How to Use a YouTube Channel to Build Backlinks

With over 3 billion monthly searches, YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine and offers massive opportunities for you to connect with your target audience anywhere in the world. 

By placing videos on the platform and optimizing them for search, you will be sure to drive tons of revenue for your business. 

YouTube is also a great place to build high-quality links to your site. With the right strategy, you will be able to build relevant backlinks that will help your website rank higher on Google and other search engines. 

If this is something that can make a difference in your marketing, read on to discover everything you need to know about how to use a YouTube channel to build backlinks.

Why YouTube Should Be Part of Your Backlink Strategy

Let’s take a look at why you should use YouTube as part of your backlink strategy. 

First off, 95% of pages online have zero backlinks: 

Without backlinks, you can’t rank and pull in quality traffic, and you’re unlikely to make money from your blog. YouTube is a fantastic way to circumvent backlink acquisition problems.

Start by using YouTube to:

Connect with New Audiences: Video content is an important aspect of an overall SEO strategy. It provides you with a powerful way to reach and connect with new audiences so you can showcase your brand and spread your message in an engaging way. 

Diversify Your Marketing: YouTube offers many opportunities for diversifying the way you promote your business’s products and services. Images can be helpful in showcasing your business, but videos take it to a whole new level. 

And with a recorded increase in the consumption of video every year, this is a strategy that more and more businesses will be leaning on in the future, as shown by the graph below, which depicts projected video viewing and ad spend stats for 2021.


Build Relevant Backlinks: Your collection of videos on YouTube will help you build high-quality backlinks to your site. By placing your URL in the video description, custom links, etc., you will be able to snag a lot of those coveted do-follow links.

Amass Social Shares: When done right, your YouTube videos can generate large numbers of social shares, giving your business even more exposure to new audiences. Take the example of the Dollar Shave Club video that went viral. 

Before the release of the commercial, very few people had heard of the Dollar Shave Club, but afterward, all of that changed and the company is now a billion-dollar brand.

Enhance Other Marketing Endeavors: In today’s world of marketing/SEO, link building and brand awareness are directly related – especially with regard to online content. 

When you post high-quality videos online, other websites will be eager to link to your content so they can provide value to their own audiences. With a great PR/outreach strategy, this tactic can earn you high numbers of backlinks in a relatively short amount of time.

These are just a few of the reasons why video content on YouTube is an important aspect of your overall SEO strategy.

Create Valuable Videos for Backlinking

In order to generate quality backlinks, your main focus should be on creating high-quality videos packed full of value. No one wants to link to mediocre content or content that can be found everywhere else online. 

You need unique and original content that will attract, educate, and keep your audience engaged. Your content must also be shareable, which translates to even more backlinks for you. If you can achieve this, you’ll make your video content valuable for your marketing, as well as your search engine optimization. 

At this point, you may be wondering what types of videos you can create that will meet the criteria above. 

Your video content can be in any form, including:

  • How-to Video Tutorials
  • Explainer Videos
  • Customer Reviews and Testimonials
  • Service Demonstrations
  • Company Culture Features
  • User-Generated Content (e.g. customers using your products)
  • …and so on. 

Any and all of these forms will do. As you can see from the image below, video content has overtaken content curation as the most used type of content these days. 


Don’t Forget Your Keyword Research

Video keyword research should be tied into video topics that will be useful and timely for viewers and therefore optimal for backlinking. 

Every day, millions of people use YouTube to search for specific topics. In order to be found by your ideal audience, you must first find the words and phrases viewers use to search for your type of content online. 

Once you identify the keywords, you must then optimize your videos around those keywords so your content can show up high in the search results. 

In short, by optimizing your videos for the right keywords, you will get significantly higher numbers of views, likes, comments, and subscribes.

Utilize Collaborations to Create Backlink Opportunities

As previously mentioned, when used the right way, video can provide a massive boost to your SEO campaign. There are different approaches that you can take to ensure that you get optimal results from your efforts. 

For instance, if you already have a large audience on your YouTube channel, it may be enough to simply create a high-quality YouTube video that is targeted at your ideal viewers.

However, if you are relatively new on the platform, then you need a strong outreach plan if you’re going to attract a large number of links. A great outreach strategy will help you get your video off the ground and build some momentum. 

However, it’s important to note that even with the best outreach plan, you won’t generate any links if your video is not of exceptional quality.


Inbound Links

When crafting your link building strategy, keep in mind that to boost your channel’s authority, you must get credible links to both the channel and specific videos. 

YouTube uses inbound links to your videos as a ranking factor in much the same way that Google does, which is why you must build links to both the channel and the video that you are trying to rank.

