15 Video Search Lessons from the Search Engine Strategies Conference

I stopped by the New York Search Engine Strategies conference this morning to chat with a few folks. Along the way I copied down some tips and tricks I heard. Some of this will be old hat to you folks, but it's always good to reprise the important stuff.

  1. Viral videos do not transfer value to search marketing.
    Videos that are successful on YouTube and other video services will make standard Web pages perform well in standard Web searches, but they won't help you or your client directly.
  2. Viral videos can help transfer traffic to your Web site indirectly.
    The teaser strategy: Upload vids to YouTube, AOL Video, etc., and make sure to provide links to your sites in the video description.
  3. All-in-one flash video players cause problems for search engines.
    Even in a Web 2.0 world, combining HTML and Flash works best. Video pages on YouTube and PBS Frontline rank well because of all the contextual information in the page.
  4. Even traditionally boring industries can make cool videos.
    Health care sites can and should showcase interviews with real people. These experiences create a sense of trust in the user. On portals like Yahoo and AOL, videos that show the mechanism of action -- a drug's chemical reaction in your blood, for example -- evoke curiosity in viewers.
  5. Commercial business should make timely videos.
    Peg your videos to current events.
  6. Put video pages off the root of your site.
    And don't forget to repeat the word "video" or "videos" in your H1 tags and in the URLs.
  7. List your videos in your site map.
    Don't forget to put keywords in the titles.
  8. Optimize anchor text in your links.
    Use primary and secondary keywords.
  9. Tag files and individual scenes in videos if you can.
    Video players like click.tv let you add text and tags to segments of a video, and that text can be indexed.
  10. Distribute your videos on multiple sites.
    Don't just upload a video to YouTube. Each video site skews to a different audience. YouTube to younger people, AOL to entertainment, Blinkx to geeks, etc.
  11. Clean up your metadata.
    Some video creation tools publish too much bad metadata with your videos. Tools like Autodesk Cleaner, Sorensen Squeeze and CastFire can help. (FYI, I'm not personally recommending these; I've never used them.)
  12. News organizations should immediately buy paid keywords when news breaks.
    And link them to the appropriate videos.
  13. Watermark your videos.
    So the brand is always present.
  14. Include a branding element in the first or middle frame of the video.
    So the video thumbnail will contain your logo.
  15. Put a call-to-action in the last frame of the video.
    Audio or text.
If you've got other tips, please leave 'em in the comments.