Having your video in search engine rankings can bring in more visitors than a regular listing. Cool thing is – your video doesn’t have to be on Youtube in order for it to show up in search engine results.
Here’s Killer Sales Video, for example.
Two things you’ll need:
- A video
- A video sitemap file
How to create a video sitemap
While it can seem pretty technical, let me assure you – if you can create a text file, you can probably create a video sitemap as well.
Step 1: Find the link to your video and thumbnail
I’m assuming you’re using some kind of web video player to show the video on your webpage. Somewhere in the player’s configuration files there should be a link to a video file (e.g. http://example.com/video.mp4). If you’re using a commercial video host like KrunchLabs, ask their support to help you get the link to the video.
Do the same thing to find the URL of the poster image that appears before playback is started (e.g. http://example.com/poster.jpg).
Step 2: Write a title and description for your video
Search engines want to know what your video is about, which is why we need to give it a title and a description.
Keep the title under 100 characters long and the description – under 2048.
Step 3: Create your video sitemap file
If your hosting uses cPanel this step will be really simple. Sign in to your cPanel, go to File Manager and navigate to the folder with your website’s files.
Then create a new file called “videositemap.xml” (without the quotes). Select the file and edit it in code editor.
Copy the code below and paste it in your file:
<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9" xmlns:video="http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-video/1.1"> <url> <loc>LINK TO THE PAGE WITH YOUR VIDEO</loc> <video:video> <video:thumbnail_loc>LINK TO VIDEO POSTER IMAGE</video:thumbnail_loc> <video:title>VIDEO TITLE</video:title> <video:description>VIDEO DESCRIPTION</video:description> <video:content_loc>LINK TO THE VIDEO MP4 FILE</video:content_loc> <video:family_friendly>yes</video:family_friendly> <video:live>no</video:live> </video:video> </url> </urlset>
Replace the bolded parts with your own values and save the file. There are more optional variables you can add, which we didn’t cover for the sake of simplicity. Go here for the full list.
Step 4: Submit your video sitemap
Finally, we need to tell Google that we’ve created a video sitemap file.
You can add a link to your sitemap in your robots.txt file like this:
Or you can add the sitemap via Webmaster Tools.
Why you should take the time to do this
The one and biggest reason you would want to spend your time doing this, is to get more visitors from Google. Having that video thumbnail next to your website really helps capture people’s attention. That, in turn, gets you more visitors and more sales.
Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about the process.