How to use Youtube for Business: The Full Guide 2019

If you’re looking for a full guide to how YouTube can help your business, then look no further.

Youtube is one of the biggest platforms in the world right now, and there is no sign of it slowing down. Carry on reading to find out how Youtube works, including the history, the algorithm it uses and how to organically rank high in search pages.

We hope our guide allows you to learn how to effectively use this fast-growing social media channel for your video content marketing. 

Whether you are a blogger wanting to expand your outreach with video content, or a business looking to promote services, Youtube opens a world of opportunity.

A Brief History of YouTube

Youtube was launched in December of 2005. Paypal employees Jawed Karim, Steve Chen and Chad Hurley realised there was no platform which stored and shared videos. 

YouTube Creators
Image Credit: Wikimedia

This sparked an idea and they soon got to work. The first office they had was located above a pizzeria in San Mateo, California. We bet they were never short on those dough-based lunches! 

The first-ever YouTube video uploaded was by Karim, entitled ‘Me at the Zoo’. YouTube grew incredibly fast and in less than a year, Google bought YouTube for around $1.65 billion. Even though the site was still small, it had a big future ahead of it.

In June 2007, YouTube reached the UK and other countries. 

In 2008, HD videos were introduced. People began to realise the site could have different uses. Vlogging and gaming videos started to gain interest around this time and in 2010, adverts were introduced. Youtubers now had the opportunity to earn money by receiving revenue from ads.  

Since 2012, YouTube has been a multi-billion dollar company and continues to grow. 300 hours of video are uploaded every single minute! And 5 billion videos are watched a day.

A lot can come from a single idea and a little start-up above a pizzeria. It just shows you can do anything if you’re determined to make it work.

How to create your business account: Step By Step

Step 1: Create a Google Account. If you already have one, skip to step 2

Before signing in, you need a google account. Already have one? Skip to step one. Need a google account? Here’s what to do:

  • Go to the Google Sign up page
  • Follow the directions and enter your name, chosen email address and password.
  • Read the terms of service and privacy policy. Agree to it by clicking the checkbox. You need to agree to move on.
  • Click Next


Logging into Google for your YouTube Account

  • You’ll be taken to create your profile page. Here you can add a photo if you want to, if not, click next step.
  • Congratulations! You now have a Google account.

Step 2: Customise your YouTube Profile

Using your Google account, you can set up your YouTube profile and account, below are the instructions on how to set this up.

  • Head to YouTube
  • In the top right-hand corner, there is an avatar icon. Click it to create your account.

Signing into Youtube


next step: Sign in to your Google Account.

Signing into YouTube

You’re now signed in to your YouTube account. Time to create your channel!

Step 3: Creating Your Channel

Now you have your account set up, you can customise your channel. Here’s how to do it:

  • On the left-hand side of the YouTube home screen, find and click settings. This will take you to the default ‘Account’ Tab.


  • Next, to your avatar, there is a small link that says ‘Create a channel’ – click this.

Your channel name will automatically default to your name. If you want a different name this is what you do:

  •  Click on the ‘use a business or other name‘ link
  •  Input the name you want and press create

Creating a brand accountYou’ve now created a YouTube channel! You can begin to customise your channel by adding a banner and an about me section.

Step 4: Adding a banner

You’ve created your YouTube channel. Now you need to customise it and make it your own. To do this, you should add a banner. Here is how to do that:

  • The first thing you need to do is to go onto your channel page.
  • If needed, click on the button that says ‘customise channel’.

Customise your channel

– Find the button that says ‘add channel art‘ and click it.

adding a banner

  • Upload the picture you want as your banner.
  •  The optimal size of the banner is 2560 pixels wide by x 1440 pixels tall.

You can simply upload a photo, or ask a designer to create you some bespoke artwork. If you don’t have a budget for custom graphics, but want something a little more special, you can use templates in apps such as Canva.

Other websites and apps that offer Youtube Channel Art Templates.

Super easy!

Step 5: Creating a winning ‘about me’ pitch.

After you’ve created your channel and banner, it’s time to focus on channel description. To do this you need to head to your channel page and click the button that says ‘Channel Description’. Now you can write your piece. 

