The other day I saw this status from a friend on Facebook:
“Unless I’ve got something really witty to say or share something funny from some facebook page, I feel like I don’t deserve to make a facebook post. Pretty amazing when a social networking site can make you feel insecure about socializing.”
It is pretty amazing and I agree that there has been an increase in pressure to only share or post things that are interesting or funny. While this likely creates a more appealing experience for those scrolling through their Facebook newsfeed, it’s frankly not socializing. Social interaction is about personal dialogue between two or more people who don’t necessarily need to be having the most interesting or insightful interaction. An average real-world social interaction may involve telling one another about a boring day, or two people just getting to know each other. One person thinking to themselves for an hour before gathering all their friends and acquaintances to announce some carefully worded insight or to play a hilarious music video is a poor simulation for social interaction.
I want to explore this recent trend of de-socializing social media, focusing on Facebook specifically, as it has the most longevity and popularity. While I have to mainly draw from my personal posting habits on Facebook, I’m convinced they are indicative of a general trend. Back when I joined Facebook in 2006, I posted to friends’ walls daily and made status updates at least once a week. I’m sure that part of this can be attributed to the fact that I was discovering a new outlet for socializing and to the fact that I was in high school, which was a time when I had few ambitions beyond making friends. Still, for the next 3 or 4 years I used Facebook in a similar manner, perhaps with slightly less frequency as time passed. Now compare this to the last year or two, in which I haven’t posted a single status, I only post music or cool videos to my closest friends and family a couple times a week. If I think there is something that could be taken as inappropriate or offensive in the music or video, I send it as a private message instead. Maybe the change in my Facebook activity is a result of personal changes or changes in my friends, but I believe there are bigger factors at play.
Social Pressure to be Anti-social
Facebook has been around for 12 years and has been widely used for a majority of that time. Inevitably, unwritten Facebook rules or etiquette have arisen in these years. Anyone who uses Facebook on a regular basis has found that some people get too personal too often. (Almost) Nobody wants to be that person who annoys all their friends by sharing their hourly woes and triumphs as if the status update bar is the next line in their private diary. Because of this, there is actually a lot of social pressure to censor or refine one’s public posts.
I have found a huge social deterrent to be the frequent change in privacy policies. It’s hard to trust Facebook when one day you’re posting something you believe only your friends can see, and the next it turns out that anyone can see your posts until you manually change certain settings. Fortunately, Facebook has recently done a good job of making it very simple to control the privacy of specific posts or types of posts.
At the same time, user privacy is being compromised in other ways. Facebook apps have access to user data, and some have taken advantage of this by selling it to a third party for a relatively low cost (http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/10/25/facebook-investigating-how-bulgarian-man-bought-1-1-million-users-email-addresses-for-five-dollars/). Some Facebook pages will use an enticing title to get a large number of likes, and then sell to a brand to make that brand seem really popular. Obviously, these spammy tactics are harmful to the Facebook community. The idea that one’s privacy could be compromised without their immediate knowledge is frightening, especially in an age where it’s a standard practice for an employer to view potential employees’ profiles to weed out the seemingly irresponsible and unmotivated.
Social Media Marketing
Advertising and other business opportunities on Facebook, which include fan pages, brand pages, and apps, have been detrimental to socializing on Facebook. The fact is, nobody posting ads or running their company’s Facebook page is there to socialize. They simply want to get more attention and drive sales. While giving users options to like and share brands and products does encourage socializing, users also have to wade through posts that have nothing to do with their personal interests. It’s a fine line that I don’t think Facebook or online marketers have gotten right yet.
Personal Conversation vs. Screaming for Attention
One big thing that social media sites don’t focus on enough is the fact that socializing is traditionally, and I would say inherently, intimate. It’s a conversation or a few words shared between you and a friend or a small group of people. At some point, there are too many people in the room, and you can’t feasibly communicate and personally connect with them all at once. Facebook statuses and tweets are analogous to a shouting match in which every person is screaming for attention from all their friends at the same time. This is one thing I think Google+ got right. With circles, users can share things with a targeted group of people that all have some kind of common ground. However, with most social sites, there is so much information from so many people, a user is bound to miss details and intimacies that they would typically get in a real social setting and they’re bound to see plenty of things you don’t care about.
