When it comes to getting your video to rank on Google search results, normal SEO efforts are no longer enough. In this guide we have mapped out the exact steps you need to take in order to get your video to rank on Google by creating and submitting a video sitemaps easily and effectively.
A Video Sitemap is an extension of the Google sitemap protocol that ties together your video content and the metadata required to get it noticed.
Benefits of a Video Sitemap
A Video Sitemap is simply a text file that utilizes the sitemap protocol with video specific tags in it. In its smallest form it would just be a tag that links to the landing page for the video as in this example:
Your video sitemap must have
As digital marketers we are always looking for more efficient ways to complete tasks. Because of this we have mapped out the easiest way for you to create and index your video sitemap that we have found the most success with. The tool you will need to correctly create your video sitemaps is the plugin: Yoast Video SEO. This plugin costs $69 per website but is worth every penny to properly implement video SEO with the least amount of effort and is compatible with both Vimeo and Youtube. Below are the exact steps you need to take with Yoast Video SEO.
Step 1: Download and install Yoast Video SEO
Once you have purchased “Yoast Video SEO” install and activate the plugin on your website. Yoast has a great installation guide you can follow if you have any questions.
Step 2: Go to Video SEO Settings in WordPress
Once the plugin has been activated go to the left hand side of your wordpress dashboard and click on ‘SEO’ The SEO menu will drop down and you will click on ‘Video SEO’ at the bottom
Step 3: General Settings
This is the section that allows you to check the general settings and this is where you will find your video sitemap. This is the place where you can customize the plugin so it only scans items that contain videos when building your video sitemap. Lastly under indexing you can force the plugin to index new pages that have not been indexed before (this feature comes in handy in the future after adding multiple videos to your site).
If you currently have no videos on your site you will want to go through the Video SEO checklist above and have the video embedded before you move onto the next step. If you already have a video embedded on your site continue to the next step.
Step 4: Visit page with video
The next thing you should do is visit the backend of the page the video is embedded on.
Step 5: Configure Video SEO
Once you are on the page that contains the video scroll down until you reach the Yoast SEO box. Once there click the “plug” button that is 4th down on the left. This is where you configure your video SEO.
Here you can complete the following things:
You want to make sure to fill out all of these things as each element makes up that videos sitemap that will be added to your master video sitemap.
Step 6: Index your video
Once you have embedded your video and configured its settings you want to go back to the general video SEO settings in steps 2 and 3 and force index your video as it was not indexed prior to Yoast Video SEO being activated.
And that’s it! You have successfully created and indexed your video sitemap for your website. Now each time you embed a video to your website you can simply go to the Yoast SEO box, enter in the video details and then index via the force index button. And now that you know how to create video sitemaps we have provided even more video SEO Tips below to help you crush your video rankings.
Pro Tip: Any terms including the following keywords are more likely return these rich snippets:
Only use one video per page so Googlebot does not struggle to pick out an appropriate video to connect with the rich snippets.
There are two flagship video hosting platforms that continue to dominate the overall industry: Youtube and Vimeo. Each have their pro’s and con’s and depending on the type of digital marketing you are doing, one of them will be the best fit to jumpstart your video SEO strategy.
Youtube Video SEO Checklist
Vimeo Video SEO Checklist
Google provides a comprehensive guide on how to create your very own video sitemap with example code, what it needs to include, and what information needs to be in the video sitemap. To create your own video sitemap follow the Google Video Sitemap guide.
This is a short checklist you want to follow when creating your own video sitemap
Video SEO is just the tip of the iceberg. Click the button below and let’s talk about more ways to grow your business.
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SEO Consultant Roger Bryan
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