Writing a description

Writing that perfect excerpt can be difficult. Your channel description will allow viewers to understand what you’re about and what to expect. Overall, you want to captivate users and encourage them to watch your videos. 

Here are a few key tips to having an optimised description:

Have a strong start:

You will only see the first 100-150 characters next to your channel when it appears in the search result. This means you need to make those first hundred or so characters perfect. Tell viewers exactly what you’re about and what you offer. 

Use Keywords:

Keywords will help you build your foundation for your SEO strategy. By adding in keywords, you’re telling YouTube and it’s algorithm what your channel is about. You want your channel to appear at the top of the search results.  

Release Schedule:

Telling viewers your release schedule will encourage them to come back to see what’s new when you upload a new video. This increases user engagement which improves your SEO. 

If you use these few tips, your channel description will be of a high standard and will captivate users to watch your videos. 


Step 5: Upload some videos!

That is what you came for, after all, so get uploading your content and prepare to share it with the world. Keep reading for some tips and tricks for your video content… 

How to upload a video onto YouTube

Once you’ve filmed and edited your video, you need to upload it to YouTube. Here’s how to do it:

  • At the top of the youtube homepage, click the upload button. It will come up with two options. Pick the option to upload a video.

Uploading a video

– Select the video you want to upload from your computer.

Uploading a video to YouTube

  • Add your title, metadata and descriptions.
  • Publish the video.

When uploading a video, make sure to use an eye-catching thumbnail, captivating title and keyword filled descriptions. This means more people will want to watch the video and the more people clicking means better SEO. 

Video formats you can use on Youtube

Youtube uses the Adobe Flash Video format, which means every video on YouTube is in this format. There are many different video formats out there:

  • From Apple, there is QuickTime. The files end in .mo
  • RealNetworks offers RealMedia. Where the file will end in .rm
  • Microsoft Windows offers a few: Windows Media Audio, which ends in .wma. Windows Media Video, ending in .wmv and Advanced Streaming Format, ending in .asf. 
  • Adobe Flash have files ending in .flv – the one YouTube uses. And animation files ending with .swf.

YouTube will convert the files into .flv. This means that you can upload any video file to YouTube and it will change it into the format it uses. Easy! 

The YouTube Algorithm

When a video is uploaded, you hope that people will see it and it will rank highly on relevant searches. YouTube uses a complex algorithm that affects the hierarchy of videos. The algorithm YouTube uses is kept secret. It is not a perfect algorithm and it does get a lot of criticism. The platform does, however, continue to make adjustments to make it better.

The early days

In 2012, videos were ranked on view count. This strategy was meant to place the most popular videos at the top of the search page. However, this just caused clickbait problems. People began uploading videos with misleading titles. This meant they would get a higher view count, even if people didn’t stay on the video for long. Something had to change.

Evolving their ranking factors

From 2012-2016, videos were ranked on watch-time. Meaning if the video was longer and people were staying till the end, the higher the ranking. 

This was designed to stop clickbait but it came with its problems. It took an unnecessarily long time to get to the topic of the video, and longer, lower quality videos were being produced. The algorithm still wasn’t perfected.

Youtube becomes an advertisers haven

In 2017, YouTube improved the quality of news videos on its site. And in 2018, monetisation was introduced. The policy changed to reduce the number of content creators being actively monitored.

What the experts are saying in 2019 and beyond

In 2019, YouTube banned ‘borderline content’. The algorithm changed to no longer recommend borderline content that would misinform viewers. Even though the algorithm isn’t perfected yet, it continuously gets worked on, with new updates coming out all the time.

How the YouTube Algorithm works

The goal of YouTube is to help people find the video they want to watch and to keep them on the site to increase viewer engagement. This is achieved by the algorithm producing a personalised and addictive range of recommended videos to watch.

One part of the algorithm tracks viewers watching habits. This information is then used to create that user-personal recommendation list. Another part of the algorithm assigns videos a score. This helps to rank them. Unfortunately for marketers, the factors that determine the scores is not known. 

Although all the factors that determine the score or ranking are not common knowledge, the two main aspects that affect results are:

The Metadata

This means how well your titles, descriptions and keywords fit with what the user is looking for. The more relevant the metadata, the better.