So what does all this mean for online marketing? Well for the most part, Facebook users aren’t opposed to giving likes to brand pages, as long as those pages aren’t controversial and are relevant to their interests of course. But overall, spreading your brand name is more difficult, as users have become more reluctant to share anything of low quality. On the other hand, if you have some really high quality content, today’s Facebookers will jump on it. Users are eager to share really great stuff, and if it came from a brand they like and trust, that’s even better. This content could be a cool promotional deal, but it could also be a funny video or some insight on a current event or holiday. If marketers treat users who like their pages as friends instead of customers, I think they will bring back some of the social aspects that social media has been losing, and they will ultimately gain trust and support.
Reclaiming any further socialization falls on those at Facebook who handle privacy. Maybe social media is moving away from socializing. Maybe “social” has a different meaning in the context of the internet. Maybe we should leave the socializing for the real world and keep our shouting matches to the virtual world. Factors such as body language and vocal inflections may never play a part in social media, but I believe that social media used to be better for socializing, and that it could and should be made even better than it used to be.
Every year I dread the New Year’s Holiday. Just the thought of making pledges to eat better or start working out gives me chills. I dutifully pledge to give up this or give up that and fail miserably on January 1st at about 9:40 a.m. This year I thought I would take a different approach; focus on my passion for Search Marketing to set me up for success and allow me to leave my personal life out of it!
How about making PPC Management Resolutions for 2013?
If you are like a lot of PPC Managers, you’ll likely have inherited an AdWords account. Clients typically want to get up and running and see results ASAP. This usually forces us to keep them up and start working on the re-structuring of the account as we go. Most of the time, there are common mistakes that have put the account into your hands that must be fixed before you start seeing some traction.
Resist the urge to keep campaigns set up the same way as you inherited them; even for a short period of time. Make your account assessment and hit the biggest areas of opportunity first. Taking a little time upfront and re-organizing the account’s structure will give you the click-thrus and not send them to your competition. These are all things we know and typically do as PPC professionals–so if nothing else it’s a reminder for me to Here is my top 3 list for 2013:
1. Where possible; split out larger Ad Groups:
Assess your client’s Ad Groups. Most of the time, you can make them smaller and more targeted. By doing this, you can decrease the number of keywords in your ad group which will allow you to be as specific as possible to your searchers intent with your ads. You can be far more relevant and send the searcher to the appropriate Landing Page. Once they are taken to the highly relevant page, they are more likely to convert for your client with higher CTR’s, higher Quality Scores and lower Cost per Clicks. Sometimes, the issue really is with the client’s web site and whether they have highly effective Landing pages for each of your Ad Groups. Hopefully you can convince them that changes they make will benefit their business.
2. Don’t rely on Google Optimization for my A/B Ad Testing.
I’m going to utilize Google’s ‘Rotate indefinitely’ Option which will show lower performing ads more evenly with higher performing ads to give me a better understanding of what’s happening without the automatic optimizing rotation. Then I’m going to be tougher and delete (not pause!) the ads that are not performing…what’s the point of keeping them in the ad group if they’re not converting?
3. I pledge to utilize Excel more than I do.
It’s a love-hate thing I know for most of us but once we get down and dirty with it, what a fantastic tool we have to drill down on the data we have available to make the wisest decisions for our accounts. 2013 is the year I fall back in love with pivot tables!
As I was working on this, I asked my colleagues here at Apogee Results what their PPC Resolutions would be and they had some excellent ones:
Ryan is going to focus on maximizing Ad Extensions to increase his CTR on his account ads. Hopefully Google will get cracking and improve the tracking capabilities for them as well.
Cori is going to (not listen to Ryan, ha ha – Just kidding) try and stay on top of Google’s Changes which is a pretty hefty goal. She gave a solid example regarding Google’s Conversion Optimizer Requirements:
Your campaign uses AdWords Conversion Tracking or is importing data from Google Analytics.
