Keeping Google and YouTube Accounts in harmony
Keeping up with the pace of change on online & social platforms can be challenging for the busy business owner. Recent examples within the realm of my video projects have shown the importance of having a guiding hand when it comes to a business' presence on google. There have also been learning points for me too, which proves the need for diligence and ongoing training.
These bumps in the road that my clients and I have jointly come acroacre down to happen at the end of the video project, when the time has come to get the finished video online. That said, the end should be in mind at the start, and understanding the end goal is something I espouse. The difference now is that the devil can really be in the detail. The Upload button is seldom the end of the journey for any business that has had a video produced, whether by a professional, an amateur, or in-house.
Before the Upload button is pressed - I'm talking about YouTube here of course - there are some checks and balances that need to be done. I'm not going to repeat here the advice about keywording - see my other blogs for that. The checks can be summarised simply as - make sure you understand your complete Google presence.
What Not To Do
Here are the examples;
(1) I agreed with the client's marketing agency that we would create a new YouTube channel for the video as the client wasn't up to speed on what to do. I duly did, and uploaded the video. I then found the video existed elsewhere on another channel; the client had uploaded it as soon as it was finished (without keywords etc). We found out it was a Google account linked to the CEOs email, and the account used for Adwords, Analytics etc. The only sensible option was to delete the account I had created and fix the existing channel and video listing.
(2) A client had had a Google account created by a young social media person, using a new gmail address, despite the fact that the client already had a business-specific email. As a less digital marketing savvy client they passed me the gmail address to use for a YouTube account. Something during the process quickly jarred and I asked whether the client had ever dabbled in Adwords or Analytics. It turned out an agency had done some Adwords, based off the business email address as the Google logon. With that logon and password to hand I was quickly able to tell that this was the true parent Google ID. I then tacked a new Google+ page and YouTube channel onto this logon and deleted the Google gmail-based account and YouTube channel. I'm not sure why a social media person needed to create a new Goigle account when they were focussing on Twitter and Facebook, or at least why they didn't ask which email the client would like to use as the ID.
(3) Third time lucky : I was asked to create a new YouTube account for a client; their existing one was poorly set up and with old content. I was told to use an info@ address. This in itself was a good idea as I advise that for SMEs any video sharing platform account is not person specific. Should a member of the business leave, the email login details could either become invalid, deleted, or the password lost without them. A catch-all account is safer as one would anticipate that the logins details live on - someone must be monitoring the actual email for info@ !
So I tried to create a new Google account for this email address, only to get a message saying it was already in use. I went back to the client and we dredged up the password - again it was the case that Adwords and Analytics were tied to this account, so regardless of whether the YouTube account needed to be deleted and recreated, or just improved, we knew we were starting in the right place. Ghost account creation avoided!
(4) The most recent example had alarm bells ringing when the client offered to do the YouTube work. I searched on YouTube for the client's business name and got no results. That made me fairly confident that there was no pre-existing channel. Then I googled their business - and their website did not appear on page 1. That actually made me more nervous about YouTube - if their web design or SEO was so bad that they didn't rank on page 1 for their own company name, it was equally likely that there was a YouTube channel hidden away too. I strongly suggested that I would be better placed to do the YouTube work. In the event they went for hosting on Vimeo as that was better aligned to their needs.
The bottom line is that it is preferential having as many of Google's products as possible attached to the same logon. It maximises analysis opportunities, reduces admin, and keeps viewers and buyers looking at one central brand presence. Imagine two YouTube channels for the same brand, one with old content, one with new. Only one can be the true reflection of the company, have the ideal channel ID and name. Any orphan presence is likely to crop up in Google search somewhere, possibly in front of a potential client's eyes.
If you are starting to use a Google product for the first time - for some it may be Analytics or Adwords - but as video is such a burgeoning tool it is likely to be YouTube, ensure that basic questions have been asked. Google your business - if a map listing comes up alongside the business details then it is almost certain that there is a Google logon tied to this data. Search for your business on YouTube - is there an old or redundant channel or videos there?
Speak internally and externally to find out who is either managing this profile or knows what the logon and password might be. If there is a way to access the email account for that logon then at worst you can use "Forgot Password" to get yourself back up and running.
Don't just create a proliferation of accounts on Google - unless there is a compelling business reason to do so - as the disconnections can only cause more harm than good.