Google's  SEO Best Practices for Video

Google's SEO Best Practices for Video

February 27, 2021
Marketing Two Cents
10.54%

Monthly
Active User Rate

Daily Budget
$5000

Daily
Campaign Budget

Click-through rate increase
60%

Increase
Click-through Rate

15%

Growth
Return on Investment

#1

Customer
Segmentation

Daily Budget
#2

Prioritisation of
Limited Resources

Click-through rate increase
#3

Competitive
Responses

#4

Consumer
Change

Video is a growing creative in this digital world. Often, webmasters seek ways to ensure maximum exposure of their video content in SERP.  This march, Google released five video SEO best practices in a new Lightning Talks on its YouTube channel. It shows us the video optimisation in a more technical way. That includes HTML tag, sitemap, Javascript, Structured data and more tricks to ensure your video features in SERP. I had an opportunity to go through the video &  help documentation, and show you the best practices.


The optimisation can be categorised into 5 parts:

SEO Best Practices For Video - Checklist | DEANLONG.io
SEO Best Practices For Video - Checklist

Help Google find your videos

Keywords: Robots.txt, Sitemaps, Javascript, Structured Data

Allowing Google to index your video content is the first step for your video appearance:

Dos:

  1. Include your video in an appropriate HTML tag. Google can more easily identify a video on your page when there's an HTML tag around it, for example: <video>, <embed>, <iframe>, or <object>.
  2. Include a video sitemap in Google Search Console(GSC). You have the option to create a separate sitemap just for video or combine the video sitemap with the primary sitemap. (Note: No more than 50,000 URL elements).
  3. Include video structured data on the page.
  4. You can have a standalone page for each video if that's more suitable for your site. If that's the case, make sure you have a title and descriptive content to explain the video in-depth.

Examples:

Using <iframe>tag to embed videos on my portfolio page | DEANLONG.io
Using <iframe>tag to embed videos on my portfolio page
Apply VideoObject Structured Data To My Video Content Page - Rich Results Test | DEANLONG.io
Apply VideoObject Structured Data To My Video Content Page

Don'ts:

  1. Do not use "<meta name="googlebot" content="noindex">" in the meta tag or "Disallow: /..." in the robot.txt that prevent Google web crawlers from indexing a page.
  2. Do not require user interaction to access the video content after a page loaded. Googlebot doesn't click on buttons and doesn't index dynamic content that requires user interaction. --- Make sure it's all in HTML in the viewpoint.


Suppose your website embeds videos from third-party platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook. In that case, Google may index both versions, and both versions may appear in video features on Google SERP.


Ensure your videos can be indexed

Dos:

  1. Provide a valid thumbnail image (Minimum 60x30 pixels, larger preferred, I recommend WebP format) and make sure the image is accessible with an ALT tag. You can choose one of the following methods to include a video thumbnail:

Example:

Specify the thumbnailUrl property in my video structured data - Rich Result Test | DEANLONG.IO
Specify the thumbnailUrl property in my video structured data

Allow Google to fetch your video content files

Suppose you want to enable features like video previews and key moments in SERP. In that case, it's recommended to allow Googlebot to access/fetch your video file. That means a stable URL, a  contentURL value in video object structured data and no bandwidth limitation.


Enable specific video features

Video Preview

Google selects a few seconds from your video to display a moving preview, which can help users better understand what they’ll find in your video. To make your videos eligible for this feature:

  • Allow Google to fetch your video content files. 
  • Set the maximum duration for these video previews using the max-video-preview robots meta tag.
"Video Preview" Features in Google SERP  Source: Google | DEANLONG.io
What "Video Preview" in SERP Looks Like, Source: Google

Key moments 

Google surfaces video segments through features such as key moments so users can navigate them like chapters in a book, engaging more deeply with your content. To enable this feature, use Clip structured data to identify segments and add descriptions. If your video is hosted on YouTube, you can also enable this feature by marking timestamps in your YouTube description. To opt out of this feature, use the nosnippet meta tag.

Google "Key Moment" SERP Feature & Youtube Adding YouTube Timestamp Links Demo | DEANLONG.io
Google "Key Moment" SERP Feature & Youtube Adding YouTube Timestamp Links Demo, Source: Google
Adding YouTube Timestamp Links in My Video Description | DEANLONG.io
Adding YouTube Timestamp Links in My Video Description

Live Badge 

For livestreaming videos, you can enable a red "LIVE" badge to appear in search results by using BroadcastEvent structured data and the Indexing API.



Sources(1, 2, 3, 4)

Dean Long | Expert in Growth MarketingDean Long

Dean Long is a Sydney-based creative marketing and communication professional with expertise in paid search, paid social, affiliate and e-commerce. He's also a distinct MBA Graduate from Western Sydney University.

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