Should I Put my Video on YouTube?
We are frequently asked this question and the answer is …
…Yes – BUT with a big BUT…
The logic goes – YouTube is the second most used search tool in the world after Google, so it would seem a given that if you want people to find you, then you must have your video on YouTube?
This is true, but it’s not simply a question of just ‘being found’ – you haven’t made a video just so that it is ‘found’. You’ve made a video to influence people’s behaviour and achieve your goals.
It’s important then to understand YouTube’s strengths and weakness, and some of the ways it may damage your own website traffic if you use YouTube to embed your video on your website.
YouTube is Good For…
- General brand awareness – becoming known and liked
- raising awareness of issues
- influencing attitudes
- educating, informing and instructing
Unless you’re paying for YouTube InStream Ads, YouTube is not so good for things that usually happen on your website, such as…
- Getting people to buy something
- Getting people to make a booking
- Getting people to contact you
- Getting people to fill in a form
But Won’t YouTube Lead Users to Land on my Website?
In truth – probably not that much…
Typically, organic click through rates from your YouTube channel to your website are likely to be around 1% – 2%, so it can’t be relied upon to get your audience to take action on your website.
There are several reasons for this…
YouTube Will Suck Visitors Away From Your Website?
In the vast majority of cases, if you use YouTube to embed your video into your website, YouTube is very likely going to suck your potential visitors into visiting YouTube instead of visiting your website.
This is because the YouTube location of the video will almost certainly outrank your website location of your video in search engine results – after all, Google own YouTube.
Some of the best minds in tech spend their days making YouTube as compelling as possible, so once your potential audience arrives on YouTube it’s highly unlikely that the viewer is going to return to their original search engine results and give your website a go.
Half an hour later your audience is much more likely to be down a YouTube rabbit hole watching cats on photocopiers, memes and breaking news.
YouTube’s Domain Authority?
A domain authority score is a summary measure of the search engine ranking power of a website.
YouTube has a very high domain authority, which means it is likely to outrank the vast majority of other websites. In fact, YouTube’s domain authority is around 100 – the highest there is.
To put this in perspective – as it stands at the time of writing – the BBC website has a domain authority of 97, John Lewis 83 and my favourite Dorset pub 27; it’s a very good pub mind, but if they were to put a video on both their website and YouTube, optimised for ‘Dorset Pubs’, users will surely end up watching the video on YouTube and not on the pub website.
This may be better than not being found at all. However, with an intelligently optimised web page and video hosted on an alternative 3rd party hosting platform – such as Wistia or Vimeo – they have a fighting chance of landing visitors directly on their own website video.
Once there, viewers can be lured with a video player framed attractively, contact details, a tempting menu and lots of engaging photographs. On a website the viewer will be much closer to picking up the phone, making a booking or filling in a form than when browsing around on YouTube.
Incidentally, we have found that the hosting platform Wistia brings the best results in terms of making your video website pages discoverable by Google search.
You Can’t Beat a YouTube Video Rich Snippet
You may have noticed that when YouTube appears in Google Search engine results, the listing is usually accompanied by a ‘video rich snippet’ – this is a thumbnail image taken from the video being featured.
There was a time, when given good SEO practices, Google might also list your website video page with a video rich snippet image. Sadly, back in 2014 Google tightened up its algorithm and unless your website is primarily a video website, it’s now extremely rare for websites generally to be granted a video rich snippet listing.
So what? – You might be asking
Well – the point here is that numerous eye tracking studies show that users are much more likely to click on a video rich snippet listing than on a plain text one.
This means that even on the exceptional occasions when your website video page might outrank the YouTube location of the same video – the user is STILL much more likely to land up on YouTube rather than your website.
Be Tactical – and Widen Your Audience Reach?
The best tactic for dealing with website ranking competition from your YouTube video is to put your videos on both YouTube and your website – BUT take a differing approach for each.
The trick is to use an alternative to YouTube to host your website video and to target different keywords in the video title and tagging to the ones you use for the YouTube location of your video.
For example – going back to my Dorset pub – we could optimise the YouTube location of the video for the term ‘Best Gastro Pub in Dorset’ and by contrast go for ‘Top Pub Restaurant in the South-West’ for the website location of the same video. In this way, you can widen your potential audience reach by using two different key phrases – and avoid the possibility of your website video competing with your YouTube video.
So, going back to the original question – ‘Should I Put my Video on YouTube?’ the answer is most definitely – YES, but treat YouTube as an entirely separate channel to your website and NEVER use YouTube to embed your website videos.
Blue Sky Film & Media – Video Production
If you would like to explore ideas and possibilities for your own video production project, please contact us via our Bristol or Cheltenham office at either –