The campaign has received at least 15 conversions on the Search Network and 30 conversions on the Display Network in the last 30 days. This conversion history enables the system to make accurate predictions about your future conversion rate. So, the more data we have, the more accurate we can be.
The campaign must have been receiving conversions at a similar rate for at least a few days.
Kaolhi wants to get more in-depth on Google Analytics and all the ins & outs and dig into the reporting it has available.
Each December, it is tradition for Apogee Results employees to volunteer their time to Coats for Kids in Austin, TX. The annual community project, now in its 26th year, collects and distributes coats to eligible children in Central Texas. Every year, the Junior League of Austin, Jack Brown Cleaners, KASE 101, and KVUE partner to bring the community together to ensure that the children of Central Texas stay warm (if that ever happens this year!).
Last year, with the help of sponsors and 2,600 community volunteers, Coats for Kids distributed approximately 33,500 new and gently used coats to young people in Central Texas.
Donations come in from individuals, businesses and groups, and may be in the form of new coats, used coats or monetary donations. Watch the KVUE Austin news clip for more information or to learn how you can contribute or for more information, visit Coats For Kids.
This blog post presents some great ideas on how to approach video SEO beyond the basics of using rich snippets and getting links. It is more of a strategy session than a tutorial. The ideas discussed include: self hosting a video rather than hosting on YouTube if the goal is traffic and conversions, using different types of videos to fit your different goals, and if possible, creating videos with some SEO in mind instead of trying to optimize after a video is already created.
This is an excellent and comprehensive post on link building in the current, post-penguin environment. Not only does it discuss different types of links and how to get them (with a list of useful link-finding tools), but it also delves into an overall strategy for building a link profile. This includes how to decide if and when to remove links, tracking the progress of a link profile, and looking at what the future might bring in terms of updates.
Google has begun to show detail about medicine in the search results similar to how a famous person’s biography might show up in a SERP when their name is searched. Data from various authorities on medicine are part of Google’s knowledge graph, which attempts to contextualize words by making connections between words that the algorithm deems to be semantically related. This development will be particularly useful for any business in the medical field.
MDG advertising created this large Infographic with a lot of statistics about online holiday shopping trends. While there isn’t a lot of explanation about what these numbers mean, it’s a good visual that makes it easy to realize some powerful trends. Tablets are becoming a huge factor in that more and more people are using tablets to shop as well as shopping for tablets. Online holiday shopping also seems to be starting earlier and ending later in the year, beginning in October and going past Christmas.
A company trying to decide whether to do SEO or PPC should realize that the most successful campaign will likely implement both at some level and have a hand in numerous other marketing outlets. This article gives 10 good reasons why your company should do PPC, and specifically Google AdWords, while responsibly prefacing that AdWords should probably not be used as a replacement for SEO. Some of the best reasons are probably the first four given, which are that it is scalable, measurable, flexible, and faster than SEO.
by Alan LaFrance ( @Texas_Marketing on Twitter – Follow Me )
There’s been a lot of talk lately about how link building is about developing relationships more than anything else. As a webmaster, I’m really excited to see this revelation finally make commonality in the SEO community, but as an SEO, I can’t believe it took this long for it to finally ‘click.’ We’ve all read the “How-To … ” ad nauseum, but here’s the perspective I had on link builders before I got involved in SEO.
Several years ago I had no real concept of the benefits of link building. I knew that links gave a pathway for people to visit your website, and that was about it. I viewed them as a more intimate partnership with another website where we could link like-minded visitors to our websites. It was somewhat of an investment to seek a link out, and likewise we would both seek intrinsic value in taking the 30 seconds to alter a page with the link. Knowing this, imagine my reaction when I would receive emails like this:
Don’t be this Guy.
I’d like to offer you the opportunity to dramatically increase traffic to both of our sites. Please add us to your link page and we will return the favor! This benefits us both greatly and is easy to do!
I immediately tossed this email into the trash. Not only that, but it damaged any potential of ever developing a link to my website. This is a website that ranks 1st for numerous terms, does over 2 million visits a year, and has significant link value. Here’s more of an analysis that went through my mind when I read this:
1)Spam – This is a “cold” email that was completely unsolicited. While I’m very entrepreneurial and open to cold emails I still felt very guarded before I even opened the email. This is not a good position to be in if you are “selling” something.
