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 The Cotton Company uses video for the business and for the vendors' individual booths often.  Perhaps you would like to know more about how and why we use video to gain search engine rankings.

Numerous articles exist on the subject of "SEO", (search engine optimization). I think we've tried literally 90% of the best advice we could find over the past 15 years but one item stands out for us as the most effective. The single most important, most cost effective, and most long lasting item to use is video.

Here are 4 easy steps to using video and why.

Step one (1) is most business owners use text, simply because it's the easiest to do and costs nothing. The cost of text is minimal, the barrier to entry to compete for SEO rankings is nothing, and the competition is fierce. I just said "your chances are practically zero if text is a focus on obtaining higher search engine results for the work done". You can not write enough articles to make an appreciable difference, unless you are well schooled in adding "new" content.

"Effective" video has far less competition, Google loves video over text ( one reason being YouTube is now really Google) and Google is the one single search engine that produces results for search inquiries.. You really need to do this because when you eliminate your competition for rankings by 90%, you increase your chances to be found. Video does this. You need to avoid spending large amounts of money to do a video though.

Tip 1:

A. Look for "wedding videographers" or "wedding photographers" to do a professional video for you.

The reason to look for them is if you contract with the videographer on days in which there are no weddings, i.e., Monday - Thursday, you can get greatly reduced rates from a professional who works in far more stressful environments and will work for less. The videographer has downtime and it's in a given time period so you can expect reduced rates.

Tip 2:

A. Use music in your background that you do not have to pay royalties for.

Music adds a professional touch and the right music, repeated video after video, gives a branding effect to your videos and company.

Tip 3:

A. Do not use "professional actors/actresses/models" unless absolutely necessary.

I'm basically giving this tip because many feel if not done using professionals, then it's not "good enough" or portrays the wrong impression. Not so. Video is basically an extension of "social media" which is a person to person, person to group, group to group experience. This is your market and this market expects to see warts, blemishes, and all the other imperfections people have. That in and of itself adds credibility.

If you have the funds to hire professionals then surely do so, but most of us don't. Even when one does then often the professionals will "dumb down" to look like us and make identity easier..

The 2nd step is post the video where the potential customers are.

Items to avoid here are deferring to the "lawyers", "PR" dept. etc., which is characteristic of larger corporations, or web sites with 10's of thousands of daily hits. I'm writing this for the business owners who would love to get 10 - 50,000 hits per day so use as your situation is.

The main thrust of this argument is this.

Tip 4:

A. The potential customers are on YouTube, not on your web site!!!

If you are a robber, you rob the bank because that's where the money is ( or was till Government became the Robber Baron!!!). Your potential customer is searching for information on YouTube, NOT ON YOUR SITE!!! ( If they are already on your site then why are you spending time on SEO?) You should spend your time on "landing page optimization". Why in the world would anyone only embed the video on their site is totally beyond me, yet they do. Somehow the reasoning can be rationalized as to why and, from my experience, it makes no sense.

YouTube allows embedding in other sites, connects to the world, and gives the highest chances of success if you are looking for customers. It's great to have people like your video so much that they want to put it on their blog, web site, or link back via FB or Twitter. What a compliment to a job well done. And you also should avoid putting in the typical "legal" disclaimers such as threatening prosecution unless you have my permission in stone displayed on top of the Empire State building, and lit at night. Be reasonable and remember what your goals are. Very few of us are trying to win an Emmy or Oscar for video quality or acting. What we want is many views which create followers who want to use our product or services.

Do not scare away your customers and those who want to share your work with legal threats. In other words, to the legal dept. folks, get a life and get on board with what reality is about..

The 3rd step will be Tip 5:

Be sure to put in your video:

A. Your web address

B. Name of your business

C. Phone number and address ( sometimes on the address as must be relevant to your business and need of customer to know).. This is really important because when one embeds your video, even if a competitor, they really are showing your business to many other folks and how to find you. Your ideal is a competitor who gets 100x the hits that your web site does daily, taking your video and using it because of your unique content, and creating new business for you.

Think this is preposterous? Well it isn't. AdWords ads are predicated upon this exact same principle. Adwords ads show up above and beside the generic search results to steal away potential customers finding what they were looking for. The Adwords advertiser knows that and has that "last minute chance" to steal away the results of the SEO by the organic search folks.

The 4th Step will be

Tip 6:

Once you've posted your video on YouTube, go change the "category" classification every 3-6 months.

When you go to post your video on Youtube you're given about 13 "Categories" to post it to and you have to choose one. This is the category that is most similar to your video content. You can choose "How To", or "Education" or "Science & Technology" etc. Some of these categories generally have a larger audience and may increase your chances of "views" of your video.

After you've posted to the category most likely to fit then come back 3-6 months later and

1. Observe how many "views" you received and record that

2. Change your category to a new category and save your settings. ( this assume your video pertains to at least 2 categories)

3. Watch your "views" in the new category over a 3-6 month time period.

Tip 7.

Videos have a long life if you recycle them.

What you just did was actually recycle an old video, which is now "new content" to YouTube and Google because the new category classification has opened the door to new potential customers who view "new content" added to the category. You're an "organic recycler"!!!

Let me make a distinction now you need to always remember. "Views" don't accomplish your tasks, do not sell your product or services but can inflate your ego. Stick to your goals and hopefully they are the first items mentioned, not ego. As a cautionary note to all. There are companies and ad agencies that literally pay companies to "increase the "views". You can buy 'views' " ( going rate about $20 per thousand) from these companies and your video will get an astonishing increase of views. Mind me thats views, not sales. Keep your goals in mind.

Just stick to the steps as specified and you ought to have zero problems with how to use video to gain search rankings easily, rapidly and well. Simply do the things you have to, for the reasons given and steer clear of the difficulties and traps explained. Then congratulate yourself as you actually experience the benefits and rewards of having successfully used video to gain higher meaningful search rankings! And all by just your personal efforts!

  Here is a video from The Graham Johnson Cultural Arts Endowment that utilizes some of the above concepts discussed.   Also you can type in "video" into the "search" of The Cotton Company web site to see how in retail video is used.