When you are faced with a list of results from a search engine, your eye is always drawn immediately to the results that include a video thumbnail or an image as they literally stand out.
This tendency is supported by the statistics which tell us that video thumbnails do actually encourage click-throughs and increase traffic to websites. Some studies have suggested that search results that include a video thumbnail are 53 times more likely to achieve a page 1 search engine ranking.
The question is, how do you make sure this happens for pages on your own website that have videos on them?
In order to show up in the search results with a rich video snippet you need to have the videos indexed on your domain by Google. To achieve this the best thing to do is to submit a video sitemap to Google.
The quick video SEO solution for WordPress users
The one brilliant answer to this question is the Video SEO plugin for WordPress by Yoast. The plugin is an add-on to the WordPress SEO plugin, also from Yoast.
How do you use the video SEO plugin?
The plug in is really easy to use. Here is a step-by-step guide:
1. Add the URL of your chosen video to a page or post on its own line. This can be the URL from one of your own videos (which are hosted on YouTube for example), or it can be the URL to someone else’s video that you want to feature on your page/post.
2. Click ‘update’ (you will need to click update any time to make a change to ensure it has registered with WordPress).
3. Then in the WordPress SEO by Yoast panel, below the text input panel, you will notice that your ‘snippet preview’ has been updated and now includes your video thumbnail.
4. There is also a new ‘Video’ tab which gives you more options, including the ability to choose a different thumbnail for your video (you just need to make sure your chose image is the correct size – 16:9 ratio). Again, if you make any changes, click the update button on your post.
5. Using the plugins together will automatically set up your video xml sitemaps. It will include a thumbnail of your video in your search engine result page listing, exactly as shown in the WordPress SEO by Yoast panel.
Here is a short video that explains what the plugin does:
What results can I expect through using the video SEO plugin by Yoast?
Traffic increases are a little difficult to pin down to one factor as we are also constantly getting links and mentions that affect our rankings but our SEO traffic has increased about 10% since implementing the plugin 6 weeks ago, but then things dipped a lot of the holiday period as we are a B2B focused company. I would attribute about 50% of that increase to the plugin and 50% to other factors. Basically the plugin paid for itself very quickly.
An example of the benefit can be seen in this screenshot:
Yeah – 7th for a search result is not great and we do not get a lot of traffic for this term but we do get some and this is just one of many search terms that we are now achieving first page results for.
Where can I get the video SEO plugin?
The WordPress SEO plugin is free to download from Yoast
The add on Video SEO plugin can be purchased for $89 from Yoast.
This small investment can make a massive difference to how your search results appear to potential website visitors, increasing your traffic and giving you the edge you need to make the most out of online video.