2) Unknown Identity – I don’t recognize the brand, person, nor the subject matter the site is about. This puts the credibility of this solicitation somewhere around Nigerian money launderers.
3) Hard Sell – I’m barely registering on the sales spectrum but this guy is already going for the kill. This is akin to showing up to the bar and asking the first beautiful girl you find to marry you. While I’m most certainly not a beautiful woman, I can assure you the results are equally abysmal.
4) No Match – My website is about firearms ownership in Texas, not about rodeo clown apparel, or even rodeos for that matter.
1)Be Authentic – Spend time making your contact as personal and inviting as possible. Webmasters invest LARGE amounts of time, money, and effort developing their sites and we all like to be acknowledged with some degree of respect.
2) Be Truthful – Guy Kawasaki speaks well to this effect in his book on enchantment, but be upfront about your motives and explain the benefits to each party in depth.
3) Replace the Sell – You aren’t selling door to door and a link in the hand counts for far more than two in the bush, or is that birds? Regardless, engage and develop relationships with webmasters before you push for a link. Chat us up on twitter or facebook, help us promote our site(s), buy us lunch, give us a quick SEO guide, something. There has to be something in it for us, and that item has to have value to the webmaster that we can see. Not everyone is up to speed on SEO best practices, so we may view links in a completely different manner than you.
4) Find Commonality – As an SEO you should know this by now, but in case you missed the last year of Google updates here it is again. Obtain links from contextually similar websites. It looks more natural, is more natural, and is considerably easier to achieve.
An yes, the above does work. I had a fellow webmaster in the Austin area take me out to lunch so we could discuss ways to improve both of our websites. The result? He spent a whopping $15 and got a link on my homepage that has sent thousands of like-minded searchers to his site on top of all the link value you could shake a stick at (well … a medium sized stick at least, I’m not Amazon! LOL)
by Alan LaFrance ( @Texas_Marketing on Twitter – Follow Me )
When it comes to optimizing on-page items and explaining the benefits and usage of those items to clients I often refer to literature. Web pages are simply interactive pages of a book, and how you utilize individual elements has similar implications in the digital and written world. Here is how I outline the elements of the page.
Meta Title – The title of a webpage is just like the title of a book. It sets expectations of what is going to be found within. Simply putting “Bob Schneider” as your title is great if you are a guru of epic proportions, but for the rest of us mere mortals it’s best to explain the contents of our site. “Bob Schneider | Self Help Guru and Rodeo Clown” is a much more descriptive title and gives reasonable expectations to the searcher. It also helps to highlight your product, in this case Bob is not only a guru, but a rodeo clown. Bob lives an interesting life.
Meta Description – The description is the the short text you find on the inside of the cover or on the back of the book (blurb). It is a short segment of time that allows you to entice the searcher to click on your SERP. Here’s three examples, think about which one you’d be most enchanted by:
#1 – “About Us | Rodeos | Pictures | Contact Us” (The “I forgot to put in a description” description)
#2 – “Bob Schneider | Self Help Guru and Rodeo Clown” (The “I let my CMS decide which description to use” description)
#3 – “Bob Schneider is a world renown self-help guru and moonlights as No Bull Bob, a rodeo clown in the Houston, TX area.” (Mucho bettero)
H1 Headings (and Heading in General) – H1 headings are essentially your chapter and sub-chapter titles. They give hierarchical structure to your content and make it easy for the searcher to locate specific information. It’s often a mistake to “overoptimize” an H1 and mislead the user with zealous SEO usage. Here’s an example: “Rodeo Clown Houston, TX & Self-Help Houston, TX” … it’s completely misleading, destroys trust, and ruins the user experience, but hey! I’ll rank 6th instead of 7th right? SEO is about getting rankings, yes, but it’s more about aligning your content assets to the correct user. The headings should first be written to the page and with the user experience in mind. If you can wrangle in a keyword then great, but it’s better to optimize for the 1000 people that are reaching your site now than to mislead another 100 – 200 visitors you might gain.
