As we all know SEO is hard work (even harder if you’re not using tools like Traffic Travis) so us being humans we naturally are drawn to the path of least resistance and avoid work like the plague (and clichés if we can help it).
So it’s with great interest I came across a story from Brad Fallon (co-founder of StomperNet) who mentioned Google’s “Universal Search” initiative, which allows all Google-owned properties to be searched at any given moment.
What does this mean?
- When choosing between a finely tuned website and a YouTube video, Google search is much more likely to choose the video — fifty times more likely, says Forrester Research.
- The old days of the “viral video” are gone. Search engines, particularly Google, are the future.
- At this stage of the game, videos need YouTube. Without it, your video is much less likely to be picked up by the main search engine.
Great! It seems like you can leapfrog your SERP results by piggy-backing on YouTube with your own set of promotional clips.
And Brad isn’t the only one saying this. An article that appeared just days ago on BusinessWeek says the same thing, stating that online videos are 53 times more likely to appear on the front page of search results than regular pages. The article also mentioned that Video SEO will be a primary focus for many online businesses in 2009.
Another source, Seobook.com, claims that YouTube pages are "promoted externally and internally and algorithmically favored" by Google.
So is this the silver bullet you’ve been looking for to catapult your little-known site to the famed first page of Google’s search results? As much as we would all love that, and be able to avoid the SEO slog we currently do, it’s not that easy.
As you know, videos can’t be whipped up in minutes, even though the professionals make it look easy. They are labour-intensive, often frustrating and require a skill-set that you may not currently possess. Or maybe you just don't like being in front of a camera.
But if you already have videos (either ones you’ve produced yourself or someone else has done) then what can you do to leverage the SEO boost that can come from getting your videos online?
First, when optimising a video for keyterms, make sure relevant keyterms are used in the video titles, descriptions, tags, keyterms and even the video file name.
- Video Title - The video title, like with web pages, is the most important aspect of search engine optimisation because it defines the entire media and the page it is housed on. Links to the video page throughout YouTube will include the title text and inbound links, if they are built, should also represent the title.
- Video Description - Think of the video description as an effective compliment to the title tags in video SEO. Make sure that the description actually describes the video and also uses specific terms you want to rank for.
- Video Tags - Think of the ability to tag videos when uploading to YouTube or other video sharing sites as a powerful version of the meta keyword tag in traditional SEO. However, like Flickr and Delicious, these tags serve as navigational and categorising tools which define not only the video, but the groups it is related to.
Tags also help the videos appear under the related videos sections of other works on YouTube, so this even makes them more valuable as YouTube will suggest the video after and during the viewing of other related works.
- Uploading Videos - Use a tool such as TubeMogul for uploading videos.
TubeMogul provides a quick access to quite a number of well known video hosting services, including MySpace, Yahoo!, Howcast, Viddler, Crackle, Revver, Dailymotion, YouTube and others.
- Create a Personality – It’s more likely you’ll get followers (subscribers) to your YouTube channel if you build a rapport with your audience. Think about your target market and appeal to their wants, needs or sense of humour. You don’t need the charm of george Clooney to win fans – just be passionate and enthusiastic about your subject and the rest will take care of itself.
So there’s a few tips to get you started. Maybe it’s time to review your video SEO strategy and start down that road. As with any SEO initiative, it’s better to start sooner rather than later. If you don’t currently have a video strategy, let us know what’s stopping you – add your comments!