Search Engine Optimization News, Tips and Information

Information on search engine optimization strategies for business.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Video SEO 101

Discusses the increasing importance of video in search engine optimization, as well as techniques for video optimization.

The Growing Video Universe

If you are interested in the proven power of our vFlood (TM) video SEO services please contact ArteWorks SEO by calling 512-535-2821 or toll free 877-812-2217. You may also visit our video seo page for more information.

Predicted to be a $3 billion dollar business by 2010 (source: eMarketer), the use of video for search marketing, while still in its infancy, is growing at a tremendous rate. According to market trends expert Brian Haven, over fifty percent of world wide web users are viewing at least one video per month, and this potential number of viewers and visitors has many companies sprinting toward full scale internet video campaigns. With the launch of Universal Search in many of the most relevant search engines, including Google, more videos will begin appearing in actual organic search engine rankings, thus increasing their value to SEO firms and their clients, not to mention the advantages of pure viral marketing.

YouTube, the most successful video sharing website, estimates they receive almost 30 million unique users in a single month’s time. As only a three year old company, now owned by Google, it is considered to be the fourth busiest website in the world, and is only one of the hundreds of video sharing avenues. Metacafe is not far behind, generating almost 20 million unique viewers every month. The importance of video for Internet marketing as well as search rankings will continue to increase as broadband becomes more common and search engines react accordingly, and as such, video optimization has already become an important part of online marketing campaigns and search engine optimization strategies.

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Video Marketing

There are millions of short video clips produced by professionals and amateurs alike available on the web. Some post videos in the name of fame and fun, while others are focused on using videos to create a viral marketing campaign and drive traffic to their respective websites. With millions of consumers of video content the question must be asked as to how successful are videos in driving actual web traffic. According to a recent study by Market Experiments Journal, the use of video in viral marketing can produce incredible click results. Market Experiments produced several amateur style videos for posting on the web that would serve as experimental viral marketing. These 28 videos pulled over 80,000 views in one month, and by sixty days they had received over 300,000 views with no additional work or investment. At 324,190 views, 4,162 people continued on to click through their website, and the best part is that the views will continue to increase, bringing in more website traffic at a minimal cost. When the cost of the acquisition of these users via video was compared to PPC, it was discovered that a PPC campaign would have cost over $20.00 per visitor acquisition, whereas the video campaign cost a fraction of that.

How does this transfer to SEO?

It has long been known amongst search engine optimization experts that one of the most valuable ways to create inbound links to a website is by creating quality content. This content in turn serves as “link bait,” with the goal of receiving one-way links from other websites that fuel both traffic and search rankings. The concept is simple, and applies to the utilization of video for SEO. Entertaining, informative, or humorous content has proven to be excellent link bait, as are product reviews and “top 10” lists. With the proper techniques of production, formatting, optimization, posting, and publishing, video can be an excellent way to create such content and boost search engine ranking results.

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Creating Video Content

To take full advantage of video optimization, the first and most important step is to produce a high quality original. Most successful videos are created using professional equipment, digital tape, plenty of light, and quality microphones. Some of the most successful amateur videos on the web were shot with 3 CCD cameras and nice tripods. ArteWorks SEO, for example, utilizes a Canon GL2 3CCD recording on MiniDV with both standard letterbox and 16:9 widescreen capabilities. This will produce an obvious difference in the clarity of picture as well as accuracy of color. Videos that are too dark or whose sound is difficult to decipher will most likely be passed over by increasingly savvy viewers or leave an impression that the video producer is an amateur. Next, it is important to shoot videos that have some relevance to your industry. Even if it is just a funny skit, an ounce of relevance will go a long way in creating relevant links and search traffic. Once the footage is created, videos should be edited to a length that is conducive to viewer attention spans. Informational videos should be less than five minutes, and funny skits should usually be under one minute or even thirty seconds. Videos that are too long may lose viewers or experience loading delays. The object is to load the video as quickly as possible and then leave viewers wanting more.

Video File Optimization

Once you have created short, concise, entertaining, quality videos, you will need to optimize the video files for search engine crawlers. Titling is the most important part of this process. The actual title of the file name works similarly to Title Tags for web pages. Search engine crawlers can recognize these file names and index them accordingly, so it is important to include target keyphrases within the video title. The process continues by injecting the appropriate metadata into the actual video file encoding. This should include information like the title, length, keywords, and authorship associated with a particular video clip. Another increasingly popular video optimization strategy is to include a transcript of each video. This transcript will not only provide valuable text threading, but it can also include anchor text links specific to keyphrases.

