VIDEO OPTIMIZATION

PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT SINCE 1994

Video Production

Optimize for Video Search Engines

leader animation • HD/4K video production • video post production • video marketing • mobile device videos

BROADCAST YOURSELF

Video has become one of the best tools for optimization because it serves multiple purposes. It helps engage visitors, keeps them on your site longer, and reduces your bounce rate.

One of the best ideas for developing video content is to add instructional or how-to videos. Try keeping them between two to seven minutes in length.

Don't forget the crucial step of tagging your video with the right keywords. Upload your video to popular video sharing sites like YouTube to help get more exposure and increase popularity.

Video is quickly becoming a major factor in Internet marketing and aiding in user engagement. According to comScore's Video Matrix, U.S. Internet users viewed 14.5 billion online videos in March 2009, up 11 percent from February. (Susan Boyle's YouTube videos probably helped with the numbers.) Additionally, watch Hulu's rise because they recently surpassed Yahoo as the third-largest online video site.

YouTube, of course, is still king of the hill with almost six billion videos showed and more than 100 million unique visitors in March. Fox interactive comes in second, but comScore predicts Hulu will surpass them this month.

With Internet video on the rise and the search engines looking more favorably on video content, there's an opportunity to leverage this medium for your SEO efforts. Focus on five steps for optimizing for video search, many which run parallel to traditional SEO best practices:

  • Keyword research
  • Video production
  • Landing pages
  • Distribution and keyword placement
  • Tracking/analytics

Keyword Research
Before producing your video, you should have performed the proper keyword research to identify the top-performing and commonly searched keywords. These should be embedded in your verbal script or commentary of your video.

Some search engines have the capability to convert speech to text and then index the results. These keywords should be infused within the title, description, and even the file name and URL, where possible.

Go for the long tail keywords in this case. More specific keywords are better.

Video Production
The first step in optimizing for video is the video itself. You can either hire Confluence Internet Services Inc. or do it yourself. Your choices range from college students to full-fledged production companies for a more professional video.

As you consider which one to use, think first about your target market audience. Do they need a perfect video, or is semi-pro OK? Videos that are too polished may come across as an advertisement and turn users away. There's something to be said about producing a video that seems more down-to-earth but focused.

So how long should your video be? A good rule of thumb is anywhere from 30 seconds to seven minutes. Again, think about your audience and how much they can handle. You need enough time to get across your point with a call to action, but not too much that you bore them to death. Keep it moving...

Also, consider how to produce a unique video. With so many videos out there, how will yours stand out, be memorable, and cause people to tell their friends about it? What can you do to make your video "Top of Mind" when they think about using a service like yours? You want to be the first thing that comes to their mind, you want to be memorable...

Consider the folks at Will It Blend? To illustrate the power blending things like an iPod or glow sticks. This demonstrates the products behind their blenders, they produce videos that show their product capabilities while also being very viral and entertaining.

Don't get sucked into trying to tell everything you can do for a customer. Focus on "one" subject at a time. Develop a "series" of videos about your services or products.

Have a consistent introduction "leader" with your logo and tag line. These are usually produced in Adobe After Effects in an animation. An ending leader with a call to action can be used also. This will help your branding and your videos will appear as a series of information.

Use a voice-over professional to give it an authoritative feeling. The professional voice-over guy can narrate your video or introduce you so you can add comments.

Landing Pages
Before uploading and distributing your video, decide where you want to direct people who see your video. Suppose your video has a call to action that causes the viewer to want to know more about your product or service. You'll need to designate a "landing page" that will provide that detail. This landing page can be a Facebook page, a blog, a Web site page, or business page in a directory.

Tag that landing page for analytics purposes. This will help you see how many people acted on your video and wanted to learn more.

Once a prospect views your video, they've begun a journey that will ultimately lead them to a mutual goal or a conversion for you. It's your job to lead them one step at a time beginning with engaging them with your video then to your landing page and on to a purchase or other type of conversion.

Microsoft launched Bing, the buzz about Bing is the way it handles video searching. Many people agree that its video searching capabilities are much better than Google's. This is just another indication that video search is growing in importance.

Distribution and Keyword Placement
Some of the most notable video sharing sites are YouTube, MetaCafe, Viddler, Revver, and Vimeo. TubeMogul, however, makes the process of uploading to multiple video sites a simple process.

