Moderator Anne Kennedy (Beyond Ink) introduced the Video & Podcast panel members Amanda Watlington, Searching for Profit, Onil Gunawardana, blinx, Joe Morin, Boost Search Marketing and Tim Gibbon, Elemental Communications.
Amanda spoke first, speaking from a strategic standpoint, pointing out the benefits of these exciting new media for brand marketers and search marketers. She provided a number of slides providing tactical advice on optimization of video, but chose to focus on her podcasting, leaving video for the other panelists.
Amanda's emphasis was on decision-making before embarking on a podcasting journey. Her slides on preparation (keyword selection, tagging, album art, naming the show, etc.) focus on the basics . . . things you should do before recording the first podcast to appear.
Her key steps for podcast optimization:
- Optimize the File Name
- Optimize your blog page - separate page for the podcast, and each episode
- Optimize you landing pages (separate page for audio and video
- Submit the feeds
- Track and monitor submissions
. . . and finished with 5 tips . . .
Oril, from blinkx, asked the audience how many people had done SEO for video (12-15 hands), and what was the purpose of the optimization. Most said it was about enhancing branding. Oril has a different take on SEO goals, which depend on the type of advertising you are doing:
- within video - speaker says word, appears in banner alongside video
- pre-roll video and companion banner
- sponsored search (in text space)
- outside video - banners
He said that you really need to look inside a video to figure out what's going on with it. Text and titles alone will not tell you what you need to know.
For tactics, he emphasized:
- Key elements (title and description, filename, category, tags)
- Sitemap/MRSS Feed
- Format (in-format metadata)
- Where to submit (User generated video sites and blinkx)
Tim Gibbon once again asked "ok, why is it important to optimize?" He noted that it was a key marketing too and a great way to engage with your audience, among other things. He agreed with Amanda that one should have a dedicated area for audio and video, provide multiple download methods, etc. to make it easy for visitors to find and use. He said that metadata should be short and simple. Headlines need to be descriptive and attention getting, and 5-10 tags are recommended.
For finding sites he recommends Social Media Portal (which they created) to find video sites by type, category, interest, etc. He pointed up the need for good metadata, facilitating search by content (based on keywords).
He finished with a crisp list of do's and don'ts (tag stuffing, poor content, pure commercials, cloaking and flaming and one-way content).
blinkx has indexed over 19 million hours of video, and has generated a whitepaper on video SEO. Oril has found that users prefer to play video on the site where they found it.
Joe Morin closed the presentation part of the session with further thoughts on video. He noted that he now has a new gig as CEO at Storybids.com. He noted that with Universal Search, and heavy consumption of video (10 billing video streams watched in December during the writer's strike) video optimization must be part of the online marketing strategy.
He stressed the importance of video optimization, both "hosted and posted," and pointed out what needs to be done to do both.
Next, he recommended some uploaders and analytic vendors (TubeMogul.com, VisisbleMeasures.com, Ooyala.com (with Free Backlot program).
Finally, he spoke on monitization - pre-roll, post-roll, pay-per download, etc.
A large audience (over 150 in the room) had a number of questions and great interest in this new and emerging topic.
Disclaimer - Amanda Watlington is both my business and life partner of 37 years.