The latest Google report in SEO specialists’ arsenal is the video indexing report (or video page indexing report) that finished rolling out to all users in August.
For some, it may be a highly expected update long overdue, but for many SEOs, the report’s appearance in GSC maybe have been a reminder to check their video indexing for the first time ever.
Despite an increasingly audio-visual online experience, video SEO is an often overlooked and underappreciated form of SEO that can bring huge organic gains to your site – when done right!
Basic Principles of Video SEO
The basic principles of video SEO are essentially the same as all SEO. You need to:
- Do your research
- Create quality content
- Ensure it is indexed
- Optimise for better rankings, visibility, and traffic
However, even though search engine crawlers can generally see that there is a video on a page, they cannot actually view the video. Therefore, you need to give them a bit of help understanding what the video is all about.
This usually takes the form of setting an explanatory title and description and including a transcript and/or structured data to provide the crawlers with the information required to accurately index your video.
Troubleshooting Video SEO
So you’ve got great content, you’ve done your keyword research, checked that Google considers them ‘video keywords’, created a captivating and informative piece of video content, and published it.
Everything looks right, but you check your video search performance and see no uptick in organic video search.
- The first step is to check that your video is actually indexed. (And this is where the new report comes in handy.) Earlier, you knew that your video is indexed if you saw your video location URL by filtering for search type ‘video’ in the performance tab. However, if it wasn’t there, there wasn’t really anything to tell you why not.
The new GSC report can tell you exactly why your video is not indexed – making it a great place to start troubleshooting.
- By clicking on the video pages tab on your GSC, you’ll see two totals: ‘no video indexed’ and ‘video indexed’. The latter is quite self-explanatory: Google has found a video on the page and has indexed it successfully.
But ‘no video indexed’ is where the real value of this report lies. It lists the pages where Google has found a video but has not indexed it for some reason – this means you have a video indexing issue. And the really helpful thing is that the report gives you the exact reason why not. Usually, the video either does not meet one or more of the video indexing requirements specified by Google.
For example, it might be in a format not supported, or the required thumbnail could not be found or generated. The report has also been incorporated into the URL inspector, meaning you can find your video’s indexing status simply by inspecting the URL where the content is embedded. Once you know why your video is not indexed, it’s easier to go and fix the issues.
- If, however, your video host page URL is not categorised under either video indexed or no video indexed, this means Google is not aware of the video at all.
This may not be a video indexing issue but a page indexing issue. Therefore, you must first check that the page where the video is embedded is indexed, as this is the first requirement for video indexing. Alternatively, if the page is indexed, but the video is not, it can either mean that it just hasn’t been crawled yet, or then for some reason, Google can’t see the video on the page. In this case, there’s something wrong with the video itself or how your page is set up.
Making Smart Use of Google’s Tools
When you combine this powerful tool with the other video-related functions of GSC, you get a powerful video SEO tool.
The performance tab provides you with all the organic search data for your indexed videos, complete with keywords that are generating visibility and traffic to the video content on your site. Furthermore, if you’ve added structured data to your video (as you should have!), GSC’s video enhancements tab will tell you if your schema is valid or has errors.
Combining these three tools in GSC allows you to understand:
- The indexing status of your video content
- How well your content is performing
- Which keywords are working for you
- Whether you’ve done your structured data correctly
Google Search Console may not be able to do your keyword research or make your video for you, but it’s still an incredibly useful tool for video SEO.
We hope this has been of some assistance to those battling to reap the SEO rewards of their video content. If you have more questions, please feel free to reach out to our team.