Notes From SES NY: Video Search Engine Optimization Tips

Video content has become increasingly popular in the last year, highlighted by the popularity of video search engines like YouTube and Yahoo Video. Each of the panelists at the first session on Tuesday offered great collaborative information on Video Search Engine Optimization.

Key Takeaways:

  • Make certain to accurately and effectively include the appropriate metadata (Titles, Tags etc) when describing your video content.
  • If you are hosting your video on your own website, make certain to use an HTML template around your video(s), so that you can take advantage of traditional SEO related strategies for content and keyword relevance. I am pretty certain someone recommended the inclusion of teaser descriptive text so that the visitor knows a bit about what they are going to view as well.
  • Create a sub-directory (a la www.domain.com/video) which represents a specific location for all of your video content. At least a couple of the presenters also added the notion of separate video sitemaps (end user and search engine specific).
  • Make certain to incorporate an RSS subscription specific to video content.
  • It seems obvious in hindsight, but Gregory Markel of Infuse Creative made a great point about getting your “Call-to-Action”, or at least your brand listed at the end of your videos (IE – go to www.domain.com; email “” for details, etc).

Notes from the Presenters:
Sherwood Stranieri of Catalyst presented a background on video search and the integration into mainstream search engine results – I personally thought the specific examples of video search results in traditional search engine rankings were a good way to begin the session.

Eric Papczun of Performics, provided a nice overview of specific search engine optimization tips associated with video SEO. His recommendation related to incorporating a PPC strategy with video-specific landing pages made a lot of sense when tying video search engine optimization back to traditional marketing strategy.

Gregory Markel of Infuse Creative had a lot of similar information as the others, but added more off-presentation material, especially in relation to bringing the user back to the website for conversion purposes. One example was in having watermarks or logos present in the video – both for marketing and brand protection. He also talked about going back to basic keyword research when making assessments on what topics and themes of content made the most sense when looking at new video opportunities in search.

Additional Thoughts and Resources
Here are some additional pointers on video search engine optimization that were realized during the Q/A:

  • Users will rarely stay on your video for long – so make certain to keep your messages short and concise. I believe I heard an average of 3 – 10 minute long videos.
  • Have a good microphone. I talked with a couple people after the session – who were musicians on the side – and they agreed that the audio quality can often be overlooked.
  • When dealing with a large volume of video content, treat your organization strategy in similar fashion as you would treat a traditional content organizational strategy. Break out sections of video content by theme and subject and create a similar sitemap structure as well.
  • It wasn’t explicitly discussed, but the quality of the video can be important, especially when considering usability. YouTube actually compresses your video, so if it is poor quality to begin with, you may not even have a modestly acceptable user experience once the video is in production.

Some resources that the presenters included from their slides:

Video Submission Opportunities:

Video Search Engine Optimization Resources:


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