SEO for Video

Featuring award-winning SEO expert, Eric Enge.

 
  • - [Amanda] Hey everyone, good afternoon. Thanks so much for joining us for today's masterclass. I'm Amanda Zantal-Wiener, and I'm a senior staff writer here at the HubSpot marketing blog. Today's masterclass is presented by the HubSpot Academy. HubSpot's official learning resource, and the worldwide leader in inbound marketing and sales education. HubSpot Academy offers free certification courses as well as free tools to not only help you grow your career, but also grow your business. Today we are joined by renowned SEO expert, Eric Enge. Who is, hello Eric.

    - [Eric] Hi.

    - [Amanda] Who is truly a veteran in the world of search engine optimization. He was named the 2016 Search Personality of the Year by the US Search Awards, as well as the search marketer of the year in 2016 by the Land Awards, and as if that weren't enough, he also coauthored The Art of SEO with Moz founder and very good friend of HubSpot, Rand Fishkin. But you can also read Eric's work in Forbes, Search Engine Land, Social Media Today, this is a very long list, as well of, of course, the HubSpot Marketing Blog. Way to represent, Eric. Welcome, and thank you so much for being here with us today.

    - [Eric] Well thanks for having me Amanda. I'm really looking forward to it.

    - [Amanda] Great, me too!

    - [Eric] Should be fun.

    - [Amanda] Me too. We actually covered a little bit on YouTube SEO on the marketing blog, so this'll be a really good way to sort of drill down and sharpen my knowledge of the topic as well. So just to kick things off, why is SEO for video an important topic for marketers? Doesn't YouTube take care of a lot of that for us?

    - [Eric] Well that's the problem is that people assume that SEO is something you don't have to pay attention to. In the regular world, they assume that Google takes care of it, and in the world of YouTube they assume YouTube takes care of it, and unfortunately they don't, and the reality is it's actually very hard to process the contents of a video and understand everything that's in it, so we have to do some work to make that easier on the search engine, and this case YouTube.

    - [Amanda] So are there any SEO tactics that we use in, say, blog posts that we can also apply to video search engine optimization?

    - [Eric] Well, I think the same concepts apply, right? So when you write a blog post, you put some thought into the title tag, and you want to make sure that you have a title tag that's compelling, it will entice users, but also has relevant keywords that you want that blog post to rank for, and you work on your meta description because you know that sometimes that shows up in the search results and therefore you want to actually expose that to the search engines as well, and you want to put some thought into that. So these same kinds of concepts are very much applied, and even before you get to that, I should've really started with this. It's deciding what you're going to create content about. So if I'm going to create a video, it probably makes sense to create a video that somebody might be interested in watching.

    - [Amanda] Oh that.

    - [Eric] Yeah, you've got to think about a topic that actually makes sense to the people and that would be engaging to them. So all these are things that you normally do when you're doing a blog post, and you need to do all of them when you're doing a video as well. It's really important to do that.

    - [Amanda] So if you're already a blogger optimizing for something like YouTube isn't as big and scary as it might seem on the surface.

    - [Eric] Well yes, I think that's true, of course, now you want to do this in the YouTube interface and actually be setting these kinds up inside of YouTube, so writing a good description, picking a good title for it, and things like that.

    - [Amanda] Well that's actually an interesting point that brings me to my next question which is what should we know as marketers, as bloggers, whatever category we fall into, about the YouTube platform and how it ranks in order for us to create content that's going to rank bigger?

    - [Eric] Yeah, so a lot of it of course is the same as we've already talked about. You want to have a good description, a good title, you want to pick a good category for it. These are all things that you want to do, and you also potentially want to have a full transcript of the video that you take the time to create. I think it makes a lot of sense to do that. These area all basics of YouTube optimization that make sense to do, and it's a part. You've got to put the time into this on every single video. It's really important. What it does, is it helps YouTube understand more about how it should treat and categorize your video, and what it's potentially good at ranking for.

    - [Amanda] So it gives YouTube the information it needs to figure out how to position your video in that way.

    - [Eric] Correct.

    - [Amanda] Excellent. So to that point, should we be optimizing our videos for both Google search results and for YouTube, or are they mutually exclusive?

    - [Eric] They are in fact very different. In fact, we have a little slide that I want to show you to give you some indication how different they are. So this is the example of a query called 12 Angry Men, and it actually has three videos that show up in Google in positions nine, 14, and 15. That's what the chart is saying here on the left, but in contrast, the YouTube rank for those same videos were positions five, three, and one. So the first ranking video in Google ranked in position nine, and the first ranking video in, well that video was position five in YouTube, and then the one that was in position 14 was position three in YouTube. So not only was the first ranking video in YouTube not the one that showed up first in the list of Google results, but they were actually in a different order, and what that should tell you right off the surface is that they actually have very different ranking algorithms for videos, and that's a little non-intuitive for people because they're both owned, both properties are owned by Google; they're owned by the same company. So you might think oh, well we'll take the first ranking video from YouTube, and we'll show it on the highest spot that we choose for a video in google. Doesn't work that way. So they have a really very different approach to things.

