Good SEO practices for your videos: the technical guide ✨

Welcome to the future of digital marketing, where video reigns supreme over web content. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is an entire encyclopedia, conveying emotions, information, and capturing the essence of a message with unparalleled effectiveness. In the digital age, where attention is a precious currency, mastering video SEO isn't just an advantage, it's a necessity. This detailed guide is your compass in the dense jungle of video SEO, guiding you step by step to the pinnacle of online visibility. Whether you're a seasoned content creator or a curious novice, these proven strategies will equip you to captivate Google's audience and beyond. Join us as we demystify video SEO, one step at a time, and transform your content into the twinkling stars of the web.

Julien Giraud
April 5, 2024

Step 1: Light the Way for Google

1.1 Creating a Showcase for Your Video

What You Need: A web page dedicated solely to your video.

Why: Google places more importance on content that can be clearly identified. A main video on a dedicated page facilitates its indexing and understanding by Google's algorithms.

How to Do It:a. Avoid any content that blocks crawlers (restrictive robots.txt files or meta noindex tags).b. Ensure the video is embedded with an appropriate HTML tag (video, embed, iframe).c. Make this page attractive and informative by enriching it with descriptive text, contextual elements related to the video, and a catchy title.

1.2 Build a Palace for Each Video

What You Need: Unique web pages for each video content.

Why: Google loves order and precision. A unique page per video means that each video can be more easily categorized and found in search results.

How to Do It:a. Create a site structure that allows having a page per video.b. On each page, ensure the video is the center of attention: it should be immediately visible and easily accessible.c. Use clean and descriptive URLs for each page, including, if possible, keywords relevant to the video content.

Step 2: Enchant Google with Your HTML Tag

What You Need: Perfect integration through the most suitable HTML tag.

Why: Correct use of tags ensures a better understanding of your content by Google, thus increasing your chances of being well indexed.

How to Do It:a. For videos hosted directly on your site, use the <video> tag. Add the src attributes for the video file path, width and height for dimensions, and controls to allow users to control playback.b. For videos embedded via external platforms (YouTube, Vimeo), prefer the <iframe> or <embed> tags, ensuring you follow best practices from these platforms for successful integration.c. Don't forget to add subtitles via the <track kind="subtitles"> tag to improve accessibility and SEO.

Step 3: Leave a Treasure Map for Google

What You Need: A well-structured video sitemap.

Why: A video sitemap informs Google about the existence of your video content, making it easier for them to discover and index it.

How to Do It:a. Generate a specific XML sitemap for your videos, including the URL of each video's page, title, description, thumbnail URL, and the video file URL itself.b. Submit your video sitemap to Google via Search Console to speed up the indexing process.c. Regularly update your sitemap to include new videos and remove old ones.

Step 4: Perform Magic with Thumbnails

What You Need: High-quality and attractive thumbnails.

Why: Thumbnails are the first to capture attention in search results. A good thumbnail can significantly increase your click-through rate.

How to Do It:a. Choose an image that summarizes the video content well or that intrigues, to encourage clicking.b. Ensure the thumbnail is clear and readable at a small size.c. Use bright colors and minimalist text to attract the eye without overwhelming.

Step 5: Tell the Story of Your Video

What You Need: Rich and precise structured data.

Why: Structured data allows Google to better understand and categorize your video content, thus improving your visibility.

How to Do It:a. Use the VideoObject schema to describe your videos in the page's HTML code. Include the title, description, duration, publication date, and other relevant information.b. Ensure that the information provided in the structured data is consistent with the actual content of the video.c. Test your structured data with Google's Structured Data Testing Tool to ensure they are correctly interpreted.

Step 6: Open the Gates of Viewing to Google

What You Need: Unconditional access to your video files for Google.

Why: Google needs to be able to access and understand your video to index it effectively and enable features like video previews.

How to Do It:a. Ensure that videos and their thumbnails are accessible without restrictions (no blocking via robots.txt or password).b. Use video file formats commonly supported by Google for better compatibility (MP4, WebM).c. Host your videos on infrastructure capable of handling the load imposed by Google's crawling, to avoid any accessibility issues.

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