Thursday, March 7, 2013
If you aren't optimizing your videos to match what people are searching, your videos are likely to get lost and not reach their intended audience. Without reaching their intended audience, they serve no purpose.
YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google. Every minute, more than 48 hours of new video content is uploaded. Videos are 50 times more likely to rank on the first page of Google results, according to Nate Elliot at Forrester.
So how do you ensure your videos get results? With video search engine optimization, commonly referred to as video SEO.
To simplify what you need to do, think about your target audience. Consider their language, wants, and needs.
Use the following 12 valuable tips to get your video to reach the first page of Google and YouTube, but most importantly build visibility to a large niche audience that is interested in what you have to offer.
1. Content Quality Check
Ensure your videos are relevant, informative, and rich with content. Don't waste time producing videos that have nothing to do with your brand or service.
Videos demonstrating step-by-step processes or videos expressing opinions about topics can be quite useful. Videos should be fun, memorable, short, and leave the viewer wanting more.
If using a video production company, trust one that understands the importance of these concepts. If you're hesitant of their services, make sure to scan their existing video portfolio in detail for videos that match these qualities.
Capture the potential viewer's attention with a catchy title that contains related key phrases that are relevant to your brand or service. Do some keyword research and find the words that your audience will most likely be searching, but remember to keep the title interesting, not just filled with keywords.
Create a title that will catch the eye of a user. Brainstorm some titles that catch your eye when passing a magazine rack. What compels you to pick up a magazine?
Optimize your video with important key phrases or keywords. Don't use complicated words or terminology that may not be common to the average person.
Refer back to your keyword research and think in terms of what your targeted audience might be searching for when looking to find your brand or service. Tag your video with these terms and consider naming the file of the video with these terms in mind.
Optimize your video's description with relevant keywords and include a keyword-rich description of your video to allow search engines to index it and rank it higher, and for users to better understand your video before viewing.
Use video as a portal to other content on your site. Upload a couple of videos to portals like YouTube and Vimeo, and consider providing links back to related content and other relevant videos on your site.
Provide transcripts of your videos. Good old HTML content is still a favorite with search engines.
If you want your video to rank well, you need to give the search engines something to index and rank. Surround your videos with on-page copy that can be indexed by search engines.
Keep your video at five minutes or less. The average amount of time a user spends on a YouTube video is around 1 minute 30 seconds. People do not want to sit through a boring video, and most will not do it.
If you have video content that is of long duration, consider breaking it up into smaller pieces and tagging each accordingly, to be more appealing to the viewer. Not only does this make for better viewing pleasure, multiple videos are also better for optimization efforts.
YouTube is now paying close attention to viewership and engagement. It is critical that viewers watch your video for as long as possible.
8. Video Sitemaps
Submit a video sitemap to Google to make sure that the search engine spiders can find your video content and index it accordingly. This is the easiest way for search engines to find your video content.
Take advantage of Google Webmaster Tools for creating a video sitemap. Use important keywords in the anchor text that links to your videos featured on your sitemap.
As video is a great way to generate brand awareness with prospects, take advantage of this opportunity to incorporate your brand and logos into your videos.
10. Embedding Options
Help your video go viral. Allow other users access to the coding that will allow them to embed your video on their website or blog. This can help gain valuable back links and shares that will boost your rankings in search engines.
Submit your video to RSS feeds and syndicate your videos to drive exposure across various online platforms and to optimize your videos even more.
12. Share, Share, Share!
Get on your social networks, look through your email contacts, write on your blogs, and get the hype going. Share your video with everyone, because if you have content worth sharing, it will continue to be shared to grow an expanding audience, and in turn develop more exposure for your brand or service.
Video optimization can be a great way for you to expose your brand to users who may otherwise not have been familiar with your brand, product, or services. It is a great way to engage, entertain, and promote that will get you great results on search engines.
Good luck with your video SEO!
The Launchpad is a series that introduces Mashable readers to compelling startups. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.
One-Liner Pitch: Betterific gives consumers a platform to offer feedback on how to improve their favorite products and companies.
Why It's Taking Off: It's like Reddit for customer suggestions online.
It started with a fitted sheet.
Micha Weinblatt was making his bed, and struggling to figure out which side of his fitted bed sheet was the width and which was the length, when he came up with a simple solution: Companies should include a label on the sheet to note which side is which. That led him to another thought: How does one go about sharing an idea like that?
"What do you do with that idea, short of starting a linen company? You could tweet it or Facebook it, but you don't have much of an audience there," Weinblatt told Mashable. "We started looking around, and saw there was no great place to share ideas and make products better."
With that in mind, Weinblatt and his two co-founders, Brad Cater and Jonathan Schilit, decided to develop Betterific, a website that serves as a platform for consumers to offer feedback on how to improve their favorite products and companies. The site, which launched in public beta last month, provides users with a simple prompt ("Wouldn't it be better if...") and then lets the community vote the idea up or down, similar to Reddit.
While the project is still in its early stages, users have already posted more than 2,200 ideas to the website, which range from a suggestion for Amazon ("Wouldn't it be better if Amazon offered a print and e-book combo when you purchase a book online?") to a suggestion for airlines in general ("Wouldn't it be better if airlines had a sign that said please wake me up for my meal?") One of the most popular suggestions to date is for toilets: "Wouldn't it be better if toilets had a 'pedal lift lid' like a lot of trash cans so you wouldn't have to touch the seat to lift it up and down?"
Weinblatt said users also make suggestions for how to improve Betterific, some of which the team has started to implement; they include: letting users tag one another in posts, and building private forums within the website so companies can solicit feedback from a select group of users.
Now that customers have started to post to the website, the team is working to fill in the other side of the equation by reaching out to big and small companies. The goal is to get businesses to embed part of Betterific on their own websites, so they can tap into the community's feedback, as well as that of their own customers.
Beyond that, the Betterific team hopes to build out features that let companies engage with specific users to follow up on their suggestions. This way, Weinblatt said the Betterific community could serve as a true "brain trust" for companies, which is good for engagement on the site, and perhaps just as importantly, for giving the startup a valuable asset that it could monetize going forward.
Betterific went through the DreamIt Ventures incubator program in New York late last year, and is currently looking to raise a $650,000 round of funding. The team is also working on an iPhone app for the website, which should be released in the next two months.