Consider, also, using Schema.org structured data when embedding your video. It’s not required for video rich-snippets, but it won’t hurt. Videoschema.com offers a free Schema.org generator.
Keyword research, the foundation of all SEO, applies to videos. Search Google for intuitive words and phrases. A query that produces video carousels is worth optimizing.
On-site Video SEO
7. Produce a video XML sitemap. An XML sitemap can link to every video on your site, increasing discovery by search bots. Humans do not see XML sitemaps.
4. Upload to YouTube. Options for video hosting include your own site and third-party platforms (free and premium). But YouTube is the best choice for organic rankings owing to Google’s ownership of that site.
Here’s how to optimize on-site videos.
Keep an eye on the “Video pages” report in Search Console to ensure Google can access and index that content.
1. Ensure relevancy. A video should contribute to the page’s purpose. Don’t add videos solely for search engine optimization. Put visitors first. Relevant, helpful videos drive engagement and send positive signals to Google.
Adding ?rel=0 to a YouTube embed code prevents Google from suggesting competitors’ videos.
There are solutions for implementing lazy loading depending on your platform. WPbeginner offers a workaround for WordPress that also adds ?rel=0 to embed code. A site called Section Design has a tutorial for Shopify. Wix claims to provide lazy loading by default.
Otherwise, check with your platform provider.
5. Use structured data. A video should be visible and playable on a page to have any chance of generating video rich-snippets. Using YouTube’s video embed code easily achieves both.
When uploading a video to YouTube, confirm Google can generate a transcript.
When embedding YouTube videos, add ?rel=0 to the video URL inside the code to prevent Google from suggesting competitors. With that string present, YouTube will suggest your own videos instead.
When uploading to YouTube, use the custom thumbnail above at 1,280 x 720 pixels with a minimum width of 640. Importantly, add extensive explanatory content, which will help Google categorize that video and rank it higher. Then confirm Google can generate a transcript from the video. A transcript indicates Google’s understanding of the content.
Using YouTube as a hosting platform means Google will likely pull all the metadata — author, publish date, description — without the structured data. But definitely include Schema.org markup (and a transcript) when not hosting on YouTube.
3. Use an enticing thumbnail. Video thumbnails appear in search results in carousels and video rich-snippets. A video’s thumbnail is also what people see on the page before playing it.
Study the videos in Google’s carousels to evaluate what’s available for a given query.
Thus thumbnails are important for organic clicks and on-page engagement. Create a unique image that reflects the video’s intent.
6. Lazy-load videos. Videos can slow down a page. Always lazy-load videos to ensure good scores on Core Web Vitals.