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In this day and age, video marketing is nothing new (although not nearly enough business owners are taking advantage of this awesome strategy, IMO). Video sitemaps are also nothing new. But if not enough people are taking advantage of just shooting and optimizing videos to use for their online marketing efforts, my guess is even fewer people are using sitemaps and following other best practices.
What Is a Video Sitemap?
Video sitemaps provide Google information about your website’s videos so that they can get indexed properly. You want your videos to rank and be found, right? Just like content, videos need to be indexable! According to the Google Webmasters blog, “You can use the Google Video extension to the Sitemap protocol to give Google information about video content on your site. You can create a new video Sitemap or add video information to an existing Sitemap.” Video sitemaps offer meta data that can improve two things:
- Your video results (for example, with the video sitemap, a picture of the video is displayed in the search results, which can help increase the click-through rate.)
- Google’s ability to include your video in the search results (what’s so great about a video that nobody finds and watches?)
Important information provided to Google in the video sitemap includes category, description, and tags. Learn more about video sitemaps »
Also, videos on platforms like YouTube are starting to rank a lot more, often above regular web pages—and guess what? Video sitemaps can be created for these platforms.
More Video Optimization Tips
There are a few other things worth noting when it comes to video marketing and optimization:
- Pages with additional content outside of a video tend to get video snippets more often (pages with only a video may be seen as lower quality).
- It’s recommended to add schema markup to your videos. If you really want to get fancy, there are additional markups that can be used for video content.
- A no-brainer, but high-quality thumbnails are best. Google requires them to be at least 160×90 pixels.
- Make it clear when you remove videos from your site—return a 404 and indicate expiration dates (in schema.org markup, video Sitemaps or mRSS feed submitted to Google.
Basically, if you haven’t yet taken advantage of video marketing, change that.
Why? As my girl Haley explains in her recent video marketing blog post:
- Half of consumers who watch online product videos say it helps them make more confident purchasing decisions.
- Studies show that web pages with videos have significantly higher average time on site than those without videos.
- Videos allow you to drive branding and build trust. They’re like a commercial—just cheaper!
Once you get on the video marketing bandwagon, use these best practices to yield the best results. Of course, your pals at Blue Corona are around to help—contact us today!
About The Author: Alanna is the Quality Assurance Manager in Blue Corona's Maryland office. When she's not triple-checking websites and content for errors and consistency, you can find her at the gym with her twin sister or urban exploring with her husband.
View more blogs by Alanna Potosky