    - [Amanda] That's interesting, and I also would be remiss not to let you know that I love the example of 12 Angry Men by the way. It is a classic and wonderful play for anybody watching. Check it out when we're done here.

    - [Eric] Yep.

    - [Amanda] So with regard to sending that information to YouTube and giving it the data that it needs, how much time should marketers spend on something like on page SEO's? So the description, tags, the channel, versus off page SEO's. So things like social promotion and link building.

    - [Eric] Yeah, I do think that they both matter, and we actually have another slide that I want to show that relates to this conversation, and we'll have that up in a second. Actually we should skip that slide. Apologies for that. So here's just some stuff that's really a basic set of guidelines that I just spoke to for YouTube optimization and those things that you want to do, and when you think about how much time you should spend on these things, well, probably you have to spend some time on the keyword research, spend some time on the title. You've got to do raw keyword research to help feed those things, and then you have to think about what's 200 words of a really good description, and when you write that description you have to think about alright, if I have a user that's reading this description, why is it going to help entice them into watching my video? So you could arguably spend a good solid hour or even more per video. Which might seem like a lot of time from the perspective of different people in the audience to spend per video, but it kind of relates to a second concept for me. You shouldn't worry about pumping out tons of videos. You should really worry about getting the most out of the videos that you do create and publish, and for that reason I would think that it's worth the effort to really get these things right, because the difference between you and somebody else that has created a video on the same topic isn't necessarily a big, there maybe isn't a very big difference between you and them. So you got to get these finer points down really really well, and get that little extra edge.

    - [Amanda] Sure. It was so interesting to see that checklist on that slide that we just had up because that's not entirely unlike the way we go about writing and optimizing blog posts here on the marketing blog. So that was interesting to see those parallels and those intersections in terms of how to create great content, but as we said, it's not exactly the same beast. I do want to know, how does something like paid promotion through YouTube really aid organic traffic if at all?

    - [Eric] Well it does, and actually I do have another slide that I wanna show which will actually lead into that question, and really what I wanna actually talk about is a ranking factor that most people don't realize is a big part in getting videos to rank high on YouTube, and it's really about the total time people spend watching video on YouTube that you enable. Now let me actually back up and walk you through what I meant by that. So let's say someone comes to YouTube, and they start watching my video that I've posted, and let's say they watch the whole video. That's by itself a really good thing. That's a good ranking factor, but what's even better is if my video causes that user that started the session with our video goes on to watch another video, not necessarily one of mine, doesn't have to be, but they watch another video and yet another video. So there's a big part of the YouTube algorithm which is about maximizing total view time created by your videos. So it isn't just how good is your video, and do they watch all of it. Which, by itself would be a good thing, but do they go on and watch more videos? So this leads to a whole nother area of how you think about optimization in YouTube which is really important. Which is, excuse me, did you create good enough content that people want to watch the whole thing, and then is the content good enough that they want more related information? So this is a really big area that requires a lot of investment. The slide we had a moment ago that we should bring back up because now I get to get to your question which is okay, if I'm trying to maximize the amount of view time that my video creates for people, for YouTube, then what are ways that I can do that? And you mentioned this idea of paid social promotion. Like, you could do that in YouTube and effectively use ad words to drive extra video views, and this is one of the really hidden little secrets about YouTube that most people don't realize. If I use paid social promotion to actually drive more video views it will lift my organic rankings. So this concept of total views for your video figures into the algorithm in some way, and so when you do this paid social promotion it actually drives that, and it's a little bit non-intuitive because we've been told for years now that, oh, ad words doesn't interact with Google search rankings. That's verboten. We're not allowed to do that. The ad words team is over here in one walled garden, and the organic search team is over here in another walled garden, and they're not allowed to talk to each other. They can't even have lunch with each other.

    - [Amanda] Oh no!

    - [Eric] They can't go to the same parties.

    - [Amanda] That's so sad!

    - [Eric] Okay, it's probably not that extreme, but we get all this messaging, yet in YouTube it's very different. If you actually use paid promotion of your YouTube videos you do get more organic traffic for those videos.

    - [Amanda] Interesting. So let me throw an example at you just to make sure I understood and our viewers as well perhaps understand the first concept that you sort of laid out as a foundation of how paid promotion can work. I was watching a how-to video, a tutorial on how to make your sourdough starter survive, basically, which we'll talk about later.

    - [Eric] Yeah.

    - [Amanda] But basically it was from a flour company that I really enjoy, and I later went on to watch their other tutorials, they're other baking tutorials after watching the sourdough tutorial from start to finish. Is that a good example of how that phenomenon works, and how that concept works in terms of going on to watch more content from the same creator?

