Letter from Lehel: Google Algorithms and Video
You may have heard that Google recently released updates to its search algorithms—again! This update may have negatively impacted some of your dealership clients’ website SEO rankings. But as the old saying goes, in every problem lies an opportunity!
According to Cars.com, the five top car-shopping websites were significantly impacted by the algorithm updates. While Cars.com, Autotrader.com and Edmunds.com saw an increase in SEO rankings, Cargurus.com experienced a decrease and Carfax stayed approximately the same.
What changed? While Google keeps the exact nature of its algorithms a secret, we know that Google rewards websites that adhere to its recommended guidelines. These guidelines focus on putting the user experience first and offering fresh, original content. At the same time, Google continues to punish websites that rely on black hat SEO tactics and quick fixes.
Additionally, website page loading times can significantly impact SEO rankings. Fortunately for Flick Fusion clients, this isn’t a problem as hosting videos on an external platform is a surefire way to keep page load speeds lightning fast.
Do you have a dealership client that was negatively impacted by the recent Google search algorithm updates? Now is the perfect time to remind them how video can be used to improve SEO rankings, without impacting page load times.
How to Use Video Content to Improve SEO Rankings
The good news is, Google loves video content, and rewards websites that create fresh, original content based around answering questions that users have. Think about the questions that consumers have, and the search queries they use, during the car buying process or when they’re looking for a place to get their vehicle serviced.
Typical search queries might include the following:
- Make/model/year/test drive
- Make/model oil change
- Make/model maintenance schedule
Once you have a list of common questions and search queries, create video content designed to answer customers’ questions and provide the information they’re looking for.
To ensure the video content is optimized for Google search algorithms, include keywords in the video file name, title, description, tags and category.
It’s also important to let Google know where these videos are located. Make sure that your dealership clients have a video sitemap for their website. Make sure the sitemap is hosted on their domain; e.g. www.johndoedealership.com/videositemap.xml
Creating a video sitemap for your dealership clients is a great value-add that can help to differentiate you from your competition.
Video Hosting Platforms’ Impact on Page Speed
Let’s review the three video hosting options and how they impact page load speed:
1) Self-Hosted. If a dealership is hosting their own videos, that means their website provider is embedding code for every video onto their website. As more codes are added to pages, search engines and ISPs have to scrape and load those snippets of code. This takes time, so the more videos that are embedded into a website, the slower the load time. The less code that website pages have, the faster they load.
For this reason, it’s best to use an external hosting platform for video content.
2) YouTube. Some dealers like to host their videos on YouTube. However, because YouTube focuses so much on monetization, their video content is saturated with ads. All these ads add unnecessary scripts to the dealership’s video content, which can also have a negative impact on page load times.
3) Flick Fusion’s Smart Flicks. Hosting videos on our Smart Flicks platform is the best solution for improving page load times. No code on your clients’ website pages is required, and thus doesn’t affect page loading times.
Additionally, only Smart Flicks provides CRM integration and predictive analytics to ensure the right video is delivered to the right viewer at the right time.
To learn more about how Google’s search algorithm updates have impacted dealership’s website rankings, read or join this discussion on the Dealer Refresh forum.
If you have any questions about how video content will impact your clients’ SEO rankings, feel free to contact me.