If you’re a content creator, video producer, or general YouTuber, you’re going to want views. The key to getting the views you want is to have your videos show up whenever someone searches for something relevant to your video. These viewers will go on to subscribe and share your video with their friends, which will increase your viewership even more. But how do you get Google, or any other search engine to display your video in its results?

The answer is Video Markup. Similar to last week’s technical optimization post about How to Use Google’s Data Highlighter to highlight important data on your website for the search engine, we’re going to examine how to do the same for your videos.

This will help you gain more views, and more visitors to your site (if you have one). For those who simply have a few videos uploaded to your site, this will work equally as well. Once the video appears in Google’s results, people will be able to click directly on the link and go straight to your site to view the video.

Getting Started with Video Markup

There are a couple different ways to go about using Video Markup. Both happen in the backend of your site, so it won’t affect any regular users or visitors of the site. In order to have your video indexed by Google (the end goal of using Video Markup), Google needs some information:

 

Title, Description, Thumbnail

  1. A Title
  2. A Description
  3. A Thumbnail

 

Your title should be something relevant, concise, and interesting. Using some keywords relevant to the content of your video will help people find the information they’re looking for faster. Creating a title that brings people to your video, but doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the video will not help you in the long run.

The description should, like the title, be relevant, concise and interesting. It should allow the person to determine whether your video is going to help them in 160 characters or less. Including both short and long tail keywords in your description can go a long way to gaining more views. These keywords will be bolded in the search results, and help people identify helpful links.

The thumbnail is the image preview of your video. The thumbnail is often a single moment of the video, however, if you really want to stand out, you should create a custom thumbnail. The thumbnail will be shown in the search result, so if you can have a professional, informative thumbnail for your video, it can do a lot to increase clicks and views.

Getting Indexed by Google

The two ways you can get your video indexed by Google are by creating On-Page Markup data, or by creating a Video Sitemap. On-Page Markup are changes you make to the code of your site that Google will notice the next time it crawls your website, and a Video Sitemap is an XML file that you create and submit to Google directly.

On-Page Markup can be done by checking out the guide on schema.org. Google also offers many other links to guides and tutorials on their Video Search page. On-Page Markup and schema does require some technical knowledge, but nothing that couldn’t be learned in a couple hours. Here’s an example of a finished schema markup:

 On-Page Markup

Creating a Video Sitemap also requires some technical background. A thorough guide to creating a Video Sitemap can be found here, on Google’s page. They show you what a complete example that includes all of the tags commonly used by Google. Video Sitemaps are great because you don’t have to wait for Google to crawl your site again for your video to be indexed, and you can include some more complicated information like expiration dates, country restrictions, platform restrictions, and livestreams. You can submit your Video Sitemap through Google’s Webmaster Tools, and it will be indexed in the next day or so.

Hopefully this guide has enabled you to find out how to index your videos on your site and increase your viewership. Getting your videos to show up in search engine results is the first step to getting the number of views you want. Contact us for more information about technically optimizing your website and increasing your traffic and views. Feedback? Leave your questions and comments in the comment box below!

Jamie Bates