Websalad's Jason West on Blended Search Tactics at SMX Sydney

Jason West, first up in SMX Sydney’s Sunset Room, is the MD for Websalad and is speaking on the subject of blended search tactics, with an emphasis on video optimisation.

Jason dives into video goodness by explaining that the volume of YouTube searches is equivalent to 25% of all Google searches in the USA. This alone should be more than enough reason to optimise any videos uploaded to the internet. Jason also mentions that 13 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute!

The challenge for SEOs is that Google only displays 1 or 2 videos on page 1 of any given search. He provided anecdotal evidence that videos being returned on Google results were often clicked on more than the first text result returned.

What strategy is best? Are we going to optimise your website or a 3rd party site (e.g. YouTube) or is it best practice to combine both? Unless your site has some serious power behind it and is by far the most appropriate site, Google will generally return YouTube results first. This works as you can piggyback on a 3rd party’s established SEO strength, but what do you do with all those views?

With 3rd party sites, Jason states it’s all about distribution, that is, finding the correct distribution paths for your video to take advantage of long tail searches.

Benefits of YouTube

  • Increased traffic to your site
  • Top 10 rankings for videos (get that real estate)
  • Links back to your site (YouTube will no nofollow links, but if you optimise your YouTube page correctly, it’s possible to drive traffic to sites)
  • Push your competitors off the first page of Google
  • Gain subscribers

YouTube Optimisation

  • Optimum length = less than 3 minutes
  • Shorter video = more views
  • More views = more popular. Therefore your video is likely to generate comments and be bookmarked more
  • More comments and bookmarks mean higher PageRank
  • Use target keywords as your YouTube keyword tags
  • Cross promote through Facebook and other social media sites
  • Consider sponsored YouTube promotions
  • Targeted anchor text links back to your video from your site
  • Include a call to action at the end of your YouTube video. For example, offer a full length version of the video on your site.

Benefits of Podcasting

  • More flexibility, you can do it at your own leisure and podcast time limits are less important, unlike a YouTube video
  • ABC had approximately 21 million podcasts downloaded in 2008
  • BBC radio station had 950,000 podcasts downloaded in one month
  • Set up an RSS feed so users can subscribe to your podcast
  • Consider potential bandwidth usage, potentially huge
  • To help with SEO, ensure you get transcripts made from the podcast which can be mirrored in your silo theme
  • iTunes and Yahoo are two of the most important podcasting directories, but search for your niche amongst all the directories

Content ideas for video and podcasting

  • Weekly features on new projects
  • Short promotional videos
  • Instructional videos
  • Thank you videos
  • Your goal is to go viral
  • Start by marketing to your existing customer base/target market

The Future

  • Google can’t see your video, but now they can hear it! Currently on the Google political channel, keywords extracted using text-to-speech technology are shown in the status bar of the video

Next up is Aidan Beanland of Yahoo!7 in the Crystal Palace Ballroom. Bloggers get desks in the Ballroom – yay.

SMX Sydney, Websalad, YouTube optimisation

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

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