In a recent post I talked about the importance of properly marking up your video in order to greatly increase the power of the video to attract visitors to your site.
In order to have this option you need to either self-host the video or use a secure third party video hosting service.
In this post I’d like to tell you how I use once such service, Wistia, to quickly and easily achieve proper video SEO. Please note that I have no affiliation with Wistia. I’m just a huge fan of their product, and for good reason.
The purpose of this post is not to give you a detailed explanation of how to use Wistia’s video SEO features. Wistia offers a thorough explanation of their video SEO process here.
Rather, I’m going to use this post to briefly explain why I feel that Wistia’s SEO features are a true boon for anyone looking to use video to attract attention to their site.
Schema Markup and Submitting Sitemaps to Google
There are generally two components involved in proper video SEO techniques: 1. adding schema tags to your page to mark up the video on your page, and 2. creating and submitting a video sitemap to Google. Amazingly, Wistia makes it easy to do both of these things.
Both of these components serve to increase the SEO of the page that the video is on, and not the SEO of the video on its own, which, presumably, is what you want. Further, it will also help ensure that your video is indexed for video-specific searches, and when users click on your video entry in Google’s results pages, they should be taken to your page.
Essentially the schema tags and video sitemap are tools that you use to describe the content of your videos to search engines. Search engines can’t really understand what your video is about, and so some text is required to help them understand and index your video.
With Wistia, you have to do a little bit of work to set up video SEO for your domain. Basically what you do in this step is give Wistia permission to host your video sitemap. It’s not a complicated process and it’s relatively quick.
Once this is done you can easily mark up videos on your site. The process is as simple as filling out a form that describes the content of your video and placing an automatically generated embed code from Wistia within your site.
Captions with Wistia: Instant Good SEO Karma
Another cool feature of Wistia is the ability to easily add captions (subtitles) to your videos. They’re good for your viewers because they make your video more accessible, and they’re good for you because they can increase the on-page SEO of your video.
Wistia allows you to upload a standard caption file for each video. However, if you are producing short explainer videos it can be well worth it to have Wistia do the transcription for you. They charge $5 per minute, and if you have a one to two minute explainer video it really is a no brainer. Note that right now their transcription service is only available for English; however, Wistia supports transcript files in any language.
Wistia’s captioning feature is a great SEO booster because it automatically adds the text of your video to your page. This will make it easier for people who are searching for content related to your video to find your page.
All of this – the schema markup, video sitemap and submission to Google, and captions – can be done without Wistia, of course, but it can be a bit of work to figure out and implement.
To add to all this, I can tell you that I have found Wistia’s tech support to be incredibly responsive, knowledgeable, and friendly. When I was first setting up my videos I emailed Wistia many questions about their SEO process, and they fired answers back at me with impressive speed.
How much do I like Wistia? Well, to give you a sense of that, I’ll give you a list of things that I would give up before I gave up Wistia:
- my running shoes
- cable tv
- my fax machine
- in-home wifi (I have a lot of cables)