See our blog on how to write amazing metadata for YouTube.

This means how well the likes, comments and watch time are performing. The more likes, comments and longer watch time, the better.

See our blog on how to maximize video engagement on YouTube. 

User behaviour

User behaviour is what determines the algorithm’s choices. It all depends on these key factors:

  • If people watch your video or not.
  • The time spent watching the video.
  • The popularity of the video in a short time.
  • Session Time.
  • User engagement such as comments and likes.

By having your focus on what your audience likes, you won’t go wrong. That is the way to go to ensure your channel grows.

How to rank organically, avoid hefty ad bills & create a long term presence

Youtube is the second-biggest search engine. Just like when trying to rank high on any search engine, take time to improve SEO and make sure it is the best it can be. After all, you want your videos to rank high on YouTube’s result page.

YouTube relies on SEO optimisation, just like any other search engine

Just like search engines such as Google and Bing, social media platforms also reply on keywords and optimisation to tell their robots where to place your video.

Here are a few tips to optimise your YouTube SEO strategy to help your business.

Keyword Research: The best approach

Just like every SEO strategy, start with keyword research. Keywords are essential when it comes to optimisation.

  • Have relevant keywords in the title as well as all the metadata; video descriptions, tags and captions.
  • Create a list of potential keywords that are relevant to the topic. The easiest way to do this is to write the main keyword into YouTube’s search bar and see what is suggested. The keywords suggested are great; not only are they are relevant, but they are also actual search terms users use.
  • Optimise the video title. Include your focus keyword in the title. Clear titles that give insight to the video and encourages users to click on the video.
  • Be confident with tags. Use tags that are relevant to the topic of the video. Extensive tagging can be interpreted as spammy. 

Youtube Analytics

Analysing your video performance is a crucial step to getting the most out of your channel. Analysing allows you to see what works and what doesn’t. Adjust to what the subscribers like to keep user engagement high.

YouTube analytics

Although you should get to grips with everything on the analytics page, the three main sectors you need to know about are; Watch Time, Revenue, and Interaction. Let’s go into more detail.

Watch Time Metrics

YouTube compiles all the data from your channel, your videos and user engagement from YouTube’s app. 

Watch time is basically how long people are watching the video and how many views you have. A video gains one view when it is watched for 30 seconds or longer. Keeping the audience captivated for a long time is essential. 

Average View Duration is an important statistic for you to know. It’s what you get when you divide the watch time by the views. You can measure the average time people spend watching your videos, either on a per-video basis or on your channel as a whole.

The higher the average view duration, the better. YouTube will see more people watching your videos for longer and rank you higher. 

Audience Retention

Audience Retention tracks viewer engagement. Retention is calculated based on the percentage of the video that’s been watched. For example, if the video is 2 minutes long, and only 1 minute has been watched, the retention rate is 50%.

There are two main types of audience retention: Absolute Audience Retention and Relative Audience Retention.

Absolute Audience Retention

Absolute audience retention shows the moments that are most-watched on your videos and when people are clicking off. 

The statistics from this can help. You can see what your audience likes and what they don’t. This means you can focus on creating content that people will like, improving watch time and getting you that higher rank.

Video introductions are when people tend to click off the video. Make sure the intro is captivating and short. The aim is to keep people engaged with your video and channel. 

Relative Audience Retention

This is when you compare your video and it’s retention rate to every other video on YouTube that has a similar length. The comparison is only on length, not the content. 

Because of what relative audience retention compares, it’s not as useful as absolute audience retention but still good to know. 

Interaction Reports

This is all the engagement you get from viewers. From subscribers to likes and comments,  it tells you exactly what they think about your videos.  

The more subscribers you have, the more authority your channel gets. People prefer to watch channels that have a large following. If your channel gets a lot of attention for the right reasons, your subscriber count will go up.

Likes and Dislikes

Likes, dislikes and comments allow your audience to voice what they think and how they feel about your content. The more likes you have, the better your SEO ranking will be. 