    - [Eric] Yeah, well, yes it is an example of it, and this is one of the reasons why you should always put your videos in playlists so you can entice people to go through your playlist.

    - [Amanda] Okay.

    - [Eric] But to take your example about sourdough. So they watch your video about how to get your sourdough bread to survive? Is that what you called it?

    - [Amanda] You're sourdough starter.

    - [Eric] Oh, you're sourdough starter to survive, okay.

    - [Amanda] You have to feed it like a baby.

    - [Eric] Okay, that's good to know. It's not a topic that I normally search on, but it actually works just as well if they go on and watch a video by someone else too.

    - [Amanda] Interesting, okay.

    - [Eric] YouTube doesn't care whether they're watching tons of your videos. Well they care. I shouldn't say that, but if starting with your video enables them or causes that user to watch three and four videos, they don't all have to be from you. You've enabled this total YouTube session time, alright, to take place, and just to give people some intuition as to why does this algorithm make sense, one of the things that makes YouTube so different than Google is that on Google when somebody starts a session on Google, especially in the early days of Google, Google's purpose was to get you where you wanted and get you off the platform. It was all about leaving Google. Now Google is now responding to a lot of questions directly, but even then it's still an in and out kind of thing. I got my answer, I'm out of here, right? On YouTube the whole game is I'm there to actually stay and have an experience on YouTube, and these two different models cause very different advertising models. So on Google the whole design is that the advertising is part of the content and part of the answer to the user's question. Especially for commercial queries. If somebody types in sourdough bread, they might assume that I'm wanting to buy some so links to places where I can buy sourdough bread is actually valid response to the users query, but on YouTube they've got to get you to watch a lot of videos so they can show you the ads in between or maybe you get the starter ad at the beginning if the video creator has enabled that. So they want to get you to watch more ads, and that requires getting you to watch more content. So the mentality is very different.

    - [Amanda] So it's more time that passes before you navigate away from that particular network. Facebook is actually doing something similar where they, you might have noticed that there are more, there are more tools to create content directly on the network, on Facebook, because it discourages people from navigating away. Sounds like YouTube especially with that advertising model works similarly.

    - [Eric] Yeah, they want to keep the users there. So the things that cause the users to spend the most time on YouTube are the things they're going to rank highest in YouTube organic search. This makes sense.

    - [Amanda] Excellent, excellent. That's great information. So let's say I have no YouTube channel. A lot of this,

    - [Eric] Heaven.

    - [Amanda] Oh I know, I know. I Saw that eye roll; I caught that. But let's say I'm a marketer, and I don't have a YouTube channel. Some of this might seem pretty daunting especially since a lot of what we've discussed sounds like your YouTube presence has to be almost a hybrid of a social network and a blog. What is your best advice for getting something like that up and running?

    - [Eric] Well, yeah. It can be very daunting for people, and of course I'm sitting here in a very nicely laid out studio here at HubSpot, and at Stone Temple we have a complete green screen studio set up,

    - [Amanda] That's very nice.

    - [Eric] And we do our videos there, and that may seem like the big overhead for people to engage into. It's like, we can never get there. I don't have the ten, 20, or $30,000 it takes to get started with all that, but you don't have to. I know when we first started doing our videos at Stone Temple what we did is we had, one of our offices had a white board behind us so we could scratch some things up there if we wanted to much like Rand Fishkin does in his white board Fridays.

    - [Amanda] White board Fridays.

    - [Eric] He always has something on the white board.

    - [Amanda] Yeah, we're big fans of that around here.

    - [Eric] Yeah, no, it's a great series, but you can stand in front of a white board and have a camera. It can be a fairly basic camera, and it can even be as basic as your phone camera if you have to. Better if you do a little better than that, but people are pretty tolerant of moderate video quality if the audio quality is really good. So that you need to invest in, and the content is really good. Especially if you're a smaller business. I mean seriously, just think about doing something where you tape a few videos that provide helpful information related to how people might be using your product or service, and just focus not on selling in it, but focus on how you answer the most common questions people have. You know what they are, right? So answer those questions. Do something very helpful, and try a few of those videos, and see if your customers are engaging with it, and if you have a store front you can talk to them as if they're walking through the front door, and they asked a question. Say, "Oh, we have a video that answers that," and you can answer the video for them right there. Sorry, answer the question for them right there, but refer them to the video because they won't remember the whole answer you gave them anyway.

    - [Amanda] And it'll help other customers who didn't come into the store.

    - [Eric] Right, exactly. That's a perfectly fine way to start, and as you get some traction from that you can over time do things to make the window dressing a little better. Maybe you have a little bit better backdrop. Maybe you invest in a backdrop with your company name and logo on it. I mean, that's not a minor investment, but $1,200 you have a nice screen behind you that, that we have a nice wooden wall here that you've invested in here at WoodSpot. Crates are really nice ambiance for the videos. You can do things like that.

