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.
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.
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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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.