Colin Campbell

Hi, Brafton’s Content Marketing Strategist Colin Campbell here with this month’s Third Thursday Tip. Click play to watch the video, or read the full transcript below. 

Video content offers significant SEO and engagement benefits, but brands often make the mistake of hosting through networks like YouTube. There are many reasons why self-hosting is so important for results. Here are five that top my list:

Reason # 1: For SEO value

When you self-host instead of embed your videos, you have all the content on your site. It’s yours – and your brand gets the credit – not YouTube. When you self-host, you can publish videos with custom tags and written transcripts. Since videos themselves can’t be crawled, using text on your video page will ensure that you get all the SEO value from your videos.

Reason #2: So you outrank YouTube

You don’t want to do YouTube any favors by giving it credit for your high quality content. But given the potential to reach a large audience through Youtube, it would be unwise not to use it at all.

I recommend self-hosting all your videos, and adding them to your Youtube channel about three weeks later. You need to give Google’s crawlers enough time to index your on-site posts first. That way, YouTube doesn’t outrank you for your video, stealing clicks that should be going to your site.

Reason #3: To get rich snippets in SERPs

You need to submit a video sitemap to Google in order to get a rich snippet in search results, but you won’t have a sitemap if you don’t host your own videos. In fact, if you don’t self-host, Google might not know you have videos at all.

Rich video snippets are really valuable because they help you take up more space in SERPs and they generally get more clicks because there’s a picture next to the link.

Reason #4: So you control the context

By self-hosting videos, you’re in control of the environment in which someone watches. If someone watches them on YouTube or through another third-party hosting site, competitors might come up in the list of related videos at the end of the clip.

When you self-host, you can make sure there is a related call to action on the side, and some players will even let you include a CTA in the video, making it that much easier for viewers to convert. In the best case scenario if you don’t host, you can remove competitors from related videos.

Reason #5: It looks more professional

This may not be a technical reason, but when you self-host videos, it looks like you know what you’re doing and that you’re not relying on YouTube. There isn’t a YouTube branded player on your site – everything looks seamless and integrated.

When you create videos, you can’t overlook hosting or approach it as an after thought. If you do just put a video on YouTube, you’ll be selling yourself short on SEO results and conversion opportunities. Self-hosting is one of the most important pieces of a results-driven video marketing strategy.