Fast Five in Search – Week 41, 2014

fast-five

 

I had a student ask me about video optimization this week. By video optimization, I mean SEO for videos uploaded to her company YouTube account. Naturally, she wanted her company videos to appear at the top of the search results when anyone conducted a search on YouTube for her business brand.

I referred her to a couple of my favorite video SEO resources and thought that perhaps you readers may find them useful too.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) How to Optimize Video: Step by Step Instructions by Jennifer Osborne of Aim Clear. Although this post is a little dated, most of the content is still relevant and it contains some tips you won’t see anywhere else.

2) Moz Whiteboard Friday: SEO for Video Content by Scott Willoughby of Moz. Well, Scott is just the post author, but the content is actually provided in video format by Rand Fishkin in one of his ever-helpful Whiteboard Friday videos.

3) Video SEO: A Technical Guide by Joost de Valk of Yoast. An incredibly clever guy, Joost is the creator of several uber-successful WordPress plugins and knows an enormous amount about SEO. This was the first post I found that waded into the technical concept of meta markup for video content.

4) Distilled Guide to Online Video Marketing by Cheri Percy of Distilled. These guys don’t do things by halves. Big fans of downloadable white-papers and reports, the Distilled crew have created this Guide as a PDF doc for download. It’s pitched as “a practical and expansive guide covering all aspects of online video marketing” and it totally delivers on that promise.

and finally…

5) Schema.org Markup for Videos by Some Poor Guy Who Didn’t Deserve a Name But Apparently Deserved Sub-Titles of Google. This video posted on Google Webmaster Tools Help explains how using schema.org on-page markup to describe your videos will allow Google, Bing, and Yahoo! to index and show your videos in search results.

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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SMX Sydney 2012 – Robert Moorman – Developing a video content marketing campaign

This is a summary of Robert Moorman’s presentation at Search Marketing Expo / Online Marketer Conference held in Sydney 1-2 May 2012.Robert Moorman at SMX Sydney 2012

Robert Moorman is a Video Strategist at Hunting With Pixels, a company that specializes in strategic social video campaigns. Robert has over 20 years of experience working as a video producer for media organisations like Fremantle Media and MTV in the UK, Australia and Europe.

Content is king but distribution is queen, says Robert. Content is now about ideas, not tech. For example, 8 year olds who use iPads don’t need to know interface design in order to use it. Video content must be engaging, authentic, simple and memorable.

Robert kicked off showing a corporate video that emphasizes the relationships formed by a business rather than the product they sell.

 

Video Content Optimization

There are a couple of major things to remember when optimizing your video content, says Robert:

  • Highlight your branding early so people associate it with the visual message.
  • Include your call to action early, in case people don’t view the entire video.
  • Don’t forget audio quality. Poor audio will automatically reflect poorly on your brand. TEST it!
  • Short videos generally perform better. If possible, keep your videos to 2-3 minutes.
  • Use graphics and captions in your videos to highlight key points.
  • Be engaging and relevant.

Robert then showed a Nintendo 3DS promotional video that acknowledges the audience is smart. Clever approach, it worked well with the target market and had a viral impact because it was funny.

Video Distribution Channels

There are quite a few video distribution channels available – YouTube is not everything. So here are the options:

  • YouTube – the obvious choice.
  • Vimeo Pro – is an excellent HD quality hosting option.
  • Vid.ly - is great for video transcoding and checking if your video is viewable on multiple platforms.

Video Content Syndication Tips

  • Get your videos embedded by others. If you haven’t already read it, read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. It will give you some ideas for how to make your videos memorable and sharable.
  • Make sure your videos are fully searchable. Fill out all the fields when uploading them to YouTube and other content placeholders. Put the http URL in the video title and/or video description so it becomes a clickable link.
  • Use playlists to your advantage.
  • When viewing YouTube, choose the right thumbnail, do keyword research to find popular related keywords.
  • Turn on transcription / subtitles when uploading your videos to create an automatic text version of your content.
  • Context matters – be wary of where your vid appears.
  • Use seeding and video advertising platforms – eg. TubeMogul or YouTube advertising to auto distribute your video content via similar content.

Video Marketing Tips

  • Be sharable – use video plugins that make it easy.
  • Be easy to use.
  • Make your video content easily navigable.
  • Don’t use shortcuts – quality is key with video content.
  • Use YouTube analytics to keep up with viewer statistics and tweak your videos based on viewer activity.
  • If you need to create a video-based site, try Vidcaster – instant micro websites made for videos.
  • For tips on how to SEO your videos, read Reelseo.com regularly.

Robert then talked about a new marketing trend – interactive video content. He showed the Choose a Different Ending video that paused and gave viewers two storyline options to choose from eg. “take the knife”, or “don’t take the knife”, like the alternative ending books you used to read as a kid. Ultimately, you choose whether to live or die. The video was created by DropTheWeapons.org as an awareness tool to break the circle of youth violence and weapons crime.

Robert then showed a video that was a Flash video that entirely mimicked a YouTube page – A Hunter Shoots a Bear – with the word *shoots* able to be replaced by user chosen via keyboard [fun tip - type in *dances with*]. It was a clever ad for Tipp-Ex correction fluid. Apparently they shot over 100 different keyword scenarios. Robert showed another where the company had created an entire website just using video.

