built-in features made it so easy for me to track my statistics. If you can’t tell, I was impressed by what YouTube had going on.  These days, I have a many more YouTube videos working for me – and there are more coming. If you aren’t on YouTube, go and sign up now!

7 Ways to Send Your Video to the Top of YouTube’s Rankings

Since uploading my first YouTube video back in ‘07, I’ve learned a lot on how to highly rank a video on YouTube:

Tip #1 – Remember to include the keyword phrase you are looking to rank for in your video’s headline.

Tip #2 – Your video has to keep people’s attention or viewership will plummet. If viewers stop watching your video early, your rankings will be impacted negatively. Your video’s length isn’t what’s important; the most important thing is that it keeps people’s attention.

Tip #3 – Your video has to have a description. In the “Show More” section below the video you can put an eye-catching and keyword-rich description. Include traffic-driving links here as well.

Tip #4 – Take care to place your video in the category it’s most suited for and use proper tags to boost rankings.

Tip #5 – Always allows people to comment on your video.
In fact, you should actively encourage viewers to comment, as this will guide your future videos. Viewers will also “like” and “dislike” the videos you post and you should use this information to guide you as well. Ask people to “Favorite” your profile and ask them to pop over to your site as well.
Another cool feature in YouTube allows you to insert calls to action throughout the video with text overlays. You must utilize this feature.

Tip #6 – YouTube tracks automatically any embeds of its videos. This allows you to see if and how your YouTube video is being posted to other sites.
You should also share your videos with any social networks in which you take part. If you are active on Facebook (and who isn’t these days?), embed your YouTube videos on your Wall or on your friends’ Walls to further drive social media traffic.

Tip #7 – YouTube automatically provides your video’s statistics, so stay on top of them.
The amount of information provided to you by YouTube is remarkable. You can see your video’s number of viewings per day and where they drop off, your female vs. male viewers and you’ll also be provided with some great informative graphs. You can download it all in a spreadsheet as well.

One last thing: always stay within YouTube’s terms of use.
This may seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but these terms can easily be broken by using copyrighted music in your YouTube video. It’s kind of wild, but YouTube automatically detects copyrighted music during the upload and removes it before you have anything to say about it. So if you want your YouTube video to be seen as intended just use songs that are in the public domain.


If you are already into affiliate marketing, you are probably already familiar with ShareASale.
Every year for the past five years I have attended the ShareASale Think Tank. For the last 4 years, though, I have also made a video of the event.

If you visit YouTube and search for “ShareASale Think Tank” you will find my particular videos ranked very highly. Google “ShareASale Think Tank” and you will see my videos ranking very highly there as well. Google owns YouTube, so the two are inextricably linked.

While people of course still use text (you are reading this, after all), more people every day are looking towards videos as the next step for their marketing program. It really doesn’t matter what you are promoting or selling; router lifts, motorcycle insurance, Tonka Toys, mobile phones, mobility scooters – all such marketing programs can be bolstered in huge ways by the presence of a YouTube component.

Without a doubt, these techniques I’ve laid out here will make a difference in your marketing program. As always, I welcome any questions or commentary you may have.

James Martell has been a full-time affiliate marketer since 1999 and has been succeeding at teaching others to do the same since 2001.
He is a recognized expert in affiliate marketing, search engine optimization and outsourcing. James is a sought after speaker at industry conferences and hosts a number of very popular affiliate marketing training courses.
You can connect with James Thursdays at 2:00pm (Pacific) where he hosts the longest-running podcast in the affiliate marketing industry on

Share this post using these icons:

Related Posts


10 thoughts on “How to Harness the Power of YouTube to Drive Traffic to Your Website

  1. Trip says:

    I admit it that it is necessary to remember to include the keyword phrase you are looking to rank for in your video’s headline. Plus it is a good idea to use keywords in your video tags.

  2. Web says:

    “YouTube has more videos uploaded to it in sixty days than has been created by all three major US networks in the past six decades” These are amazing figures highlighting the Value of youTube.

  3. Rick Noel says:

    Great post James. The only tip that came to mind is linking to those YouTube videos with the keywords they wish to promote in the anchor text to the video view page (i.e. traditional page promotion which often gets overlooked in SEO).

    One other point here is that content quality, originality, etc. play a huge role. I am certain, without even having to see your video, that your Shelby Cobra kit car rocks! Thus people bookmarked, linked to, shared, etc. I bet die hard Shelby Cobra fans know that video well 😉

    However, had it been a video of a late model stock mustang, views would have been negligible with limited interest. With social sharing technology, this is true today more than ever.

    Thanks again for the high value tips!

  4. Mario says:

    Yes, YouTube is a great way to drive traffic, but the key (as you mentioned) is to do a video that captures people’s attention, and that’s a little bit hard. I know there’s people with great marketing skills, but the rest of us don’t have a clue on how to make a good video. Maybe that could be the topic to another post.

  5. Tom says:

    I’ve not even looked at YouTube yet (although it has been in the back of my mind for some time). Having read this article, I am convinced that it is a major resource I am not tapping. It’s heading to the top of my to do list!

  6. Case Stevens says:

    Hosting the video in this case is a great tip Martha. It avoids distractions.
    But sometimes you definitely want other videos to go viral and then Youtube is the best vehicle.

  7. Aaron says:

    I want to elaborate on the “quality” question of you tube videos. Bad Quality isn’t necessarily as bad as people think. Youtube and search engines such as Google do not see quality, they see embedded tags, etc. So.. with that in mind, you can still receive some powerful search engine optimization benefits.

    Yes, a good looking video can help…but it is not completely necessary.


  8. Richard says:

    You are quite right about it. I have seen several videos in this format and now i am able to know that why they are in that format(ion order to gain more traffic). Pretty nice trick. Thanks for sharing it.

  9. Rem says:

    The “7 Ways to Send Your Video to the Top of YouTube’s Rankings” gave me a lot of new ideas which could hopefully help me to succeed in the Youtube sector of my online business marketing.

    Thanks a lot for the help

  10. Aaron says:

    I am loving finding posts like this regarding Videos. I have a great landscape website and I just learned that I can bring more biz to it by posting videos on youtube. I added 1 so far, it’s not the best, but it’s informative and it is doing the job!

Comments are closed.