GOOGLE VIDEO SEO TIPS

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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Google has published some new and updated resources around video SEO. First, there is a new video, lighting talk, on the topic of video SEO best practices by Danielle Marshak, Product Manager at Google. Second, there is an updated help doc section on video SEO best practices.

For those doing video SEO, I don’t think you will find anything new here but it is always good to double check your knowledge. So I will sum it up for you below.

Video captions are essential for video SEO. After all, search engines do not have ’eyes' to watch a video. Instead, search bots ’crawl' your site, reading the text and code of your pages for information and signals on what each is about. This way, Google (and other search engines) can return the most relevant information to search queries.

Moz has done a fantastic job of this in recent years with their Whiteboard Friday series. Check out the image below – this isn’t actually a screenshot from a video, but rather an orchestrated photograph designed to advertise a video about SEO trends.

Q: Do I need to include video tags?

Otherwise, head over to Google’s structured data hub to get started, and make sure you’re looping in your development team to have these added to video pages across your site.

There are hundreds of classes of markups that identify specific webpage elements — including video.

Tip 9. Use video captions.

Enjoy this free video SEO strategy checklist, and reap the benefits of a fully optimized video experience. We’ll highlight Wistia-specific video SEO features but also share general best practices to help you make the most of your video marketing assets. Let’s dive in!

If you embed a Wistia video on your page, you’re already doing most of the work to optimize for video SEO. Hooray!

If you want to source your own captions, try other affordable services like Rev.com.

The name of your video file is included as the video title in the structured data (example below), so make sure to rename your videos once they’ve been uploaded.

If not, you can use a sitemap generator as a starting point. We also recommend chatting with your web development team to ensure the map looks technically sound and is implemented correctly.

Captioning is the process of dividing transcript text into smaller sections, known as “caption frames,” and time-coding each frame to synchronize with the video’s audio. The output of captioning is called “captions,” which are typically located at the bottom of a video screen. Closed captions allow viewers to follow along with the audio and video or captions interchangeably.

Another technical tip, adding schema markup to your website is another way to improve how a search engine crawls and understands your video data. What is schema markup? Our friends over at Moz have this to say.

Your video’s thumbnail image will catch the attention of your audience when they’re scrolling through search results, and it can mean the difference between success and failure with video SEO.

It’s not the end of the world if you are restricted to a site based on a JavaScript framework (check out this Google guide for some advice regarding how to handle it), but just be conscious that an atypical build can require some more technical work in order to get video SEO functioning properly. When in doubt, check the Google Rich Results test to see exactly what Google is or isn’t indexing on your page.

Q: Do I need to use the Yoast video SEO plugin or any other video SEO plugin for Wistia videos on WordPress?

Tip 3. Use an inline embed.

This fact shouldn’t radically change your strategy, but it’s something to bear in mind when designing and planning the pages your videos will live on.

Wistia offers two basic types of embed: inline and popover (other platforms will have other options). If video SEO is a priority for you, make sure to use the inline embeds in all instances, rather than popover embeds, which make use of lightboxes.

A: The process doesn’t really differ, but just be mindful of cannibalizing your website traffic by driving traffic to YouTube video results instead. Make sure you track your performance carefully to ensure YouTube isn’t causing you more harm than good. One thing you can do to decrease the risk of cannibalization is to give your videos very different titles in each location (on-site and YouTube).

Google typically indexes only one video per page. If you’re including multiple videos on a page, it’s unlikely that the search engine crawlers will recognize and parse more than the first video.

However, if you don’t currently use Wistia or if you want to go all-in on video SEO — we’ve got you covered. There are nine specific video SEO tips to consider when uploading, customizing, and embedding your videos.

Once you have your video sitemap, head over to Google Search Console and submit your sitemap. After logging in, you’ll see this on the left-hand navigation under “index.” This will allow you to verify that your sitemaps are good to go and alert you if any issues pop up in the future.

Don’t forget that it’s a best practice to retitle your videos as soon as you’ve uploaded them, which you can do using the “edit” button to the right of the filename.

FAQs on optimizing Wistia embeds.

“Schema.org (often called Schema) is a semantic vocabulary of tags (or microdata) that you can add to your HTML to improve the way search engines read and represent your page in SERPs.”

Here at Wistia, we’ve worked hard to ensure that our embed codes automatically optimize the videos on your site for search engines and that our videos are as SEO-friendly as possible (and make for a great user experience).

Keep in mind — Google’s algorithm (and other search engines) also considers many other ranking factors, like the video content itself and the overall quality of your video. Having high-quality video is essential to growing your organic search presence — and this makes sense. If searchers only watch a few seconds of your video and then leave, this communicates that your video isn’t resonating and is either irrelevant or low quality content.

A: No, you don’t. Wistia automates what all of these plugins do for you. It probably won’t cause you any issues if you are using a video SEO plugin with Wistia, but it’s entirely unnecessary.

A sitemap is a file uploaded to your website that provides search engines specific information (called metadata) about the pages, videos, images, and other files on your site. A video sitemap is the best way to help Google and other search engines find and understand the video content on your website and provide other information like the video title, description, run time, and intended audience. This can be an extension of a larger sitemap or a video-specific sitemap.

– feature titles that are 65 characters or fewer.

Remember that the title should reflect the specific content of the video, not just replicate the title of the page the video is embedded on. Ideally pick something simple, relevant, and compelling. You don’t need to worry too much about including target keywords, doing keyword research, or anything like that (Google is smart enough to understand synonyms these days), but equally, there is no video title less SEO-friendly than “Sequence-1.mov.”

The standard embed is entirely AJAX based, which makes it faster, but the fallback, iframe-based embed might be the preferable option for certain content management systems.

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