Why the need to create a video sitemap?
By creating a video XML sitemap, it enables you to utilize the power of a video rich snippet and allows search engines to crawl your video contents more effectively, thus enhancing SEO.
Why the need for a video rich snippet? It enables a small mini video to show up whenever someone searches for something on Google and let the searcher knows your result has a video in it. The great thing is that the searcher doesn’t even have to specify if a video is required. Thus, a video rich snippet is a fabulous way to make your contents stand out against the tens and thousands of competitors on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). It makes your contents the rose among the thorns, the light in total darkness! Your content stands out above all the other articles, people are mesmerized to click and view your hard work, your masterpiece! Based on an article on Search Engine Land, adding content-rich information to search listing can increase click-through rate by 30 percent and the good news is that you don’t have to be in the coveted number one position!
Other than video, you can explore other rich snippets (small pieces of Meta data that show up with your result) that can be started relatively easily:
– Star Ratings
– Songs/Music Albums
In this article, we will be discussing about video rich snippets and the creation of the Video XML Sitemap. Why video? Well, if a picture paints a thousand words, then a video is worth a thousand pictures. Videos are captivating and are you aware that YouTube is the number two search engine behind Google?
Now, let’s go on with the fun part and get started with video rich snippets.
Standing Out On SERP Through Video Rich Snippets
1. Creating a Video XML Sitemap
Wondering how video rich snippets assist in SERP, you can listen to Google here:
I did some research on Video XML Sitemap generator and noted there are free and paid versions.
Video SEO For WordPress: https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/video-seo/
A1 Sitemap Generator: http://www.microsystools.com/products/sitemap-generator/
As this is the kick-start entrepreneurship series, we will do things with the least budget. I tried out the free versions and felt more comfortable with the video sitemap generator from CanadaSEOzone.
When you are at XML Video Sitemap generator, input the URL of your YouTube video and hit ‘Add to Sitemap/Create Sitemap’ button. You can add multiple YouTube videos or just by inputting your YouTube ID.
Next, enter the Website Page URL where the individual video is embedded in your website.
After hitting ‘Create my free XML Video Sitemap’ button, the relevant codes / mark up will be generated. Copy these codes / mark up for use later.
2. Creating a Video Sitemap.xml File
Now, head over to your cPanel or any other hosting control panel provided by your hosting providers. After accessing the cPanel, go to the ‘Files’ section and click ‘File Manager’.
In File Manager, create a New File and name the file as “Video-Sitemap.xml”. After creating the file, click it and then click ‘Edit’. Do take note that this file is sitting in your domain root directory.
In the ‘Text Editor’, paste the codes / mark up (from the XML Video Sitemap generator), hit ‘Save’ and then ‘Exit’.
Now, the real test on Google Webmasters Tools!
3. Uploading Video XML Sitemap to Google Webmasters Tools
Access your Google Webmasters Tools account and choose the correct domain. Go to ‘Crawl’ and select ‘Sitemaps’. Click ‘ADD/TEST SITEMAP’ and insert the filename created for the video XML sitemap. Hit ‘Test Sitemap’ button to verify whether there are any errors (this is the way I do it just to be on the safe side). Alternatively, you can just hit the ‘Submit Sitemap’ button (without going through the test).
After successfully verified by Google, you will see a column for the video content in your website. Remember to repeat this process whenever you have new video content in your website! When you are in a position to afford a paid version, then you could skip this manual step. But then again, you have to decide whether the number of videos you are going to put in your website justify the costs.
I am a firm believer that videos will grow exponentially in the coming years and this is also supported by research studies by reputable firms. If you are not on the video bandwagon, you might be missing out on some terrific opportunities. Just imagine, if you are on the subway / MRT, are you more inclined to read text after text or watch a video? The choice is pretty obvious for a good majority of us, I believe. At the end of the day, video rich snippets are just another way to make your contents stand out in SERP. As businesses catch on with the benefits of snippets, it might be inevitable to follow suit or be left in the dust. If this is the case, rather than be a follower, why not get started with a video rich snippet and be a leader and differentiate yourself from the competitors (and gain a couple more clicks along the way!).
After reading this article, I trust that you find creating a Video XML Sitemap might not be as difficult as you have envisioned. The main thing is to take action and learn along the way. You won’t learn anything or gain a benefit by not trying. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.