Wistia is a professional video marketing platform which combines hosting, marketing tools, and advanced embedding options and analytics. Unlike YouTube or Vimeo, it’s designed just for embedding videos on your company’s website and has no social media front end.
This guide will help you get started with Wistia, including how to arrange your videos into projects and begin to take advantage of some of its more advanced features.
Wistia Account Overview
From the top menu, you can view analytics across all videos in all projects within your Wistia account, you can get help if you need to directly from Wistia or by checking out their great support library, and can manage your account.
From the Users page you can provide different levels of access to different people and can group them if you need to manage large teams of viewers. Note that this level of user authentication is only an option for paid accounts, not the basic level accounts, and is only really useful when sending out links directly to videos on Wistia. In most cases, you’ll be embedding the videos from Wistia on to your website, where anyone viewing your website should and will have access to see them.
Don’t confuse this with the option of designating who can Manage your Wistia account, which you can see by choosing Settings under the Account menu, then going to Managers on the right-hand side. Managers are able to upload videos, to copy embed codes, and review video analytics across all projects from your Wistia account.
Managing Project Folders
Wistia allows you to organize your videos into project folders. There are no wrong or right ways to organize your videos in Wistia, but it’s important to understand just a couple of limitations and some strategic ways to take advantage of this feature.
Some of the ways to use projects:
- Manage access or share a link with others to view all videos within a project at once.
- Create a playlist of all videos contained within a project.
- Look at stats for all videos within a project as a group to compare and analyze trends.
- Keep your Wistia account more organized.
Embedding a Video
Videos that have been uploaded to your Wistia account can be shared either by linking directly to the video’s URL in Wistia, or by embedding the video into a webpage.
We typically recommend embedding your video (not linking directly to it). Here’s an explanation of why, and a demonstration of how to embed a video onto your website.
Video Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the practice of providing the ‘metadata’ information for your content to search engines in other to improve the richness of search results (i.e. “rich snippets”), ultimately driving more visits to your website.
When it comes to video, the practice of SEO is similar for other types of contents, and optimizing your videos for search in Wistia is a breeze.
Wistia have a detailed guide on Video SEO on their website, but keep these basics in mind.
Optimizing for Search
Make sure you update the title and descriptions for all of your videos after upload, and it’s a good idea to provide captions (or ‘transcripts’).
Title: Keep it short and sweet, but above all, make sure your title is relevant to the video. Avoid making it too wordy, or squeezing too many keywords into it. Focus instead on appropriately naming the video for a viewer’s experience.
Description: Be as descriptive as possible, but again don’t go overboard with keywords. Make the description useful for viewers, not for Google.
Transcripts: Caption files provide additional information and context for your videos to better better understood and indexed by search engines. Search engines can’t ‘read’ what you’re saying in your video, but caption files speak their language. We’ll typically provide these files for you with any videos you have produced by us.
Embedding and Indexing
Use the ‘Standard’ embed type when SEO is a priority, as this tends to work better than ‘Popover’ embeds or playlists. Be sure that the “Inject video metadata…” option is selected, and Wistia will take care of the rest!
Adding Chapters to a Video
One of the best ways to break up longer videos is to add chapters which allows viewers to navigate to the portion of a video which most interests them. This is quite easy to do in Wistia, as you’ll learn in the video demonstration below.