Benjamin Wayne, CEO of Fliqz (Service which enables you to upload, stream, track, and monetize your video content) knows a lot about using video for business. I asked him to share his thoughts with us in this case post.
Bettina Hein, CEO and founder of Pixability also shares her insight in how small businesses, with little budget can start to create their own video.
Small business marketers have long been aware of the power of search engine optimization, the convoluted and often mysterious art of tuning pages to make them score better against Google’s complex and closely-hidden indexing algorithms, in order to rank higher in Google’s natural search results. This multi-billion dollar industry, oft-characterized by more art and black magic than science, involves tuning page text and meta-data, implementing complex linking strategies, and engaging in other complex tweaks, tunes and manipulations with the goal of achieving the ultimate Shangri-La: a first page, or even #1 Google ranking.
When it works, it truly is magical – an opportunity for sites to create a river of new search traffic without paying a dime for search engine marketing. And in 2009, publishers spent billions of dollars vying for those number one positions. But SEO takes time – months at least – and it’s almost impossible to pinpoint which of the myriad of changes actually drove the coveted ranking. SEO consultants may charge thousands of dollars to optimize against a single set of keywords or to tune a single page, and even the experts have a hard time getting it right.
For the first time, there’s a method of producing first-page Google results that is quick, reliable, straight-forward, easy to measure, and cost-effective to implement. In fact, Forrester Research said that this method is 53 times more likely to produce a first-page search result than traditional SEO.
What’s the secret?
It’s Video SEO, and it’s changing everything. In fact, at this point, if you don’t have a Video SEO strategy, you don’t really have an SEO strategy.
So, how do you take advantage of this opportunity to use your videos to attain the ever-elusive first page Google ranking?
Get the guidelines. Today, almost all search engines will allow sites to submit video content in the form of an XML feed. However, serialization of the feed is unique to each engine, and not all guidelines are published. Be sure to contact each individual search engine you are targeting for specific guidelines on submission, as published guidelines are often outdated or inaccurate. Some sites may have specific guidelines on feed size or pagination which will also need to be followed if all videos are to appear.
Choose a title with zing. In creating an XML feed, search engines give disproportionate weighting to the title of the video, and ignore most other metadata associated with the feed. As a result, your title should be
Submit the video, but also the page. Many sites submit the pages on which videos are displayed, but fail to submit the videos themselves. Other sites submit the videos, but forget to index the pages. For best results, you should submit a permalink sitemap which mirrors your video XML feed. Title tags on the permalink pages should be identical to the video title to achieve the highest page rank scoring.
Consider hiring a professional. Search engine submission for video can be a complex and rapidly-changing process, and many sites may wish to turn to their video platform provider to assist them in achieving maximum results. This doesn’t have to break the bank and can be done for a few hundred dollars a month. In doing so, they should be careful to ask the following questions:
- Will you index both my video permalink pages and the videos themselves?
- Will links point back to my site, or will they drive traffic to pages hosted by the video platform provider?
- How often will feeds be updated?
- In which search engines will my results appear?
- How will I be able to track click-through and ROI?
We’ve seen that video increases your search rank. But it seems so daunting to create a video, right?
It shouldn’t be.
Gone are the days when you have to spend $10,000+ on a video for crew, director, studio, etc. Making online video doesn’t have to be hard, nor does it have to look amateurish.
If you follow these 5 basic steps, you can easily shoot a video that shines:
- Get an easy-to-use video camera: Spend $100 to $200 on a simple video camera. The Flip is best and Kodak’s Zi8 works well, too.
- Think: Understand your audience. What are your best customers interested in? Create content that they will love to watch. Take 10 minutes to write down your shot list. Don’t over-think it, though – web videos need to be authentic.
- Turn on all the lights: Good light is essential for professional-looking video. If you are shooting inside, turn on all available artificial light. Never shoot anyone with his or her back to a window.
- Hold still: Whenever you turn the camera on, count to 10 in your head and don’t move the camera during those 10 seconds. Then turn off the camera, move on to your next shot and repeat. No panning allowed!
- Edit: Use simple editing software like iMovie to create a short (max. 3 minute) video. Use royalty-free music to tie it together. Get some professional help here if you need to.