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Only YouTube videos show up in Google right?

One of the most common misconceptions in the world of video SEO is that if you want your video to be shown in Google, you need to upload it to YouTube.

This just isn’t the case. And this result from our friends at MoneyWeek proves it.


Here we have a video which has been embedded on the MoneyWeek website. Not only is this video coming up in the search results, it’s actually out ranking its YouTube equivalent.

By making sure it’s your own web page that appears, rather than YouTube, you’ll see a lot more targeted traffic heading your way:

  • Videos have 41% higher click through rate than plain text results (Econsultancy)
  • Using videos on site can increase search engine traffic by 157% (Attivio)

How did MoneyWeek do it?

They used a video sitemap.

Video Sitemap ExampleA video sitemap is an XML feed which provides Google with information about the videos on your site. By providing Google with things like your video’s title and description it can better understand whether it is an appropriate result for a given search query.

The reason we often see YouTube videos in the search results is simply because Google automatically gets all the information it needs from YouTube meaning it can easily determine whether to show a particular video result.

SEO expert Phil Nottingham of Distilled told us, “YouTube is obviously the biggest video platform on earth. It’s a Google property so Google automatically get all the information from YouTube so YouTube videos will get indexed very very quickly. But, that doesn’t mean that they inherently have preference.”

But, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t provide Google with information about videos embedded on your own site – that’s exactly what a video sitemap is for.

Google then uses the information in your video sitemap to display the information and thumbnail whenever potential clients perform a search relevant to your content.

Does YouTube have a place in business video marketing?

Well, as Harriet Cummings, Copy Editor at Distilled puts it, “YouTube is like the Hotel California of websites – people never leave. It’s too easy to get distracted by all the great pieces of related content, going from one thing to the next until you forget what the heck you were after in the first place.”

If your aim is to increase sales of a particular product YouTube probably isn’t the best environment to put your video in. There’s just too many distractions – ads for other products, related video links – which reduce the likelihood of the viewer clicking through to buy your product.

On the other hand, the YouTube audience is vast. You can use it to raise brand awareness. But, remember that YouTube is a place people go to be entertained – often by hilarious cats – you need to bear this in mind when you post your vide content.

Phil’s advice?

“Rather than thinking is (my video) going to rank better if I put it on YouTube or on my own website you should really think about the users themselves and work out what do you want the users to do.

If its the kind of video that’s there to improve your brand and raise awareness it might be OK for them to go to YouTube and view the video there. But if your video is tied to a specific action like a product video that’s going to help people purchase things on a page then putting it on YouTube is probably not the best option.

The question is do you want users on your site or do you want them on YouTube?”

Next Steps

Ready to create your video sitemap? Sign up to a 30 day free trial of vzaar to get started.

Want a little more info? Check out:

Distilled: Killer Video SEO Tips
How To Create A Video Sitemap
vzaar: Devs Explain Video Sitemaps
Distilled: Optimizing Videos For SEO
Video SEO Help Document

Categories Video Marketing
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Harriet_Cummings_-_Copy_EditorHarriet Cummings is Copy Editor at creative online marketing company Distilled where she does all sorts of nice things with copy and what-not. When feeling particularly energetic, she goes head first into big projects such as tone of voice and content strategy makeovers. She does need a cup of tea afterwards, mind.

Here she explains some of the common myths surrounding YouTube and video SEO…

Given that YouTube is owned by Google, there’s a common misconception that to optimize videos for SEO you should feature YouTube embeds on your site. However, if you’re trying to increase the traffic to your own site, this really isn’t the best thing to do. The first priority of YouTube is to drive traffic to its own site where it can ring up the dollars selling ad space. Meanwhile yours is left with as many visitors as a lido at Christmas.

In this blog, we’re going to set the story straight, debunking some of the myths that surround this topic.

Myth: Only YouTube videos will show up in Google search results.

You can, in fact, use almost any platform for your videos, allowing you to choose one that will direct results to your own site.

Myth: A YouTube embed on a page helps it to rank better.

Most SEO research suggests that this is a load of old codswallop. The best way to increase the rankings of a page is by ensuring it has plenty of lovely inbound links.

Myth: Getting my content seen is all that matters.

YouTube is like the Hotel California of websites – people never leave. It’s too easy to get distracted by all the great pieces of related content, going from one thing to the next until you forget what the heck you were after in the first place.

People don’t visit YouTube to find products and services to buy. They want to be entertained, made to laugh, and possibly shown a kitten wearing a bow tie. This means they won’t search for your content. And to make matters worse, using YouTube to host means that the version of your video on youtube.com will be competing against you in the site rankings.

The golden rule? Remember that most of us humans have the attention span of a puppy on its birthday and need as much help as possible to find your site. And, of course, if we never make it that far, we can’t buy your stuff, crank up those conversion rates, or do any of the things you want us to.

So, how do I get a video ranking in the Google search results for my website?

Host with a secure platform

You’ll need to use a paid platform (such as vzaar) which allows you to ensure that the only visible version of the video is the one embedded on your site.

Video Sitemaps

In case you didn’t already know, it’s essential to create a video sitemap entry for each video. Confused? A sitemap is a kind of XML feed which details metadata that allows search engines to find and index your videos. vzaar have just launched their new Video Sitemaps feature which will allow you to fully automate the process without having to worry about the specific technical wizardry, but if you’d like to learn more, check out this easy to follow blog on the subject.

