Video SEO best practices for ecommerce

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Video is becoming increasingly common on ecommerce sites. As a site owner, you can use video to give shoppers a deeper understanding of products you sell or build your reputation as a trusted expert. Video can also be prominent in Google Search. By surfacing your video content on Google, you can open up additional paths of discovery to drive awareness of your business and engagement on your site.

Where videos can appear in Google Search results

Videos can appear on the main Google Search results page or on the Videos tab. Videos are frequently presented with a thumbnail image and other helpful information such as the playback duration and summary text. In addition, Google can now highlight key moments in your video content, allowing users to navigate the video like chapters in a book. When a user taps a key moment, they'll land on your site where they can begin watching the video from that moment in time.

Google Search results page with a video, demonstrating how key moments are displayed.

Common uses of video on ecommerce sites

Video can create deeply engaging experiences for shoppers on your ecommerce site and may help people looking for relevant content from the Google Search page. Here are some common ways you can use video on an ecommerce site:

Product Pages: Videos are frequently embedded in product pages, providing richer inspirational or functional information about a product than by static images alone. For example, inspirational content may show a happy family using a picnic basket in the park whereas functional content may show how a baby stroller can collapse for easy storage. These kinds of videos can prove useful to people on their shopping research journeys in Search.

Articles and Blog Posts: A site may also have articles and blog posts that include video content. The video may share reviews comparing and evaluating products you sell, or share behind the scenes stories on what makes your business special. Different types of content are useful to different shoppers based on whether they are still researching or are ready to buy. Many shoppers are also interested in your business itself, such as your position on recycling or supporting your community.

Live Streaming: Advanced sites may also support embedded live streams with the ability for viewers to interact with the host, creating deeper relationships with your customers. Live streams can be scheduled in advance or created spur of the moment. Some video streaming services allow live streams to be embedded in your pages, enabling you to leverage their infrastructure while keeping customers on your own site. If your live stream is recorded, it can remain on your site as a regular video, offering a longer shelf-life in Search for people looking for relevant content.

Video can be used in many other ways to support ecommerce, including in social media. When video is hosted on a social media platform, the platform is responsible for making video available for Google to index so you generally should not have to do any extra work.

Getting the most out of Google Search and Discover

The following tips can help Google index video content hosted on your ecommerce site. You may need to find an appropriate plugin if using a CMS or ecommerce platform that does not give you direct control over HTML markup:

  • Include Video structured data on pages containing video content. This can be particularly important on product pages with videos embedded in a media carousel as Google may not see videos that require user interaction to display.
  • For those videos that you want to give maximum exposure to, consider creating a page dedicated to the video that describes the video content. A "how to clean your Brand X coffee maker" page may attract different traffic than a Brand X product page that includes the how-to video along with a lot of other information. It is fine to include the same video on both a dedicated page and the product page.
  • Example of how the LIVE badge appears on videos in Google Search results. For live streams, include structured data to enable LIVE badges, which can help draw attention to the streams when they go live. Use the Indexing API to provide Google with timely updates when a stream starts and ends. A live stream recording made available for viewing after the live event is not eligible for the LIVE badge.
  • Create and submit a video sitemap file to help Google find all your web pages with video content.
  • In addition to Video structured data, consider adding structured data that's relevant for each page, such as Product, HowTo, or Q&A markup.

For more information, check out these new resources that give an overview of how videos appear on Google, including best practices for sites with videos.