Video has quickly become the most in-demand content variety on the web, which has businesses, individuals, marketers, and consultants scrambling embracing video in a major way. They're starting YouTube channels, embedding clips on blogs and corporate websites, and even sharing video links on Twitter and Facebook. But how many of them are using video correctly?
The problem with video as a content format is that it's still so new--and so wildly different from text--that many on the web simply aren't educated as to the best practices of video. But if you want your clips to be found and enjoyed by your target audience, you've got a lot of work to do on the back end to make sure your videos, YouTube channel, and website are configured in a way that maximizes your video's reach.
Pixability's Online Video Grader Tool
Enter Pixability's new Online Video Grader tool. Pixability is a provider of video creation and editing solutions for businesses, and their latest offering comes in the form of a free online tool that measures a company's use of video for effectiveness.
"Many people struggle with getting the most out of their online video marketing. There are so many details to get right, and it's not easy to learn all the tricks. Many Pixability customers asked us for an easy way to figure out the basics of video SEO, and we decided to produce this automated tool to help people get started and measure their progress." said Pixability's CTO, Andreas Goeldi
Here's a video they created to further explain and demonstrate the Online Video Grader:
The Online Video Grader - How it Works
Users need only plug in their company website address, YouTube channel address, and email address, and the tool will then judge how well video is being used and generate a report (which you can do below). Pixability says "The Online Video Grader measures how you use video on your website, how you rank on Google and other video search engines, and how effective your YouTube channel is."
The Grader scores your company on a variety of points, including:
- Is there video on your home page?
- How many videos are on the first-level pages of your site?
- How many videos does Google find that are hosted on your site?
- How many videos on your YouTube Channel?
- Do all your YouTube videos have description test, including a link?
Calculate your video marketing score, try it now ▼
ReelSEO's Online Video Grade - We Better Score High, Right?
Now, what would be the fun in telling you about a new Online Video Grader tool without actually testing it out? And why test it out with anything other than ReelSEO's website and YouTube channel? Because we're supposed to know what we're doing, right?
Thankfully, we do. ReelSEO scored a 100/100 on the Online Video Grader tool--we're told that ReelSEO is one of the only companies to reach that score, though the tool is still quite new. Here's part of our score sheet overview:
Did we Score an "A", or an "A+"?
I'd like to think that we scored an A+ but... we unfortunately only scored a 96% for our YouTube efforts. The scoring algorithm is clearly something that is proprietary for Pixability and so while I cant tell you exactly where the -4% came from, I can debate the score and offer some feedback on those areas where we were told we could stand to improve.
59%? Arg... According to the grader, 31 of our videos don't have a valid link as the first element of their descriptive text. Additionally, we were given a 94% score for videos of ours that were missing a link altogether. Granted, I realize that this tool is most geared towards video marketing and we do encourage marketer's to include a link in the start of their descriptive text - but there are often reasons for businesses to include videos on their YouTube channel which may not be intended for direct-marketing. As such, I don't feel that it is absolutely necessary to always have a link, and certainly not required to have that link at the start of a description. I really don't know how much this affected our overall grade but I would argue that it should be a very small portion of the grade.
As for the 98% for short descriptions, I don't know what I was thinking and was probably just being lazy with that 1 video. Pixability states that an ideal length for a description text is 100 words or more and I would agree with that for the most part. Minimally, descriptions should be at least 160 characters as those first characters will be what is included in the URL's meta description.
I did ask Pixability if they could explain a bit more in terms of how the individual components are weighted for the calculation of the grade. Here's what I was told.
We use a proprietary algorithm that we built based on our own video SEO experience. Basically, there's a benchmark value for every rating component that depends on your company size. For instance, if you're a two-person company, getting 30,000 YouTube views is pretty good, but if you're a multi-billion global corporation, it's not so great. You get points for each component depending on how well you fulfill this benchmark. Then the components are weighted. Views and search results are more important than getting some of the basic mechanics (such as description text lengths) right or wrong.
The Future of the Online Video Grader
Since video marketing is a rapidly evolving discipline, Pixability states that they are periodically optimizing the algorithm based on the real-world results from Online Video Grader users.
Here are some of their planned "coming features":
- Keyword analysis: In future versions you will be able to check how well videos are found for relevant keywords important to your business.
- Video platforms: Pixability plans to add support for additional video platforms like Facebook, Vimeo, etc...
- Social media analytics: Social buzz is a good indicator of video engagement and is known to be a ranking factor in Google and is thought to be a ranking factor within YouTube as well. Pixability plans to add analytics for Facebook shares, likes, comments, etc...
- Expert Mode: While they state that they want to keep the grader simple, they do plan to release a version with an "expert mode" for more advanced users.
- Report Card Updates: Pixability states that they have already seen users check their score on a regular basis and as such, they plan to implement a feature to deliver users scheduled updates to their grade
Conclusion - A Solid Benchmarking Tool for Video Marketers
If you use video to market your business--and hopefully, that describes every single one of you--then you should take a look at the Online Video Grader. It's free, it's thorough, and it'll give you an excellent snapshot at what you're doing right, and what you need to improve on. Good job Pixability!