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Publishing Your Video Content

There are two common ways to post videos for others to view. The first, for SEO purposes, is to post videos directly on your website. Link bait that is directly connected to your website can then attract links directly to your website. Each video should have an individual page with content that is associated to that video’s specific keyphrases, and the URL for that page should include the title of the video. Videos can also appear in blog or forums so that others can comment and form a small social network. When a video is posted on a webpage, you can include a link to the video transcript and the code for embedding the video on other websites or blogs.

Beyond posting on your own website, publishing your video on various video sharing websites is almost more important in terms of actual exposure. Video sharing sites like Youtube, Metacafe, AOLvideo, Yahoo Video, Myspace, and more can solicit thousands of views in a short period of time because each of their viewer bases range from 10 to 50 million per month. With proper submission, these types of sites can serve as a mass syndication effort for your videos, which is vital for viral and organic ranking purposes. There are hundreds of Internet success stories that come from the thousands, or millions, of hits a particular video clip received on a video sharing site.

Video Bookmarking

Though video sharing websites are an excellent resource for achieving high exposure, social media sites such as Digg, Stumble Upon, Del.icio.us and others can also create a powerful buzz as well as provide excellent inbound links. Again, this process is similar to that of bookmarking any other type of content on a social media site. By bookmarking the video on the business website and on other sharing sites, using relevant and authority bookmarking accounts, the videos have been released to another world of sharing and voting that can bring in countless views, especially if they are well liked by the community. However, there is another key reason for submitting bookmarks to social networks. Search engines have become increasingly likely to index bookmarked postings on social media networks. Thus, your video content can appear in universal search rankings, which will increase their visibility for relevant keyphrases. If that bookmark leads back to your actual website, the impact on your organic search rankings will be noticeable.
Making it easy for others to bookmark videos on your website is another means to fully take advantage of social media networks. Most social media sites with bookmarking capability offer “buttons” that can be posted on a website that will automatically bookmark the selection for the viewer to the appropriate network. For example, you might place a “Digg” button next to a video player, and when clicked, it would prompt the viewer to quickly bookmark this item to their Digg profile. More information on video seo.

Looking to Tomorrow

The use of video as link bait content is a relatively new concept, and the increasing sophistication of search engines will continue to change and improve the ways videos are indexed. There are already some search engines like Blinkx that use speech recognition and visual analysis rather than just metadata in order to determine the nature of specific video content. Capabilities like these and further advances will continue to change the way video can be used to create online exposure, but the value of video for the future is clear. Regardless of the technological advances and shifts in industry standards, video content will continue to grow in popularity as the rest of the world shifts to standard broadband Internet connections. For this reason, it is important to consider the inclusion of some form of video content for any online business that seeks to improve their credibility, visibility and ranking results. By starting now, your business can ride the wave from the beginning, growing alongside the development of the role of video in search engines. It is truly a golden opportunity for smart businesses to rise to the top.

If you are interested in the proven power of our vFlood (TM) video SEO services please contact ArteWorks SEO by calling 512-535-2821 or toll free 877-812-2217. You may also visit our video seo page for more information.

About the Author

Peter Hamilton is the Project Manager in charge of the Seattle office of ArteWorks SEO. He has a Bachelor’s degree in radio, television and film and extensive experience in social media optimization. Mr. Hamilton also heads up the ArteWorks SEO educational video series on topics related to Internet marketing and search engine optimization. If you would like to view the free educational SEO video series, please visit www.arteworks.biz.

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5 Comments:

At 6/12/2008 01:59:00 PM , Blogger maxthunder said...

Great Post! We're an seo agency that's running empirical tests on the impact of video on seo now. You've covered some great points in this. Thanks!

 
At 8/12/2008 07:44:00 AM , Blogger joe said...

Great information. Video seo is sure to be one of the best and cheapest forms of adv.

 
At 10/20/2008 07:38:00 PM , Blogger Kieran Hawe said...

great post on Video SEO. Video SEO is really a art that many people haven't touched yet. I think we more and more companies move content online we will see the importance of Video SEO increase.

 
At 10/27/2008 10:41:00 AM , Anonymous Dalva said...

Thanks for writing this.

 
At 9/01/2009 09:55:00 PM , Anonymous Victoria Phee said...

Brilliant! Thanks for sharing

 

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