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Creating a video sitemap for Google search

Adding video to your website is a key element today,  just as adding social media elements is a must do in today’s world of organic search. To gain page one video placement you need to get the video indexed by Google.  We all know of pushing an XML site map to gain organic traffic to our content, however many do not know to add a video sitemap, in addition. Check with your webmaster or agency to be sure they know to do this.  The Quick Online blog had a great article on this a few months back, and it is worth revisiting or visiting for the first time, especially if you are adding videos to your site or are already using video.  The blog  also addresses, hosting videos on your site vs feeding from YouTube or DailyMotion.

How to Get Your Videos Indexed by Google  by Quick Online blog
March 1st, 2010
Guest post by Keiros.
How to get your videos listed on Google? Have you already noticed while performing a search on Google, those videos thumbnails displayed on the left side of some sites? They are definitely great traffic attractors, and having such a video associated with your site when being on 5th or 6th positions of the search results page may be better in terms of “click-thru-rate” than being on 1st position without it.
There is an additional bonus in having a video associated to your site: on some occasions, Google displays in a block titled “Video results for Keyword“, often on the 3rd or 5th position, several videos, and when it is the case, you can jump several positions and land directly on the first page to join an already existing video results block.

The trick is to find a search argument for which your page is already ranking well but not yet on the first page, with Google displaying a Video Results group on first page: you will benefit from the optimization work of those who made the way to the first page.

Found the perfect search request? All you need to do now is to make your video indexed by Google, and that’s the easiest part !

1.Put a video on your page : I mean a real video, hosted on your site, not on Youtube or DailyMotion. You need a .flv file (or .mpg, .avi, .mp4) and a video plugin that supports this kind of video formats. Jing is perfect to record onscreen action and make nice video tutorials.
2.Create a thumbnail of your video : that’s the thumbnail that Google will display on its search results page, so making a good quality thumbnail out of your video is an important step. Personally, I’ve found that 160×120 gif or jpg works well for that purpose….and they actually don’t need to be extracted from your video. Any image pertinent to the content of your video will make the trick.
3.Create a video sitemap : Video sitemaps are XML files similar to usual sitemaps but using a different syntax. See an example.
4.Submit your video sitemap to Google : Video sitemaps can be submitted in Google Webmaster Tools exactly as a standard sitemap. If you had not yet registered your site in Google Webmaster Tool, that’s the perfect occasion to do it now.

Video Sitemap example

( See HTML on the Quickonline site)

The video-specific XML tags are pretty straightforward, but if you need more detail, you can check this page on Google Webmaster Central: Creating Video Sitemaps. Don’t forget to optimize your video sitemap by inserting your main keywords in the video tags, it will give an additional boost to your ranking if done meaningfully.

Guest author Keiros is an outsourcing and infrastructure management consultant, and a contributor to SEO Chat Forum. You can also write guest posts and share your Google tips with our readers.

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Adding video to your social media efforts.

Yes, you should be adding video to all of your social media efforts.  You need to have your various teams from marketing, corporate communications, sales, training and operations be gathering up all those old videos and b roll and repurposing them for the digital age. Thus creating a digital dam of video from which to repurpose.

If you do not have the inhouse expertise,  there are many video companies who do that very economically.  I like Mantis Media for my video shoots and edit repurposing.  I also like Burst Marketing for podcasting.  There are hundreds of companies doing this work, so just ask your team who they use. If they tell you it is going to be expensive, then call my guys and get a bid.  The cost is very affordable, so don’t let your teams lack of excitement about harvesting the old stuff give way to the rush of doing all new stuff, but be sure that either way it includes digital use rights.  Review your talent/model release forms and your video contracts to be sure that you have the rights on past work and even more important that it is included for any new shoots.

Buy a HD flip camera for fast video capture which is under $200. It has a USB plug in and is so easy to use and capture…store openings, customer testimonials.  You can also record YouTube style videos with a web cam.  If it does not come on your lap top, for under $100 you can get a HD web cam with a USB.

