Get Google’s new video reporting with the Yoast Video SEO plugin

Yesterday, Google announced a new addition to the rapidly expanding lineup of enhancement reports in Search Console. This time, it’s all about video! You can now not only see how your video performs in search, but also if your videos have valid structured data so they are eligible for rich results. Need help getting your videos noticed in Google? We’ve got just the thing!

What’s this Video enhancement report?

Video is incredibly important. Humans are producing an huge amount of video and surfacing the right one at the right moment is a real struggle for a search engine. Google now gives you two new tools to help you improve the performance of your videos in search. The first one is all about helping search engines figure out if there is a video on a site. The second one is about visualizing your video’s performance in search.

By adding structured data to your page, you can identify the most important elements plus its characteristics. By doing this, you make it crystal clear to search engines what is what. As a result, you might be awarded a rich result if the search engine deems your content the best fit for the query. For videos, this might include information on a video’s duration, upload date, and other metadata, as well as previews.

Google is pushing structured data very hard and this latest report shows how important video has become for them and for you. You can now see how your video performs and if there are any technical errors or warnings that keep it from performing better. From here, it’s an easy fix.

But how can I get this for my videos? 

That’s easy: the Video SEO for WordPress add-on for Yoast SEO! As you might know, we launched a massive and innovative Schema structured data implementation in Yoast SEO 11.0. This was the first implementation of its kind — the first to completely tie the content of your site together in code so search engines are eager to gobble it up. Not only that, by connecting everything a search engine now knows what goes where and how it all fits into the bigger picture. This is all available for free in Yoast SEO.

Our add-ons extend this structured data implementation. The Video SEO plugin, for instance, adds specific structured data for videos. And the awesome thing is: you don’t have to do anything to get this on your site. It’s all automatic and it all ties neatly into the rest of the structured data we generate for your site. Just install Video SEO.

Here’s how the new report picks up our structured data, without us having to do any additional work. You can even see the source code by clicking on an example URL.

Click on a post to see the structured data highlighted

So, if you need search engines to understand your videos — who doesn’t? — you need Video SEO for WordPress

What else can I do in the Google Search Console Video enhancement report?

The Video enhancement report not only shows you if Google has trouble understanding your video content, but also how your videos perform in search. In the Performance tab, you’ll find a new Search Appearance type for video. This overview gives you an idea of how many times your videos appear in search and many people click on it. Of course, you can filter it to your hearts content.

See how your video performs in the search results

Help search engines understand your videos

The new Video reports in Google Search Console go a long way in helping Google identify videos via valid structured data. Not only that, it gives you the insights you need to help identify issues and improve performance. All in all, this is a great addition to the treasure trove that is Google Search Console!

The post Get Google’s new video reporting with the Yoast Video SEO plugin appeared first on Yoast.

Ask Yoast: Video on YouTube or on my own site?

Adding videos to your pages or posts can enrich the experience a user has on your site. In our case, for instance, when we want to explain how a certain feature of Yoast SEO works, adding a video or screencast showing you how to use it, will most likely contribute to the understanding of the use of it. So sensibly adding videos to your site – at the right spots – is something we recommend! You might wonder though, if it’s better to upload the video to your own server, or to use a platform like YouTube and embed it. Learn what’s best!

Tony Devine emailed Ask Yoast with this question:

“I’m going to add a third party video, which I have permission to use, to my website. It’s already hosted on YouTube. Should I put the files on my own server or should I leave them on YouTube instead?”

Check out the video or read the answer below!

Want Google to show your videos in the search results? Optimize with video SEO plugin! »

Video SEO for WordPress pluginBuy now » Info

Video on YouTube or own site

In the video we explain what could be the advantages of both options:

Well, to be honest it doesn’t really matter, because getting the video snippet in the search results – which was quite easy in the old days – is quite hard now. So instead of allowing every site in the search results to have video snippets, Google has switched to a system with white listing sites that are allowed to have video snippets. And the chances of your site being among them are zero, to be honest.

So you’re not going to get a video snippet. The boost that you would get from that particular SEO benefit is gone. This means the biggest boost that you’ll get from adding a video, is that people will interact with your page more, if that video is on there. So it might still be a very good idea to have that video on that page. However, it doesn’t really matter at that point where you have posted it.

The only thing that I would consider – if you have permission to use and do some stuff to the video – is republishing the video somewhere. Either on YouTube or somewhere else, and optimize the metadata, because then you could be found on YouTube. And YouTube is actually the second biggest search engine in the world after Google. So maybe think of that. If you’re not allowed to do that, just include the YouTube URL and you’re fine.

