Tech Tip: Improving Video Discoverability with Schema
A video SEO strategy always starts and builds onto a site SEO strategy. You cannot have one without the other. Search engines rely on readable HTML markup to improve search indexing and search results, making it easier for people to find what they are looking for. Employing SEO best practices for all site content - including video - ensures max visibility amongst your target audience in search. Ultimately, an effective SEO strategy for video means having a single unique URL for each video on your website domain. If that is in place, then you can share only the unique URL via site maps, links, email or social sharing.
Over time, search engine algorithms and methods continue to change, though. What successfully indexed and ranked before 2011 will not be as effective today. With the filter and technology changes made by Google with Panda (2011 - identifying quality content) and Penguin (2012 - filtering Web spam) SEO techniques need to be revised. And this is where schema enters the picture.
What is schema?
In an effort to gain efficiencies search engines have come together via Schema.org to create a "shared markup vocabulary" to make it easier for webmasters to maximize the benefits of their efforts when optimizing their content. In turn, this has become critical for video discoverability.
Bing, Google, Yahoo and Yandex utilize schema markup to gather structured data. This allows them to understand the content and provide richer search results. When search engines return results based on the intent of the search request, they have a more structured way to gather and process the results effectively.
Site maps are still a vital piece of the puzzle as they let search engines know where and when to send search bots to confirm the video content exists and gathers additional contextual information. Through the use of schema on the unique video page, you give search engines the confirmation data they need to process the results effectively.
Schema under the hood
So how can you take advantage of schema for online video success? Start by surrounding the player embed code with a DIV and giving it a unique ID to allow you to manage the display of this space on your page. Then add the itemscope and additional basic schema information needed to identify it as a video object. For example:
For a full list of data properties available for the video object to expand the context of the video visit this page.
Next replace the "[ ]s" and value descriptions with the appropriate information. Please notice that the width and height of the thumbnail image is based on the default size of the still image created in Brightcove Video Cloud (480 pixels wide). Please adjust this if the image path provided is a different dimension. The player ID and path should match the IDs of your account and player.
To summarize …
A good video SEO strategy starts with a unique URL for each video. Then, be sure the unique video player page for each video includes schema code specific to the video loaded in the player. With those two elements, you have the basics to drive search bots and traffic to the unique page and confirm that the page contains the video content expected.
If you are a Video Cloud customer and have access to API tokens, please take advantage of this tool to generate player publishing code for your account that includes schema information for a selected video title.
In the end, SEO is a cycle of high-quality, unique content that can be shared and discovered at a consistent, unique location and is efficiently indexable making it easier for people to find what they are looking for.