July 22, 2010
This is the story of two respected e-businesses who deployed video on their websites. One did it with SEO in mind and reaped the rewards in Google rankings and resulting page visits and sales. The other took an enormous cache of video content, uploaded it onto a website and left it there – unoptimized, untagged and unprofitable.
Almost any business moving to the web understands at some level that search engines drive traffic. The 100 best companies in Internet Retailer’s Top Retailers Guide report an average of 30 percent of their traffic is search-engine delivered. And by now, most e-businesses realize the importance of deploying video as a means to increase website visits. It is with this knowledge in mind that retailers such as Zappos, Overstock.com and Newegg have deployed thousands of videos across their websites.
Given the apparently widespread awareness of the power of video online, it is amazing to see that many large retailers are investing in multimedia without taking the steps to put those elements to work for search engine optimization.
The Case for E-Commerce Video SEO
Companies that understand the technical steps to achieving a higher SEO ranking with video will make the most of their investments. For example, Overstock.com applied the required technologies — such as text and markup in the page surrounding the video, site-wide descriptive formats, video site maps and proper video embedding — and its 56,000 videos were recognized by Google.
It is equally important that e-commerce sites deploy video across their entire product catalog. It is not enough to simply post a few videos on the homepage and other main pages. For instance, eBags.com manually produces videos that are indexed on Google, but because it is so expensive to produce each video for its entire (large) catalog, the company can only have a limited number of videos. This results in limited video SEO when users search for products, and other sites with video will pop to the top of the results page.
QVC vs. Overstock – Optimized Video Delivers
QVC clearly understands how to make compelling video. The cable shopping network broadcasts live 24 hours a day, 364 days a year. It has a massive store of multimedia and it has loaded tens of thousands of videos onto its website. But one would never know it by the number of QVC videos indexed on the major search engines. Google has one. There are two others on Bing and four on Yahoo!. That’s a total of seven indexed videos for a company that is #11 on the Internet Retailer 500. QVC’s wasted resources are a reminder that the number of videos a business offers on its site isn’t as important as what it does to properly deploy them.
Let’s compare QVC’s approach to that of Overstock.com. The latter, which sells everything from crib sheets to faucets and jewelry at discount prices, rivals QVC in the number of videos on its site. But those multimedia assets are working much harder for Overstock.com, since the retailer took the extra step of optimizing its videos to increase search engine rankings and drive traffic. There are more than 56,000 Overstock.com videos indexed on Google, and the revenue implications of that fact are clear. Here is just one of many examples; if you do a standard Google search for “La Strada ceiling fan,” you’ll see Overstock.com as the number one result, with a video thumbnail accompanying the text link.
We’ve learned from our customers like Overstock.com that video SEO is an important aspect of their considerations when deploying multimedia website elements. From large businesses like Overstock.com to more targeted verticals like real-estate site Sawbuck Realty, we’re seeing that optimized video delivers. With tens of thousands of videos, Sawbuck Realty, for example, now views this offering as a compelling differentiator in a competitive market and an effective way to enhance search engine rankings.
Aside from the SEO benefits that video provides, commerce sites are offering customers an improved website experience, and subsequently experiencing conversion lifts. In terms of SEO, top retailers consider the ability to get their videos indexed on major search engines an important part of their catalog-wide video deployment. Video and search engine traffic are key drivers for web businesses, and video SEO can do a lot to extract the potential of these rich, multimedia resources to support search engine traffic growth.
July 07, 2010
Premium Online Video [vid-ee-oo, noun, derivation Web 1.0]: Video consumed on-demand, on a computer or other Internet-connected device. Content must have previously been consumed by a great many more people, simultaneously (see: linear, analog, TV Guide) on a non-connected video viewing device (i.e. your television set).
That's true. Look it up.
It's hard to argue that if there really was a definition of premium online video today, it would read much the same, whether you were setting out to describe the concept from a viewer's or advertiser's perspective.
For viewers, more than production value or even celebrity, premium is a matter of value consistency. If I tune into "30 Rock," there's a high probability that I will be entertained in a specific way. That is still extremely hard to find in content that isn't primarily distributed on TV first. Viewers also derive value from a shared experience on and offline.
Marketers also assign a premium value to consistency -- it helps them align messages and assure that their brands are appearing in the right place at the right time.
What else separates premium video from everything else?
A food-products client recently told me that their entire online video strategy comprised something called a "TV replacement" initiative. Yes, that means they take some money from linear TV and shift it to the exact same programming online.
Fair enough. Maybe that's exactly what they should be doing. That's probably not what the TV networks really want in the long run, but that's fodder for a different article.
But think ahead a few more years. Ok, say 10 years. All TVs are IP-connected, mass audiences are substantially harder to find, and so on. What will the new measure of premium be when the TV Guide definition fades away?