Good luck!”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from followers. Need some advice about SEO? Let us help you out! Send your question to ask@yoast.com.

Read more: ‘Structured data with Schema.org: the ultimate guide’ »

Blog or vlog?

Making short video blogs (vlogs) can be a great way to attract new audiences and to entertain or surprise your current audience. It could make the blog on your website livelier. But is it always a good idea? And what does vlogging mean for the SEO of your website? How do you decide whether to write a blog or to record a vlog?

In this post, I’ll first explain the things you need to do in order to make sure your vlogs are properly indexed by the search engines. After that, I’ll state five things to consider when deciding between a blog or a vlog. 

Make sure you always write things down too!

Vlogs are great, but Google can’t watch vlogs. This means Google is unable to index vlogs. It’s as simple as that. So, in order to make your content rank in the search engines, you should make sure to write a summary of your vlog too. At Yoast, we’ll actually embed the video in a blog post, write a little content and make sure to offer a transcript of the video as well. That way, Google will be able to index our new content and show it in the search engines.

For many people, it’s more difficult to understand a spoken text in a foreign language, than a written text. And, for people with a hearing disability, vlogs are hard to understand. For that reason, you should make sure your vlog has subtitles. While I am writing this, I know that we aren’t doing this properly yet ourselves.

Learn how to write awesome and SEO friendly articles in our SEO Copywriting training

SEO copywriting training

Blog or vlog?

Whether you should make a vlog or write a blog depends on a number of things. Before making up your mind, consider the four following elements and then decide whether you should blog or vlog:

Topic

Some topics are easier to write about, while other topics are more suitable for a video. Most likely, difficult topics are easier to explain in a blog. A vlog should be rather short (only a few minutes tops) and therefore isn’t fit for topics that need a lot of explanation. However, if you do want to make a video about a difficult topic, consider making a series of vlogs. Each vlog could, for example, address a specific subtopic.

Some topics ask for lots of visual support. These kinds of topics are great for vlogging. At Yoast, we made screencasts for all of the settings of our Yoast SEO plugin. Such videos make the somewhat dry material of going through all the settings of a plugin much more digestible and insightful.

Audience

Whether to write a blog or record a vlog also depends on the audience you’re aiming at. It seems that younger people prefer to watch videos, while ‘older’ people choose to read posts.

If you’re aiming at a young audience (under 25 years old), I think vlogging is something you’ll just have to do (besides writing perhaps). If you’re aiming at a somewhat older audience, vlogging could be a good idea as well. It isn’t as indispensable as it is for a young audience though. Still, vlogs are a very nice variation for every audience.

Personal qualities

Some people are natural writers, while others have some sort of X-factor on screen. Whether you should blog or vlog depends on your personal qualities. If you’re an awesome writer, you should definitely continue writing (and vlog occasionally to mix things up). If you’re able to draw attention while explaining things on video, you should definitely start vlogging.

Perhaps your personality isn’t as bubbly as you would want it to be on screen. Or you hate watching yourself on video. There are lots of ways to create videos, apart from presenting. At Yoast, we create lots of screencasts, explaining the many settings of our plugin. A recipe blog, for example, could have videos in which one shows how to bake a cake or cook that difficult stew. A blog about fixing motorcycles could have video manuals in which someone shows how to fix a broken starter motor.

Resources

It may seem easy, but creating a high quality vlog is just as hard as writing an awesome blogpost. You should really take some time to think about the video you would like to make. You’ll need a decent camera and some skills to edit the video material you shoot.

Once you’ll have shot a nice vlog, take some time to write a decent transcript in order to make it rank in the search engines. To create awesome vlogs, don’t forget to add subtitles to your vlog. Even if this will lengthen your release process a bit. All things considered, I think vlogging will take a little bit more time and resources than writing a blog post will.

Conclusion: Just do it and use Video SEO

If you’re blogging on a regular basis, vlogging is definitely something you should try out. And if you start vlogging on a regular basis, you should make sure to look into the Video SEO extension of Yoast SEO. This will allow people to watch your videos directly on Facebook and Twitter. Our Video SEO extension also makes it easier to publish vlogs, so check it out.

Read more: ‘How to handle comments on your blog’ »

 

Why & how we sell premium WordPress plugins

About 2 months ago I released my first premium plugin for WordPress, my Video SEO plugin. A lot of people have asked me about the how and why of the selling and I thought it’d be a good idea to outline that in a post.

Why sell premium WordPress plugins?

