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Archive for Video Marketing

Video SEO: The Complete Guide

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MoneyWeek Video Rich Snippet

Getting in the top few spots in Google is like the holy grail of search engine marketing.

The problem is everyone wants to be there. That’s where video SEO comes in.

If you’re not using video SEO you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to grow visits to your site, increase leads and generate more sales!

That’s why we put together…

Everything You Need To Know About Video SEO

Video SEO: Killer Tips From Distilled

Distilled Video SEO Tips
If you don’t know what video SEO is watch our interview with Phil & Will from Distilled. They’re video SEO experts don’t you know.

Watch interview

Video SEO: The Secret Behind 136% Organic Visitor Growth

MoneyWeek Video Results Traffic Growth
Wondering why you need video SEO?

MoneyWeek increased their organic site traffic 136% by following video SEO best practices.

Learn how

Three Steps to Video Search Results

How To Make A Video Sitemap
Think video SEO is hard to do? Watch the video demo that shows you how to do it in just 3 simple steps.

Watch demo

The Troubles & Triumphs of Using YouTube

YouTube and Video SEO
Wait, video SEO is all about YouTube right? Wrong. Some more expert tips from Distilled, this time from Copy Editor Harriet.

Read More

Create a Video Sitemap

create video sitemap
Now, what are you waiting for?

Create your video sitemap…



Categories Video Marketing
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Andrew Williams Headshot

Andrew Williams, Digital Marketing Manager at MoneyWeek fills us in on the video SEO tactics the team used to grow websites visits by 136%…

MoneyWeek Video SEO Traffic Growth

That line you’re looking at? That’s the increase in organic video visits we’ve seen at MoneyWeek in the past 5 months.

And that’s not all. We’ve also been enjoying a surge in overall visits, increased time on site AND an ever growing number of newsletter subscriptions.

How have we done it? By following a few video SEO best practices.

But, before I dive into all that. First, a little context (it’ll come in handy later). What is Moneyweek?

MoneyWeek is the UK’s biggest financial magazine. Our ultimate aim is to build a large audience of highly engaged readers. To that end, we produce informational videos on the hot financial topics of the day as a way of encouraging people to sign up to our biweekly newsletters.

Ok, back to the matter in hand. When I first set foot in the world of video SEO I read over and over again how video search results see higher click through rates than plain text ones.

“Yes,” I thought. “But how do you get your videos into those search results in the first place?”

After all, you have to be in to win it, right. And therein lies the challenge.

So I’ve put together this been-there-done-it guide to video SEO to fill you in on what worked for us:

Step 1: Create a video sitemap

For Google to display a video search result linking to your site it needs to know two things.

    1. What the video is about
    2. Where the video lives

Once it has that information it can determine whether to return your video as a result for a given search query. As so:

MoneyWeek Video Rich Snippet

That’s precisely what a video sitemap is for. It looks something like this:

Video Sitemap xml

To build our video sitemap I use vzaar. It just makes it quicker all the fields are laid out for me, I just fill them in and vzaar produces the code.

vzaar Video SEO feature screenshot

Trust me. When you’ve got more than a few videos in your catalogue you don’t want to deal with creating the sitemap from scratch yourself.

The really neat thing is that if I miss something (hey nobody’s perfect!) rather than submitting an incomplete video sitemap, which can actually be damaging for your SEO, vzaar automatically excludes it. Then I just go in and fix whatever’s wrong, without needing to search through the sitemap and find the error myself – again a really nice timesaver.

MoneyWeek Video Sitemap Statistics

Once you have your video sitemap you just need to paste the code into your site’s robots.txt file. And then it’s a bit of a waiting game. You’ve done your bit. Now Google needs to index your videos. For us, Google started to index our videos pretty much instantly.

Step 2: Video Transcripts

A quick video SEO win for us has been incorporating video transcripts underneath our videos.

We use Speechpad to create transcripts of our videos. At $1 per minute of video it’s a pretty inexpensive way for us to get a lot of keyword rich copy for the page.

Step 3: Improved Video Page Template

Once people actually click on the result – guess what they’re expecting to see…. a video! It may seem like a no brainer but for a time our videos were fairly hidden on the page.

That way leads to madness – low engagement and high bounce rates.

This is bad for your SEO efforts. If Google sees lots of people bouncing when they hit your page they’ll come to the conclusion that your page isn’t a good result for that given query. Rankings will plummet.

To rectify this we have made our videos much more prominent on the page.

MoneyWeek Video Page

And we’ve reaped the rewards.

Average time on page is up by 40% in the 3 months since we updated to the new video page template.

MoneyWeek Time on Site

The YouTube Conundrum

MoneyWeek videos started life on YouTube. Which was fine, to begin with.

