Live from #SMX East: Video Search Success Stories

By Sarah Lokitis | Sep 15, 2011
More Articles by Sarah


It’s already day 3 of SMX East 2011. I’ve had a great time and learned a lot, but the learning is not over yet! I am all set for Video Search Success Stories with Kristjan Hauksson, Arnie Kuenn, Jeff Martin and Manny Rivas. YouTube is an important search channel and providing rich material for users is a great way to engage, go viral and improve content on your site.

Jeff Martin, Director of Search Martin TouchStorm, speaks first about YouTube Keyword Research.

When people watch videos on YouTube, they don’t just watch one. (Have you ever watched just one??) They get caught up in related video watching after their initial YouTube search and watch buckets!

It’s important to have good keywords to show up with related videos, in the YouTube search results and then in the Google/Bing blended results. You have to win YouTube before you can win organic.

Where not to go for Keyword Research:

  • YouTube’s keyword targeting tool  – there is not enough data
  • Your typical tools because organic search is different than video search
  • Need to discover QDV (Query Deserves Video)

Looking at YouTube suggest vs. Google suggest can help discover video search phrases. In addition, take a look at YouTube Insight snapshot data to see what videos likes yours are already ranking for. These insights are like Google analytics for YouTube. Remember to turn this off for your own videos, but use others that are available for insights.

Search those terms on Bing and Google and see what video results show.

Ranking factors:

  • Specific optimization of the keyword phrase in title and snippet,
  • Age of videos – not just as a factor but as a benchmark for the velocity that videos gain their views and engagement.
  • # of views- as a factor and a means to engagement/sharing.

Engagement ranking factors to look at to evaluate other videos:

  • Total # of likes and dislikes compared to views
  • Like ratio (likes/(likes + dislikes))
  • # of favorites
  • # of comments

Arnie Kuenn, Vertical Measures

Videos are not as hard as you think – make them fun, have an interview, or record a webinar.

Your videos don’t have to cost buckets, but can go viral if you are willing to take a risk. Think: BlendTec

After you have keyword research, idea generation:

  • What is trending on Twitter, Yahoo and MSN
  • Answer sites: Yahoo Answers, Quora, LinkedIn or Facebook – answer their questions
  • Check Digg, StumbleUpon, and Reddit for your industry. What are users engaging with?
  • Check Google Discussions in Search (left side where you can select news or blogs)

Long tail keywords are key!

Manny Rivas, aimClear

Videos, Images, News, Discussions, Places and Shopping are all now competing in search results.

Universal video results have 41% higher CTR than plain text links creating increased discoverability.

There are more places for your video than you might have thought. It’s worth uploading to everywhere you are able. Manny’s study looked at: Google, Bing, Metacafe, Yahoo Video, YouTube, and Daily Motion.

This brings up the issue of duplicate content. Manny suggested that if you do video distribution, go back to optimize those other videos for a wider set of keywords. This could help you capture more of the audience, however it’s not that sophisticated yet.

“What were the results? Did they make me happy? Did they make me sad? Whatever the results, I accepted it.” [image of pregnancy test]

Bing pulls from YouTube almost exclusively; however Daily Motion and Metacafe are small segments what Bing pulls in, so it’s worth the effort to add them there as well.

Ranking in the platforms help rank in Universal SERPs!

Keyword Intent Results:

  • Transactional phrases like “buy it now” do not work.
  • Informational keywords work. “How to” and “tutorials” are great concepts to create video. He mined Google suggest in an alpha pattern (similar to Facebook targeting I mentioned in a previous SMX post)
  • Navigational had an okay presence.

The study concluded “Hacks for…” and “Changing a…” were the most prevalent searches on YouTube.

Kristjan Hauksson, Nordic eMarketing

He used the POST method to identify opportunities: People, Objectives, Strategy, and Technology.

He shared a video promoting Iceland and I was sold. I would like to visit Iceland now. Videos are pretty powerful.

Distribute and promote your video. For a well-made video there could be a direct media impact. The “Inspired by Iceland” video was distributed all over the web and played a major role in influencing their audience.

Focusing on a multichannel approach, they were able to hold visibility for very strong search terms. The video can be part of your branding strategy.

And a couple last points:

Videos embedded on your site increase time on site – anti-Panda tactic is the video is quality.

In the video sitemap you link to the video and the pages that have the video.

It’s best to submit the RSS feed for your channel if you don’t have access to a video sitemap for your page.

Preview images in videos affect CTR: simple, clear pictures that draw attention to the content are valuable. Test what preview image works best – Try out different still frames. In YouTube you can pick from 3 bad still frames.

YouTube: Magnetic Bracelet. They do overlays and promoted videos targeting unique keywords to try to sell a product. Overlay ads on YouTube can direct users off YouTube and to your site.

You can get creative commons files for audio and video tracks to not break copyright when creating your videos.

For more insights on this session, follow #SMX and #31B on Twitter.

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