Cheat Sheet: Video SEO


For an in-depth background on Video SEO please check out this article.

Establish You Strategy First

What do you want to accomplish with your video content? What you do with them will depend on what you want to achieve.

  1. Increase brand awareness – Wide appeal, post on public platforms such as YouTube
  2. Improve conversions – Constricted appeal, self-host on conversion/product pages
  3. Get a SERP rich snippet – Upload a XML Video Sitemap (ideally self-host the videos)
  4. Attract links and shares – Pick one public platform and embed on site with share functionality and promote elsewhere

Creating a XML Video Sitemap

As Google is unable to ‘understand’ video content it is important to use an XML sitemap to tell the search engine more about the video to potentially be rewarded with a video thumbnail rich snippet.Note: If your video is hosted on YouTube, the thumbnail will more often than not point to the video on YouTube rather than your own site which is why self-hosting (using a service such as Wistia) is recommended.Sitemap components:

  • <urlset xmlns=”″ xmlns:video=”″></urlset>
  • <url></url> – Every video’s tag set is contained between these tags which in turn is wrapped in the <urlset> tags above
  • <loc></loc> – Location of video (if more than one video exists on a page there is no need to repeat this tag)
  • <video:video></video:video> – Individual video tags contained within these
  • <video:title></video:title> – Title of video
  • <video:description></video:description> – Description of video
  • <video:thumbnail_loc></video:thumbnail_loc> – Location of custom video thumbnail
  • <video:player_loc allow_embed=”yes”></video:player_loc> – Video URL
  • <video:tag></video:tag> – Optional keyword tags
  • <video:family_friendly></video:family_friendly> – Optional – Yes/No
  • <video:duration></video:duration> – Video duration in seconds
  • <video:publication_date></video:publication_date> – Date first published

Optimising YouTube

Video Promotion