    - [Amanda] Yeah.

    - [Eric] And you can do it a step at a time.

    - [Amanda] Sure.

    - [Eric] As long as, two things out of the gate that matter. Make the content really solid, and make sure the audio is really good, and that's a really important one because viewers are not tolerant of poor audio. Sketchy not perfect video? Fine. Audio has to be spot on.

    - [Amanda] That's interesting, and that keyword research that we were talking about earlier. That's also going to help marketers figure out what questions their customers current and potential are asking, and in terms of the quality in those steps up. Those little things that just make it a better viewing experience. I can't help but think of a post that my colleague on the marketing blog, Sophia Bernazzani wrote where she said, "If you're using your phone" "it doesn't matter how steady you think your hand is," "it's not as steady as you think" "so buy a tripod for your phone."

    - [Eric] No absolutely. Definitely need to have a tripod. I didn't actually state that. It was one of my assumptions, but ideally a tripod is out there in front of you somewhere.

    - [Amanda] You can buy one online.

    - [Eric] Do you're own thing, yeah.

    - [Amanda] So we actually had some questions from some of our great viewers on YouTube, or I'm sorry, on LinkedIn, and I was hoping that you might stick around a little while to answer some of those questions.

    - [Eric] Yeah, let's do it.

    - [Amanda] Okay, great! So Let's start with Ken. Ken wants to know, are video tags chosen first given more importance than later tags?

    - [Eric] So they tend to be given a little more weight, but on the other hand you're not putting 100 tags up there anyway, but for me I'm a hierarchical kind of guy, so I start with the major topics first and kind of work my way down.

    - [Amanda] Would you say the same goes for your description that you should front load it with the most important information since it gets cut off after a certain number of characters?

    - [Eric] So you've got two things going on with the description, right? One of which is that it's useful to have the most important topics covered in the beginning from an SEO perspective, but it's also useful from a user perspective. So as you're thinking about this you can't forget how important it is to entice the user, "Okay, I've got to watch this video." That plays into both the title tag and the description, right? So you can't get so lost in the SEO side of things that you scare the users away. Remember the view time and the level of engagement with your video are critical.

    - [Amanda] Great, great, so I'll move on to a question from Ricardo. Is there any advantage of using YouTube instead of another video platform for better ranking?

    - [Eric] It's actually a great question because a lot of people will talk about, well alright, if my video's on YouTube and Google chooses to show it in the rankings on Google, in the Google search results. I've got someone that sees my stuff on Google, but they go to YouTube. They're not going to my site, and wouldn't it be better if it was hosted on my own site and they came to my site? Well, it turns out that based on a study we did that the YouTube videos dominate the early results, and I'll give you an example. If you search on Ashton Kutcher videos, you're basically begging for videos, right, when your search query. In the beginning of the result is all actually YouTube videos, and then about halfway down on the first page you'll start to see some videos from other platforms, and so they're there, but if you want to get to the top YouTube seems to be the way to go.

    - [Amanda] Sure, sure. So Google is pretty good at figuring out what information it is that you're trying to gather in that way so, for example, sourdough starter tutorial usually gets me a lot of videos before it gives me print results if you will. So I want to move on to a question from Mark, which is would adding a 60 second vlog synopsis to a blog significantly help with the organic rankings and should we embed a video from YouTube or et cetera, et cetera?

    - [Eric] Sure. So in terms of the vlog or v-log, I mean, basically its transcript is what we're talking about here. Having a way to embed something, and the overall content of the video and expose that. I do think it's a good idea to do. I think it's worth taking the time to do that. Honestly you can do it quite cheaply as a full transcript with Speechpad will do it for less than $100 basically for most videos if, well that's a pretty feature length video. If it's a ten minute video you can probably do that for under $20, and get a complete transcript which would be really good. As for the embedding the video, I prefer to embed from YouTube. You've got to remember YouTube is a very large search engine. People sometimes mistakenly still call it the second largest video search engine out there I should say, which, that was a statement that was true before Bing was indicating they're results to Yahoo. Bing actually used a second largest by a more current measurement, but that still leaves YouTube as the third largest here in the United States and of course internationally it's bigger than Bing. So internationally it'll be the second largest. So I want to play in the YouTube space. I want to get rankings on, organic rankings on YouTube, and that means if I embed my video from YouTube then I'm driving more views which is driving my total view time metric for YouTube and increasing my chances that I'm getting those follow on video viewings. So I always embed from YouTube.

