Live from SMX East: Quick and Easy Video

By Janet Driscoll Miller | Oct 3, 2013
More Articles by Janet

As SEOs, we know that video ranks well in organic search and often garnishes more clicks. But video can be timely and expensive to produce.  The panel for this session included Mark Robertson from ReelSEO, Lawrence Basso of Overit, and Tim McDonald of The Huffington Post.

Mark Robertson

Mark started off by giving the crowd some recommendations on what to consider when creating video based on what the state of video is today. He commented that online video is here to stay and shared some data showing the trends around video popularity today.

Primarily, video dominates the rich snippets in universal search results in Google. In order to have video snippets appear, you need a video Sitemap and schema markup as well. Another opportunity is that video works well as link bait. Posts that contain video obtain 3x more inbound links.

What is the opportunity with video today? He shared this really funny video about cat videos:

The opportunity for video extends beyond awareness. He shared an example of Zappos, who creates product videos, how-to videos, brand videos, internal communications, corporate culture and even user-generated product videos. What they found was that product page conversion went up and returns went down, increasing customer satisfaction. They even do blooper videos!

Consider viewing habits. Lean forward — consider the device as well. What doesn’t work? Classic disruptive marketing typically doesn’t work. In other words, don’t just repurpose your TV ads.

What DOES work? You’re not just competing against competitors, it’s competing against friends and others. It needs to be clever. Make it entertaining.

Most people will leave quickly. Pay a lot of attention to the first 15 seconds of the video. Long intros will not work. To help engagement, you can produce videos in a series, create playlists and more.  To show other videos, you can link to other videos in the playlist by adding &list to your playlist. Pretty cool!

Some quick tips:

  • If you let others control your videos, you lack control. Be careful.
  • If you are a supplier, you can use manufacturer videos.
  • You can crowdsource video.
  • GoAnimate allows you to create an animated video easily.
  • can create a video out of existing assets.
  • Refresh and reoptimize your YouTube videos.

You can also outsource your video production. Some sites to consider include:

  • Local Colleges
  • Craigslist
  • Fiverr

Some data-driven video options include:


Finally, screen capture options include:

  • Recorded webinars
  • Camtasia
  • Screenflow (mac only)

Lawrence Basso

Lawrence started with going beyond the basics. Knowing video and video software is helpful as well as knowing your outlets and their guidelines. Be sure to know the audience and cater the content to them. Finally, know your goals and limitations — don’t linger. Hit the mark!

Content is key. It should be your top concern when creating a video. What message are you trying to convey and is it relatable to your business? Presentation is important; shoot for smooth delivery, believability and succint messaging. Be prepared — use tools like scripts, notes and cue cards if you need them.

Books are judged by their covers. Good lighting is essential. People need to be able to hear the video, so have good sound quality. Use good graphics and good content.

Some final tips for recording video:

  • Use a dedicated space if you can.
  • Invest. Buy a better camera and microphone or recording device.
  • iMovie and Windows Movie Maker are easy to use.
  • Some graphics and a little background is a nice touch.
  • Take a class (local college or online).

Tim McDonald

Tim’s presentation focused on crowdsourcing video and having your audience help improve the video experience on your site. At The Huffington Post, they use a Google Hangout to bring in guests that way. They also feature the comments even more than the video. It allows them to get engaged in the video without being on camera per se.

Google Hangouts now has a Q&A feature as well. They can submit questions, others can vote on the question and the host can display it on air and answer it.

Tim stressed that you should repurpose your video content.

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