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Rich Snippets for Video: Test Data Proves They Can Potentially Hurt You

This post covers the topic of “video rich snippets” in The Rise of Video and Mobile: Design Considerations for Search Webinar (running time 26:00).

We marketers love trends – that’s no secret. We’re always looking to implement the next big thing in our marketing strategies, whether it’s Pinterest, mobile, or rich snippets.

But… just because certain trends work well for other brands doesn’t mean they’ll work for you. Or just because they work well for one page, doesn’t mean they’re a good idea for every page.

Rich snippets, like any digital marketing trend, make sense if they’re in the best interest of your customers. Like any trend, they make sense if, through testing, your data verifies that it’s actually a good idea.

BodyBuilding.com Tests Video Rich Snippets, with Surprising Results

In our webinar with Internet Retailer and Bodybuilding.com, Derrick Hicks and James Petzke of Bodybuilding.com share their (impressive) content marketing strategy alongside how they run their data-driven SEO team. They first look at a ton of data, use multiple types of media and content, then figure out which types of content work well with which topics.

For example, on their Arnold Schwarzenegger Blueprint page, there are multiple pages of content covering multiple categories: Training, Nutrition, Supplementation, and Motivation. Video is necessary to this page for the ultimate customer experience.

Arnold-blue-print-page

On the flip side, video was doing the opposite to Bodybuilding.com’s e-commerce category pages. Similarly to the Blueprint page, they strove to maximize the user’s experience — they filled each category page with different types of content including video.

Bodybuilding-rich-snippet

The videos were providing rich snippets in search results, which seemed fine at first glance. After looking at their data, however, they determined that these rich snippets were actually hurting them.

creatine-rich-snippet

As a test, Bodybuilding.com removed Google’s rich snippets and their traffic and revenue doubled for over 300 category pages. Videos were not what people wanted in this specific case; all they wanted was to purchase supplements.

Always Test Marketing Trends and Rely on Your Data

Bodybuilding.com presents an important marketing lesson. Marketers need to ask themselves: What format for your content would be the most ideal for your audience? Know your audience. Do your homework. Rely on your data.

Get the whole story on Bodybuilding.com’s rich snippet testing, and learn how this top-notch SEO team runs its content initiatives; the webinar and slides are on demand here.