Backlinks – These are like favorable book reviews. If you are surfing Amazon and come across four books, all of which seem equally viable for learning to become a rodeo clown, then which would you choose?
Book #1 has 1 favorable rating (5 stars)
Book #2 has 120 favorable ratings, but none of them seem to be written in proper English (4.8 stars)
Book #3 has 1000 favorable ratings (4.2 stars)
Book #4 has 700 favorable ratings but 4200 negative or neutral ratings (2.9 stars)
Google essentially is a tool that has a complete index of books and seeks to choose for you the best match for you. This is the goal of their algorithm and this is why backlinks are so vital to an SEO campaign. Google looks at the quantity and quality of backlinks much in the same manner as you did in choosing a book out of the list. A high number of favorable reviews with a high rating is a great sign that you’ll be satisfied with your purchase. Conversely, negative or neutral reviews, low numbers of total reviews, spam, and other signs often work to reduce your trust in the product being able to satiate your requirements.
Body Copy – This is rather obvious, but body copy is like the content of a book. Just like a book, people want to read fascinating, informative, and unique content. It needs to be sufficient in depth and length to completely cover those requirements. There’s no hard rule here, only that you must be able to complete your goals and continue to enchant the reader / searcher along the way so that they continue to read along.
Canonicalization & Robots – For most websites this is done via .htaccess and/or robots.txt. These rules act to limit the content that gets seen and how it’s interpreted much in the same way that an editor will omit or include notes in a literary work. Having irrelevant or extremely low value pages in your book distracts from your messaging much in the same way as having a ton of low value pages in your sitemap index reduces the emphasis Google places on your high value pages. Furthermore, including duplicate pages is not worthwhile either and canonicalization seeks to fix this, at least from Google’s eyes.
Sitemaps – The sitemap is the same as the index. In fact, home pages used to commonly be referred to as index.html … an homage of sorts to the past. An author does no benefit by listing irrelevant pages in the index, instead the author will list the pages of the book in a well organized and structured list so that readers can quickly find the high value information. Bear in mind the value and relevancy of your pages when you are creating your sitemap. Ensure you are properly attributing value and refresh cycle data to the pages as well.
Ergo, modern SEO practices are really a digital extension of literary practices extending thousands of years into the past. We’re essentially librarians … just with a cooler office and a better title.
Search engine optimization, SEO for short, requires a lot of end-to-end strategy these days. You have canonicalization, content generation, keywords, link building, and the list gets longer and longer as Google’s algorithm continues to develop. There are a number of problems that come up in a SEO campaign, but here’s 5 common SEO mistakes.
Big Eyes Strategy – You’ve built your campaign on big money, high search volume terms that are highly competitive. You’re 6 months into your campaign and you can’t seem to rank past the 2nd page of results for any of them.
How to Fix It – Sun Tzu says to strike where the enemy has made no preparations. The same virtue remains the same for SEO strategies. Don’t overlook lower competition terms that match your campaign emphasis. Create optimized pages for pain points, solve problems, go local, expand into long tail keywords, and gain small victories. Getting 100 visits here and there really adds up. You’ll get social engagement, sales (budget), and link building opportunities that you currently are missing.
One Page, 50 Keywords – Does your title tag resemble this? “Austin Wedding Cake | Austin Bakery | Bakery in Austin | Wedding Cakes in Austin | … ” A very common SEO problem is simply trying to make a single page rank for more than a handful of keywords.
How to Fix It – If there’s sufficient search volume to be had, split the page. Make the above title into two pages: “Austin Wedding Cakes | Bob’s Bakery” and “Bob’s Austin Bakery.” Otherwise, be creative. Put the best term first, but make sure you are thinking beyond the keywords. Would you be more likely to click on “Austin Wedding Cake | Austin Bakery | etc … ” or would you feel better choosing “Bob’s Bakery | Wedding Cake Specialists”?
