Everything I learned at Britmums can be summarised into one sentence: Ignore Google at your peril. Ok, I may have learned about other things too but the ubiquity and importance of Google seemed to be the underlying theme of many discussions.
1. Search Engine Prowess
Google is the number 1 search engine in the world. YouTube (owned by Google) is the number 2 search engine.
I have never actually thought of YouTube as a search engine. But, of course, it is. If I need to find instructions on something, it’s my first stop. I taught my daughter how to do a headstand for her gymnastics competition based on instructions from YouTube and figured out how to convert my son’s Optimus Prime transformer into a truck on YouTube as well.
I always think of YouTube as instructional but for many people it is also entertainment (including my children). For example, my children are obsessed with the Dumb Ways To Die videos. We have now made a car game of finding even dumber ways to die.
So how do you improve your YouTube skills?
- Make sure your YouTube channel is linked to your website. Having your website associated with your YouTube videos will let you create annotations on your video. Annotations will let you add clickable links onto your video. These links are clickable (on desktops and laptops only currently) to whatever hyperlink you want. There are hints that these clickable hyperlinks will be available for mobile application soon. For example, creating a hyperlink will let you link onto a subscription page or feed your viewer straight into another video on your own channel.
- Get a separate microphone for your iPhone so that you are ready to video anything. The iPhone video is excellent but let down by the background noise.
- Make sure you get the lighting right for your video. The quality of the video you shoot is only going to get worse after you’re done tweaking it in post production.
- Nigel Camp from The Video Effect gave a video presentation at BritMums but also tweeted lots of useful information. He recommends the RotoLight for getting extra light and the Rode Smartlav microphone for getting the sound right. His website has lots of information on shooting video with a smartphone.
- He suggested that I use the iMovie app on the iPhone to start with post-processing as it’s the easiest. And, yes it is!! Here’s the video I did (not of Britmums) but a recent trip to Centre Parcs Elveden.
Google have been throwing a lot of money into Google+. It’s hard to believe G+ has only been around since 2011 because it has experienced such exponential growth. It is the second largest social networking site after Facebook. Google thinks of G+ as more than social networking but as a “social layer” which is supposed to make using its other stuff easier. Unlike Facebook, G+ is focused on business interaction which is fine with me. I find that my Facebook feed is just confusing – interspersed in between personal posts, such as photos of my niece, are blog posts of people I follow.
What can you do to enhance your G+ experience? Some basic tips:
- Get on it in the first place. It’s not going away.
- Maggie Woodley from Red Ted Art had the best advice for me at last year’s BritMums. She asked me to do 5 minutes a day on G+ and that eventually it would make sense. I did and it did.
- Get Google Authorship so that you can get higher rankings in organic searches.
- Use the circles to make your followers easier to, well, you know, follow.
- Use ripples to find out who the influencers in your area is. The Social Media Hat has a great post on how to use Google+ Ripples.
3. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the industry standard for measuring success on the internet, such as for websites, blogs and advertising. ‘Nuff said.
As you can tell, I have drunk the Kool Aide. I am a Google believer. Are you?