Think like a video searcher: SES panel

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NEW YORK - If you're producing video content, it is important to think like the video searcher to make the information easier to find.

Panelists at the Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo in New York yesterday pointed out that a whopping 123 million Americans consume videos online. This number shows that producing video content can lead to success -- as long as your content can easily be found.

"Video pages are strong contenders in regular search results, thanks to viral-driven linking," said Sherwood Stranieri, search marketing director at Catalyst, Newtonville, MA.

Further cementing the potential of this marketing channel, 72 percent of Americans watch news videos online. More than a quarter of that group is watching at least once a week.

Most video viewers and searchers are using YouTube, Yahoo Video and Google Video.

"A challenge in this area is the lack of a simple taxonomy and standards for producers," said Eric Papczun, director of natural search at Performics, Chicago. "In addition, search is too dependent on the text around video."

Besides thinking like the searcher, video optimization entails surrounding the video with HTML, creating video site maps, repeating video keywords and tagging files and scenes, Mr. Papczun said.

He said keeping videos in one file directory is useful as well.

Some video search engines actively crawl Web pages looking for video content. To optimize videos for such an engine, it is important to make sure the videos have keyword-infused metadata.

Other video search engines allow producers to upload their videos. To optimize for such sites, producers need to tag keywords and categories and have keyword-infused titles.

RSS engines allow producers to submit their video via XML feeds, where good keywords are crucial.

Marketers are increasingly aware of the importance that online video can play in a campaign.

"Brand yourself in your video, because 76 percent of video viewers help drive viral change," said Gregory Markel, founder and president of Infuse Creative.

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