I think video is a huge boon in many markets. It does an especially strong job of conveying trust to get people to want to learn and/or buy from you, showing things that are hard to describe with words (visualizing them somehow makes them more real … that is why so many e-books have fake covers after all), and sharing humor (as laughter is contagious and video can put you in an atmosphere where others are showing an emotion with clarity).
I added a bunch of 5 minute videos to many of my SEO tools and saw a drastic decrease in support queries. Some people who are too lazy to read a 10 page how to guide will gladly watch a few minute video to learn how to get the most out of using a tool.
In addition to those benefits, video is also easy to syndicate to other sites (via embed widgets you offer directly or via YouTube). If someone embeds your video in their blog they often link back to your site (especially if you use watermarks and/or aggressively brand your site in the video) plus someone embedding a 5 minute video from you tells your audience that they really trust you.
I think the singular biggest error many people make when syndicating video to YouTube is not also adding more value on their own sites. A transcription of the video placed on their own site adds a lot of descriptive keyword rich text that they can rank for, plus adding a bulleted list synopsis to your own site ensures that your site aspires to remain the destination rather than letting YouTube get all the links you earned. I tried to do a pretty good job of the later when I posted the videos to my blog, but my videos sub-domain is still a bit sloppy and could use some work.
With video content Google does not have much textual content to weigh the videos against, so it is best to use short keyword dense descriptive titles with meta descriptions that help back them up. On many of the videos I submitted to YouTube I made titles that were a bit too long and perhaps spammy to be optimal.
My wife has been playing around with YouTube and has done better than I have at getting her videos included in the search results than I have.
Six more bonus video optimization tips:
- When in doubt, shorter with better clarity is typically better than comprehensive. And slower / calmer voice is better than quick speaking.
- Annunciation matters. If you have trouble speaking clearly for long periods of time practice, and then record in smaller chunks. Buy a nice microphone with a pop filter. It is worth it. It makes everything you say more clear.
- If you post to your site and YouTube try to use a different title on your blog such that you can try to rank for a wider net of keywords.
- If you have the time to it may be worth submitting to Google Video, MetaCafe, and a couple of the other video sites. Some of them pass link weight and many of them have good authority.
- Read this TechCrunch post …it offers lots of great viral video marketing tips.