Up Close With YouTube

One last session before the end of day one. [Your wrists will be happy to hear that! –Virginia] Chris Sherman, Search Engine Land, moderates this video search panel. Speakers Drew Hubbard, The Search Agency, Matt Liu, YouTube, Google Inc., Jonathan Mendez, RAMP Digital, and JC Longbottom, Performics, will keep it interesting so that no one is tempted to run off early.

Matt Liu is up first. He’s going to teach us how to get more people to watch our video. Excellent. Every minute, 15 hours of video are uploaded. YouTube is the fourth largest Web property and the second largest search engine.

Basics to improve video ranking:

  • Title, Description, Tags: accurate and descriptive, concise.
  • Descriptions should be complete sentences and unique, lots of detail, time, date, location.
  • Tag: “Include thorough descriptive keyword tags”and avoid keyword stuffing because they will penalize for it.

Community opinion:

  • Share videos with members of the community.
  • Experiment with annotations, video responses and thumbnails.
  • Avoid spamming video of other users or rating your own videos.


Embed videos on Web sites to make your videos more discoverable and easier to find on the web. They look at that as links, just like Google.

Insight – Analytics to Understand Audience

YouTube Insight gives you stats on your video. How it was discovered, what keywords were used, how your advertising (if any) worked out. Demographics data is provided as well.

Case Study: Weezer Pork and Beans

They found they had males watching in Silicon Valley who were TechCrunch readers. This enabled them to buy advertising on those sites when they did their next project.

Sponsored videos: Only US and English only. He mentions a couple of case studies where sponsored video had a great return.

JC Longbottom is adorable and from Performics. One of those is relevant. He’s taking over for Eric Papczun. He says that luckily the PowerPoint presentation has a MacGuyver theme so he’s going to MacGuyver his speech. I think I’m in love.

He shows a couple Super Bowl ads, just the usual. Then shows the MacGruber Pepsi ads which are A-MAZING. The real story is the online glory.

YouTube is a tremendous opportunity. It shows up in natural results and you get great traffic. The Pepsuber campaign was first marketed through the sponsored ads — PepsiCo also advertised their related products on those keywords. Synergy! People were searching for a made up word, which made it even more likely to show up.

The most interesting thing was on their branded channel page. They pushed interactivity. They allowed people to make their own ads and let others vote and comment. They gave people many ways to share the content as well, not just the video but the whole page. From there, they led people to their own page, outside of YouTube.com that gave even more engagement.

Missed opportunity: Denny’s Free Grand Slam

People went and searched for free breakfasts. They actually managed to crash Denny’s Web site as a result. However, they didn’t optimize it very well and they didn’t create deeper engagement. It could have been better utilized.

Drew Hubbard is up next with some actionable stuff. Hurrah! He created a channel for this: SMX West 2009 on YouTube.

There are two opportunities for a hyperlink. One is to the site’s domain and the other allows for a deep link in the description.

He repeats that you need keywords in your Title, Description and other tags. But keywords should also be in the title of your channel and in the keywords of your channel. You have a branding opportunity in your profile pic. Enable everything and allow people to participate and interact.

Use the word video in your title. People use it in their searches.

The description can include a hyperlink to a specific page: Put this first so that the viewer doesn’t have to click “more”.

YouTube pulls stills at the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 mark. Those are your thumbnails. Put something interesting there. It makes a HUGE difference.

The HTML Meta data is pulled from the Title, Description and tags for the video.

Google, for all practical purposes, doesn’t see the video on the page. You need to have content that supports the video.

Use the caption and subtitles features. Make sure that you watermark your video, especially if you’re allowing embedding.

Use the Google Maps integration, particularly for real estate and other local search.

Jonathan Mendez steps up to bring it all together. He says that his nephew immediately goes to YouTube for information, not even Google. The President of the United States now has a YouTube channel. It’s really game-changing now.

YouTube Live: the peak was 700k views. 24 hour later it was 1.5 million. 2 months later it was 17 million views. By comparison Monday Night Football averages 11.8 million viewers a night. He speculates that in 6 years when the MNF contract comes up, it won’t be that out of line for YouTube to bid.

The metrics available are better than Nielsen’s. They can target so much better.

How do you build demand generation and awareness using video? Blendtec can tell you.

He goes through a case study featuring Gary Busey. His client wanted to sell to entrepreneurs. How this connects to Gary Busey… well, people watched. People picked up the Gary Busey story, John Mayer blogged about it and it took off.

Get the ball rolling.

He says that “The value of the Web is more in distribution and the delivery of content than the content itself.”

50 people became customers as a result.

Success begins and ends with great content. Great content is a sustainable asset. Leverage distribution and measurement features.


What do you use to publish to YouTube?

Drew: TubeMogul but… I think it kind of sucks. [No one else seems to know.] Anyone else have one?

Can you submit your video to Google to show up in blended results or does it have to be on YouTube?

Matt: It’s just because YouTube is that largest right now. You don’t have to be on YouTube to show up.

Drew: I’ve definitely noticed more sites showing up in the last four months.

For Google, what makes the videos show up in whatever position on Universal Search? What’s the effect on the other search results?

Matt: I can’t really comment but we’re basically trying to make it a good user experience.

Jonathan: Gord at Enquiro has some really interesting eyetracking data.

What are video site maps and how do they differ?

Matt: He can’t answer that.

Drew: They always recommend it. They’re pretty much the same.

How do you embed a watermark?

Drew: You need to use editing software. [He also calls back to the “hire local journalism students” advice from the local session earlier.]

Matt: Annotations could be used that way.

What demographic data is available?

Matt: Age, gender, location. He can’t comment in how they get the data.

What’s the ROI versus traditional?

Matt: It is going to depend. We do see some differences internally but again, can’t give details.

Anyone doing direct advertising on YouTube?

Jonathan: Not yet. I keep expecting to see something. It’s a great testing platform and a hugely untapped opportunity.

Drew: I think there was something around the Snuggie. That went well.

Susan Esparza is former managing editor at Bruce Clay Inc., and has written extensively for clients and internal publications. Along with Bruce Clay, she is co-author of the first edition of Search Engine Optimization All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies.

See Susan's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (1)
Still on the hunt for actionable tips and insights? Each of these recent Digital Marketing Optimization posts is better than the last!
Bruce Clay on January 22, 2024
How To Optimize Content for Facebook and Instagram
Bruce Clay on December 14, 2023
SEO vs. PPC: How To Choose
Bruce Clay on October 16, 2023
7 Proven Strategies To Increase Website Traffic for Your Business

One Reply to “Up Close With YouTube”

Thanks so much for sharing this session, Susan. We have clients who know they want to do video but need some help understanding why it matters.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Serving North America based in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area
Bruce Clay, Inc. | PO Box 1338 | Moorpark CA, 93020
Voice: 1-805-517-1900 | Toll Free: 1-866-517-1900 | Fax: 1-805-517-1919