James Whitrow on Video Marketing, SEO and Get Seen Online (Interview)

James Whitrow is the director of Get Seen Online, a business providing SEO and corporate and creative videos. I was lucky enough to sit down with him to discuss his business, their services and a recent viral video that he produced called 'Herbert Wilkes, a Hungry Life.' If you haven't already, read the Herbert Wilkes article and watch the video, it's great stuff. I found James to by an interesting guy with lots of passion for his business and for getting results for their clients.

What is your role in the business? What is your background? How did you come to be doing what you do?

  • I am the owner of Get Seen Online, we have three employees. I’m responsible for marketing & sales, some of the tech work, research and development, managing accounts, content writing and optimisation. The other two in the business are primarily tech and SEO consultants.
  • I’ve always run my own business since the age of ten, in San Diego, when I folded papers for other kids in the street who were old enough to have their own paper route.
  • I’ve been in the IT space for about 15 years. Previously I had a full service network management business and our clients started asking for websites and SEO. Initially we outsourced the work but were not happy with the results and we realised we could do better. We started offering SEO as a service and eventually it became a separate business, and that’s how Get Seen Online was born.
What does Get Seen Online do?
  • We do what it takes to get you on page one of Google using SEO, Online Video, Social Media and other methods.
What are your core services?
  • SEO, Website development, Online Video
Where does video production fit into those services?
  • Video adds a great extra element for users. We can show footage of clients’ work, how to's, what its like to experience doing business with them; anything information and story driven.
  • The videos are mostly made for the client’s website then linked through Youtube and social networks.
How can videos be used for online marketing? What are the advantages of video over text?
  • People are lazy. Some people don't like reading a screen, videos are much easier on the eyes.
  • On the down side, written content gets more mileage for SEO than video, so it’s good to have a blend of both.
How does video marketing complement other online marketing techniques?
  • Adding video to your content provides a more complete package, giving information in many formats for different people's preferences
What should the videos be about?
  • Think about what people would want to watch
  • Do research - use Google's keyword research tool, for example type in 'how to ,’ to see if people are searching for ‘how to’ guides on that subject
  • Try and expose in an engaging way what is unique about your business
Is there a specific formula to make a video go viral? What are the biggest factors?
  • There's definitely something to having an X factor
  • Marketing is also important
  • It has push boundaries and there’s got to be something that makes you want to share
  • Short - around 1 to 3 minutes
  • Video and audio quality are important, people need to see and hear clearly what’s going on. Sound extremely obvious, but overlooked by so many videos. For some videos the music can make or break the video.
Are there any Youtube specific tips your can share?
  • Youtube wants people to be active. Logging into your account, friending, subscribing, commenting and voting are all things that Google/Youtbe likes, so do them.
  • Getting involved in the community will also help get your videos featured. Featured videos go on the home page and get lots of views.
How do the costs and returns of online video marketing compare to TV advertising?
  • The ratio of costs of TV ads to cost of online videos is anything up to 10 : 1 for production.
  • You can use a basic video camera that only costs $300 and both Macs and PC’s come with free editing software (imovie and windows movie maker) or you up the quality and hire a local company to use professional gear and do something slick, either way, the main requirement is to have a good story to tell
  • On the distribution side, for TV ads you need to pay for each showine
  • Online videos stay up forever so there's no limit to their potential
  • Many people, especially the younger generations, already watch more online video than TV.
Can business owners have success by creating videos themselves?
  • Yes, simple videos can be really easy to create provided you have content that will engage the viewer.
What are five things that small business owners can do to leverage online video for marketing?
  • The most important thing is to get good quality content. Think about what content might interest your customers, what do you see everyday that they might find interesting?
  • Steer away from blatant self promotion
  • Do research. See what kind of videos are popular on Youtube in your niche and use Google’s keyword tool to see what people are searching for
  • If you don't have much editing skill or software, plan your shot carefully to try and shoot everything in sequence so there's not much editing required.
  • Ask around, there’s plenty of people involved in film in some way who can help and advise.
How would you describe your SEO philosophy?
  • Focus on providing great content with the belief that Google will appreciate informative, entertaining and useful website content.
  • We do lots of research and monitoring of results.
How do you differentiate yourselves from other online marketing businesses?
  • We work face to face with customers as well as through the net.
  • We aim to find out what's unique about our clients and portray their uniqueness and reason for existence as a common thread throughout all the marketing material and content on their website
Why is website structure important for SEO?
  • It enables search engines to easily crawl all the relevant content
  • Coding is also important, for example you should use CSS for page layout rather than tables nested in tables
  • Title tags, descriptions, headings (h1,h2,h3 tags) are all important places to put keywords- they should all be matching and consistent and accurately represent and summarise the content.
What are some common mistakes you see in small business website design?
  • Keyword stuffing, by people who don’t understand keyword density
  • Using lots of meta keywords- Google have stated they no longer use them in their algorithms
  • Content that doesn’t relate to the page titles
Thanks again to James for giving his time for this interview. You can learn more about Get Seen Online and the services they offer at their company profile in our Internet Marketing Directory.

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