I'll admit that as a marketing manager I'm typically slow to allocate budget and time towards a new trend until I start seeing concrete examples of that new trend providing some ROI? Well, an example fell right into our lap and I'm sold.

Universal Search
The term Universal Search has almost become mainstream now. Since all the buzz at this year's SES San Jose conference, many websites and blogs have focused articles on the new art of optimizing images, news, video, and blog posts for the search engine results page (SERP). Universal Search has opened up an opportunity to grab some real estate on the SERP once reserved for plain text results. Although some feel Google has given some hint of backing away slightly from Universal Search, I (and many others) think the concept is here to stay. More and more people will be looking for that rich media search experience and will classify those as quality search results as they currently do with the plain text variety.

The Video
Jennifer Laycock referenced a Universal Search post I had written and in the comments of her post was a real-life case study. Michael Dorausch of ADIO chiropractic realized the very positive results that Universal Search can bring. His posted video showing the use of a "drop" table in adjusting a patient's spine brought thousands of views and even new clients via exposure to organic search. We started an email dialogue and Michael was excited to share his experience with me.

I asked Michael what prompted him to make the video and what were his expectations:

"Like many other things online, it basically came out of an opportunity to try out something new. When you think about it, what is there to lose? I already owned a video camera, and had enough knowledge to know how to create a short video, and upload it.

I didn't have any expectations other than to see what would happen, and map the results. I had no awareness that universal search would've come into play, injecting my video into organic search results. Had I known that, I may have spent some more time titling and describing the video itself. Fortunately I included phone numbers and URLs in the video footage. The first client that I had as a result of the videos stated they were a motivating factor for coming to the office. He was tech savvy and traveling on business. He told me later that he figured if I was smart enough to market with online videos, I'd have similar skills in my practice. I love business and tech savvy clients, because they really understand your intentions, and they're often more than happy to share their input."

Let's take a look at Michael's video:

The Results
The video cost Michael nothing but his time and resulted in at least one new paying client. The cost to acquire that new client was next to nothing. My math could be off, but to me that sounds like pretty good ROI. The video is clean, simple and informative and yet did not require a studio production or the hiring of trained talent. At last check the video had been viewed 9,764 times and had 75 reviews on Google Video. Not bad for a camera set up in the corner of the office and some simple video editing! Note also that he included his company name and contact information which was key in actually gaining clients.

Michael, who blogs at Chiropractic Blogs and is an active member on sites such as Sphinn, is no stranger to social media. Imagine the possibilities if he created a set of educational chiropractic videos, optimized them for organic search, then used his social media presence to draw attention to the videos and his practice?

Stories such as this have me thinking that my plans for 2008 should include simple, professional, well-optimized video productions. The small dollar amount in production and minimal time required to produce could pay huge dividends. With search engines utilizing Universal Search to give searchers a more rich media experience, the opportunity is there to draw the eyes to something else besides text results on the SERP. Remember, you don't always have to have the most exciting, trendy or racy content to produce videos or images - just content that people want to see and for which they search.

Do you have other Universal Search success stories? I'd love to hear them.

October 23, 2007

Patrick Schaber is currently the Director of Marketing for Transition Networks, Inc – a data networking hardware manufacturer. His experience working for both large and small organizations has given him keen insights into many facets of marketing including, email marketing, advertising, search engine marketing, social media and more. Along with trainings and industry speaking engagements, Patrick authors his own site, The Lonely Marketer, which focuses on the diverse activities and culture related to the small business marketer.


That's a great example of the potential ROI that Universal Search can have.

In this case, you could argue that it didn't even cost any time. He just needed the consent of a patient to record her adjustment for the video. That time would have been spent anyway, he just re-monetized it by recording the session (the initial monetization was the paying customer, the re-monetization is any paying customers that come as a result of the video).

Great testimonial. I've recently been writing about the necessity of video for SEO given universal search, and also published a Web Video Marketing Best Practices at http://www.tubemogul.com/blog/?p=71.

Our service at TubeMogul is an online video distribution and analytics company, which allows you to upload to the top video sharing sites all at once, then track your viewership trends from one location. We find that people like Michael get lots more views with wider distribution.

Let us know what you think!
Mark Rotblat, TubeMogul

What a wonderful testimonial. Would you mind if I reposted at http://reelseo.com ? Also, was there anything that they did specifically in terms of optimization, and where did they place the video? I assume youtube or google? Thanks

Hi Mark,
Thanks for the comment! I don't run Search Engine Guide, but I'm sure an excerpt and link back to the site would be good.

