Using video SEO to get online video discovered: a video commerce perspective

Earlier today, I finally got a chance to watch a presentation co-delivered by ReelSEO Founder Mark Robertson on the subject of video SEO.  The presentation was originally delivered on July 30, 2009, and I’m sorry I missed it.  The amount of relevant, insightful information pertaining to the state of video and SEO you’ll find here is the single best amalgamation I’ve seen on the topic to date.  Browse the PPT below, and follow on with commentary as the findings pertain specifically to the video commerce industry:

– Search engines today still rely primarily on video metadata to classify and display videos in search results. This means that if you are trying to have your video featured in organic search results, it’s important both to make sure that text on the page is relevant to the video, and to make sure the metadata within the video file itself is relevant to the video. Automated technologies do exist to perform speech to text translation, but transcription efforts often involve considerable human effort even when automated technologies are used.  Importantly for retailers, videos that search engines find shouldn’t be focused on video ‘for the sake of video.’  Ensure contextual and in-video links (overlays, hotspots, etc) are directing that search traffic to your site.

– In an 06/08 study from JupiterResearch, 54% of online consumers reported using YouTube to discover video.  In June 2009, comScore released a study showing there were 3.6 billion search queries made on YouTube, accounting for a staggering 27% of all Google queries.  These results highlight YouTube’s continued prominence as a video destination and potential as an advertising platform for online retailers.  What the study did not illustrate (at least in this webinar) were the demographics of searchers on YouTube and the types of video content searched on YouTube.  Most online retailers I engage with are still struggling to generate an ROI from YouTube videos or YouTube branded channels.

– Traffic from videos appearing in Universal search results over Google was (is?) rapidly increasing.  According to a Jan 2008 comScore study, 38% of users who searched Google were served video in Universal search engine results pages.  This highlights the importance of using SEO best practices to aid in video discoverability over Google, and, importantly for retailers, ensuring that any discovered videos are either on the product page, or linked directly to the product page or other site page.

– Top 10 things that you can do to improve your video SEO: 1) Create linked to the video section on your web site (assuming you have one) 2) One video per URL & use unique URLs with permalink keywords, 3) Use embedded players where possible (there is a tradeoff here w/regard to mgmt ease vs. SEO potential here in using embedded players v. Javascript), 4) Optimize video landing pages, 5) Provide context to surround video content, 6) Enable and expose MRSS feeds and allow users to download videos where possible (additional SEO benefit), 7) Enable interaction and social media e.g. social bookmarking, embedding, commenting & rating, 8) Link to videos with rich keyword anchor text, 9) Create compelling thumbnails for your own SERPS, 10) Incorporate video results within your own site search

Hopefully this is good information for everyone.  Thanks Mark, and to everyone else…

Happy Selling!