This should not wait to be part of the 2010 plans, this needs to be done now!… so get video shot, edited and most important uploaded to website, blogs, twitters, Facebook and other sites that will take your video like Flickr, Vimeo, Vodpod and others.

Use Compete.com for your own and others web traffic stats.

Need a quick gut check on your website traffic and Alexa data is not what you thought or you cannot find yourself on Alexa, then try Complete.com.

Here is what their website says “Compete.com provides advertisers, agencies and media companies with actionable digital intelligence. Hundreds of clients, including the world’s leading brands, rely on Compete to help them create more effective websites and more targeted advertising campaigns.”

A lot of what you will want is in the Pro edition and not the free version, but for fast gee how do we stack up against xyz competitor this will do nicely.

Compete’s products include online media planning and measurement tools as well as digital research in the automotive, consumer goods, financial services, media, retail, telecom and travel industries.

Are you minding your DAM, UGC and RM on your website and digital assets?

These letters,  DAM, UGC and RM, will be the new buzz words of 2010 and on.  If you have an idea of what I am talking about congrats.  If not, then let me bring you up to speed.

DAM  is the acronym for Digital Asset Management.   This is taking all your digital assets, copy, video, audio and creating a platform that allows the assets to be utilized and re-purposed for collateral, blogs, web site and other social media and editorial means.

UGC is User Generated Content. This when your clients, customers or prospects or strangers, create the digital assets for you.  Thus they create the content through their search on your web site, through ratings, reviews, forums, blogs and twitters. This is a key way to improve content search and discover-ability.  The goal is to have your content discovered on the web, not advertised on the web.

RM is Rich Media. Those are images that give the visitor to your site more visual information and content about the subject, which reinforces your messaging, image and brand. These RM initiatives are usually hosted by a third party, since you do not want to slow down the band width of your website.

So why are these important? Now there are three ways content is coming to you that you need to manage as a CMO. The content is coming text and media from writers or your agencies, management and editorial team for your web site. Social commentary as a listening post and feedback through twitter, blogs and search. We now add user generated content such as surveys, recommendation, ratings, posts, wikis, discussion, and file shares.

What social media elements should be included in your 2010-13 marketing plans.

 Many CMO’s ask what is the landscape in social media, how much, how deep, how high?  This list may have terms you have not heard of and need to get up to speed on fast. 

I love the Mashable blog and it’s info and some of the answer to that questions is in this blog piece. Peter Kim has done a fabulous job of naming the 22 steps in a social media plan.  What he is missing is the gaming pieces for the youth market and texting SMS, MSM and mobile. I also really like that he linked examples for each.

Reading his blog, he is very spot on.  Here is his bio. “Peter Kim is a Senior Partner at Dachis Corporation.  He blogs about social computing and marketing at Being Peter Kim.”

“Here’s a framework of 22 tools to consider with notable brand examples:

1. Blogs (Johnson & Johnson, Delta Air Lines)
2. Bookmarking/Tagging (Adobe(), Kodak)
3. Brand monitoring (Dell, MINI)
4. Content aggregation (Alltop, EMC)
5. Crowdsourcing/Voting (Oracle, Starbucks)
6. Discussion boards and forums (IBM, Mountain Dew)
7. Events and meetups (Molson, Pampers)
8. Mashups (Fidelity Investments, Nike)
9. Microblogging (method, Whole Foods)
10. Online video (Eukanuba, Home Depot)
11. Organization and staffing (Ford, Pepsi)
12. Outreach programs (Nokia, Yum Brands)
13. Photosharing (Rubbermaid, UK Government)
14. Podcasting (Ericsson, McDonalds)
15. Presentation sharing (CapGemini, Daimler AG)
16. Public Relations – social media releases (Avon, Intel)
17. Ratings and reviews (Loblaws, TurboTax)
18. Social networks: applications, fan pages, groups, and personalities (British Airways, Saturn)
19. Sponsorships (Coca-Cola, Whirlpool)
20. Virtual worlds (National Geographic, Toyota)
21. Widgets (Southwest Airlines, Target)
22. Wikis (Second Life, T-Mobile Sidekick)”