Ever since, I read about “Using Schema.org Mark Up for Videos” in the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog, I was in search to find a WordPress plugin to use these features as I am not too technical. It is very important, for me and for all those webmasters who depend on SEO for traffic, to mark up the site content with structured data.
This is what Google says about Rich Snippets: “Essentially, rich snippets provide you with the ability to help Google highlight aspects of your page. Whether your site contains information about products, recipes, events or apps, a few simple additions to your markup can result in more engagement with your content — and potentially more traffic to your site.”
I accidentally found that, the Simple Video Pro plugin I bought for boosting my affiliate sales also does the structured data mark up and shows video thumnails in SERP. You can read my review about Simple Video Pro Plugin here.
Yoast Video SEO for WordPress Plugin Review
When I heard that, Joost de Valk, the creator of my all time favorite SEO Plugin, WordPress SEO by Yoast, introduced Video SEO for WordPress Plugin, I wanted to try that too. In the first week of December I got the Video SEO for WordPress plugin for $89.00 with a developer licence (Yes, I can install the plugin in unlimited WP sites and even on my client’s Website too). Well, $89.00 was the only plan available in December 2012.
As I was writing the Video SEO for WordPress review yesterday, I wanted to check the price of the plugin again and found that they have totally changed it. Here is the link to the blog post by Yoast explaining why they had to restructure the plans. Following are the new price for the plugin.
Personal – (for a single site) $69.00
Professional – (for up to 5 sites) $129.00
Agency – (for unlimited sites) $249.00
What is the Purpose of Video SEO for WordPress Plugin?
Main goal is to increase the chance of adding video snippets next to your link in SERP, which will eventually increase Clickthrough Rate (CTR). Before you start using the plugin you must install the free version first from wordpress.org. After you purchase Video SEO for WordPress, you will get an email with the link to download the premium plugin file. Download, install and activate it using the licence key provided in the email. The email says, “Be sure to download within 72 hours as these links expire after that!”
Yoast Video SEO for WordPress Plugin Supports
Automatic XML Video Sitemap generation (adding on to the WordPress SEO XML sitemaps)
Media RSS enhancements to your RSS feed
Full support for schema.org videoObject markup
Snippet previews with the actual video still in them
Facebook OpenGraph tags on your video pages
Support for many major video platforms, including Youtube, Vimeo, Blip, DailyMotion and others
(Features are taken from http://yoast.com/wordpress/video-seo/)
Here are two screen shots of how it appears in your WordPress dashboard and in SERP when you are using a YouTube video within your blog post. Screenshots are taken from my own blog while using the features of the plugin.
Yoast Video SEO for WordPress in Dashboard while editing a post
The same post is indexed in SERP and shown under video results with thumbnail
By the way I am including these screenshots to show you an example of how it works and I am not talking about the ranking factors.
Positives and Negatives
XML Video Sitemap generation is working. Your posts with videos will be indexed in Google with video snippet preview. I’ve tested this plugin for some time on a few pages, and it works. However, snippets are not shown for every posts. Why? I really don’t know. I know there is no guarantee. Yoast developers claim it is because the video is not the primary content of the page.
Google supports and recommends using the schema.org On-page markup for videos. This plug-in has full support. If you are interested in learning more check here. Media RSS enhancements are probably OK. I haven’t spent time checking them. I have tested the integration of all major video platforms, and there were no problems.
Unlike my Simple Video Pro plugin, Video SEO for WordPress plugin does not prevent anyone from clicking the embedded YouTube video and taking away my traffic. Neither it does support the features of adding my own overlay banner ads, optin forms, etc on the video. Well, this plugin is not a video player.
Basically it does create XML video sitemaps. Yoast Video SEO plugin will list your WordPress blog post under video results in SERP’s. It is easy to install and easy to use.
$69.00 for a single site is worth investing if you use a lot of videos within your blog posts. $249.00 for unlimited licence seems pretty expensive, although they have some valid reasons. If you work with many clients using WordsPress, go for the unlimited licence version.