Video Optimization & SEO for YouTube

Video Optimization & YouTube SEO : Part 1 – Digital Marketing Madness

John Maher McDougall InteractiveJohn Maher:  Hi, I’m John Maher, and this is Digital Marketing Madness. This podcast is brought to you by McDougall Interactive. We’re a digital marketing agency in Massachusetts, and today my guest is me. I’m John Maher, and I’m all alone today.

I’m going to be discussing YouTube video optimization for SEO. With that said, I just want to get into it a little bit. We’re going to be talking a little bit about why to use video, and specifically YouTube, as part of your SEO, or search engine optimization strategy.

Why Video Optimization?

Why video? The first thing is that Google likes video. They own YouTube, so it’s a big part of what they do. More importantly, they like to put video in their results, in search results. Google likes blended results.

They’ve backed off on this a little bit. On the main search, when you go to Google, and you search for something, they’ve backed off a little bit on including too many videos there in those first organic search results, but they still do like having blended results where when you search for something like, “how to tie a bow tie,” you might get a bunch of images, and then you might get some videos, and then you might get some text results.

They like to include lots of different types of results in the search results pages, because then depending on what you’re looking for, you might click on an image, you might click on a video. By including lots of different types of results, it increases the chances that you’re going to click into something. Google does like to do that.

Less Competition With Video

There’s a little bit less competition with video, in terms of getting in the search results. There’s just millions and millions of websites out there. So, that makes it difficult to compete when you’re trying to get — there’s only 10 results on the first page of Google search results, and you’re competing against all these millions of other sites — so, it can be difficult sometimes to rank in the search engines for just a keyword.

It’s a little bit easier to rank a video in the results, because there’s just less competition. It’s a little harder to do video than it is to just create a blog post, or a page on your website. Less people are doing it, and that means that the competition is less.

Video Search

Also, YouTube is actually the number two search engine in the world, believe it or not, next to Google, of course. People actually do go to YouTube itself and search right there for things that they are looking for. I know I’ve done this many times recently — if I have an IT problem, something with my Macintosh or my PC computer, and I’m experiencing some problem, I’ll go right to YouTube, and search for that.

Sometimes I’ll search for it in Google, and click on a video result, because if people are walking you through it in a video format, especially with IT stuff, that can be a little confusing when you’re just reading about it. Sometimes, it’s nice to just see somebody doing it, and walking you through it in a visual way.

That’s really great for that. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, and I think I’m not alone because, like I said, YouTube is the number two search engine in the world, people are really using it in a different way than just saying, “Oh, I want to go to YouTube and just click on some of the most popular videos,” or something.

People are actually using YouTube as a search engine to try to find answers to what they’re looking for. 90 percent of users say that seeing a video about a product is really helpful in making a decision about whether or not to buy that product. If you have an e‑commerce site especially, having videos about your products is really great, because it can really help people to make a decision on whether or not to buy your product.

After a video is viewed, people are 64 percent more likely to purchase that product — according to some research done by comScore in 2013 — much more likely, when somebody sees a video, to buy that product. Especially for e‑commerce sites — really, really useful.

50 percent of users watch business related videos on YouTube once a week. Business people are watching videos on YouTube about things related to their business, and a third of all online activity is spent watching video. It’s just starting to really, really take off.

People are really engaged in watching video. People are doing it all the time, on a daily and weekly basis. Watching videos helps in terms of e‑commerce online. It’s really becoming a big part of people’s everyday lives.

Video Humanizes Your Company

Another reason why you should use video as a company — video really humanizes you and your company. People want to work with other people that they know, like and trust. They don’t necessarily want to do business with a nameless, faceless organization.

By having video where, maybe, you’re highlighting a few people from your team, maybe it’s the president talking, or maybe it’s just some of the salespeople, or other people who work at your company, it really humanizes you. When people are deciding whether or not they want to do business with you, instead of you just being — especially if you’re not a brand name that people recognize, and they’re kind of thinking to themselves, “Who is this? Why would I do business with this company?” Then they watch your video, and they see you, and they go, “Oh, you know, he’s really nice,” or “She’s really nice, and they seem like somebody that I could trust, somebody that I could work with. Maybe I’ll give them a try.”

It creates that human experience, so that you’re no longer just doing business with a company, but you’re doing business with these people, and it makes a big difference. 70 percent of communication is body language, according to some research done by the University of Pennsylvania, and another 23 percent is voice, tone, and inflection.

If you’re doing your math there, that only leaves 7 percent left over for just the words that you’re saying. That’s a very small percentage of what communication is overall. If people are just reading text on your website, it’s really only communicating only seven percent of what your overall potential communication to that person could be.

But, by watching video, they’re getting that. They’re seeing that body language, they’re hearing that voice tone, and that inflection, and it really helps to drive home your message, and communicate your message in a much more powerful way than just the read word on your website. It really sets you apart when people are comparing you to another company.

We had a law client with a website, and we did a test. We had a tester come to the site, and they were sort of clicking around on the website to see whether or not — how the website worked — and giving us feedback on it. When they got to the video, they played the video.

Previous to that, they were like, “Yeah, you know, this is OK. It’s a law firm. It’s kind of the same as every other lawyer that I’ve ever seen,” and then they watched the video, and they went, “Oh, you know, they seem so nice. I can really tell that I’d be comfortable working with them.”

Immediately we could hear in the voice of this person who was testing that the video made a big, big difference, in terms of the person saying, “You know, maybe I would work with this law firm, because I wasn’t really sure before, when they were just this nameless, faceless company, but now that I see them in that video, I think I’d be really comfortable working with them.”

Media Appearances Through Video

Another thing the video really helps with is when you’re doing PR, public relations, and you’re trying to get some PR where you’re on a radio show, or you’re on a television, it’s really great. It can obviously be great for your brand if you get on a television show. But, in order for a national television show to put you on the air, they’re not just going to pick anybody to be on national TV.

They want to see that you’ve been on television before, and that you’re natural in front of the camera, and that you’re not just going to freeze. They want to see that you’ve done some local television. In order to get on local television, they’d really like to see, again, that you’re good on camera, that you’re knowledgeable, that you know what you’re talking about.

They might look at a YouTube video, and say, “Oh, yeah. That person’s really pretty good on camera. I can use them.” By putting up YouTube videos, that can help you to get on some local television shows, whether that’s a news broadcast, or whatever, and then by being on local television, you can get on national television, because they see that you’re good on camera, and that you’re knowledgeable, and that you’re personable. That first step is to get a YouTube video so that people can see what you’re like on camera.

Those are some great reasons why you should be using video for your company. What I’m going to do is come back next time, and we’re going to talk about YouTube versus self‑hosting using some third‑party websites for hosting your videos instead of YouTube, and some pros and cons of each way to do that.

Then we’re going to go through a little bit of a process for how to use YouTube in doing some keyword research, and we’re going to talk a little bit about closed captions, and how to use those in your YouTube videos as well.

Make sure you come back again for the second part of our discussion on video and YouTube optimization for SEO. For more information about digital marketing, visit, and make sure you subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.

Thanks for listening, I’m John Maher. See you next time on Digital Marketing Madness.

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