Media SEO

Media SEO is a powerful tool for your business, and here at Wistia we've got it fully covered. Learn more about Wistia and media SEO here.

Caroline F avatar
Written by Caroline F
Updated over a week ago

Media SEO is the practice of providing the metadata ("information") for your content to search engines to improve the richness of search results (i.e. “rich snippets”). This, in turn, drives more visits to your website. Wistia puts this video metadata on your page by injecting JSON-LD into your webpage’s header. As a part of your marketing efforts, following the proper metadata and general SEO conventions will help to improve your video’s presence on search engines.

Getting Started

To get those sweet SEO benefits, all you’ll need to do is use the Standard embed code type on your website. Seriously, it’s that easy.

Wistia does all of the hard work for you. The JSON-LD file is automatically injected into the head of your website once your page is live. We handle all of the tricky stuff. No sitemaps, no extra coding, just copy, paste, and rock out. 🤘

What is Media SEO?

Confused about what media SEO is? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.

Media SEO is the process of adding metadata to your website so that a search engine can better read what’s on your page. The media’s metadata in the JSON-LD file will tell search engines things like:

  • the media title

  • the media description

  • the length of the media

  • the media captions file (if available)

  • and the media thumbnail

Wistia’s SEO functionality automatically includes this metadata in your website to optimize your site for search engine indexing. Using recommended markup makes it easier for Google to discover and index your content. Follow these steps to make your video SEO game top notch.

On-Page Markup for Media SEO

When search engines, like Google, crawl a page on your website, they can only identify and index a media properly if the page includes the right video markup. Google has extensive technical documentation about adding that markup (if you’re feeling like a light read), but you don’t need to worry about it! Wistia’s Standard embeds automatically put that markup on the page for you.

When you add a Standard Wistia embed on a page, we’ll inject the following markup in the <head> section for search engines to find:

  • Name: The title of your media, which you can set on the media’s page in your account.

  • Description: A brief description of the media’s content. It’s important to write a description for each media, which you can do from the media’s page in your account.

  • Captions: Your media’s first uploaded captions file (either manually uploaded or ordered through Wistia) is automatically formatted as metadata.

  • Thumbnail URL: The URL of the image search engines will use if they choose to display a preview of your media in the search results. Wistia’s got you covered on this front!

  • Embed URL: A URL pointing to a player for a specific media.

  • Duration: The length of your media.

  • Upload Date: When the media was uploaded to Wistia.

These are all of the “Required” and “Recommended” properties listed on Google’s guide for video markup. As long as you fill out the Name and Description (and get yourself some captions, if you’re feeling so bold), Wistia’s got the rest covered. 👍

If you ever change that information in Wistia, it will automatically be updated on your website. Immediately! There’s no need to re-embed your media.


You can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to verify that Google is able to see your media and its metadata. If everything is working properly, you’ll see that Google finds a VideoObject on the page.

Can I See an Example?

Check out a live example by inspecting the <head> element. Expand the <head> element to see the <script type="application/ld+json"> script.

Managing Your Metadata

The metadata for your video is pulled from the Wistia media page, so make sure you update the title and description for all of your media after upload.


The title should be relevant for the media. Make sure it’s short and sweet. Don’t try too hard to make it wordy, or shove too many keywords into it. Just focus on appropriately naming the media for a viewer’s experience.


Be as descriptive as possible, but again don’t go overboard with keywords. Make the description useful for viewers, not for bots.


Visit our Captions help page to learn how to add captions to your video!

How Can I See What My Metadata Will Look Like?

Easy peasy! The Embed & Share modal includes a dropdown menu that lets you look at all of that sweet SEO data. It’s easier than ever to see the same information that search engines are reading to help them rank your page.

From your media page, select Embed & Share. From the Inline Embed tab, scroll down. There you’ll see an option for SEO Metadata. Click the carrot next to the “Inject video metadata  ” option to see all of that metadata glory.

Optimizing After Indexing

The goal of SEO is to drive more traffic to your website. Optimizing your media content for search engines means that your pages will show up in media-specific search results, thus driving more traffic to your site.

When a searcher clicks the media still in results, they will be taken to your website, which is a major advantage over YouTube SEO.

We recommend keeping a close eye on your traffic during the SEO indexing process — see if you notice an uptick after your media content is indexed. From that baseline data, you can experiment with changes to improve incoming traffic.

First, make sure you have related content on your page so that search engines have context surrounding the media. If you notice an increase in traffic from specific searches, add more content for those visitors.

Second, the thing that drives folks to click on the media is the thumbnail! Choose a thumbnail that looks attractive for the topic at hand.

Video SEO Google Search Example

Channel SEO

Wistia Channels create new pages for each media, using query parameters to stipulate unique URLs for each one. Every page includes the same structured data as a Wistia standalone media embed, injected via JSON+LD.

These pages are all readable by Google, and the relevant metadata is injected, ensuring the pages can appear in search with media snippets.


Media SEO is tough but valuable. Customers have asked us lots of questions about using our media SEO tool for their video. We’ll attempt to compile them here.

I thought only YouTube got indexed on Google search results? Should I have my media on both platforms?

Google has continued to support an open market, indexing medias that follow their SEO guidelines, regardless of where they are hosted.

If the most important metric for your media is views, YouTube is a great place for them. If your goal is to encourage a conversion event, like a sign-up, subscription, or a share, then you want to drive viewers to your site to watch your media. That is where video SEO can be a valuable tool.

It’s been several days, when can I expect to see my media ranked in SERPs?

It can take up to 2 weeks for Google to index new content.

Because Google can be a bit of a black box sometimes, it’s not possible to determine exactly when new content will be indexed for media results. In our experience, a waiting period of 10–15 days is not uncommon.

If you have been waiting for a considerable amount of time, double-check the list of possibly bad practices below, to make sure your content doesn’t fall into one of the areas of content that Google doesn’t index reliably.

What can prevent medias from being added to Google search results?

There are a few practices that we have seen prevent indexing.

  • Redirects are a tricky practice, and more often than not, they seem to cause failures. Google might not follow the redirect when crawling, or the redirects might be set up incorrectly.

  • Disallowing content in the robots.txt file would result in everything appearing “successful,” but your content never appears in search results. Double-check that any “disallow” blocks in your robots.txt file do not point to content you want indexed.

  • Putting media farther down the page can have a negative effect on the content. Where possible, make sure your medias are embedded at a good viewing size (at least 600px wide) and near the top of the page.

More questions? Just want to talk about SEO? Give us a shout. We’ll be happy to talk more!

Did this answer your question?