A little while ago I wrote a post detailing the biggest YouTube SEO Myths. This week I’m following it up with a few, more general myths about video SEO as a whole, not just specifically YouTube.
So let’s get into it:
1. Videos need to be short
Like many myths, this one has a grain of truth to it. Which means it is a lot more persistent than if it were just plain wrong.
The true part of the myth is this: The shortest possible time for you to effectively get your message across is the best length for your video.
You don’t want your video to be longer than it needs to be, as the longer a video is the less likely people are to click play and to stay around until the end of the video.
However, this fails to take into account a lot of factors about the video, most importantly, the aims of the video.
If a video is educational rather than promotional people will be willing to watch a longer video, as it is more obvious to them what they are getting out of it.
So before you go cutting your videos short, make sure you take into account the objectives, and choose the length that’s most appropriate.
2. Find the hosting that’s best for you and stick with it
There are advantages and disadvantages to the different hosting solutions you can choose and so a lot of people look through the information, pick the one that they think suits them best, and stick with that.
The problem with this is that your videos will have different objectives.
While one video’s objectives might suit being placed on YouTube, another’s will suit being placed on Wistia.
We go into more detail on the benefits of the different hosting providers in our guide on the 5 steps to maximise your video’s ROI (see the sidebar for more info).
So remember, you shouldn’t stick to just one hosting provider, you should use different ones for different videos.
3. Videos should go viral
We recently wrote a post on this topic, you can check that out here.
We certainly wouldn’t claim that a viral video is bad for business, nor that they don’t have their place in a video marketing strategy.
However, a large amount of companies see views as the main metric of the success of their videos.
One of the main problems with this is that views say absolutely nothing about targeting or conversions.
For a video to go viral it has to have a wide appeal, and unless you have a very broad target audience that means that your video will have to be reaching a lot of people who don’t care about your product or service.
A video can be very successful without very many views if the viewers are targeted customers who are more likely to convert.
4. Mark up improves rankings
The idea of putting mark up on your videos is to provide search engines and other bots with more information about your video.
We need to do this as these bots don’t currently have a way of discovering what a video is about without being supplied this information.
This myth that mark up improves rankings comes from a misunderstanding about how Google’s algorithm works.
When deciding what to return for a specific search, Google takes into account how relevant something is as well as how good / useful it is.
The relevance of the content is what determines which search results the content will appear on; and how good / useful Google thinks the content is determines how high it will rank for that term.
Adding mark up to your video will give search engines more information to help them determine relevance, but it tells them nothing about popularity – so adding mark up won’t guarantee you high rankings.
5. Once you’ve posted your video you can forget about it
This is wrong for a few different reasons. The first is that search engines like fresh content, if you let your video content stagnate then it won’t perform as well over time.
The second is that you should be interacting with your viewers, if people are asking you questions or trying to interact with your company and you aren’t talking back then they are very quickly going to have a negative view of your brand.
The third reason is that content needs to be updated. If you have a lot of out of date content it’s going to reflect badly on you.
Often it doesn’t take much to fix this, just have a link on your video telling people that there is a more up to date version you’ve made and send people there.
Also ensure that you are constantly referencing old video content where relevant, to drive new visitors and keep the activity going.
So now you know the truth don’t be fooled when you see others repeating these myths.
So there you have it, those are our top 5 Video SEO myths, if you can think of any that we’ve missed then why not let us know in the comments below?