YouTube and Video Optimization: SES Chicago Preview

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greg-jarboeListen to my interview with Greg Jarboe, Video SEO expert and author of “YouTube Marketing – an Hour a Day,” who will be speaking on YouTube and video optimization at the Search Engine Strategies conference on December 7th, 2009, at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Chicago. Greg shares some special insights on how you can make the case to your company and clients on online video being crucial in today’s marketplace.

The following is an excerpt of my interview with Greg Jarboe. You can hear the entire interview by clicking the play button icon at the bottom of this page.

Why is online video marketing crucial in today’s marketplace?

There are more videos watched a month, than there are searches conducted on all of the search engines. Today, everyone has got it sort of figured out that in terms of SEM or SEO, they’ve got to do it. What they totally miss is while that’s huge, and essential… video is even bigger.

What do we mean by “video optimization?”

Video optimization is one of the first steps to being successful at what I’m going to call, “video marketing.” The first step is this: you have to get discovered. Now that’s hard, because there’s more than 20 hours of new video uploaded every minute. Life would be easy if you had no competition, but there’s a ton of competition. So the first step is to do some keyword research – make sure that those relevant terms are in your title and summary and/or description, and in your tags. Because if you aren’t found, nothing else good can happen.

But that’s not enough. If you make your video a live-or-die situation with just the number of searches, you’re missing the lion’s share of the views that are out there. Those views come when the people who’ve seen your video, then decide to share it with their friends. So if you’re content is lame, why would anyone want to share it? If nobody would want to embed it in a blog, how are you going to get the extra views from it being embedded there? So you see, there’s more to video marketing than just optimizing video. There’s community outreach, there’s blog outreach, there’s good content that’s going to go viral – not boring content. So there are other elements, but video optimization is the first step.

What is the special opportunity that YouTube has with video optimization?

The good news is, particularly for people coming to SES will find out, that many of the steps around video SEO are going to be familiar . The radical difference is that instead of using a keyword tool, for example, to find out whether the search terms are conducted on Google…  you want to use a different keyword tool to find out what are the search terms on YouTube. It’s so obvious when you look at it after the fact. But at first people will say, but isn’t a search term a search term a search term? And the answer is, no.

The best example I can give you is, if I were to go to Google, I might be looking for the term, “Steve Balmer video.” But if I’m going to YouTube, I’m just going to be looking for “Steve Balmer.” There’s no reason for me to add the word “video” there when I’m at YouTube; it’s just going to be assumed. When you get through that, then the rest of the steps fall into place.

What preview can you give to our audience who will be attending your presentation at SES Chicago?

I’m trying to make it as step-by-step, and as practical as possible. I think what SES prides itself on is that it provides people with actionable insights. You can sit through a session, and at the end of it, you should be able to go back to your office and do this stuff yourself. However in addition to that, you’re going to have to do more. That’s because particularly with YouTube, there’s a lot of popular myths out there as to what it is and how it works; and I’ve got to dispel some of those myths. I compare the challenge that I’m facing as the one that Columbus faced: Training his crew to sail West wasn’t the hard part. Explaining to Queen Izabella and King Ferdinand why sailing West wasn’t going to have him fall off the edge of the world – that was the hard part. So I’ve got to sort of mix the two. I’ve got to mix a little bit of why along with an awful lot of how.

What do you typically hear from people about YouTube video optimization? Are there certain assumptions that are still being made that you need to correct them on?

I think people almost seem to have missed the memo that YouTube at Google Video’s lunch, which is why Google ended up paying $1.6 billion to acquire YouTube. So they’re still thinking that video optimization is all about optimizing the video that you put on your website. And it comes as sort of a stunning surprise that, excuse me – YouTube doesn’t crawl websites! If you put your video on your website, you’re putting it there to be found by Google Video not YouTube. According to comScore, with the latest table that was just out in October 2009, there are 99 times more videos viewed on YouTube, than there are viewed in Google Video. So if you’ve optimized your video just for your website, you’re optimizing for the round-off area – that’s not where the market is! You’ve got to upload your video to YouTube if you’re going to have a shot of getting some of the monster views that a whole lot of videos are getting these days.

How do you deal with those companies that dismiss YouTube as just consumer entertainment, rather than meriting a serious business strategy? They may be thinking, “we don’t want our professional videos being shown next to a monkey on a surfboard,” or something else that might make their own brand look questionable.

What I like to show people on YouTube are the popular channels.  The #1 channel on YouTube is from Universal Music Group. Music videos are very popular, and none of those videos are amateur work; they’re all professionally produced. The #2 channel on YouTube is Expert Village; and that’s a “how-to” video site. So, there are a whole lot of very successful people in the YouTube space who aren’t amateurs, and who aren’t just doing funny videos. Now if you last looked at YouTube video just 3 years ago back in 2006, then yeah, it was mostly amateur. But you need to take a look at YouTube again; its’ getting a billion views a day! That’s too big to ignore; and when you look at the content, its just too diverse to pidgeonhole.

What can people who attend your presentation at SES Chicago expect to come away with?

They’re going to be able to do two things: They’re going to be able to optimize their own videos. When they upload a video, they’re going to know all of the right steps. But more importantly, they’re going to come away with the second thing: They’re going to have a lot of colleagues in their organization who are going to have questions like, why are you doing this? What’s the big deal? And we’re going to try and provide them with answers to those questions, too. So as I mentioned earlier: A whole lot of “how,” a little bit of “why,” and at the end of the hour, hopefully people will benefit from both.

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT OFFER: Now through December 7th, ReelSEO readers will receive 15% off the registration fee. For more information on the conference, including the panels, speakers and expos, check out the SES Chicago conference agenda.


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