The enormous popularity of the iPad has already changed the way many users consume video. From a video search perspective, marketers and SEO experts can now reach consumers through another screen. According to MeFeedia, less than a week after its launch, research has showniPad users consume two and a half times as many videos as the typical web user that iPad users consume two and a half times as many videos as the typical web user and three times as many videos as iPhone users. Savvy online marketers have done everything they can to ensure users find their videos online. Now, with the arrival of the iPad, marketers need to ensure users can consume those videos.
More than 300,000 iPads sold on the day the product was launched, so it’s essential that marketers meet the high demand for video consumption and make sure they’re adapting content to take advantage of this phenomenon. Most web-based videos currently use Adobe Flash, but the iPad supports videos using HTML5. It may prove to be a mistake for Apple not to provide functionality for both the existing Flash videos and the emerging HTML5 videos, but these are the realities to which marketers must adjust. The new <video> tags in HTML5 will make it easier for search engines to locate video content and the HTML5 coding structure should make it easier for engines to label it, resulting in better indexation and ranking of videos.
One of HTML5’s biggest impacts on marketers is its native video support. For marketers, this means that video becomes more ubiquitous. HTML5 makes video a native browser experience for users and publishers. It allows users to consume and publishers to distribute video without the need for browser plugins. Major players in the television and video industry like CBS and ESPN have already made changes to their sites to support video playback on the iPad, as well as other devices that do not support Flash and other video plugins.
Marketers looking to reach consumers on this new screen need to build iPad-ready web sites by using HTML5 code to be more accessible and give consumers a positive user experience. For online video marketers interested in SEO, the main objective has been to make sure that the search engines could easily find and identify all of the content on their sites. HTML5 provides marketers with new ways to tell search engines about their content.
HTML uses tags to classify different types of content on a web page. For the first time in HTML5, sites have a video component which provides control for the way video is displayed and organized. That component eliminates the need for browser object tags. In addition, with HTML5, size obligations no longer exist for video, which should make online video marketers excited, specifically those marketing on a device like the iPad. In HTML5, videos have a width and height, much like images, so marketers are no longer forced into the standard Flash video sizes.
HTML5 offers another new element known as the <nav>tag which marketers can use to specify navigation menus, such as sections of links to other material with little or no original content. Search engines can then use these tags to understand site structure better, as well as display the navigation in various ways. For example, a mobile device browser like on the iPad can make links within “nav” sections accessible by swiping the screen left or right.
While content is key, marketers also have to understand the best technical and most flexible ways to present it. Video will continue to be a significant part of SEO as HTML5 should makes it easier for search engines to index and rank it. HTML5 will play an important role for marketers planning to advertise across multiple screens: televisions, computers, smart phones and the iPad. Video marketing continues to grow and get smarter in the way information can be published. So, in order to keep up with the latest consumer devices and search engines trends, publishers must give serious consideration to creating HTML5-compliant web sites and more premium app offerings.
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