Regarding Michael's video, I don't think he did a whole lot of optimization when he posted it on Google Video. As he indicated in his quote, he would do more of that after knowing what was going to happen.


I use video a lot for a hobby site I run and have been reading a lot about "optimizing" video for search and wondering what the heck that actually entails?

Is it just using good tags when you post it to Youtube and others? Or something else?

Same query as Eric's. What exactly is optimization of a video! Any article you'd suggest Patrick?

In this connection I recall a video interview of Marissa Mayer, VP of Google's search products (I've this in my article on future of search, http://www.words2content.com/future-of-search.html ) in which she apparently said that in future Google's technology may be able to convert words spoken in video into actual texts for inclusion in search results.

@Mark & Eric - I did a little digging and found some good articles for you. Currently, as you know, the major search engines are not able to index words spoken in video or words in images - but they're getting close to having that functionality. Here are some additional resources for you to check out regarding optimizing video for search:

Video Search Optimization Tech Tips – Knowing the 4 P's

Video Search Optimization (from SES San Jose)

14 Best Practices and Tips for Video Optimization SEO

Hope that helps!

@Adam - great point. Talk about efficiency!

...the major search engines are not able to index words spoken in video or words in images - but they're getting close to having that functionality.

Really? That's pretty cool. I hadn't heard anything about that until now. I wonder how far off this type of technology is.

As a production company, (www.viralfilmvideo.com) and someone who produces web videos for a variety of clients I think it's important to balance the positives with the negatives when uploading a marketing video. A lot has been made that the video brought in a new customer and didn't cost anything. I wanted to point out that a low quality video might also drive customers away from the practice. Another option would be to pay a small amount of money to a production company to produce a video that really showcases a product or service. It might cost a little but pay off even better in the long run.

If I were ADIO chiropractic I would worry that some of the audience might wonder, does the patient know the camera is in the room, am I going to be videotaped if I go to this office. Sometimes it helps to have a company or individual to bounce ideas off of to solve potential problems before they happen.

I had a client recently who had a bad experience when he decided to place an ad with ESPN. The ad cost very little but the quality was low. The negative connotation with the produt hurt his company and took a long time to recover from. His new videos cost a little more but helped showcase his product as something legit. Often people we meet are interested in the cheapest product possible but it's not always the best choice.

Thanks Patrick. I also have some references for Video SEO on Reel SEO . Here is our Video SEO guide. http://reelseo.com/video-seo-optimization-techniques/

I was searching for video post that has been created by novice and its respective effectiveness on SERP. oh this one is so perfect. Thanks Patrick for opening eyes and giving relevant example. I would apply same for Retailord.com

Dr. Dorausch has done well with his site. I have watched it grow for years, starting back in my chiro school days.

Regarding universal search, I can testify to the fact videos have done well for my past ventures. And services like tubemogul are making it very easy to submit these types of social media.

Thank you, Patrick, for sharing such a great article. It is amazing what you can now do at no cost and still get impressive ROI.

This isxtremely iteresting and definitely worth valuating. Its hard to find any reliable numbers regarding the actual roi fro making vids that show off a produc or service. You can count the traffic that sees the video, but how much of that traffic ends up at your site or store, and how many visitors actually become cusomers. Anyway... thanks for the information and the great blog.

Universal search definitely has lots of potenttial, and companies need to know how to optimise their videos, podcasts and blogs to appear in these integrated results. Here's what I think about Universal Search: http://www.zeta.net/blog/2008/12/the-universal-future/

its web 2.0 now and we are embracing the advantages that we can get from social media sites, such as social networking, social bookmarking, article submission and video sharing sites, for all of these requires building a reputation among fellow bloggers and web owners to increase traffic or sales..

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Great post! My friend runs a small business we do internet marketing for companies and so a lot of our e-newsletter, blog and seminar content revolve around for promotion. Thanks!!!

Michael is a leader in the chiropractic community. I am first seeking out and learning web 2.0 stuff he was doing a year or two ago. With programs like tube mogel and traffic geyser today Michaels Chiropractic video would be seeing 10 times the amount of traffic, and referring 10 times as many chiropractic patients to his practice.

I've had success in purely focusing on optimizing images for google. It's amazing to see how the traffic to your site increase just by people searching images.google.com.

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Search Engine Guide > Patrick Schaber > A Universal Search Success Story