In summary, video marketing doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Just give it a go. Look into buying a mid range video camera, a cheapish background screen and a spotlight in order to DIY videos for your site. You can get an entire package for under $1,200.

 

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SMX Sydney 2012 – Stephan Spencer – SEO in 2012

This is a summary of Stephan Spencer’s presentation at Search Marketing Expo / Online Marketer Conference held in Sydney 1-2 May 2012.

Stephan Spencer is the author of two books: Google Power Search and The Art of SEO. He is also the founder of search marketing firm Netconcepts.

Stephan starts by talking about Google’s Penguin algorithm update released on 24 April. A lot of people were hurt by the algo change which impacts 3.1% of searches. Stephan says, if you haven’t already done so, remove any dodgy SEO tactics NOW. Google is keeping a rap sheet on you – too many infractions and you could get hit.

The algorithm is basically about killing old dodgy SEO – nothing new. Lots of customers are receiving warnings in their Webmaster Tools console about spam signals such as link networks. Google Search + Your World is becoming more important now and they are trying to clean up the SERPs to display more of this social content and improve user experience.

Stephan says to give your content a better chance of being shown in SERPs, make sure your content is above the fold. Google is now distinguishing pages that have ads above the fold and filtering them out. Google is also giving more relevance weight to fresh content, so make sure you blog, post or update regularly.

A leaked copy of the Google’s Quality Raters Handbook 2011 edition shows that user intent, malware, oudated or shallow content can impact your site ranking. Sites with lots of ads can be impacted. Keyword stuffed URLs can signal spam. Google’s Panda update was about low quality pages, but Penguin is about spam. Keep in mind that Panda impacts whole sites rather than individual pages.

You should also look at the number of clicks it takes to reach each page on your site. Make quality content easier to find. Something not widely realized is that Google Instant can interfere with your URLs if you use URL parameters. One tip, says Stephan, is to use position tracking in the SERPs to determine your site’s *actual* position and then find vulnerable ranking pages above you that wouldn’t take much SEO in order to overtake them.

Keep in mind that you need to be logged in to Adwords to see historical keyword trending. You won’t see historical data if you use the Google Keywords tool without logging in, says Stephan. Also – very important – make sure you only ever research your search terms using [exact match] in the Google keywords tool, otherwise data will be skewed and inaccurate.

When it comes to SEO for videos, track your YouTube rankings using the Online Video Optimization Tracker Voot.net. It’s currently in BETA but you can request an invitation. Another tip for video optimization is to optimize your YouTube video thumbnail rather than SERP position.

You can follow Stephan on Twitter via @sspencer.

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Q and A: What impact does a video clip have on search engine indexing?

QuestionHi Kalena

I have several questions if you have the time to answer them.

1. What impact does a video clip have on search engine indexing (if any)?

2. Some websites I look at don’t seem to be using good navigation structures or use anywhere near the minimum recommended amount of text on their home page at all — yet they came up on page one when a google search is done – why? For example: Visiooptic.com has very little body text yet they come up high on a google search for *eyeglasses in Brookline, MA*.

3. I would think that web designers would automatically incorporate meta tags and key words and know about the importance of on-page criteria – yet it seems they don’t. Isn’t this bad business practice?

For example: one of my websites was done by a very experienced web designer, yet I wasn’t informed about many of these things; and I am seeing that my site isn’t very well optimized. I’m so surprised by this!

Thank you
Toni

Hi Toni

I’ll answer each of your questions in turn:

1) Depending on the way your clip is uploaded, LOTS. As you probably know, Google purchased YouTube a few years ago. So that should give you an idea of how important video is to the web and to search in particular. You can optimize your YouTube videos for search engine rankings now – there are lots of tutorials about this and we are looking to add a whole lesson on this to our SEO201 course in the near future. In the meantime, have a look at this post on how to optimize your video content.

2) Optimized body text is just one factor of the 100+ ranking influence factors in the Google PageRank algorithm. It’s an important one, but not the only one. So the reason you see other pages ranking well despite little or no text is that they score highly in other areas such as inbound links (quality of other sites linking to them), title and meta tags, inbound traffic, internal cross-linking etc. The sample site you mention is ranking ok because (amongst other things) it has a toolbar PageRank score of 4 and quite a few inbound links. If it had more optimized text on the page, it would probably rank even higher.

3) Surprising isn’t it? Despite SEO playing such a vital role in how a web site performs online, it’s scary how many web design companies either don’t know anything about SEO or don’t think it’s their job to optimize a web site. It’s not that they are unprofessional, it’s just that SEO is quite a specific science and many designers don’t have the knowledge to optimize a site well, or believe it is someone else’s job because it can be time-consuming. Some web designers offer SEO as an add-on service to web design, which I guess is fair enough as it could be outside the scope of the agreed design project. But I can’t tell you the number of web sites I’ve had to optimize for clients who have paid tens of thousands of dollars for a web site that is basically a glossy online brochure that would never be found in Google in a million years.

Kalena

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