    - [Amanda] That's good to know. They definitely make it easier in terms of responsive embedding depending on what kind of content creation platform you're using and things like that. They just, they do at least in that respect make it a lot easier for you. We do have another question from Dan, but our scrolling seems to be frozen so I have a question in the mean time until we get that fixed with our technical difficulties. There's a lot of questions from people who want to become influencers on YouTube and things like that. So are there any guiding pillars of wisdom or anything that you might have for somebody who is an individual who wants to become an influencer on YouTube versus a B2B brand or something like that for YouTube optimization?

    - [Eric] Yeah, you could basically say add value, answer questions, help people. That's where it starts. If you're not doing those things then there's almost nothing you can do to become influential because that's what people gravitate towards. Now that's a starting place. Now let's get it to be a little more sophisticated than that and talk about some of the mechanics of how you build influence, but before I move on to those mechanics, they don't matter if you don't add value.

    - [Amanda] Right, right.

    - [Eric] Okay? Nothing will help you. So in terms of where you go from there, it's find the right places to answer questions for people. Be proactive. Find people asking questions online related to whatever you do, and answer those questions. Find other people who are already influential, and start interacting with them as much as you can. You have to be very judicious about that, and I have a way that I like to tell this. Like, tell I'm wanting the influencer to start liking me and start sharing my stuff, right, but I'm going to explain it with an analogy. Imagine I moved to a new neighborhood. and I get invited to a party for the first time. I don't start the whole conversation with people by saying, "Hi, nice to meet you." "Can I have five bucks?"

    - [Amanda] I might. No I'm just kidding.

    - [Eric] That's not the way you do that, right? So when you're trying to build a relationship with someone who's influential it goes back to the first thing I said which is how can you add value to them? And the first thing you can do is just comment on what they're saying, and maybe add an interesting angle or tidbit to the conversation, and back to that whole add values. So add value to the conversation. Maybe somebody there commenting on the influencers's post or video asks a question, you might give what you think the answer to the question is. Just be sure as you're doing that that you're comfortable that you're answer is based in sound fact, right? But as you start to do these things you'll start to get noticed, and you might at some point or another get a reply from the influencer, and they may in fact even disagree with what you said which is perfectly okay, and then you can say, "Oh, can you explain that?" and start creating conversations, and doing it in the places where the influencer's doing their publishing, that adds value right their to their media stream. You're participating in a conversation and interacting with them, and you're going to have to do that for a while, and a little further down the road you might see the influencer ask someone a question, and you might actually have the ability to get the answer for them.

    - [Amanda] Interesting.

    - [Eric] And I have kind of an interesting side story on that which I'm going to tell, because it has to do,

    - [Amanda] Go for it!

    - [Eric] It has to do with how I have built a relationship with Rand Fishkin, and it's a little bit odd because I was acting like a very brash young person. Now I am somewhat brash, I'm no where near young, and Rand is a lot younger than I am, but I was new in the search space at the time, or at least in terms trying to engage online, and Rand put out a blog post where he asked someone to volunteer to put together a study to evaluate how different analytics packages measure traffic. As it turns out they're all different, and I won't go into that whole story of how they're different, but they are quite different, and I saw that, and I was the first comment, and I said, "You have your volunteer." And I'd had some prior interactions, like I said. Just engaging and other conversations with people on his blog and stuff, and he said, "Great, it's yours." This particular thing ended up taking a solid 200 hours of my personal time.

    - [Amanda] Oh, that's a lot of hours.

    - [Eric] It was a very large commitment that I made on the fly shooting from the hip, but if I hadn't done that I probably wouldn't have been his coauthor on The Art of SEO.

    - [Amanda] Yeah.

    - [Eric] And it led to a lot of great things, and have a great relationship with Rand. He's awesome.

    - [Amanda] He is awesome.

    - [Eric] And love getting together with him. So I saw that request for help from an influencer, and I stepped up, and not only did I step up and say I would do it, I then went and did do it, and produced a really very successful study till.

    - [Amanda] And where can our viewers find said study just out of curiosity?

    - [Eric] Oh, this is a few years back,

    - [Amanda] Okay, okay.

    - [Eric] But if you search for the web analytic shootout I think you'll find it.

    - [Amanda] Okay, wonderful. So now we can finally get to,

    - [Eric] Dan's question.

    - [Amanda] Poor Dan's question, although I did love your analogy of "Hi, nice to meet you." "Can I have five dollars?"

    - [Eric] Yeah, right.

    - [Amanda] I'm going to try that at the next party I go to just to see what happens, but,

    - [Eric] Excellent.

    - [Amanda] I'll report back. Dan wants to know what is your recommendation for posting video on YouTube and/or Facebook? Videos uploaded directly to Facebook get more engagement, but posting them there and on YouTube requires twice the effort.

    - [Eric] Well, yes. It's a great observation that it requires twice the effort, and I'm going to make it even harder on you because,

    - [Amanda] Oh fun.

