JW Player Video SEO with & XML Sitemaps

Despite being around for several years, Video SEO is still a highly valuable part of technical SEO. In this tutorial, I’m going to share how I combine both markup and a Video XML Sitemap to increase the visibility of my JW Player videos within the SERPS.

I would start by stressing, that there is more to ‘Video SEO’ than just the technical implementation of the markup and XML sitemap I’m going to explain. JW Player themselves, have a free great whitepaper that covers everything from self-hosting to transcripts that are also worth considering.

However in this article, I’m going to dive straight into the coding configuration that I use for ranking JW Player videos with the supporting video thumbnail and semantic Structured Data.

video-seo-results Markup

The first part is integrating the additional markup with the default JW Player embed code:

In my code Gist above, you’ll notice I’m using the existing Div placeholder to add and hold my recommended markup. You can use meta tags to hold most of the information, however you will need visible tags such as headings or spans to contain the title and description like in my example.

Once you’ve implemented and edited your markup, I’d recommended testing the Data in Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

Create a Video XML Sitemap

Whilst SERP thumbnails and video SEO can be achieved with the markup alone, I’d recommend supporting the code with a Video XML Sitemap. Google have a great article for webmasters on creating them, however here’s my recommended code to support our video markup above:

Submitting your Sitemap

Once you’ve created your XML Video Sitemap, you can submit the file to Google directly in Google Webmaster Tools. I’d recommend testing your sitemap’s content first, and once valid, submit the sitemap to the index:


In my example above, you can see how my Video XML Sitemap was indexed just two days after I submitted it. The key advantage of providing a supporting XML Sitemap to Google means that you can request your content to be indexed quicker than waiting for Google’s spiders to come back around and crawl the page naturally.

From the horse’s mouth

And that’s it! I’ve used these two techniques for both JW Player versions 5 and 6, and the combination works quickly and perfectly. Here’s a 50 second video from Google covering both the structured data and XML sitemap approach: