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Four steps to online video success

| Posted in category Video SEO

Online video is gaining in popularity these days. Internet users prefer watching a short video rather than reading a long text on a web page. Internet marketers, in their turn, know that a good video is much more efficient than the most persuasive sales copy.

The question we'd like to discuss today is how to optimize your online video so that it would be visible to your target audience. Surprising enough, it has very little to do with SEO...

Step 1. Create your video

The key to success is actually creating a viral video, the one that people on the web will be willing to share. It might cover an important how-to or it can be really amusing. One of the examples of successful video bloggers is Charlie McDonnell, charlieissocoollike, a 20-year-old guy, who is the most subscribed YouTuber in the UK.

Web video for business is a little bit different. The best examples are produced by professionals. If you have a small budget and want to do it on your own, first read as much video production tips as you can before you start. They deal with the camera distance, lighting, sound, etc.

Most of them state, that the shorter your video is, the better. Up to one minute is optimal.

Optimizing the thumbnail is also crucial. A thumbnail is the first picture that people see before they actually watch your video. Make it appealing.

First things first, think marketing. Who is your customer/viewer? What value would your video create for them? How is it different from other videos available on the web?

Step 2. Host your video

Google universal search results are almost entirely dominated by YouTube. By far it's the most popular video hosting website, not to annoy you with comScore statistics. So the first clear solution is uploading your video to YouTube.

But the question is: Are there any other established video hosting platforms?

Yep, there are, and lots of them. Most of them are not that easy to submit a video to, but who can tell us you're not Steven Spielberg.

List of video hosting websites other than YouTube:

Hulu: premium programming from the leading content companies, mostly TV and movies.
Metacafe: short entertainment videos.
Videojug: how-to videos, expert advice and tutorials.
5 min: how-to, instructional and DIY videos.
Vimeo: a community of positive individuals with a wide range of video interests.
Google Videos, Yahoo! videos: online video platforms by major search engines.
Ooyala, brightcove: fee-charging online video platforms focused on increasing revenues from video.

Step 3. Describe your video

Once you've chosen the video hosting platform, you go and upload your video. As a next step, you'll be asked to describe it.

Actually, describing your video is the only part where SEO is involved. As search engines are not yet trained to recognize voice, you should tell what your video is about. There are standard tags to be filled similar to the way you do that for a web page or image.

Even if you have the semantic core for your website, do keyword research for your video before you describe it. This way you'll be able to optimize it more efficiently, because what people search on the web might be different from what they look for on a video hosting platform. One of the methods you can use is YouTube Keyword Research Tool.

When you're through with the keyword research, write all the video tag elements:
Video title tag is used by YouTube as a headline for your video. Make sure it really describes the content, and it's appealing to your viewers rather than stuffed with the keywords you're after.
Video description tag can include up to 10000 characters, which is about 160 words, but only the first 20 words will show up in the results. It's better to fill out the whole lot (with a special emphasis on the beginning of your description) – thus YouTube or similar platform will know what your video is about.
Video tags are similar to keyword tags. They include keywords or other phrases you think people would use to find your video.

Done! Now it's time to market your video.

Step 4. Promote your video

Your video won't be lost in hundreds of recorded pieces uploaded to YouTube daily, if it gets a large number of viewers – up to 3,000 views.

If you have a number of videos, it's worth creating your own channel and work on promoting it. BTW, some YouTube channels are real design, social and marketing masterpieces.

Look at the example above. Nice music content, appealing design, cute cap-like social media buttons, website's name on the right stated clearly, and, here we go, more than a million total upload views!

The rule of thumb is: Customize your channel and make it easy for people to subscribe to it and follow you on social media.

If you don't have a popular account or your own channel, your video might not get to your target viewer straight away. A good solution in this case is to find an established channel in your niche and contact the owner asking to upload your video.

To make your video popular, create a social buzz around it:
• Share it on Facebook and make sure everyone on your friends' list "likes" it and shares it. Create a chain reaction by asking your friends' friends to do the same.
• Post a link to your video on your twitter account or similar.
• Find blogs and forums, thematically relevant to your video, and tell the community about your work.
• Follow the comments to your video, make sure to thank people and answers their questions.
• Submit to regular bookmarking sites – like Delicious – and social video bookmarking sites – Digg, StumbleVideo.

As you can see, being successful with online video has very little to do with SEO in its basic sense. Still, if you want to learn more about SEO and prefer watching to reading, subscribe to Link-Assistant.Com’s YouTube Channel and follow step-be-step guides to using seo software.

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