    - [Eric] I am. So YouTube videos, three to five minute range is fairly comfortable for a YouTube video. Obviously if it's the right topic you can go longer, but when you're trying to think of short, punchy, engaging videos you can have something that's minutes long. Facebook is a different animal, and you gotta start thinking about in Facebook what's the 30 second thing I'm doing? So not only do you have this task of potentially posting in two different places, but maybe what you should really be doing, and I know it's more effort, but I'm going to try and negate you more than double the results with the extra effort. So if you have a four minute video on YouTube, then think about how you can extract from it four or five quick hit snippets that you can throw in Facebook and post as separate videos in Facebook, and that's very effective for Facebook to do that. Because three minutes is way too long for Facebook.

    - [Amanda] And did you hear yesterday that Facebook is now going to be automatically playing videos with the sound on?

    - [Eric] Yes.

    - [Amanda] You want to weigh in on that?

    - [Eric] Well, they're being very aggressive. That's not the only way they're being very aggressive. They want to draw you into the videos. They want to be very competitive with YouTube. They obviously are very successful and very competitive in some sense, but also you see it in the way where what they describe what's a video view in Facebook versus what it requires to be a view on YouTube. What is it, six versus 30 seconds or something like that? So Facebook's video view count is arguably greatly inflated when compared to YouTube because you have to last for a while in a YouTube video before they'd consider it.

    - [Amanda] Yeah, there was some drama around those analytics last year.

    - [Eric] Yeah.

    - [Amanda] Yeah. We do have a question slash comment from Nick if we can scroll down to that that would be awesome, but Nick very nicely opened his question with, "Hi Eric, thanks for hosting this webinar!"

    - [Eric] Hi Nick!

    - [Amanda] So our scroller is broken again, so there we go. Perfect, sorry guys. Sorry Nick. Based on your experience he wants to know what is the most effective white hat link building strategy?

    - [Eric] So that's being asked as a very broad question. I'm going to start with a very video-specific answer, and then I'll expand upon it a little bit.

    - [Amanda] Sure.

    - [Eric] So one of the things we didn't mention is that in Google ranking in Google for videos is driven by two major factors. One is the relevance of the video to the query, and the other is whether or not the video has attracted any links. Oh my, it sounds like a regular Google search ranking algorithm, and that's what it is. So Nick's question pertains very nicely to the whole theme of our event today, which is, okay, I really should try to attract links to my videos. There's a couple of things I'd like to do about that. One is I'd like to get my YouTube video embedded in other people's websites if I can, and one way to do that is offer to write a guest post around the video of only high authority sites. Don't give me this BS crappy stuff. I'm not talking about that. Really good places where there's a real audience for your video. Right a related guest post, and pair the video, and that's good. The other thing you can do is you can ask people to review the video. You can have someone be a guest with you on the video, and maybe they'll write something about it or link to it. These kinds of things. So these are all really good tactics for getting links to your YouTube video. More broadly to answer the generic white hat link building strategy, it actually goes back to the influencer answer. You have to start by adding a lot of value and answering questions and helping people with your content. Nobody wants to link to your blog post on your site about why you should buy their services. Nobody wants to link to that. Nobody cares about that. You might care about it, but you're the only person. You and your mother. So you have to produce great content, but now there's good things to do with that, and I'm going to actually mention a study that was done by Moz together with BuzzSumo a couple of years back where they looked at over a million articles, and what they were trying to do was find what content got the most links and most shares together? What had the strongest correlation between links and social shares, and in aggregate your viewers are going to enjoy this tremendously. In aggregate it was proven by this study that there's almost literally zero correlation between getting lots of social shares and lots of likes.

    - [Amanda] That is the sad truth, Eric.

    - [Eric] Yeah, yeah it is. However, they dug in a little deeper to find cases where they were able to identify a strong correlation between social shares and links to content, and they found it happened in two major places. One is opinion-forming journalism, okay? Most notably on well-known sites like New York Times and sites like that. The key there is the the opinion-forming journalism is only useful if people care about your opinion. You have to have earned that level of respect for that to work.

    - [Amanda] Oh yeah.

    - [Eric] The other thing which might be more interesting as a way for people to get started with how do I track links to my site, data-driven research studies, and this is something we use in a big way at Stone Temple Consulting. I know one of the last posts I did on HubSpot was about a study we did about Twitter engagement, and when you put together and pull together really good research information and you give that to people freely, you will be able to attract links to that, and to make it even better and seed the process, not only should you publish the great content, but yeah, you should before you publish the content have identified the bloggers who've written about related stuff and the media people. Make sure you know who they are. Pick selected one of those and pre-pitch them. You want to see this data in advance. They're getting privilege of seeing it before it's published to the world. That actually works really well. A lot of those people or some of those people will be likely to say, "Yeah, I'd love to see the data," and you give it to them what we call under embargo, which means they're not allowed to write about it until whenever you say.