In the early days it was great to be reporting how many video views we were getting. We were really pleased we’d seen some take up.

But, as we became more experienced with online video marketing we noticed a problem.

The trouble is a lot of those views go to waste. After watching our videos a huge chunk of people head off into the rest of YouTube. As our viewing figures mounted we weren’t seeing a difference in our bottom line.

We have been hesitant to completely cut YouTube from our video marketing mix, it is the 2nd biggest search engine after all. But, what we have done is become more intelligent in how we use it.

After a fair amount of head scratching we’ve landed on a solution that works for us:

We still post a lot of our videos to YouTube. But we annotate those videos, advertising one exclusive video on MoneyWeek each week.

Because we have a secure video hosting platform (vzaar), we ensure that the videos we embed on our site cannot be made available anywhere else. This provides an incentive for YouTube viewers to head onto our site. And that’s where we want ‘em.

In summary

To grow traffic to our videos we’ve done 4 things:

    1. Build video sitemaps with vzaar
    2. Created video transcripts with Speechpad
    3. Redesigned our webpages to make video more prominent
    4. Post exclusive content to Moneyweek to drive audience away from the distractions of YouTube.

And we’re seeing some pretty exciting numbers:

    1. Organic visits to our videos up 136%
    2. Time on page up 40%
    3. Overall visits to videos up 160%

So has this helped us achieve our business goals?


Remember earlier I said:
“Our ultimate aim is to build a large audience of highly engaged readers. To that end, we produce informational videos on the hot financial topics of the day as a way of encouraging people to sign up to our biweekly newsletters.”

Have all our video SEO efforts paid off?

Let me answer that question with a statistic: 82%

That’s how much our email subscriptions have grown since we started.

Newsletter Subscription Growth

I rest my case.

Video SEO: it’s where it’s at.

Categories Video Marketing
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Including videos in your emails can increase click through rate by 96% (GetResponse).

Time to start putting more video in your email campaigns right?

But. Here’s where a lot of marketers run into trouble: Embedding video into emails isn’t easy. The files are too big, spam filters tend to ding ‘em and a lot of services just tend to strip them out entirely.

But it’s not the end of the story. There’s a handy workaround…

Step 1: Insert video image

You may not be able to insert your video into the email, but you can insert its thumbnail image.

If you’re a MailChimp user: we have a built in feature that let’s you do this.

Add video into MailChimp campaigns

The MailChimp Video Merge Tag lets you present your thumbnail image as well as a clickable link to take your recipient straight to the video.

Use skitch to embed video in email
Add video image to email
Use skitch to embed video in email

If you’re not a MailChimp user fear not! You can still insert your video thumbnail into your email (it just won’t happen automatically).

Skitch is a handy tool for taking quick snapshots of your video poster frame. Just drag your mouse over the area of your screen you want to capture (in this case your video player and poster frame) and hey presto you’ve got your thumbnail image ready to be added into your email.

The good part about taking a screenshot like this is that you automatically get the player and player controls in your thumbnail image, too. Rather than having to overlay them yourself.

It’s a good idea to include the video player controls in your email because the play button acts as its own call to action yelling “play me, play me”. It makes it nice and clear there’s some video goodness waiting to be watched. Otherwise your recipients may assume that your thumbnail image is just that: an image. Meaning your lovely video content gets missed.

Once you have inserted your image into your email be sure to link it to whichever page you have embedded your video on. This means that when you subscriber hits the play button in your image, they’ll be taken straight to where they need to be.

Step 2: Autoplay

When your subscriber clicks the play button in your email you want to create the illusion that they’ve actually clicked play in the video player itself. Why make your user click once to open the landing page, and once to actually see the video?

Think about the workflow when your subscriber opens your email:

    1. Click video thumbnail to play
    2. Opens video landing page
    3. Subscriber clicks play button
    4. Video plays

Eradicate step 3.

Autoplay is ideal here as it removes the need for a second click, making the workflow much smoother.


While auto play is a good idea to get over the double-click-to-play stumbling block. It can be intrusive for those who don’t access your page via your email video link – from organic search maybe. These visitors haven’t clicked on a play button and so may not be expecting a video to suddenly play.

We’ve all been there. You head to a website and suddenly your ears are assaulted with an onslaught of sound as the video magically plays. In some situations this can be off-putting (I for one jump right out of my skin when it happens to me!)

For this reason, it’s worthwhile to link your email not to a main page on your site. But instead to its own dedicated landing page.

“But my designers are super busy!” I hear you cry.

Don’t worry. You can use…

Step 3. Branded Video Page

A branded video page is a code-free custom template to showcase your video content.

