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Search Engine Optimization for Your Videos: A Few Considerations

Max Anderson

In the world of marketing, videos assume great importance. Many companies use video sharing platforms, such as YouTube, MetaCafe, and Vimeo, to reach potential customers. Google also ranks videos high on search results.

On occasion, video results appear as a separate section, which can be expanded to see more results. Embedding videos on your blog posts can be quite effective as well for generating more traffic. In this article, find a few things to consider when optimizing your videos for search.

Video Schema Markup

Schema.org Microdata can be important for today’s websites. They give search engines some additional information about your content. In Microdata, you have a video markup option too known as VideoObject. VideoObject (schema.org/VideoObject) has all the specifications required for a video. It includes a video caption, thumbnail image, frame size, quality of the video, associated news article, duration, etc. An example of a video markup is shown below:

<div itemprop= “video” itemscope itemtype= “http://schema.org/VideoObject”>

   <div itemprop= “name”>Name of the video</div>

   <meta itemprop=”thumbnailUrl” content=”thumbnail image URI” />

   <meta itemprop= “duration” content= “T2M41S” />

   <meta itemprop= “contentURL” content= “URL of the video object” />

Add any additional meta tags here as required by the video (most of the meta tags are optional).

   <object> Put video embed code here </object>

   <div itemprop= “description”>Video description</div>


If you find it difficult to add video markup, use a video SEO plugin such as Yoast Video SEO.

Video Sitemaps

One way search engines find new pages in a website is by looking at the site’s XML sitemap. You can have a sitemap generated not only for new pages but also for videos. For a popular blogging platform such as WordPress, you can create a video sitemap with the help of a plugin. Google and other major search engines prefer XML sitemaps following the specifications given by Sitemaps.org. Several online services are available that can help you generate a good sitemap for your videos.

Media RSS

RSS feeds are generally used to distribute text content. However, back in 2004, Yahoo! along with the Media RSS community introduced Media RSS extension that can be used to distribute multimedia content through RSS feeds. Media RSS specification and validation tools are provided by rssboard.org website. If you upload videos to YouTube or embed them on your posts and have a number of RSS subscribers, then Media RSS specification should be included in your site.

Facebook Open Graph

In order to make your web page and objects within it interact as if they are in social media, you can use the Open Graph protocol. Although it is a general set of specifications created by Facebook initially, it can be used for any social media site or search engine. Open Graph can be used to augment metadata in your site. Basic metadata elements as well as additional special elements are available in Open Graph. One of such elements is og:video. This tag can be used to properly describe a video by providing further information about it: title, URL, width, height, etc.

Since Facebook recognizes og:video element, it can be used to play your videos directly within Facebook. This in turn may create more Likes and shares for your posts, thus enhancing your site traffic.

Metadata of Your Video

Whether or not you are using a professional video sharing site, you must have a proper title, description, and keywords. These are necessary even if you are embedding a video within a blog post. Describing your video can give search engines quite a bit of information even though you do not include any meta tags or rich snippets.


Many companies and professional services use video marketing to reach customers. Uploading or sharing popular videos can bring high traffic to your website. Doing SEO on your videos can also increase the chances of going viral on social media.

Inside this Article
Video Sitemaps
Media RSS
Facebook Open Graph
Metadata of Your Video
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