    - [Amanda] An NDA can be helpful there.

    - [Eric] Yes, and so this whole process allows you to create something that people want to write about it. People love data. One other very important point about this though. When you put together this kind of data-driven research you have to invest the time and energy to make sure it's really solid, and you have to make sure that you let the data you gather tell the story. When you decided to do a study you probably had some assumptions about what conclusions might happen, right? That you might find. You've got to ignore that. The data tells the story. It might prove you wrong, and if that case, by the way it's probably an even better story, and to tie this back into the whole YouTube and video story again, data-driven research study also makes for really cool videos that get very high video views as well. So it all kind of fits together. What I like to do with it then is write my content about the data-driven study, embed the YouTube video that we taped about the study in it, then do the promotion to media people and influencers and others to get them to share it and write about it. Throw out lots of to the site where I published the study. Draw lots of attention to the video, draw videos back to my video feed, and now I'm helping my YouTube rankings at the same time.

    - [Amanda] That's really interesting because we're big on experimentation here, and we love to write about our experiments, and I know that we're not entirely alone in that. So that seems like it's a great example of where you can not only create written content about it or written summation of what you discovered in your experiment, but also multimedia content as well.

    - [Eric] Correct, yeah, and so early on we in this talk today we talked about how important having the right content was and having really good killer content. Data-driven stuff is awesome, and it could be as simple as you ran a series of experiments like I'll go back to a storefront example. Maybe you have 50 people come through your store every day, and you might run an experiment where for one part of the day you stage your store a certain way, and the next part of the day you stage your store a different way, and you see and just get some anecdotal evidence maybe about how that impacted the user experience, and I made that example up kind of on the fly, but it's not like you have to spend millions of dollars on this data for it to be interesting.

    - [Amanda] Sure, sure. I think we have time for one more question. This time from Maria. Should there be different SEO strategies for optimizing a video title for YouTube versus optimizing the title of the same YouTube video embedded on a website detail page? I didn't if you can do that. So if that is possible, how would you go about doing that?

    - [Eric] So I'm hoping that I interpret Maria's question correctly, and the way I'm going to interpret it is if I embed the YouTube video in a blog post should the title of the blog post be the same as the title that we use for the video in YouTube?

    - [Amanda] That's probably a logical interpretation versus how I was reading it.

    - [Eric] Well, I was working on it while you were talking about it, okay.

    - [Amanda] Let's sound it out and work through it.

    - [Eric] Right, exactly. We're practicing our way through this question.

    - [Amanda] Yes.

    - [Eric] My initial reaction is that I would make those different, and a couple of reasons. The sort of the really basic SEO reason is I probably wanted to rank for some different kinds of different things, but I think there's also a good solid user reason to which is if I'm choosing to write a blog post, and I'm embedding the video in it, the blog post probably has more in it than just the transcript of the video, and that's normally what I would advice in that situation is that you can take the embedded video and below it have the transcript of the video or write some really nice introduction up top which introduces some other aspects and considerations that relate to your video. So the blog post is a big more than just video plus the transcript, and therefore I think having a different title makes sense.

    - [Amanda] Interesting. You know, I can't help but think about the fact that here we are, we're doing a live video, and is there anything about live video in particular that needs to be especially optimized in a different way than prerecorded video does?

    - [Eric] Well, yeah. I mean, the academy here at HubSpot is awesome,

    - [Amanda] Thank you.

    - [Eric] And you do lots of great stuff, and when you're thinking about these things, I think you have to start thinking about how are you going to get the audience, right? And as you know, it's a really serious investment of time, and you spend a lot of time working on doing the right thing so you can bring a really significant audience to videos like this because they are a large investment, and so to me that's the big thing that, it really plays into the rest of the conversation. Of course you always want an audience, but live videos are about being in the moment, right? And for that reason that whole process of audience building has to come almost first, and I think you have to have really good social promotion around it and get people aligned to the exact time when it's going to be showing and these kinds of things, and there's definitely more of a marketing machine there. So if you're a small business, and you're just starting with video, I'm probably not starting with live video. I'm probably starting and then getting my feet wet with basic taped video. Let's see how I can get some things going with that. So that's one of the things I think is very different for me, and I think you probably need to have a bit more experience with the whole thing. Now the first time I did Facebook Live, I mean I just had my phone, I was walking around my office, but,

    - [Amanda] So no tripod.

    - [Eric] No tripod. I knew my hand was obviously not perfectly still, but on the other hand because of that experience what I did was I did literally walk around the office. "Hey I want to show you people our core values." "Here they are on the wall," and I was kind of playing off the advantage of having it be mobile so that it would be okay that it wasn't a stable platform, but yeah, the big question is how you going to make sure you have the audience there? Right?

