Thursday, March 7, 2013

12 Valuable Tips for Video SEO Beginners

video optimizationIf 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.

2. Title
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?

3. Tags
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.

4. Description
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.

5. Links
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.

6. Transcripts
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.

7. Length
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.

9. Branding
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.

11. Syndication
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!

Paying for Links – Is It Ever a Good Idea?

LinksWith search engine optimization now playing a more important role than ever in the world of gaining exposure via search engines and online sources, many are left with tons of questions. One of the recurring questions often asked is whether or not it is a good idea to purchase link space. There is no uniform answer, unfortunately, as it depends predominantly on the type of link in question, the amount of money being spent, the quality of the institution offering the deal and other factors as well. For those wanting to purchase links in order to gain exposure, please continue reading so you can sort through when to do so and when to walk away from the situation.
Paying for Link Directories
We have all seen them: link directories that promise to help build backlinks for your website while giving your pages more authority by virtue of being a part of these link directories. In the olden days, link directories had purpose and were a great way for individuals to find particular types of content before search engines were able to use modern nuances to uncover every website. Nowadays, though, most link directories are nothing more than scams – and in fact, being featured on a link directory that sells its services while pinging onlinedomains may result in select search engines downgrading your site’s rankings.
Paying for Links via Advertising – Small-scale
Not all links are necessarily permanent; with online advertising, you can display links to your site, blog or social media hub without having to earn a placement in search engines. Some entrepreneurs will reach out to other webmasters who are offering advertising space on their websites. If the content is of a similar nature and the audience will be receptive to your message, then this is a strategy that is worth investing. Downsides to this approach are that the advertising in question will only be displayed on one website, and sometimes advertising in this format can be relatively costly.
Paying for Links via Advertising – Networks and Social Media
Similar to the above, advertising via affiliate networks or social media will result in either penetrating multiple mediums at once, or opening your advertising efforts to a much larger magnitude of web users. In the case of Facebook, for example, you can reach up to one billion people depending on how you decide to target your campaign. Non social media-related avenues such as what is available through Google will allow your website or project to be display on multiple sites and in various search engines. While this is a very cost-effective approach when compared to other methods, it will not result in any permanent link building advantage when it comes to pinging online presence.
There are many elements to consider when weighing a purchase that involves your site’s links. Broadly speaking, search engines frown upon those who are caught purchasing links outright in order to game the system, but advertising efforts and having a dedicated person who focuses on expanding the organic backlink process can have a much greater effect on traffic and exposure – two of the most important things to a website and the reason we do SEO in the first place.

Betterific – Making the World a Better Place

The brands that make some of today’s most popular products can only learn so much from surveys and focus groups. What they really need are ideas for improvement from actual consumers. Betterific is a web-app that provides just that, giving everyday people a place to share their ideas for making all different types of products, events, and services just a little bit better.
Take a look at the products you use everyday. You’ve probably got some ideas for how those things could be improved. With those ideas in mind, head to the Betterific site and type in your best idea (known as a “Betterif”). The idea you’ve posted will show up on the newsfeed or timeline on Betterific’s homepage, and other users can vote up or down your idea based on how useful they think it would be. Ideas can be sorted by popularity or by category. When you tag your idea, you make it easy for other people (or companies, in some cases) to find it amidst all the clutter. The more ideas you add, the higher your Betterific score. Scores are based on the quality and frequency of your “Betterifs,” and they give you a way to see how your own ideas stack up against those of other users in the Betterific community.
Speaking of other users, you can follow the people whose ideas you agree with, and see how your Betterific ranking compares to your friends at any time. Betterific also posts a “Top 10 Leaderboard,” which shows the scores of the top Betterific contributors and how many up-votes their ideas have received.
Practical Uses:
  • Share your ideas for improving the taste of Diet Pepsi
  • Find out how customers think you could improve your company
  • Compete with friends to see who has the best ideas
Insider Tips:
  • New users can sign up with Facebook, Twitter, or by entering their email addresses
  • Betterifs can be sorted by date, popularity, or category
  • Tag the product, category, or industry mentioned in your idea
  • View the “Trending” category to see which companies or topics are being discussed most frequently
What we liked:
  • Betterific is a great place for people to vent about issues they’ve experienced
  • Social voting is a great way to visually see which ideas are the most useful
  • People can follow the brands or topics they feel passionate about
  • Betterific’s scoring feature lets people compete against their friends
What we didn’t like:
  • Right now brands don’t have a way to solicit feedback about specific questions they have or products they’re testing
  • 43 Things –
Company Info:
  • Launched: December 2012
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Founded by: Micha Weinblatt
  • Web site:
  • Free

Betterific is Like Reddit for Customer Feedback

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.