Branded Video Page Example

Remember to always include a link to your main site to be sure you drive your audience where you want them to go – whether that be a product page, signup form or further help.

Link branded video page to your website

For more help in designing your own branded video page, check out this walk through from web design guru Aaron.

Want to try this out for yourself?

Login to your vzaar account or start our 30 day free trial and give it whirl for yourself.

We all need a little inspiration sometimes…

Video Marketing Ideas

I’ll admit it. Some of our earlier video marketing efforts weren’t great. But, after a lot of reading, of chatting with the people in the know, of attending events and seminars, we’ve come to a point where we know what tone we’re shooting for.

Our mission with our videos is to be helpful, humorous and human. Sounds simple right? But we didn’t reach that point over night.

Over the past few years we’ve been learning more and more about using video for marketing. Here’s a few quotes that really struck a chord with us.

It’s advice we try to live by in our own video marketing. Hopefully you’ll find it useful too:

    1. “Marketing that educates and informs is always more persuasive in the end than marketing that boasts or sells too hard.” – David Carpenter, Connection Model
    2. “Make the customer the hero of your story” – Ann Handley, MarketingProfs
    3. “Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one” – Robert Rose
    4. “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel; you just need to share your unique perspective on why the wheel is important” – Jon Ball, Page One Power
    5. “How can you build a house without a blueprint? The answer is: you can’t. In the same way, a video without a storyboard is like a house without a foundation.” – Han Lung, Vidaao (The Secrets of Successful Storyboarding)
    6. “By creating and publishing remarkable content in the form that educates, informs, inspires and entertains, marketers can begin to build relationships” – Jonathon Lister, LinkedIn
    7. “Smart brands don’t use their ads to interrupt the conversation. They become the conversation” – Barney Worfolk-Smith, Unruly Media (Video Marketing: The Science of Video Sharing with Unruly)

I’m sure there’s plenty more learning we have left to do. Plenty more tips to try out and advice to heed. What do you find particularly inspiring for your own video marketing campaigns? We’d love to hear more – share in the comments below.

Categories Video Inspiration, Video Marketing
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Yup it’s that time of year again. Technology for Marketing & Advertising 2014 was just last week here in London and I moseyed on down to find out what all the buzz is about for this year.

I picked up on 3 main themes:

1. SEO is changing. Focus on quality.

Not the most revolutionary of statements I’ll grant you. But super important none the less.

Most of us know Google’s Penguin & Panda updates have put the focus on quality content. Gone are the days when all a site needed was plenty of keywords and a gazillion back links.

The search engine king has shifted its focus to try and better serve its users intent. It is using context and search history to better predict what we’re looking for – and give it to us.

Try thinking about the typical questions your users ask – and then supply a great piece of content marketing that answers them.

2. The year of the domain expert

There’s two ways you can harness the power of domain expertise.

Numero uno: the solutions you use.

If you have a particular problem to solve – pick the solution that promises to solve that particular issue. And only that particular issue.

For example, you want to use video in your marketing.

You could self host. But. Is there any point in worrying about encoding, about streaming protocols, about global CDNs and multi device compatibility? It takes your time away from what you’re good at.

You want people who live and breathe your problem. They think about how to solve that problem in the quickest and easiest ways possible. It’s what keeps them up and night, it’s what drives them through the day. They’ve seen every which way of doing things, they’ve got their fingers on the pulse of that industry and they know just the thing you’re looking for.

Domain experts. They’re awesome. Use ‘em.

Which brings me to point two. Because domain experts are so awesome…

Get yourself recognised as one.

Establish yourself as an authority in your niche and share your expertise. The more valuable your advice the more it will get shared and you’ll have a virtuous cycle of those you helped, sharing your content, thereby helping you reach new potential customers. Win win. Plus, Google will like it (remember point 1 – focus on quality content).

Whatever your industry, there’s an audience waiting who are thirsty for the latest news. Be it…

3. Get personal

Content marketing is all about making a connection with your prospects/users. And the only way to do that is to understand who they are and make sure they know that you understand them.

Step 1. Build audience personas (a “how-to” on building personas could take an entire blog post in and of itself so instead I’ll just refer you to this fantastic ready-made one from Moz)

Get to know your audience. What are their needs? Their goals? Their fears? Once you know that you can start to…

Step 2. Provide the content that fits those personas

And this is where video marketing can be a massive win. You can use it to talk directly to your audience – in a hugely personal way.

Take one audience persona, add a healthy splash of targeted content, mix in your own face and voice and you’ve got a recipe for marketing success.

So, that’s my key takeaways from this year’s TFMA. But I’m sure there are thousands more. I’d love to hear if any of you went along this year and what you learned. Share in the comments below…

Categories Video Marketing, Wider World
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