You'll need to set up the initial accounts on each video sharing site first, of course. They also feature a large number of tracking options that will let you follow your videos wherever they end up.

The video search engines out there are: Blinkx, Google Video, AOL Video, CastTV, VideoSurf, and Bing.

As you upload your video, you'll have the option to add your keyword phrases into the title, description and tags for each site. Here are some guidelines for each:

  • Titles: Your title should be your headline. It should be anywhere from 75 to 120 characters. The lowest common denominator is 75, but some sites will give you more room. Make sure it's readable by humans. Having a list of keywords will appear as being spam. Also, if you want to include your brand name in the title, it should go last.
  • Description: Descriptions should be detailed and should utilize your set of top keywords while still being human readable. You have about 200 characters so you have a little more room for more detail. A good tip is to include your landing page URL as the first thing in your description and be sure to include the "https://" because most of the sites you submit your video to will include your description, which will include the URL. As a bonus, many of the sites will automatically convert the URL into a link.
  • Tags: Again, be as detailed as possible utilizing top keyword phrases. You also need to include your brand, city, and topics.

Tracking/Analytics
Tracking and analytics are always of the highest importance because they provide the statistics that tell you what works and what doesn't. As previously stated, it's important that you tag your landing pages and other pages a visitor might view on their journey to a final goal.

The same basic principles apply for other landing page optimization. Switch out different pages or parts of pages, A/B testing and multivariate testing to shake things up and see if you achieve better results.

Video advertising can be effective for large and small businesses. Try it, test the results, and then modify your plan accordingly. There's still an opportunity to benefit for video search and also for leveraging it for universal search.


Copyright: Legal Issues You Need to Know

Get permission or face the music. That diminutive encircled c symbol © can be a powerful force for you - friendly or frustrating. The people who create copyrighted works that you may want to use in your own productions include performers, composers, movie makers, video, still photographers, writers and artists. To understand the limits of your rights and the rights of others, you should know at least a bit about the copyright law.

What is a Copyright? United States Copyright Law has its origins in the Constitution, which secures exclusive rights to authors for their writings for a limited time. People who create works that we all enjoy and appreciate should be compensated for their talent and hard work. The copyright law, officially known as the Copyright Act, ensures that we all do the right thing: respect the effort, as well as the intellectual property, of others.

The copyright law has been updated over the years to reflect new technology. The updates or revisions to the law expand the definition of "authors" and "writings," among other things. Nowadays, an "author" can still be a writer, but an author can also be the person who creates works that our Founding Fathers could never have envisioned. Here are just a few developments that didn't exist in 1790, when the Copyright Office was established: photographs, sound recordings (from Edison wax cylinders to vinyl LPs to 8-track tapes to audio cassettes to CDs to MP3s), movies, soundtracks, software, and, of course, video productions on tape, laser disc, DVD or streaming Internet video.

Over the years, Congress also expanded the term of copyright enforceability. At the turn of the last century, you could secure copyright protection for 28 years and you could renew it for another 28 years. After that, your work entered the public domain, so anyone could copy or modify your work without your permission. As of 1978, however, law protects your work for 70 years after your demise. Until recently, the term was actually your life plus 50 years, but when Sonny Bono served in the House of Representatives, he helped extend copyright protection for "I Got You Babe" (as well as all other works, of course) for an additional 20 years.

Another major and relatively recent (1978) development in the copyright law provides copyright protection for any completed work. The copyright notice (© + your name + year of creation) was required on all works and it is still recommended, but not mandatory. You are also strongly encouraged to register your work in the Copyright Office, but that action is also not required, unless you intend to enforce your rights in court. For information about copyright registration, access the Library of Congress and the Copyright Office Web site www.lcweb.loc.gov/copyright or contact an intellectual property attorney

There's a whole lot of confusion surrounding copyrights and the use of music in videos.

Here are straight answers to the most common questions. If a mention of the word "copyright" causes you to squirm uncomfortably, images of nasty courtroom battles and huge fines bouncing through your head, you're not alone. For many, copyright law is like an incomprehensible stew of politics, high finance and legalese. Don't use any photo, music or other copyrighted material you don't have permission to use or have not paid a royalty fee for.


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