This tactic allows you to leverage the authority of your YouTube channel, as well as the authority of any individual video. This consequently affects your rankings in Google’s video SERPs (search engine results pages).


Collaborations with Brands

Doing collaborations with brands on your YouTube channel is a useful backlink opportunity for both parties. The premise behind the strategy is that two YouTube channels are a lot better than one. 

Collaborations allow you to increase your reach and expand your SEO exposure. 

For instance, you can cohost a video with a YouTuber who has a complementary following. This will double views and engagement for both of you. This also means double the chances of getting backlinks to your site. 

To help improve your chances of showing up on YouTube’s first page, choose a cohost that either has the same number of subscribers as you do, or one who has more. 

You also have the option of doing an entire video series or even doing a video collaboration with multiple YouTubers in a single video. 

The more creative you can get with your videos, the more likely it is that they will go viral and earn you tons more exposure.

How to Get Backlinks with YouTube Reviews and Testimonials

YouTube reviews and testimonials are great for helping to nudge customers toward a purchasing decision. They build trust with your audience and help you gather more information about their wants and needs. 

Reviews and testimonials also provide a great way for you to learn what adjustments you have to make to your products and services so you can provide even better value to your customers. 

In this section, we take a look at how you can use them as part of your link building strategy.

1. Find Brands to Collaborate With or Ensure They Can Find You

The first step in using reviews and testimonials to secure backlinks is to either find brands to collaborate with or make sure that they can easily find you. 

If you don’t already have a fan base or large brand reputation, you need an outreach plan so you can connect with brands. 

Make sure that your contact information is displayed clearly on your channel so that relevant brands have an easy and convenient way to reach out to you. 

It’s important to do collaborations with legitimate brands rather than buying sketchy backlinks as the latter may result in a negative impact on your YouTube and Google rankings down the line.

According to Moz, the wider variety of links you have from high-domain authority sites, the better for your link building campaign. 


2. Offer Free Reviews and Testimonials 

Another great tactic to use is to secure review or testimonial agreements with brands in your niche to test their products for free in exchange for backlinks. In the long run, this can pay off in a significant way, particularly for those who are just starting out. 

Featuring other brands by offering free reviews and testimonials is a great strategy that not only helps you build links but also strong relationships with other brands. It also increases the chances that the brand will return the favor in the future. 

Another major benefit of using this tactic is that oftentimes, brands will share the video through their social networks and media distribution, providing you with additional benefits and exposure. 

Just keep in mind that for this link building technique to work, you have to spend quite a bit of time doing your research and creating great reviews for websites. 

3. Create Great Quality Videos or Free Courses

The quality of your YouTube videos will ultimately determine whether or not people watch them. Engagement metrics are related to the quality of your content, and the lower the quality, the lower your engagement metrics. 

And since YouTube and Google rank video content based on engagement metrics, you can see why it’s important to focus on creating great quality, high-retention videos if you want to succeed in your link building efforts. 

Also, brands will be more likely to work with you if you produce unique and valuable content when doing your reviews and testimonials. 

According to YouTube, your main goal is to keep your audience retention metrics as close to 100% as you can. If your viewers are watching your videos all of the way through, your videos will show up more frequently in both YouTube’s search and suggested search. 

The bottom line is that YouTube wants to keep people on their site. They need viewers to click on ads so the platform can make money. So, if your videos help them do that, YouTube will rank them higher in the search results. 

And the only way to keep people engaged for longer is to create high-quality, relevant, and engaging videos  

Beyond that, one of the best ways to gain links to videos is to create online courses that are simply playlists on your YouTube channel.  Alternatively, publishing your video content on other online platforms can have plenty of upsides as well. Generally speaking, free courses on YouTube do really well because they have very high watch time and are full of amazing information.  This increases the chances of them driving backlinks.

4. Secure Backlinks

The collaboration opportunities that you seek out should culminate in one of the following things:

  • The brand linking to your YouTube videos from their website;
  • The brand linking to your videos on your own website;
  • Or even giving written article reviews where the video can be linked to or embedded.

If you can manage to secure backlinks in any of these ways, then your backlink building strategy will net you phenomenal results.


Testimonials and reviews are a deceptively easy way to build high-quality backlinks. That’s why many people underestimate their power in helping to improve the website’s visibility and authority. 

This article contains all the information you need to use your YouTube channel to build backlinks. Implement each of the strategies and tactics listed here in your link building strategy and start generating authentic B2B relationships that your business will benefit from, now and into the future.

What other tips do you know for using your YouTube channel to build backlinks? Let us know in the comments section below!

Ron Stefanski
Ron Stefanski

Ron Stefanski is an internet entrepreneur and marketing professor at National Louis University who has a passion for helping people create and market their own online business. You can learn more from him by visiting

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