Comments give you an insight into the true feelings of your viewers. Replying and engaging with your audience allows you to build a relationship with them. Good and bad feedback is always useful, remember to flag any instances of abuse as there are a lot of trolls out there.

Sharing is probably the most important interaction viewers can have. It means someone enjoyed your video so much they are showing others and encouraging them to watch it as well.  YouTube tracks the shares that come from the share button. These count the most for your SEO. 

You’ll notice a lot of YouTubers tell their audience to like, share and subscribe to their channel. Make sure to do the same to encourage interaction.

Revenue Reports

As stated before, in 2018, YouTube changed the rules around monetisation. Channels now have to have accumulated 4 thousand hours of watch time and have a minimum of a thousand subscribers to be eligible for ads. 

Revenue reports show how much money you are making in a specific period. It shows the origin of the revenue as well.

You can use this report to figure out patterns. Like what days you earn the most. This means you can adjust your schedule to release content on those days. Getting you the most revenue.

How to effectively promote your Youtube content on the web

Embedding Videos on your website

You can embed videos onto websites just by copying a bit of the HTML code. 

This will allow your video to spread further across the internet.

How to embed a YouTube Video:

  • Find the video you want to embed.
  • Go onto that video and click on the share button.
  • Once you’ve clicked that button, the options to where you want to share it will come up. Press the embed button.

Embedding a YouTube Video


  • Copy the code it gives you.

Embedding a YouTube Video

  • Go to your post.
  • Paste the code within the text editor and update.
  • The video will be posted onto the website it’s been embedded to.

Super Simple!

Encourage user engagement in your current circles

The YouTube algorithm looks at user engagement, so it’s important to optimise this. Invite your friends, family members and colleagues to view, like, comment and subscribe to your channel. The more user engagement, the more YouTube can help your business grow. 

Share on other Social Channels

Share your video and channel on different social media platforms. Social media is a great way to reach a larger audience. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora etc. Sharing content will increase views and user engagement.

What are the benefits of YouTube marketing for my business?

It’s free to use

You don’t have to pay for a YouTube channel. It’s easy to set up and you can start uploading videos straight away.

It’s instant content

Three Hundred hours are uploaded to YouTube every minute, that’s a lot! Uploading videos is quick and easy.

It’s a trusted channel

YouTube is one of the biggest social platforms out there. It is well tried and tested and very reliable. 

You can reach a wider audience

This is the biggest advantage of using YouTube. It is the second-biggest search engine. 

Some less advantageous areas of using Youtube…

You can’t control the Ads on your videos

You don’t have control over the ads that are shown on your video, which means anything could be advertised on your video. This could make your business look bad.

The Comments

You can’t control what other people say. There are a lot of trolls on the internet that will post mean and hurtful comments. The only thing you can do is to report those people.

It can be quite time consuming for a small business

Creating high quality is time-consuming. If you’re new to YouTube then it can be difficult. Proper equipment for filming is expensive too and once you’ve uploaded a video, you need to analyse it and then create a strategy to create better content. This needs constant attention and is very difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing.

There can be a lot of competition

There are millions of channels on YouTube you have to compete with. Getting recognised isn’t easy. It takes a long time and needs constant attention.


YouTube Live Streaming

A few years ago, YouTube launched “YouTube Live”. A live streaming service that allows you to connect with your audience at any time and for any reason.

Many YouTubers do live streams every so often, usually doing a Q&A where they answer their audiences burning questions in real-time. This not only creates better relationships with the audience, but it also brings a sense of realism to you and your channel.

How to Live Stream on YouTube

  • Click the button that looks like a video camera

How to Upload a Video

  • Press Go Live

Going Live on YouTube

  • Press the ‘Get Started’ button.
  • The account verification page gives you the instructions to carry on.

Do you think you could benefit from YouTube marketing?

We hope after reading this article, you have decided whether YouTube marketing would work for your business. Whether you’re a new business just starting up or have been in the game for a while, it’s always advantageous to set up an account. It will allow you to build better relationships with your audience; it will help your SEO strategy. It’s definitely worth the time and effort. 

Here at Ribble Digital, we can help with your SEO strategy amongst many other digital marketing services. Check us out to see how we could help you. Contact us today!