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 (at SundaySky) 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.
About our Guest Expert - Yaniv Axen, SundaySky:
Yaniv has served as the CTO of SundaySky since co-founding the company. Prior to co-founding SundaySky, Yaniv directed the team of programmers and engineers at Israeli start-up Veon. Yaniv served in an elite intelligence unit of the Israeli Defense Forces for five years and then earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science and his Master's degree in business administration with cum laude honors from Tel Aviv University. You can learn more about SundaySky at http://www.sundaysky.com/.