Old Link Building Strategy – Link farms, paid linking, and other old forms of link building offer very little and open the door to site wide penalties. Older SEO strategies benefited from these
How to Fix It – Build only the highest quality and authoritative links possible. Google not only wants to see high value and natural linking, but they’ve released a series of updates over the past year to enforce their policy. These updates, dubbed Penguin and Panda, sought to instill greater emphasis on quality websites and punish those with poor usability and unnatural link building. If you suspect you’ve been punished by one of these updates the recently released disavow links tool from Google should be of some benefit.
Duplicate Content – This is a commonly overlooked or mismanaged part of SEO strategies. Canonicalization involves multiple levels of files and duplicate content can be easily created by many CMS systems. Duplicate content confuses Google and they aren’t sure which version to append value to as the original. Link building and social engagement is further hampered by having two URLs.
How to Fix It – You can use rel=canonical tagging to tell Google which version is the original, but you should look into the settings of your CMS and work to eliminate duplicate content at the source. Check archive settings and optimize the hierarchy to suit this purpose. Check your .htaccess to ensure you are properly redirecting www. vs. non-www. traffic to a single version. Make sure your website’s IP address also resolves to your chosen version as well.
Forgetting your Audience – Make sure you mention your keyword x numbers of times, make sure it’s in your title, make sure it’s in your H1, make sure you do this and you do that. SEOs often forget to remember that we aren’t just working to please the robots. We need to remember the searcher.
How to Fix It – Step outside the SEO tunnel and become an eloquent word smith. Your title tag, meta description, headings, and content should all be well written and legible. Nothing distracts and discredits more than poorly written and unorthadox elements on the page. Great and catchy titles improve click thru, set good expectations, and add value to your SERP.
While it was once a powerful indicator for how highly a webpage would appear in a Google search results page, Google Toolbar’s PageRank (PR) has become somewhat of a relic in the SEO world. Ten years ago, an SEO who found the green bar to be empty, showing a PR of 0 for their site, might be devastated. Today, a PR of 0 can be waved off as Google neglecting to update its PageRank tool.
So what changed? To answer this question, we should first know how PR is determined. While there are a number of factors, not all of which Google has made public information, a major factor is the quantity of inbound links to the given page. A page with high PR would give more value when linking than one with a low PR would. In the days of keyword stuffing and shady link schemes, the measure of the quantity of links could easily be taken advantage of by purchasing or automating a large number of links.
In 2003, the Florida update began to set a precedent for penalizing spammy content and rewarding quality content. This meant that it became harder to get a large number of links (legitimate or otherwise), and consequently PageRank started to matter less. This isn’t to say that it didn’t matter in terms of ranking high in Google’s SERPs, but because it was becoming more difficult to manipulate, SEO’s began to focus on it less. Alongside this, Google started to update the PR less often, causing numbers to not necessarily be current or accurate.
What seemed to be the final nail in the PR coffin was a statement from a Google employee, claiming that due to a number of hacking attempts on the PageRank data, “the PageRank that is displayed in Google toolbar is for entertainment purposes only,” and “on average, the PR that is displayed in the Google toolbar is several months old.” This means that relatively new pages that have a decent PR could show a PR of 0 for months.
Does this mean that PageRank is now a completely useless tool that should be ignored altogether? Many SEOs think so, and would prefer PR to be removed from the toolbar, so as not to misrepresent the value of a page to those unaware of PageRank’s history. Although PR numbers are potentially misleading, they need not be ignored completely. The statement made by the Google employee did not say that PR is obsolete. In fact, the statement explains that the ranks are still updated occasionally. It should also be noted that this not an official stance from Google, but simply one Google employee’s response to a question on a forum regarding PageRank. Since the “entertainment purposes only” comment surfaced, it seems to have been widely treated as an official statement from Google, but in reality, it is likely that Google still uses PageRank as a variable of at least some significance in its SERP algorithm.
So should we take PageRank into account or not? The answer probably depends on what you’re using it for and whether or not you’re supplementing it. If you’re using it as a number for a weekly report, you’re asking for trouble. If you’re using other tools like MozRank and trying to get a feel for how your page is doing, a comparison between PR and the numbers you’re getting from other tools could give you some extra insight into what’s going right and what’s going wrong with a given page.