Of course we got some backlash for making a plugin available to the world and daring to charge for it. Unfortunately there are still people in the WordPress community who think everything should be free. What they don’t understand is that not everything can be free.

I’m the author of several highly popular WordPress plugins. My Google Analytics plugin is nearing 4 million downloads and my WordPress SEO plugin has over 2.5 million downloads. They’re both free. I’m not saying making those free plugins hasn’t made me any money, of course it has. There are some (though few) donations, there are people ordering website reviews, hiring me as a consultant etc. But we’d make more money if we didn’t release those plugins. That’s the cold and harsh reality. I’m not willing to stop releasing those plugins though. I’ve always said they’ll be free and I want to keep those that I’ve released for free, free.

Other plugins though, like the Video SEO plugin, require a bit more support and continuous updating to work with video networks, new embed codes, changes from Google, etc. When I was looking at what needed to be done for that, I knew that releasing it for free was not going to be a viable option. Which is why we made it premium. Some people think its price tag $89 is too much. Well, in that case, you’re not seeing the value yet and I probably need to explain better. Anyone who knows what this kind of search traffic is worth to their site knows that $89 is dirt cheap.

Making money directly == more time to invest in development

Getting paid to develop a plugin means you can invest more time. I don’t have to make my money doing consulting on the side now, working on those plugins is paying for itself. This means development on these plugins accelerates quite a bit. I’ve been able to add support for a nice list of video embedding plugins to the Video SEO plugin because of that and the next version, due tomorrow, will add two new video hosting providers, Wistia and Vippy.

I can honestly say that this has done very well for us. The plugin has made us a nice amount so far and users seem to be very happy. Reviews like this one from Bas and this tweet from Bryan make me very happy and proud:

You now know the why, on to the how:

How we sell premium WordPress plugins

When I decided I wanted to go premium, I needed an infrastructure to sell those plugins. I looked at ThemeForest / CodeCanyon and several other marketplaces. All of them wanted an extraordinary percentage of sales, considering how much extra sales I estimated they would add. Of course I do have a head start, being in this industry for a while and having been blogging on this blog for at least 7 consecutive years.

So, I decided to go self hosted. I tried several ecommerce plugins and while each had their benefits, they all failed to do well what I needed them to do best: deliver digital goods. All of them failed, until I found Easy Digital Downloads.

This plugin was built with the exact purpose of what I needed to do in mind, and built by a coder who actually knows how to write decent code, Pippin Williamson. He has a good model around it too, the core plugin is free and can be found on WordPress.org, while he has a growing set of extensions of which some are premium.

The first ones you’ll want to grab are for payment gateways. I’m not in the US, so I can’t use Stripe, unfortunately, which left me with PayPal (which is built-in and free) and Moneybookers. It’s not ideal, so I’m trying to figure out a better solution, if you have ideas, do let me know in the comments.

I use another one of these premium extensions, the software licensing one, to generate my license keys and several others to perform various other tasks and tricks, like a MailChimp extension to sign people up to my mailing list when they buy, an AWS S3 extension to host my files on Amazon, etc. etc.

Google Analytics eCommerce tracking for Easy Digital DownloadsIn fact, I even wrote my own, an extension to track sales in Google Analytics ecommerce tracking, which is now for sale for $15 on the EDD site. It has allowed me to optimize my sales process already, and if you start selling, I hope it’ll help you too. The fact that it was relatively easy to write this extension is a testament to how well written Easy Digital Downloads is.

Conclusion: use Easy Digital Downloads & sell!

If you’ve ever considered selling plugins or ebooks or other digital goods, this is the plugin you need and it’s written by the kind of guy you want to rely on. Pippin has been tremendously good in support and has given some very smart advice.

Also, I can definitely recommend selling plugins. It’s funny and a bit sad at the same time, but I realized the other day that while I get abusive, support demanding emails for my free plugins on a daily basis, each and every paid user that needed support has been great to work with. It’s as though when people pay for stuff, they respect that you have a job to do, whereas some free plugin users seem to not think about you at all. Loads of people have been telling me I should charge for my WordPress SEO plugin. I won’t, but it’s good to know that there are a lot of people willing to pay for my work.

We’re very close to releasing our second premium plugin, one that is geared towards Local SEO, make sure you sign up for the newsletter on the right or below this post to get news about that and the other cool stuff we have planned.

I would love to hear what you think of all this, let me know in the comments!

Why & how we sell premium WordPress plugins is a post by on Yoast - Tweaking Websites. A good WordPress blog needs good hosting, you don't want your blog to be slow, or, even worse, down, do you? Check out my thoughts on WordPress hosting!