Video is hot, hot, hot! This isn't news. Everyone and their brother, mother, and aunt Sally's cousin's sister are shooting and embedding video on their own website.
The entry level to decent video content has dropped drastically in the last few years. I can remember seeing people walking around conferences with Flip cams - now they're just using their iPhone or Android device – and shooting pretty nice video with them.
My passion for Schema markup isn't a quiet one. I've been talking about it for months now, and to be honest, I'm even more passionate than I was when I started.
I see such great results from marking up data in a web page, and I'm excited to see the barrier to entry lower even further. It's becoming simple for even a novice webmaster to add semantic markup to their pages.
So we move forward – and combine these two brilliant marketing methods into a beautiful love story that can help you dominate the search engine results. The "how" is pretty straightforward. Adding Schema.org for embedded videos is pretty simple – just follow this easy tutorial. Be sure you use every piece of the markup you can, including the thumbnail, and be 100 percent sure every line validates by using the Rich Snippet Testing Tool.
Now we get to the beauty part of why this works so well for search. A little case study, if you will.
My partner and I launched our own agency just a few weeks ago. Our website was opened to search engines on June 11. On June 19, I added a video to our blog that was a simple ~3 minute tutorial for small business owners to learn how to add and remove a user from webmaster tools.
On June 30, just 11 days after we published the post and the video, that video is ranking 11th, with a link to our website, not to YouTube. That's a pretty nice coup d'etat! If we look in YouTube, the video ranks third of 9,590 results for the query "Add Users in Webmaster Tools."
The YouTube results rank just below our video page. You can attribute some of this success to the authorship associated with my Google+ and our website being connected correctly. That's an achievable result for any webmaster. Couple solid authorship with good semantic markup best practices, and you achieve solid results.
Here's a checklist of steps to follow to achieve similar results with your embedded videos.
- Research a keyword phrase associated with your video's subject. Rule #1: make the phase fit the video – don't mislead a viewer with poor or irrelevant keywords on your videos. Use that phrase in the YouTube title, the file name, the description, and in the same on the post/page where you embed it on your website.
- Use the Google suggested markup format. Outlined in the tutorial referenced above or in Google's Webmaster Help section. I literally copy and paste the code from this Google page and replace the pertinent information with my own every time I do this!
- Upload your video to YouTube using every feature available, including the description to showcase what your video is about, why the searcher should choose it, and what they'll learn from it.
- Embed the video on your page with the semantic markup in place.
- Test it using the rich snippets testing tool.
- Log into Google Webmaster Tools and fetch your new page or post as Googlebot, then submit it to the index.
- Share your new post/page on social networks and with customers and any other relevant audiences.
Has our video received a huge amount of views yet? No. The target audience for this keyword phrase is small, it doesn't get many searches per day, and we really need to break the first page to see significant traffic.
What you can see is the way this video was fast-tracked ahead of 9,500+ possible choices from YouTube – displayed as a result with a link to our website and has given us a fighting chance to gain some qualified traffic from the exercise.
We haven't added our video sitemap to the website yet. That will be the second step in our test to see if that's the piece we need to boost to the first page. We have decided to wait another week to see if markup alone can achieve those results.
Let us know about your semantic video markup success stories in the comments below! I'd love to hear of others achieving solid results using this method!