What is Video Sitemap?
Video is a form of content.Nowadays with growing popularity of videos sites have started using videos to complement their text content.Many websites write blog posts or promote their product using video content.Since videos are audio visual content form they are bigger impact on visitors or customers.
People upload Videos on sites like YouTube and Vimeo. They also embed these videos on their site to increase video views and also complement their site content.
With growing use of Videos it is also important to inform search engines about them.Like other content types the best way to inform search engines about your videos is Video Sitemap.So if you are using Videos on your website then you should use Video sitemaps.
Video sitemaps can be submitted to Google Webmasters (Google Search Console now),Bing Webmasters and other search engine submission sites. Even if you have submitted traditional web sitemap or image sitemap you must submit video sitemap.
Video sitemaps will increase your video discover-ability.It also provides more information about your videos to search engines which will help search engines rank your videos higher.
Why Video Sitemap is required?
Before diving into details we need to see what Video sitemaps contain. Google has defined the protocol on this page.
As per above page Google Says
The entries in a video sitemap must include a link to a landing page for a video and some required information. Many of the elements in a video sitemap are optional, but they provide useful metadata that can enhance your video results and improve Google’s ability to include your video in search results.
The protocol says that sitemap should have below fields for each Video
- URL of your web page where video is embedded
- Video thumbnail
- Title of the Video
- Description of the Video
- URL of the Video on YouTube for example
- Duration of the Video
Note there are other fields too but these fields are mandatory and other fields are optional. Google is expecting you to populate above fields for each video. Now above fields provide complete information about your videos to Google.
If you provide above information about your videos to Google then Google knows about your video better. The more information it has the better. It can rank your videos for relevant search terms based on information you provided above.
Compare it with situation you do not have Sitemap. Then you can not provide above information to Search Engines. Thus you are holding back potential of your own content. To make the most out of your content you should provide more information which only Video Sitemap can provide.
Do you need Video Sitemap?
Above we have seen that Google says that Video Sitemap increases chances of search visibility and ranking. But does your website requires it. On simpler note it is always good to have it. But you should really consider creating one if videos form important part of your website.
If there are not many videos on your site or they are not important for your site then you can ignore it for now. Also it is always better to include Video information on your existing sitemap instead of creating a new sitemap with only video URL.
This improves chances of ranking your video higher in search ranking. It also improves indexing rate of your video content. Increased indexing rate makes sure your videos get included in search ranking thus bringing traffic to your website.
How to create Video Sitemap for your website?
There are many plugin which help you create Video Sitemap for WordPress. But these plugins create a new sitemap instead of adding video information to existing sitemap. As I mentioned for better results include information to existing sitemap.
There is only one plugin which helps you include the video information to existing sitemaps. I have given link of the same below.
The plugin supports YouTube videos , Daily motion videos and Vimeo videos. It also supports Woo Commerce videos. So if you have a Woo Commerce store and using videos to promote your products then it is must have plugin.
It is the only plugin which has support for Woo Commerce videos. There are no other plugin with this feature at the moment.
Creating Video sitemap and submitting to Search Engines like Google Search Console is one time activity. After that Search Engines pick your sitemap automatically. All you have to do is update the sitemap with new content.
If you are using above plugin then this part is taken care of. The plugin creates and updates your sitemap to reflect changes in your website. So you should install and forget it.