Friday, January 05, 2007

Optimizing Video Content on the Web

Before we talk more about list building - a quick aside re Video on the web.

Some say it's the next big thing while others scoff. Well... all I know is video took from an idea about sharing party photos into a $1.65 billion sale to Google.  And have you seen all the TV commercials AOL is running for it's video engine? They are spending major marketing dollars to acquire stie traffic and indexed videos but... is it worthwhile for your site?

Hmmmm.... perhaps if you could optimize these videos for the search engines then it would be worth doing, right?

Wait a second... you can.

"Video search" is new and for the proper aesthetic it's extremely expensive. The problem is it's dependent on the viewer's browsers and ISP that it's viewed on, as such it can still be slow and garbled.  Nonetheless, there are so called "Video search engines" that you can use for indexing/ranking/acquiring traffic just like the traditional content search engines.

Each of the popular video engines are different and have different requirements for indexing. Learn the rules... and submit. Your ranking and success will be dictated by your familiarity.  Just like the traditional search engines you must keep up with the changes. Remain dynamic in your approach. A static strategy is a waste of your resources.

What are the best "video engines?"

Yahoo Video,, AOL Video, Google Video and

Are you interested? Then jump in now... before everyone else does. Be first in your niche to own the video search terms on the engines.

Here are some best practices tips:

Name your video files as you would landing pages and optimize with keywords. Use keywords in the titles and descriptions.

Optimize the content on the web page that launches your video. For example... the keyword "Financial Video" - optimize for it.  

Don't forget to use your RSS feed.

Since the competition is few, you can really own the niche within your niche.  Get "grandfathered" in now on all your themes and keywords.

In addition to optimizing each individual video, make sure to optimize them all in a "video site map."

With a video site map you can get indexed in both the video and content engines. Heck you can own the term "Video Site Map"... why not?

Do whatever you can to show off that you have videos on multiple subjects. A site map will help your rank for the videos as it does with your content.

Publish your video with a keyword rich abstract and I suggest publishing it along side an optimized transcript. This will allow your landing page to capture more spider attention, and you'll increase the odds to beat the competition to the index, both video and content.

What about paid search for video?

Do it.  (or rather, test it) Again... what works with content works with video.

It can be a fast and effective way show the engines and the public that you are a valuable resource. A value driven site for the spoken word as well as the written.

Paid search can be most effective for news oriented sites. It will allow your site to enter the ever competitive news cycle... and compete with the big boys. Your PPC offering can be posted for searchers less than 24 hours. This is access to more impressions then some cable news networks can achieve. That's good business, eh?

I've heard rumors  that more people searching for 'video' than for 'news' '.... interesting. I'd like to believe it. But I can't substantiate it. But I can tell you that more and more videos are showing up in regular search results. And if you have invested in video technology - that is a good thing, eh?

What about Protection? Always important...

Watermark and/or brand your content. You want it to go viral but what good is that if no one knows who made the video, who the commentators are, or what the brand is.

Can you use video to bring in names? Why not?

Make sure that you push the sign up to your eletter in the video and on the landing page.  Also remember to push your eletter in the video site map.  As I've said many times... when building a site you should have every page lead to an eletter sign up.  So why would video be different?

It shouldn't be.

Also don't forget to include a call to action...  "sign up here", "send to a friend," or "visit this site"  They won't come if you don't ask... and if you don't give them a benefit for visiting, right?

Now... where is that special report I was going to give away for free?  (use it to get them to sign up)

But can we make any money with video?  Hmmm...

Well, if you collect names you are collecting future money right?  But make money up front? Yikes... I don't think that is wise.

Stick with the free business model... give away valuable content, build a relationship. (Lather, rinse, repeat)

Did you know in Direct Mail most would agree that a picture of the author generally increases conversion?  It puts a face on the publication, builds trust and credibility.  Well just imagine what video does!

Unless, of course, you can't speak intelligently and you come off like a buffoon. AND if that is the case, I assume you've stopped reading long ago.

So call the engines, build a relationship with them, learn the rules, and submit your video. The engines want your content... make it valuable and be indexed.