    - [Amanda] Right. Is there a platform that you prefer for specific purposes in terms of something like B2B versus something like what you were doing? You were using a Facebook Live for a very informal have a look behind the scenes type of situation. Is that, is Facebook Live conducive to that type of thing, or?

    - [Eric] Well, I mean Facebook does a nice job of pushing it out there, so even with a fairly modest following you can get people watching your video which is really nice. So that's probably a pretty good way for somebody who's just beginning to experiment with live video to start. Yeah, the first Facebook Live video I did I think was for a search engine journal or something like that, and with a minimal promotion we got a fair amount of viewers for it. So it worked really well.

    - [Amanda] Great, great. We have another question from Chris. Chris says, "I'm learning more and more" "that videos are best for awareness," "the awareness stage in the B2B world." "What are your thoughts on that Eric," and do you recommend creating" "a whole series of front-loaded shorts" "for in-stream video ads?"

    - [Eric] So I think the awareness point is a good one, and if you think about what I've been saying throughout our talk today, you know, add value, help people, these sorts of things. I actually am addressing the awareness issue with that. So I'm not really pushing this idea of hocking my wares. Really just actively helping people through the whole process. So that does lead to awareness, and it really plays to how the world has changed from 20 years ago when all the promotional stuff people did out there, it was a form of advertising we call push advertising. You know, in your face.

    - [Amanda] Out bound.

    - [Eric] Yes. Yes, out bound. Like the TV experience.

    - [Amanda] Sure, sure.

    - [Eric] You know you watch TV, and you're sitting there, and if you're too lazy to get up, and you didn't DVR it so you can't skip the ads. The ads come at you.

    - [Amanda] Yeah, yep.

    - [Eric] Right, it's being pushed at you. Well, what's really good about an awareness approach is that it leads people to start to trust you. Right, and they start to develop some affinity for you, and therefore when they're ready to buy something like what you sell, there's something of an inclination to go back to you, and this plays both in B2B and B2C. I think it was Chris that asked the question, and his question is spot on. It's even more important than B2B, and to some degree even more effective than B2B, because B2C situation consumers aren't necessarily overwhelmingly loyal. They're ready to move on to the next thing pretty easily. Loyalty still works with B2C and with consumers, don't get me wrong, but in the B2B space if you're the one that's been educating that buyer you've built some trust, and they're really very likely to come back to you. That's why it works so well for you.

    - [Amanda] Excellent, excellent. We have about two minutes left, and I just want to close it out with a question from Amy, and this almost goes back to some of the live video things that we were talking about earlier and some of the responsive things we were talking about earlier in terms of embedding videos. Amy wants to know if you can share any best practices on SEO when it comes to mobile video.

    - [Eric] Well I mean, to me the thing that makes video so important, it's all about mobile, right? There's a whole, we could spend another hour on this topic, but we live in a world today where in just a few years time 75% of the internet connected devices on planet earth will be something other than the PC tablet or a smartphone. It's going to be like you're watch, it's going to be your thermostat, your TV, your refrigerator, your car. All these things are going to be connected. I mean everything is going to be connected, and yes we will get to people having embedded things in their body at some point. I'm not signing up to that one to be honest, but,

    - [Amanda] Me neither.

    - [Eric] But the point about all these things is there's no browser, okay? And you're going to be speaking to them. You're going to be speaking commands to them. I mean yeah I have a little browser I can use on my iWatch here, and I can poke around at it, but it's not going to be too long before I'm going to do everything by speaking to it. And then it will connect me on the web to my global digital assistant and takes care of everything for me. The point of all this is that those devices, the last thing I want is to get this long chunk of text that I've got to scroll through, and I want to deliver via video. This is what makes, well one of the ways I want to deliver is via video, and the other would be by voice. Those are going to be the two major vehicles. So everything we've been talking about to some degree has been to prepare for that. That we are going to have a world which these are going to be the major mediums.

    - [Amanda] It's almost scary to think about, but at the same time as a marketer it's fascinating.

    - [Eric] Ah, well as a marketer you gotta love it because disruptive events in the market is how businesses are made.

    - [Amanda] I will embrace it help moving forward. Eric it was so nice to meet you. Can I have five dollars? I'm just kidding.

    - [Eric] I gotta go now.

    - [Amanda] In all sincerity, in all sincerity no dollar amount attached, it was wonderful to have you here today. A lot of this advice was priceless. I'm sure our viewers will agree, and I hope we can have you back for some future webinars. Be sure to check out Stone Temple Consulting for more of Eric's expertise, and of course always check out what we're offering you here at HubSpot Academy. The official learning resource of HubSpot. Thank you Eric.

    - [Eric] Thank you everybody.

    - [Amanda] Bye!
  • Amanda Zantal-Wiener
    Amanda Zantal-Wiener
    Senior Staff Writer, HubSpot Marketing Blog
  • Eric Enge
    Eric Enge
    Founder & CEO Stone Temple

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