Are you saying you should never put videos on YouTube?

Not at all. One of the largest search engines in the world, YouTube runs second place after Google. YouTube is, then, a mightily powerful marketing tool and can be used to achieve wonderful things. But before enthusiastically uploading all video content, wrap your head around the following:

  • Any content you upload to YouTube needs to be relevant to a YouTube audience

Bearing in mind that the main reason people visit YouTube is to be entertained or informed by a video, often unconcerned about specific brands, you need to ask yourself, “does my video help solve a specific problem for a set of web users?”. If you’ve created product explainer videos, or something very sales focused, then the likelihood is that this content won’t be useful for people searching on YouTube.com.

  • To provide value, videos need to help build your brand identity

As YouTube typically doesn’t drive much traffic back to other websites (YouTube users normally stay on YouTube to watch more videos rather than clicking away to another site) the main value businesses will get from a presence on YouTube is brand awareness. This means, to achieve tangible marketing benefit from the platform, videos need to aid in cementing brand positioning in some way. For more details, check out this post on the marketing value of YouTube.

Want to get your hands on more advanced info? Watch Phil’s presentation from SearchLove 2012.

Additional Resources

Distilled: Killer Video SEO Tips

vzaar: Devs Explain Video Sitemaps

How To Create A Video Sitemap

Video SEO Help Document

Categories Community, Video Marketing, Wider World
Comments (0)

We all love viral videos.  If we didn’t love them, they wouldn’t go viral in the first place.  Of course, viral videos are just one small slice in the online video marketing pie, but we must admit it is a particularly digestable slice.  Let’s take a look at one of the viral clips circulating like mad this week:

Created by two former Central Institute students, this video is a daring and experimental take on what might have been an otherwise boring, generic ad for a technical college in Australia.  Things take a surprise turn for the gory after the 1 minute mark, so stop there if you’re squeamish.  Indeed, you may feel that they took the dark humor about 30 seconds too far, but the overall response has been incredibly positive.  Approaching the 2 million views mark faster than you can snap your fingers in it’s first week online, the video has already garnered praise from Time.com, Adweek.com, and Gizmodo.

Very clever stuff and Central Institute is undoubtedly delighted with the exposure they’re getting, but could they have capitalized on it more?  The video ends with a still image displaying the school’s URL.  Then that still is overtaken and the final image you’re left with is a tiled display of other videos YouTube recommends, including a Pokemon clip, a scene from Titanic, and a video entitled “Cute munchkin baby kitten talks too much.”  Anyone who comes across this video on Adweek and wants to learn more about Central Institute will have to go back to the end screen, pause before the recommendations fade in, and type out the URL into their browser.  Or, they could just click on those munchkin kittens and forget about Central Institute altogether.  Which do you think YouTube would prefer?

It’s not surprising that this video was put up on YouTube, as that has become part of the standard viral marketing protocol.   Make a great video, upload it to YouTube, share it with relevant blogs, media outlets, social networks, and hope it catches fire.  Like anything we do out of habit or tradition, it’s worth stepping back and questioning why.  Why invest so much time and money creating an ad for your company, only to wrap it in a player that directs people to a site other than your own?

That’s not to say you should pretend YouTube doesn’t exist.  It’s always a good idea to maintain a presence on YouTube, but when making the effort to share potentially viral content with the media, on forums, with your connections, why not favor a platform that works for you rather than benefits from you?  Professional video hosting platforms are designed to do the very same thing viral videos are – promote your brand.  Integrating one into your viral marketing strategy makes perfect sense.  Take a moment to ask yourself which video hosting platform makes your business look it’s best, just as you do when deciding on creative direction,  production companies, casting, and all other crucial aspects of your video strategy.

Categories Video Marketing
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Your relationship with YouTube?

article by:

Did you know, when you upload your content to Youtube you grant them…..

“worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable licence (with right to sub-licence) to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform that Content in connection with the provision of the Service and otherwise in connection with the provision of the Service and YouTube’s business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats [and through any media channels];”

What this means is, you are giving up the exclusive rights to your content. When you upload content to vzaar you dont share the rights. You own the content and are in total control of that content. We often get asked by potential customers what is the difference between Youtube, a free video hosting service, and vzaar, a paid video hosting service.

The answer is:

When you use a Free service of any sort, you inevitably give something in return. There are many examples, remember nothing is ever free. Back in the 90′s ISP’s gave away “free” computers if you signed an internet service agreement. Today you can have the latest cell phone for “free” if you take out a contract with your phone operator. Ok, not great examples but you get the point. With Youtube the service is “free” and the tradeoff is control and ownership.

Here is another excerpt for the Terms of Service which states that…..

“The Service may include hyperlinks to other web sites that are not owned or controlled by YouTube. YouTube has no control over, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, privacy policies, or practices of any third party websites.”

So when you upload content to YouTube not only do you no longer have exclusive rights to the content but you also have no control how it will be used. Your brand could end up being linked with the “red light district” without your consent.

Is Youtube right for your content and your business?

See the full Terms of Service onYouTube. Excerpts above were taken on March 4th 2011.

Categories Video Marketing
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