Yesterday’s guest post by Shawn Lam was wildly successful. Lots and lots of people read it and were intrigued by what Shawn had to say. I don’t think you can deny the claims he made. The points about embedded YouTube or Vimeo videos weakening your SEO are very valid. I’ve personally looked into Wistia and their service looks like an excellent choice. The statistics features are amazing. As you might guess, there’s one downside. Price. Most of you would need the pro version (unlimited videos) and that is $79/month. Ouch! There are other services as well that allow for hosting of your own videos. And depending on your website hosting plan, you may have enough storage space to upload videos to your own site (of course, you wouldn’t get the very cool stats). But, even hosting videos on your own site can get expensive if you surpass bandwidth limitation.
These are just some of the reasons most filmmakers and videographers turn to sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Blip.tv and others for video hosting and embedding. So here are some things to keep in mind to counterbalance the downsides of lost SEO performance.
- Links, Link, Links. Make sure the videos you post to YouTube , Vimeo, et.al. all have links back to your site and/or the corresponding blog post. This will help add to your Google rankings in general.
- Adjust outro links. You can change what the outro video links for your YouTube and Vimeo embeds are. If you embed a YouTube video, add “rel=0” to the end of the code string for the video. This will turn off “Suggested Videos” at the end of the video. The options will be “Replay, Like and Share.” You can also activate this feature by deselecting the “Show suggested videos when the video finishes” check box in the “Share window”.
If you have a Vimeo Plus account, you have a number of options for what the viewer sees at the end of the video play (e.g. link, other videos in your channel, nothing, etc.)
- Add your branding. Some services allow you to add your branding to their players. blip.tv allow you to add your link in the lower right-hand corner of the player. And if you’re Vimeo Pro user ($199/year) you can do the same (plus get many other features like advanced stats, portfolio site with SEO, and more.)
- Monetize your hosting service. If you do bite the bullet and opt for a service like Wistia, be smart about it. Charge your clients for hosting the videos you make for them and provide the reports. You don’t need to charge them what you are charged because ideally you’ll spread your monthly cost over multiple clients. Vimeo Pro allows you to charge access to videos you post if you so desire. Maybe you made a short film that you want to charge $0.99/viewing.
- Monetize your YouTube views. If you have the kind of viewership that can reach tens or hundreds of thousands, make sure you sign up to participate in YouTube’s partner program, allowing you to get a share of the ad revenue our video produces.
As with anything, there are pros and cons to both embed strategies. As long as you do a little research as to your options, you can maximize the benefits and minimize the downsides.
Shawn Lam says
Great ideas, Ron. I have to disagree with you that that adding links on YouTube and Vimeo adds to your Google search rankings. It technically does because if they generate traffic this can contribute to one of the factors that Google uses to determine page rank, etc but in terms of a link with SEO value in the strictest terms, those links are coded with rel=”” HTML coding, which renders the link valueless for SEO purposes.
Yes, $79 per month is a lot more than free on YouTube but they way I justified it was the following:
1) I spend $40 per month on Google Ad Words. I’ve never been able to link a single lead to an ad and Google Ad Words doesn’t contribute to my Google SERP. I shouldn’t say I spend because when I realized how silly this was I stopped paying for ad words. So if you are someone who throws money at Google like I used to, then you probably have most of the budget in place, just allocate it differently.
2) I’ve been able to sell the benefits of professional hosting to my clients and now charge them for hosting and video SEO services. They can still host for free on YouTube and the like if they want but when they invest thousands into a video, talking them into a small hosting fee ($10-15 per month) that you can demonstrate value for is easy. (I also charge a one-time video SEO fee to create, maintain, and update the video sitemap).
So rather than think of professional video hosting as an expense, look for opportunities to turn it into a passive revenue generating stream.
Ron Dawson says
Great ideas Shawn. You have an open invite for another guest blog post. Great stuff!
Shawn Lam says
Thanks Ron. It might be a while before I get to the next one as the twins and two year old toddler are eating into my evenings, early mornings, and weekends, which used to be when I could sneak in a bit of extra time. And I’m sure you are aware that Streaming Media Producer launched from the ashes of EventDV Live so I’m working on content for them and for my own blog. But maybe after NAB.
Bill Lewis says
Hey Shawn, are there places for my shorts films for viewing like the site StageIt for music?
“Vimeo Pro allows you to charge access to videos you post if you so desire.” How would I do this? Is there a Paywall built into the Pro version or would I embed my video on my own site and install a paywall there? Any suggestions for good solutions?