Metadata: Discoverability and an Enhanced Viewing Experience

By Chris Bassolino on May 01, 2018

Metadata is the ultimate key to your audience discovering your videos. It’s a core component of your video’s SEO and ultimately vital to a video businesses’ success. Once you harness the power of metadata, you’ll be able to optimize your content’s searchability and grow your viewership. But what is metadata, really? In order to make the most of your metadata, you must first understand what it is and how it works.

Technically, metadata is data that gives information about other data. Within the context of videos, metadata takes the form of the tags you use to describe and organize your content (i.e. titles, categories, video descriptions, etc.). Although it’s important for metadata to accurately describe the content, the more creative and catchy your descriptions are, the better.

The Basics

Metadata isn’t that complicated. It’s actually pretty simple, starting with the most basic ways of describing your videos:

The Video Title is the simplest, yet most crucial description of your content. In order to truly optimize the “searchability” of your title, make sure it’s concise, catchy and incorporates the main keywords. Research shows that shorter titles (under 70 characters) tend to perform better.

The Description gives potential viewers some context and information about what they’re about to watch, but more importantly, a good description should also give your viewers a reason why they should watch. Here’s where you can “sell” your content to your viewers. Also, since descriptions are longer blocks of text with additional keywords that expand on the topic and title of your video, they are crucial for ensuring your videos pop up in search engine results.

File Names are often overlooked, but for all downloadable and embedded videos, they’re visible. Make sure your file names are representative of your content.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the importance of a good Thumbnail image. This is your potential viewer’s first impression of your content, so make it a good one. The thumbnail is often a viewer’s deciding factor between watching your video or moving on to find another. Try several options to test what’s most appealing to your audience. Finally, don’t forget to optimize your thumbnail size across platforms.

Delivering an Enhanced Viewing Experience

Metadata isn’t just important for discovery through external search engines, it’s also key to enabling viewers to find videos they’re looking for within your library on your website and OTT apps. The more organized your content is, the better and more personalized your users’ experience will be. You can leverage more advanced metadata tags such as categories and Zobjects to create a better and more enhanced viewing experience for your audience.

Organizing your content library into Categories is not only helpful for increasing discoverability, it also helps to provide a more personalized viewing experience. Your viewers are more inclined to watch videos on similar subjects. Categorizing your videos enriches the viewing experience with the ability to automatically recommend related videos to users.


If your CMS also has a category for tagging, make sure you’re adding all that is relevant to your video. You can also use Schema to add microdata tags in a video’s landing page online, which are indexed by search engines.

Zype allows you to create Zobjects, which are additional metadata that you can associate with your videos, then store and retrieve with API’s. For example, if you wanted to associate the actor John Boyega to the newest Star Wars trailer, you’d create a new Zobject type for ‘actors’. Learn more about Zobjects and how to use them on our help center.


The richer and more detailed the information and descriptions are on your content, the easier it is to locate or group similar videos into playlists, categories, and genres. This is especially important on platforms like Roku or Apple TV where new content is discovered when a customer’s search matches the keywords for a video.

Case Study: YuGiOh!


YuGiOh! utilizes Zobjects to make their audience’s viewing experience more fun and interactive. If you’re not familiar, YuGiOh! Is a popular anime TV show that is based on a trading card game. The player cards are central to the franchise’s success with characters that are intricately related and it was important to incorporate this into their video content. YuGiOh! was able to deliver an immersive experience for viewers with background information on the characters and card that appear in each episode by leveraging Zobjects, Zype’s rich metadata integration. 

Why Metadata is Vital to Video Businesses

SEO and Discoverability

If you’re not leveraging metadata, you’re not optimizing your SEO and search engines won’t surface your videos. As a result, your potential reach is severely limited. Metadata is especially critical for video content. Without text, there simply isn’t any information for a search engine to grasp onto. If your video isn’t popping up in search results, people won’t be able to find your videos.  Metadata is key to building an audience.

The Viewer’s Experience

It’s not all about discoverability and SEO, metadata also helps to create better experiences for the viewer. Because of the descriptive tags, and intricate relationships that metadata allows, you can bring forward other information that’s related to your content while the viewer is watching your video. 

Connect your video with viewers, everywhere.