Marty Weintraub wanted to know what triggers videos to serve up in search engine results pages (SERPs), so the founder of search engine marketing firm aimClear ran a study released at OMMA Global in San Francisco Monday, looking at 978 keywords across 24 categories in Google, Bing, Yahoo Video, YouTube, Daily Motion, Vimeo, and Blip.tv, among other channels.
Getting videos to serve up on the first page of Google and Bing isn't easy, but Weintraub believes he has found the secret. For starters, he had to determine where the videos that serve up on Bing and Google originated. On Google, videos from YouTube comprised 82%, followed by DailyMotion, 3%; MetaCafe, 2%; Google Video, 1%; and other, 10%. About 100 sites contribute to the "other" category, many of which support self-hosted videos. On Bing, YouTube contributed 38%; Bing, 37%; Vevo, 9%; Fox News, 4%; CNN, 3%; Blastro, 2%; Reuters, 2%; and other, 5%.
The study determines that transactional keywords only work in rare cases such as "buy snowboards" or "cheap skis." When it comes to optimizing videos, Weintraub suggests relying on keywords that provide information. "Tell your customers how to solve their problems," he says. "Take your FAQs and put them online with a talking head because that's what the search engines emphasize for users."
For instance, informational keywords that convert well include "congenital disorder," "snowboard comparison," diy oil change," "history of beer," and "how to ride a horse." That's because Google looks for content that informs. The universal SERPs' intent query results shook out as follows: Informational, 74 keywords, 62 videos, 84% with videos; Navigational, 73 keywords, 13 videos, 18% with videos; and transactional, 74 keywords, nine videos, and 12% with videos. One hundred percent of the videos returned in universal SERPs ranked on page one of a monitored platform if they weren't self-hosted.
Aside from publishing a site map and optimizing videos, Manny Rivas, online marketing account manager at aimClear, suggests doing keyword research in the YouTube Ajax search box. He says marketers should put in core keywords and look at the suggestions. It won't show volume of search frequency, but will reveal the popularity of a search against another. Put in a core keyword and run an alpha pattern with it, he says.
Getting on the first page of YouTube requires marketers to begin with keyword research and then use the Ajax suggest box. Start with informational searches -- the ones that work -- and then fill them in with product names to see what people look for on YouTube. Marketers also can use Scrape Box to mine the Ajax suggest box to see what works. Use it to optimize the title tag. Put a link in the description of the title tag, as well as in the tags and separate phrases with commas.
The goal to get specific keywords to serve up related videos on the first page of YouTube required Weintraub and company to conduct demographic research in the Ajax suggest box. It helped to find the keywords and optimize the tagging. The test consisted of 33 videos and 105 keywords that ended up returning 192 videos serving up on the first page of YouTube. Getting the videos to serve up on Bing or Google means they must also show up on the first page of YouTube.
Believe it or not, the study also reveals a need for engagement, finding users that actively post to the community page. Subscribers count. Similar to comments and reviews on product pages, YouTube looks favorably on a high number of comments, favorites and likes. It's about building the community.
Engagement matters. "If you want to maximize your chances for getting on the first page of Google and universal search engine page results, you have to actively participate," Weintraub says.