For a long time, people believed that search engine ranking was all about the number of backlinks you had to your site, and the kinds of sites yours associated itself with. It’s not necessarily so, but in many ways, it was. Regardless, soon after Google rolled out its notorious Penguin and Panda updates, most marketers who had laid their foundation on Google’s mistakes were in for a surprise.
It was no longer about who had the largest number of links. The algorithms had been updated to have something of a mind of its own. More valuable, high-quality content was now far more valuable than the same old stuff people were used to.
The single-most underutilized kind of content to date in the SEO world is online videos. With the rise of video hosting sites like Cincopa, Vzaar, and even Vimeo, the prominence of video in the online world is quickly growing, and chances are, that’s not about to change any time soon. If used correctly, video can be a compelling way to improve your overall SEO strategy.
Here are the five most overlooked facts about video SEO.
The video hosting site you choose matters
The video hosting site you decide to pick for your videos will play a significant role in how effective your video SEO campaign is going to be. Before you get down to your final pick, however, there are a few factors you need to put under consideration: whether you are trying to get new leads or gain more traffic; are you trying to improve awareness of your brand or is your goal more general?
Public hosting sites like YouTube and Vimeo are best suited for individuals focused on spreading awareness of their brands and rather than getting more video traffic to their sites. This works because Google indexes such videos, including the meta description you provide. This way, your video is more easily exposed, and you can get a ton of views, from which, you can also get referrals. However, most visitors will remain on that social site once they have viewed your video.
On the other hand, if you’re out to get more conversions from your video SEO, private hosting sites like Cincopa work best. As an example, Cincopa provides quite many tools that allow you to capture more leads right from the video, which extends to more conversions.
Videos with a retain more views, on average
According to research carried out by Word stream, videos with captions attached command a higher video engagement than their counterpart sound-only videos. Google Chrome is the most used browser on the internet, and often, any changes made to it often reflect what changes other browsers will be making soon.
One of the most notable of these, for instance, was the default sound off option, which was quickly adopted by alternatives such as Firefox. When you’re scrolling through a video on Facebook, you will likely see the transcript alone by default and not hear any sound. If you have engaging content, you will probably retain more users that way. The same goes for sites like Twitter. Youtube is the only exception, but even then, videos with captions are often more preferred by viewers. This enables your video to be more accessible to different kinds of users online.
Aside from user engagement, they also make an excellent opportunity for improving SEO. Captions included in a video is also easy to scrape, giving search bots an easier time than traditional text on the page.
Videos with engaging thumbnails are played more often
The video thumbnail you pick represents a summary of what the viewer will see before they choose your video. For that reason, it plays a very significant role in how often your video is clicked and whether it’s clicked on, to begin with. Think of it the same way you would the cover of a book or the landing page of a beautiful website. It needs to be both relevant and compelling. The more drawn a user is to it, the better.
According to Moz, videos featuring a person in the thumbnail receive as much as 30% more click and play rate than those without them. If a human being is going to be featured in your video, having them doing something engaging and relevant to your content. If you film your videos offline, a great way to get the perfect video would be to take a series of photographs and pick a single one of them to serve as the thumbnail image.
The first video on your page matters the most
After crawling your website, Google will typically only index the first video on every page. Videos further down the page tend to be judged as being less and less relevant. If you have to embed multiple videos, make sure the most important one is first.
The same extends to other search engines like Bing. Newer algorithms attempt to concentrate as much importance as they can on relevance rather than just keywords. Most times, they will stop crawling for videos right after the first video. In the long run, having too many videos ends up being more harmful than beneficial for any site. This is especially so for people attempting to optimize their sites for video individually.
If possible, you can get the best of your site by using a video player on website landing page to highlight relevant content first and foremost. This serves as an easy way to make the visitor familiar with your site. If you’re able to, throw in a few CTAs to keep the visitors around a while longer.
Having the same video in multiple places hurts SEO
While on the matter of using just one video on your page, it should be worth noting that having the same video at multiple places on the same page, hurts your ranking. In fact, having a single video at the same place in different pages on your site has a similar effect.
Think of it like playing a game of ping-pong against yourself. That’s the position you put the crawlers and indexers in by having the video on multiple pages. Recall that most indexers won’t index the same link more than once. The same goes for video. If they perceive your content as spam, you will essentially be competing with yourself, which is completely senseless.
At the same time, if both your video and content complement each other, in that they are both relevant, there’s no need in having the same content in various places on the internet. You’re likely aware outright copying stuff from your site onto another without citing it hurts your ranking. The same goes for videos, mainly if you use the same description and all. For instance, if you decide to host your video on a private hosting site like Cincopa, there’s no need to re-upload it to a public facing site.
Like before, you will be needlessly creating your competition, and most times, both videos are likely to take a hit from the search engine’s algorithm.