Effectively Leveraging Videos for Universal Search

September 16, 2008

Univeral Search, also known as Blended Search, blends listings from local, images, video, news, and blogs. Universal Search was introduced first by Google in May 2007. MSN and Yahoo quickly followed in July and October respectively. Universal search has had a big impact ever since on how people search.

We find that many companies do not have an online strategy when it comes to videos. Videos are becoming an important part of the marketing mix. Let me provide you with some background information concerning video search.

  • As of March 2008, online video search accounted for 1.09% of all U.S Internet visits (Hitwise, Aprill 2008).
  • U.S. Internet users viewed 11.5 billion online videos during March 2008 (comScore, May 2008)
  • Projected that 86% of U.S. Internet users will be online video viewers by 2011 (eMarketer, August 2007)

So the upside for video search is huge. This combined with Universal Search has produced a sort of “land grab” for video search results. I equate it to the beginning of the Internet, where one could insert 1000 keywords in to the keyword meta tag and rank on the first page for all of the keywords. A well optimized video has the potential to rank very well within the blended search results.

Here are some tips on producing a successful video for Universal Search.

  • The thumbnail view of the video has tremendous impact on the click-through-rate for the video. When producing a video for YouTube make sure you optimize the video so that you have a compelling frame at the 25% mark, 50% mark and 75% mark. So if you had a video that was 80 seconds in length, YouTube would provide you thethumbnail options at the 20 sec frame, 40 sec frame, and the 60 second frame.
  • We find many people forget to optimize the meta data within the video itself. Video search engines use this data, along with other data, to provide keyword relevancy for the video. The video meta data can compared to the meta description page on a web page.
  • Don’t forget about the file name. Make sure you provide a keyword-rich file name. Do not use 5637xty.wma, instead use how-to-build-a-wooden-shed.wma. Also use hyphens instead of underscores. (read more about this)

Read about other Video SEO tactics.

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