First, consistency of the product on every level remains important, at least for brand advertisers. If they are aligning with content they consider to be premium, and are paying a premium for, it has to look tomorrow more or less as it looked yesterday.
Second, it will attract a loyal audience. The premium moniker hangs on the audience having a real relationship with the content, because when a marketer taps into that relationship, they get significantly better ROI.
Data, of course, is the third and most important measure of the new premium. Not just a few meta tags of information, but deep knowledge about how and why the content was produced, its historical relationship with a wide range of viewers, and unique information about its component parts. Data about the viewer and the content will combine with the unique passive rating of a video view (if I watched it, I liked it) to deliver a significant improvement in alignment of viewer and advertiser.
Today, consistency, loyalty and rich data don't often come together outside of content that first appeared on television. TV producers and networks are just beginning to understand the challenge of owning the definition of premium in a way that works for their future business.
But outside of TV, anyone producing ad-supported content should be thinking about these same three core markers of premium value to advertisers. Strip away the TV Guide valuation of premium, and think about how to establish consistency, loyalty and data in a way that suits your model for production and distribution.
July 01, 2010
By Jeff Bullas
The use of online video is continuing to grow and develop as higher broadband speeds become more widespread worldwide and the appetite by the younger generation for viewing rather than reading.
The old chestnut phrase , “A picture is worth a thousand words” begs the question, “How many words is a video worth?”
Zappos (an online shoe retailer) does shoes and social media remarkably well and utilizes online video very effectively.
They use video to engage with the buyer as much as possible. Their use of video to create “virtually” the reality experience of a bricks and mortar store, as if the buyer were in store and “more”continues to evolve.
They use online video to
* Describe their shoes
* How to use the product
* To demonstrate
Note: The videos are about the products, are with real Zappos employees and not models or actors… a bit of authenticity happening here, not stock photos with incredibly handsome and beautiful people.
They are testing interactive video on their site for Nike products. The company has launched interactive product videos.
The website provides the following 9 Functionalities, Features and Future Plans
* Allows viewers to click on items in the clips before landing on product detail pages.
* It can signal to consumers if an item is out-of-stock, discontinued, or part of a special offer.
* If the viewer mouses over a shoe in a video, it becomes highlighted, alerting the person that the item is clickable.
* Users are then taken to a product detail page in a separate browser window where the item can be added to a shopping cart.
* Zappos.com’s media player also allows shoppers to post the videos to their Facebook and Twitter profiles while the clip continues to roll.
* The 10 product videos currently on the site are each around one minute long.
* plans to leverage the interactive videos by incorporating them into its user-generated-content program (UGC).
* Its “Daily Shoe Digest” is one of the few e-mail newsletters — in any niche — featuring UGC (User Generated Content) 100 percent of the time.
* Site visitors will be encouraged through future marketing messages to create product video reviews that will also have the interactive features.
Selling products directly from online video content, known as “hot-spotting,” is an advertising niche that’s growing slowly but surely. For instance, earlier this year, H&R Block began utilizing YouTube’s annotations allowing viewers to click on specific items in a video linking to a landing page or another video. And last year, clothing brand Express sponsored Vogue magazine’s online reality show, Models.Live, which featured clickable overlays in a manner combining product placement and direct response marketing.
So what are the effects of using video?
Zappos’s experience has shown “It obtained increases of 6 to 30% in conversions ..for products that use video”.
Note: This has prompted Zappos to strive for 50,000 videos !!! next year (they have about 8,000 currently), they will include “10″ fully working studios in house in 2010 to handle all of it.
Zappos, last month partnered with Overlay.TV and rolled out “Engagement Pages” for specific brands, where the videos engage users with clickable overlays. These overlays allow users to shop within the video content, pull up additional information and click through to product specific landing pages. Users can also record product video testimonials directly from the engagement pages.”
Online at Zappos you can see the shoe from “7″ angles and “3″ different magnifications (see Nike page at Zappos) and the screenshot below.
Note: This goes a long way to overcoming the issues of online shoppings “experience gap” that shopping at bricks and mortar store provides.
This is starting to show how “real” an online store can become, as online video enables a more pervasive and integrated experience within an ecommerce website.
For a good resource on Online Video “Best Practices“ click here
So how are you using online video to good effect? Like to hear your stories and the tools and apps you are using.
P R E V I O U S P O S T S
- Activate Media Group Merges with SundaySky - The Global Leader in Automated Video Production
- Shop.org 2010 Annual Summit Reflects Purposeful Use of Technology and Renewed Focus on Customer Expe
- TED Talks: Chris Anderson: How Web Video Is Driving a Revolution in Global Innovation
- Roundup of eCommerce Video Marketing Statistics - Impact of Online Video on Sales
- The New eCommerce Reality: Every Company is a Media Company
A R C H I V E
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