Oh YouTube, you've grown up so quickly - the #2 search destination in the world? I think someone has been eating their vegetables. What are we to do with you? Why optimize of course!

Here we are, Day 1 of SES Toronto and we're about to delve into some uncharted waters (relatively speaking of course) - the optimization of video search.

Our moderator will be Mona Elessily, Director of Marketing Strategy at Page Zero Media.

The lights dim, camera rolls.....action!

Amanda Watlington, Owner, Searching for Profit:

  • Almost 50% of people land on YouTube directly, and then they surf from there
  • YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world and should be optimized as such.
  • Lets look at the benefits for both the Brand Marketers and the Search Marketers

For the Brand Marketer

  • A direct communication channel with a live human being
  • Because of the different outlets, you have a way of accessing audiences that may have been unavailable through traditional broadcast media
  • Create a personality for your brand
  • You can humanize your relations with the public

For Search Marketers

  • Video is being pulled into Universal Search and often can take up many of the top positions - you need to optimize for Universal Search
  • You can either host it or post it
  • When you host it, you gain control of it, but it has optimization challenges - there are no standard formats, s0 be sure to include a player.
  • Make viewers aware that you have video content - most don't know where to look, so they just go to YouTube and surf - drive traffic to your videos, make people aware of what you have to offer

Tips and Tricks

  • Offer videos in multiple formats
  • Do keyword research before creating your video
  • Write compelling summaries of your content
  • Create an optimized channel - branded visually
  • Optimize each individual video
  • Seek subscribers
  • Seek ratings
  • Title - include an accurate and Descriptive title
  • Descriptions- make them accurate and unique using complete sentences
  • Tags - be descriptive, but do not stuff
  • Socialize the video - share it with members of the communicity
  • Embed videos on websites
  • Experiment with new techniques

5 Tactics Beyond Search Engines

  • Use the power of content - interview and topical subjects
  • Use PR and Word of Mouth - link to video in PR releases
  • Use marketing communications to drive niewers
  • Link build on other websites to boost traffic
  • Make it easy for viewers to share your videos

And of course...

  • Basic SEO principles - keywords research - tag development - build a real channel - socialize your video

Gregory Markel, Founder/President, Infuse Creative, LLC:

  • Keyword and Tag optimization are part of it, but 'community ranking factors' is tremendously important:

Community Ranking Factors

  • Community Ratings
  • Community Shares
  • Playlists
  • Community Flags

2 Most Common Mistakes

  • Wrong keywords - either not doing your research, or placing the keywords too late in your descriptions
  • Youtube provides a keyword tool, like the Google Keyword Tool - use it!

Tips for Optimizing Community Factors - All Free!

  • Make a great and unique video - Content Is King! - video is no different
  • Calls to actions right into the video - "Hey you, rate this video!"
  • Post a video response - find the most popular and most relevant to yours, and post as a response
  • Ad comments - drive people to watch your video through the comments of other videos (but be nice - and don't spam!)
  • Join the YouTube Partner Program - You'll get added features, such as a visual banner and more promotion
  • Use social media websites to submit and post your videos to get the word out - Facebook, MySpace, Twitter etc...
  • Submit videos to multiple video sites
  • Create playlists
  • YouTube Insight - check demographic information - how are people responding to your videos (you can check second by second)

Steve Espinosa, VP of Innovation, eLocal Listing, LLC:

Tips for Your Video Strategy

  • Universal Search and Video is being utilized quite heavily by both Google and Yahoo!
  • Google Analytics - look at bounce rates - if your video is 3 minutes and people are leaving after 1 minute, your video may just suck
  • Google Website Optimizer - make two variants where the only variant is the video - track conversions, what video helps you reach your goals?
  • Rendering & Exporting Video - Export video as SWF file type - do not use Active X Controls (overlay of a form - won't work in Universal Search)
  • What about when people are on Google? If you want me to stumble upon your video, you can't rely on people finding you exclusively through YouTube - drive clicks to your YouTube channel through other methods, such as link building
  • YouTube no follows all links except for your latest video - so... segment out your channels so that you can break out your videos by niche and ensure that you're passing link juice through multiple videos
  • Yahoo! Video passes link juice to all your videos - link build towards Yahoo! Video, which will then help you rank in Google. Work on Yahoo! and you will be rewarded in Google
  • Going back to Universal Search - Thumbnails of your videos are pulled into Universal search and Google will, automatically, grab a thumbnail from the halfway mark if your video - optimize for this! Rather than having a motion blur, add a call to action - Buy Tickets Now! - this will greatly increase your click-through-rate
  • Add some URL parameters - put in your campaign, the source etc... - all the same data you get in AdWords, you can get for your videos
  • Subscribe to Popular Channels - you will show up as a recent subscriber on the home page, which will drive traffic to your channel

So there you have it YouTube, we're going to keep our eye on you and now, more then ever, do we see the importance of optimizing for video search.

Thanks to Mona for moderating a great session, and to Gregory, Steve and Amanda for providing some great insight into what the future (and present) holds for video search as well sa some great tips on how to optimize.