What are the biggest search engines? Everyone will immediately name Google as the largest and, of course, that’s right. But so much has been written about optimizing your website and your content to improve your Google ranking, I don’t want to go there.
I think there’s much more you can accomplish if you spend some time focusing on leveraging the number two and number three search engines: YouTube and Amazon.
Millions of people enter a wide range of terms in their search boxes every month and if you can be included in their search results, it can elevate your position in your industry. I’ve written about the power of authority here before, and leveraging YouTube and Amazon searches to boost your authority is a great – and “doable” – strategy.
Whether you’re selling a product or a service, or working hard to draw attention to your blog, increased authority is fundamental to increased Internet user attention. And it’s interesting to note that the basic human need in both of the cases is the same.
Why do so many people search YouTube and Amazon? The answer is simple: they are looking for information. On YouTube, for example, someone might want to know how to repair a cracked iPhone screen (been there, done that). On Amazon a searcher might want to find the best book on tax law for solopreneurs.
In both cases, the people who create content found in those searches are automatically assumed to be an authority. This can often lead to traffic to your website and even more sales.
Frankly, in the case of books on Amazon, don’t worry about book sales becoming a source of significant revenue. If you’re that solopreneur tax expert I alluded to above, you can probably use your book on Amazon to snag several clients each year and the revenue stream they provide will far exceed anything you can make selling books.
On YouTube, you’re able to publicize your web address and this will tend to send people your way. For example, a fishing guide in Montana with a great YouTube channel will certainly pick up a significant number of clients over time. This is just one of the ways video can benefit your website.
However, merely posting some videos on YouTube or getting your book sold on Amazon isn’t enough to turn those sites into search engine gold for you. Here are two important principles:
Quality is king. Your videos have to be good and your book must provide valuable information. You should invest in the video hardware, software and talent you need to make good videos.
Not everyone has time to write a book. Hire a professional ghostwriter. Your book doesn’t have to be lengthy; it only has to cover its subject area expertly. Make sure the book looks great, has a professionally designed cover, and good graphics. Also, be sure it is thoroughly proofread.
Enthusiasm is required. If you post a video or sell a book and no one sees them, they will have no impact. You don’t need Harry Potter numbers, but you need good numbers within your niche.
Use your social media – including your personal social media accounts – to drive traffic to anything you post on YouTube. Encourage your friends to give you positive reviews and make comments.
For a book on Amazon, it can be very helpful if the book is free. (Remember, I said this wasn’t a revenue stream.) When it’s free, encourage everyone you know to download it and review it.
There seems to be two ways to get it free on Amazon. First, there’s a low price match guarantee, so if you offer it on another site for free, such as Barnes and Noble, you can probably get Amazon to price match it. Use Smashwords to get into Barnes and Nobel for free.
If you don’t want to use this backdoor method of listing your book for free on Amazon, you can get it listed as free for five days if you’re part of the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program.
Amazon gets so many searchers that you’ll probably rack up a lot of free downloads. Hopefully these translate into great reviews. If they do, you’re well on your way to establishing your authority. Imagine being able to say on your website that you’re the author of the highest rated book on Amazon about selling left-handed widgets (substitute your niche here)!