Today is the 9th annual Innotech Austin Conference & Expo and Apogee’s own Bill Leake and Alan LaFrance had a session on how to embrace and utilize video in order to help marketing efforts, “Video Killed The Radio Star (But Not Your Marketing)”. Here is a recap.
The presentation began with a few impressive statistics as to why it’s a good idea to invest in video marketing:
People that watch a product video are 60 – 85% more likely to buy (IR et al)
Over 800 Million unique users visit YouTube monthly (YouTube)
Over 1 trillion video views in 2011 (YouTube)
Video improved add-to-cart by 144% for a Retailer (Internet Retailer)
Videos are the fastest growing ad format in 2012 with 55% growth (eMarketer)
Next Alan talked about how to make an effective video and the example he used was the popular Blendtec YouTube series “Will it Blend?” Here are the main points of the segment:
Research and identify a topic and purpose – when you’re thinking of video content, do your research. Go into making your video with a relevant topic and purpose.
Plan out the video content – have a plan before you start video production. Create a storyboard/wireframe of your idea to effectively execute your video.
Use quality equipment – don’t use subpar equipment (i.e. Smartphone camera) to produce a video. Even on YouTube, people don’t want to see low quality videos.
Spend equal time publicizing as you do producing – don’t just spend all your time and money producing a video and no effort with promotion. With no promotion no one will be aware of your video and in turn you wont get results.
Listen – listen to what your viewers are saying about your video. Read the comments, you might be surprised by the insights you can gather. There might be information there that can help you better cater to your audience with your next video. People will tell you what they want to see and what they’re interested in.
Don’t be afraid to destroy stuff – don’t be afraid to take a risk.
Following these points we saw a great example of a company using video to successfully sale a product, Stacks & Stacks dog door. They might not have the cleanest website but they’ve implemented videos that show just how easy it is to install a pet screen doggie door, sizes available, and many other product insights. According to Internet Retailer, Stacks & Stacks improved their “Add-to-Cart” metric by 144% with this video alone.
Bill presented the next portion of the presentation and he quickly touched on 4 main points:
How are online videos online found?
The importance of YouTube
Posted vs. Hosted
As far as how users discover videos online, there were some interesting statistics presented:
44% – discover videos randomly
43% – discover videos via sharing
43% – discover videos via video websites
39% – discover videos via search engines
27% – discover videos via marketing email
4% – discover videos via RSS & MRSS feeds
Since the launch of blended search, videos are becoming more prevalent in Google’s universal search,”58% of users who search Google were served video in universal search engine results pages”.
So you know the benefits of developing videos for marketing and where people discover them, but what are the placement options? - Well when thinking about videos, you have 2 basic options. You can post or host the video. Posting means that the video content is uploaded to video sharing sites, social media, etc. Hosting means that the video content is on your website.
The benefits of posted video SEO:
Existing Traffic – existing video website have a critical mass of traffic and users, which makes it easier to go viral
There is a better ability to rank on universal search (Google) and other search engines
Potential to dominate the traditional SERPs with “carpet bombing” by submitting to multiple video sites, which is due to weak duplicate content filtering at present
You don’t need your own website
There are also some benefits to hosted video SEO:
Control – you have control over related on-page text, encoded metadata, user experience, etc.
You have control over monetization/advertising
Generate traffic to your website
Note: While you can currently dominate the SERPs with “carpet bombing” with posted strategies, this may go away with duplicate content filtering in the future.
Following this, we looked at the power of YouTube and how much it’s grown in the past year with some interesting stats:
YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine
Third most visited website (800 million uniques, only 50 million less than Facebook)
60 hours of video is uploaded EVERY minute (was 48 hours in 2011 and 20 hours in 2009)
Over 4 BILLION videos are viewed each day (was 3 billion in 2011)
One of the best takeaways from the presentation was how to increase your chances to rank your videos / properly optimize them for SEO:
The amazing people at PPC Hero researched and compiled a list of the 25 most influential PPC experts in the digital marketing industry today. Congratulations to all the people that made the list!! Check out the infographic below: