How to Optimize Video for Search Engines
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How to Optimize Video for Search Engines

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Nowadays video is very popular and being used for many purposes on the internet. Video is becoming increasingly common on ecommerce sites. As a seller or a shop owner, you can give a deeper understanding to your customer about the product. You can use video to build your reputation as a trusted expert on the internet. Videos are also being used for educational purposes, documentation, and many more. Check out the video submission site list here.

What is video optimization?

Video optimization means giving enough information to search engine so that search engine can show your video on relevant queries searched by users. When you upload a video on your site you can give a schema.org markup. So that when search engine index video it can understand what the video is about by giving it a title, a description and other information related to the topic.

Getting the Videos Optimized for Search Engines

You have uploaded a video if it is not visible publicly then the search engine will not show the result of your video on SERP(Search Engine Result Page). The following tips can help Google index video content hosted on your website. You may need to find an appropriate plugin if you are using a CMS or ecommerce platform that does not give you direct control over HTML markup:

  • Include video structured data on pages that are containing the video content. This can be particularly important on product pages. Because videos embedded in a media carousel Google may not see videos that require user interaction to display.
Video optimization-woocommerce single product view
  • For those videos that you want to give maximum exposure to, and consider creating a page dedicated to the video that is called the video content. A “How to unbox an X-brand t-shirt” page may affect different traffic than putting it on a product page along with other pieces of information. Having a dedicated page for video is good for optimization and markup. It is fine to include the same video on both a dedicated page and the product page.
  • For live streams, include structured data to enable live badge which can help draw attention to the streams when they go live. Use the Indexing API to provide Google with timely updates when a stream starts and ends. A live stream recording made available for viewing after the live event but it is not eligible for the LIVE badge.
  • Create and submit a video sitemap file to help Google find all your web pages dedicated to video content.
  • In addition to Video structured data, consider adding structured data that’s relevant for each page, such as Product, How to, or Question & Answer markup.
  • Use Video Key moments to let the user know what content will be shown in which moment of the video and they can jump to it, and also for search engines to show on the SERP.

Provide structured data with video object markup

You can provide structured data with schema.org video object markup. A user may provide video title, description, hashtags, tag, recording time. Then it can be optimized for search engines. It is work for a developer to set up a schema for a search engine. A schema can have much information. such as:

Structured Data:

  • Video Title: You can put the key topic or an attractive sentence on your video title to grab public attraction and give information to search engines for the search results.
  • Video Description: You can put the description to the schema and on the video viewing page. The description may contain some details about the video topic what the video is about. You can also put some information about the source of the video like where the video was shot, and other information that is required for the visitors.
  • Thumbnails: You can use a video thumbnail that can be shown before the video is played and must be attractive to viewers. You must put the real topic on the thumbnail. Otherwise, viewers can be frustrated and search engines can understand these things also.
  • Uploaded Date: An uploaded date can look like this “2021-05-25T08:00:00:+08:00”
  • Duration: You can put the video duration on the schema like this: PT3M56S.
  • Content URL: You can put the content URL on the schema like, “https://example.com/123/video.mp4”
  • Embed URL: You can also put the embed URL on the schema like this, “https://example.com/embed/123/”
  • Interaction statistic: Interaction statistics can be counter to the interaction done by viewers. You can also put it in the schema.
  • Regional allowance: This is the allowance information about which country can watch that particular video. Many websites have the ability to put restrictions on videos whether that visual content can be view in particular countries or not.
  • Add hashtags: You can add some hashtags to make the video more specific to the topic. Search engines also look at hashtags.

Schema Data Example:

The schema structure can look like this. You can put it on the head section of the HTML. You can test your reach result here. The example structured data used below were collected from google.

Here is a example of single video object:

<html>
  <head>
    <title>Introducing the self-driving bicycle in the Netherlands</title>
    <script type="application/ld+json">
    {
      "@context": "https://schema.org",
      "@type": "VideoObject",
      "name": "Introducing the self-driving bicycle in the Netherlands",
      "description": "This spring, Google is introducing the self-driving bicycle in Amsterdam, the world's premier cycling city. The Dutch cycle more than any other nation in the world, almost 900 kilometres per year per person, amounting to over 15 billion kilometres annually. The self-driving bicycle enables safe navigation through the city for Amsterdam residents, and furthers Google's ambition to improve urban mobility with technology. Google Netherlands takes enormous pride in the fact that a Dutch team worked on this innovation that will have great impact in their home country.",
      "thumbnailUrl": [
        "https://example.com/photos/1x1/photo.jpg",
        "https://example.com/photos/4x3/photo.jpg",
        "https://example.com/photos/16x9/photo.jpg"
       ],
      "uploadDate": "2016-03-31T08:00:00+08:00",
      "duration": "PT1M54S",
      "contentUrl": "https://www.example.com/video/123/file.mp4",
      "embedUrl": "https://www.example.com/embed/123",
      "interactionStatistic": {
        "@type": "InteractionCounter",
        "interactionType": { "@type": "http://schema.org/WatchAction" },
        "userInteractionCount": 5647018
      },
      "regionsAllowed": "US,NL"
    }
    </script>
  </head>
  <body>
  </body>
</html>

Here is a example of broadcast video object:

<html>
  <head>
    <title>Bald Eagle at the Park - Livestream</title>
    <script type="application/ld+json">
    {
      "@context": "https://schema.org",
      "@type": "VideoObject",
      "contentURL": "https://example.com/bald-eagle-at-the-park.mp4",
      "description": "Bald eagle at the park livestream.",
      "duration": "PT37M14S",
      "embedUrl": "https://example.com/bald-eagle-at-the-park",
      "expires": "2018-10-30T14:37:14+00:00",
      "regionsAllowed": "US",
      "interactionStatistic": {
        "@type": "InteractionCounter",
        "interactionType": { "@type": "http://schema.org/WatchAction" },
        "userInteractionCount": 4756
      },
      "name": "Bald eagle nest livestream!",
      "thumbnailUrl": "https://example.com/bald-eagle-at-the-park",
      "uploadDate": "2018-10-27T14:00:00+00:00",
      "publication": [
        {
          "@type": "BroadcastEvent",
          "isLiveBroadcast": true,
          "startDate": "2018-10-27T14:00:00+00:00",
          "endDate": "2018-10-27T14:37:14+00:00"
        },
        {
          "@type": "BroadcastEvent",
          "isLiveBroadcast": true,
          "startDate": "2018-10-27T18:00:00+00:00",
          "endDate": "2018-10-27T18:37:14+00:00"
        }
      ]
    }
    </script>
  </head>
  <body>
  </body>
</html>

You can find more examples here.

Include high-quality thumbnails

Make sure you provide a high-quality thumbnail and a URL that Google can access. If the thumbnail is not accessible then your page might not be able to appear in video features of Google. Your thumbnail must be relevant to the content of the video. Otherwise, you could lose your visitors, and google also can understand image content and video content by analyzing.

Submit a video sitemap

Providing video sitemap is another way to help google find videos on a website. It is not so different then other type of sitemap.

Example sitemap

Here is a sample video sitemap from the ‘Google Search Central’ blog with one page hosting one video. This example includes all of the tags that Google uses.

<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"
        xmlns:video="http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-video/1.1">
   <url>
     <loc>http://www.example.com/videos/some_video_landing_page.html</loc>
     <video:video>
       <video:thumbnail_loc>http://www.example.com/thumbs/123.jpg</video:thumbnail_loc>
       <video:title>Grilling steaks for summer</video:title>
       <video:description>Alkis shows you how to get perfectly done steaks every
         time</video:description>
       <video:content_loc>
          http://streamserver.example.com/video123.mp4</video:content_loc>
       <video:player_loc>
         http://www.example.com/videoplayer.php?video=123</video:player_loc>
       <video:duration>600</video:duration>
       <video:expiration_date>2021-11-05T19:20:30+08:00</video:expiration_date>
       <video:rating>4.2</video:rating>
       <video:view_count>12345</video:view_count>
       <video:publication_date>2007-11-05T19:20:30+08:00</video:publication_date>
       <video:family_friendly>yes</video:family_friendly>
       <video:restriction relationship="allow">IE GB US CA</video:restriction>
       <video:price currency="EUR">1.99</video:price>
       <video:requires_subscription>yes</video:requires_subscription>
       <video:uploader
         info="http://www.example.com/users/grillymcgrillerson">GrillyMcGrillerson
       </video:uploader>
       <video:live>no</video:live>
     </video:video>
   </url>
</urlset>

You can learn more about video site map for google here.

Make video file accessible for google

The video content showing on site must be accessible the file of that video for Google. If Google can access the file then google can analyze the video, and audio data to understand. You can get several benefits from it:

  • Google can choose several seconds from video to show on the search result. Which can be more engaging than a start thumbnail.
  • You can use the ‘max video preview’ robot meta tag to control the length of the preview.
<meta name="robots" content="max-video-preview:-1">

In the meta tag -1 means no limits, 0 means no preview, and each number indicates seconds. Such as 5 means 5 seconds, 120 means 2 minutes.

  • Google can automatically identify key moments on your video. So that, people can navigate them like chapters in a book.

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