YouTube Revealed! Emerging SEO Tactics & Insight

It’s common knowledge among SEOs (and on earth) that YouTube is MASSIVE in terms of now and future search. Yet many are unfamiliar with proper optimization & engagement tactics and techniques, especially use of  “Insight,” YouTube’s hidden analytic gem.

This SES San Jose 2009 session, “Next Wave for Online Video” revealed hot emerging tactics and illuminated exciting opportunities for marketers to exploit the world’s #2 search engine. 

Moderator Andrew Goodman of Page Zero Media allowed the Rock Star of online video optimization, Gregory Markel, president and founder of Infuse Creative, to take the podium first. The seriously-prepped and extremely knowledgeable Markel breezed through 30 slides in 15 minutes, so hold on to your hats.

Video Optimization

Markel laid out crucial keys to successful video optimization:

  • Research your competition then “meet them and beat them”
  • Look at the sites that link to them –this is a good base to finding site that will link to YOU
  • Include call to action EARLY –”nobody makes it to the end of the video”
  • Add “subscribe” “favorite” and “rate” call to actions early
  • Post “video responses” on the most popular and relevant videos on YouTube that day
  • Add comments prompting people to watch your video on popular related videos
  • Post videos on Thursdays and Fridays- weekends are the heaviest YouTube traffic days
  • Use Social Media to post links/embed to get the word out
  • Submit to multiple video sites and link to YouTube
  • Link your videos together
  • Create a playlist
  • Monitor Insights
  • Use YouTube direct sales (if you have $2-300,000 in your pocket)

It is also important to provide a compelling title and lead with your most valuable and relevant keywords . Discover these through the YouTube promoted video keyword suggestion tool or the predictive keyword entry in YouTube’s search bar.  You may also be inclined to use the Wonder Wheel to find related concepts but as a good SEO Markel reminded- DON’T SPAM if it doesn’t fit Google will figure it out and you will be reprimanded.

Be Seen and Heard

Now how are you going to achieve the kind of viewership and links you need? David Burch, Director of Marketing at TubeMogul, stated 45.13% of all views come from direct navigation from YouTube searches. An easy way to immediately boost visibility is YouTube paid search, this gets the ball rolling, said Markel. Once your video has had a few days in the search spotlight, let the popularity of the video take care of the organic search.

Fresh, Crisp Videos

Burch also impressed the importance of freshness for videos. TubeMogul’s analytics showed a video’s popularity peaks on day four, therefore it is important to have a constant cycle of fresh videos.

He used the night and day comparison of the Obama and McCain campaigns. At the end of the election, Obama had about 2,000 videos, when one video was dying another fresh one was peaking- exactly what you want. Contrast that to McCain’s campaign- he only had about 350-400videos- a wallflower compared to Obama’s videos.

YouTube is Kind of a Big Deal

Erin Bouchier, Business Lead for Google and YouTube Advertising identified why videos are critical to businesses today- its where consumers are. Period. If YouTube, the fastest growing medium in the history of the world, is where consumers are- that’s where you, as a company, should be too.

Using YouTube Insights is also a great way to identify pockets of consumers you may have missed. Bouchier gave the example of Weezer, the geek rock band who posted videos of their recording process for their upcoming album. Surprisingly, the video got hot- even more surprising the community that heated it up were tech blogs. Who’da thunk? Not Weezer or their marketing but the fans were there. And you can be damn sure they used that information to hawk their new album.

Shaping the Future of Video

But where is video going- what’s the point in these industry titans telling us where we are when SEOs can look around and see that themselves?

Mark Robertson, founder of ReelSEO, identified the recent news which will shape video as FireFox 3.5 launching with HTML5 and Google’s acquisition of On2 Technology.

Possibly the most exciting and high-tech change will be recognition technologies which will allow search engines to “read” video content.

The panelists trumpeted the importance and critical role mobile will play in the future of online video. Not only will videos become accessable on your smart phones- they’ll be better. The panel agreed the quality of videos will increase and online professional content will skyrocket allowing advertisers to become even more sophisticated in targeting the right audience.

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