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• Thursday, June 04th, 2009

Are you struggling to rank well in a competitive industry?

I know,  I know. Who isn’t?  Video can help.

I’ll assume you have completed an SEO site audit looking for ways to improve your on-site optimization and are seeking out quality back-links to improve your off-site presence.  If not, well, video can still help – but you REALLY need to make sure you do these steps too.
video-cam-and-clapper
Video has long been known to rank well in the search engines, and thanks to universal search its done even better in the last year or so.  If you are not familiar with universal search, in a nutshell it means that Google (or the other top engines) search all of their indexes for possible results to your query and return the top entries for web, news, video, images and local on one page.  Getting your content returned by more than one of these indexes GREATLY increases the likelihood of your link(s) being clicked. Web video is one of the easiest to create and get indexed.

How do I get my web video ranked?

In the “olden days” of web video, all you could do was give your video a great title (with your desired keywords included of course), fill the description with keyword rich, user friendly content, post it to YouTube and hope for the best…and lots of viewers.  Thankfully, that’s not the case any more.  A few years ago when the music industry was getting all worked up about it’s music and videos being uploaded illegally, the engineers at YouTube (who is owned by Google by the way) created an algorithm that analyzes the music in uploaded videos to determine if it’s copyrighted or not.  After that, it was almost simple for Google’s geeks to create a process to extract the voices in a video and analyze it’s content.  What that means is the engines actually LISTEN to your video with some nifty audio-to-text tools and try to figure out what it’s all about.  They essentially treat the words in your video like content on a web page.  WOW!  That is powerful stuff.  I recently saw an example of a (poorly done) YouTube video that had a good title, an iffy description, very good narration, and had only been viewed 79 times.  However, a search for it’s main subject put it third on Google.  Makes you want to get some video up quick, doesn’t it?

What camera should I use to create web video?

What camera do you already own?  Use that one.

Technology has come a long way in the last few years.  Not long ago if you wanted to create your own videos you had to either record to tape and manually capture to your computer; a long, slow task.  Or, spend big money to record directly to a hard drive or other digital format.  Now digital video recorders are a dime-a-dozen.  Everything from “real” video cameras, to cell phones and web cams have the ability to record to digital file.  Many even allow you to upload directly to YouTube, though I don’t recommend that for your business related videos.  Before you buy a new camera, make sure it saves video in a format your software can recognize.

I wont get into the ins & out of creating video, but here few a few tips to help get you started;  Make sure your subjects are well lit, Be sure to include contact info at beginning & end, and since you want the engines to “listen”, make sure your audio is crisp & clear without a lot of background noise.  Of course,  be sure your audio is keyword rich, without being spammy.  Remember that what’s good good for the reader (or viewer in this case) is great for the engines.

How do I create web video?

I’m no Spielberg, and don’t have a big budget…

Not to worry, video is easy – seriously.  If you purchased a new computer in the last 3 or 4 years you probably have a basic video editing program already installed.  Microsoft has “Windows Movie Maker” and Apple has “iMovie”.  Both are reasonably intuitive and can step you through creating an acceptable final product.  With practice, you can create some really good videos.

Are you camera shy? No worries.  Just create a snazzy PowerPoint presentation with a voice over and use one of the many available tools to convert it to video.  This is how the video I mentioned earlier was created.  It probably won’t go viral, but if your goal is index rankings and not link building, that’s not an issue.  Of course, viral would be a nice bonus.

Once you have your finished video, save it to the best quality your software allows, then upload to YouTube.  The YouTube search does not use the audio so you still need to pay attention to the title, description and tagging.  Hopefully this is not new information, but make sure your YouTube profile includes a link to your site.

Is web video that simple?

YES!  Of course I have simplified the process of creating good, quality video, but you now have enough information to get started on your first project – what will it be?  Let me know how it goes and what it does for your rankings.

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5 Responses

  1. 1
    Dan Stratford  //

    Jack,

    In your opinion, how does adding video to a website increase the ranking of the site it is on? My sense is that video in some ways like any other content on a site in that it appears as content on the site, and can contribute to the overall quantity, quality and freshness of the site content.

    In your opinion-Does adding video to your site work better than just adding well written content? (Of course, one should do both)

    Thank you in advance for your reply.

  2. 2
    Jack Leblond  //

    Dan – embedding video on your site that is actually hosted at YouTube provides a double benefit. By having the great content & structure of your site surrounding the video, it implies relevance to the video. Relevance helps Google decide what is or is not important. By having it hosted at YouTube it allows the engines to listen to the audio and gather more information. With luck, it’s possible to have both the video at YouTube and the content page on your site be displayed in the same search results – that tells searchers your content is probably what they want.

    Good luck – and thanks for stopping by!

  3. 3
    Dan Stratford  //

    Thank you Jack-I also found this interesting article on a site that I have nothing to do with: http://www.stonetemple.com/articles/video-search-optimization.shtml

    What they are saying seems to be sound advice, but would like to get your feedback on it.

    Thanks again for your feedback.

    Would love to be connected with you on Linked in, Facebook and follow each other on Twitter. My Twitter ID is danstratford. I will look you up on Linked In and Facebook and ask to be connected-cool?

  4. 4
    Jack Leblond  //

    That was great advice when the article was written, which appears to have been in 2007.

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