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Laura Nicholson

Video schema Markup - Everything you need to know | Digital Marketing

Video schema - what you need to know and proof that it works!

 Video schema - the efficient ‘flick on’ switch to help push your products and services across the web.

Despite Google, Yahoo and Bing all supporting video schema markup for some years now (six, to be exact) there are still many companies that are not fully aware of the benefits that it can have for their site visibility. The idea of this markup is to simply assist the search engines in understanding exactly what you have to offer on your site from a video point of view, in greater detail. When used correctly, by giving search engines the information that they need through marking-up videos with the relevant schema, this technique allows search engines to offer more relevant results to users, as well as giving you the opportunity to supercharge your site’s visibility within those results. And this can be powerful. Still not sure? Here’s the proof.

Why is video schema markup useful?

Digital marketers are well aware of the benefits of tagging up various different elements of a webpage with schema (or structured data) to boost SERP visibility via rich results – and video content is no different. Here at Hitsearch we’ve seen clients benefit from massive visibility increases of up to 3-5% for their videos – for us, that’s proof enough that video schema can be an extremely valuable tool.

What markup should I use for videos?

The number of tags that you can use for video schema markup is almost limitless, but listed below are the ones that we think are absolutely essential if you want to make it easier for search engines to index your on-page videos. Ultimately, the tags that you choose to use will depend on the desired end goal for your content as they will help to determine the way in which your audience picks your video up from a SERP.

Name and description

Both the name of the video and the video schema description can include relevant keywords, giving the video the chance to rank for searches on that theme. A strong keyword in the title is recommended to reinforce it for SEO purposes. As well as including keywords, the description should be kept short (around 160 characters in length is enough) and should be as informative as possible, summing up the content in the video.

Thumbnail appearance

The power of the thumbnail should also not be underestimated and picking one carefully from your video’s frames (or even creating one specifically for this purpose) can help to massively improve click-through rate. A thumbnail URL, which references the desired thumbnail image you have identified, must be included in your markup. Image URLs must be indexable and accessible to web crawlers, they must be in .jpg, .png or .gif format and it is advised to always use high resolution images to appear in rich snippets.

Here is a general mark up code provided by Google. The mark up code will need to go into the header section (i.e. after the <head> tag) of the page with the video, and you should fill in the parameters with your own information based on what properties you think are going to be useful to your specific video.

<html>
  <head>
    <title>Introducing the self-driving bicycle in the Netherlands</title>
    <script type="application/ld+json">
    {
      "@context": "https://schema.org",
      "@type": "VideoObject",
      "name": "Introducing the self-driving bicycle in the Netherlands",
      "description": "This spring, Google is introducing the self-driving bicycle in Amsterdam, the world’s premier cycling city. The Dutch cycle more than any other nation in the world, almost 900 kilometres per year per person, amounting to over 15 billion kilometres annually. The self-driving bicycle enables safe navigation through the city for Amsterdam residents, and furthers Google’s ambition to improve urban mobility with technology. Google Netherlands takes enormous pride in the fact that a Dutch team worked on this innovation that will have great impact in their home country.",
      "thumbnailUrl": [
        "https://example.com/photos/1x1/photo.jpg",
        "https://example.com/photos/4x3/photo.jpg",
        "https://example.com/photos/16x9/photo.jpg"
       ],
      "uploadDate": "2016-03-31T08:00:00+08:00",
      "duration": "PT1M54S",
      "contentUrl": "https://www.example.com/video/123/file.mp4",
      "embedUrl": "https://www.example.com/embed/123",
      "interactionStatistic": {
        "@type": "InteractionCounter",
        "interactionType": { "@type": "http://schema.org/WatchAction" },
        "userInteractionCount": 5647018
      }
    }
    </script>
  </head>
  <body>
  </body>
</html>

Code: developers.google.com

Duration: Should I show the length of my video?

It’s possible for the duration of the video to be tagged with video schema markup, which means that the length of your video will be displayed in search results. We only advise tagging the duration value if your video is kept fairly short as it’s likely to attract more viewers when it doesn’t appear too time-consuming to watch. If the duration tag is appearing in search engines and you have a short and snappy video, you’ll almost certainly get more views, especially if the search query is question-related; no one wants a long and convoluted answer to a simple question. If you’re displaying a video that contains the same information as your competitors but yours is shown clearly as being shorter, you’re onto a winner. In a nutshell, tagging the duration value is worth doing if you have a well-informed video that isn’t too long.

Transcript

You are able to include an on-page video transcript in your video schema by simply pasting it directly into the body of the video page. As long as your text is put in the right place then this transcript will be associated with the video. Having a transcript that is associated with the video is beneficial to marketers that find they are restricted by the short description and want to give further details within the video schema, without worrying about character limits.  There are different advantages to adding transcript into your markup. One is that that Google recognises transcript text in the same way as it does text on a page, so it is crawled by search engine bots and therefore indexed by Google, which could benefit your site’s search visibility. Another advantage is that through the use of structured data, your video has the chance of appearing in rich snippets in search results, which may significantly improve click-through rates.

Content URL and embed URL

Providing a URL to the actual video itself is also a sure-fire way to increase traffic to your site and the embed URL can help the search engine to find the video it faster. The embed URL will point to a specific player for the video (where the video is hosted). This is information that is found in the ‘src’ element of an embed tag and should not be the same as the content of the ‘loc’ tag (please see above).

 SEO CTR

Image: chrisberkley.com

SEO CTR2

Image: chrisberkley.com

Providing an upload date

It’s ultimately your decision whether you include the date that your video was first published in your video schema markup  - including it can help users determine how relevant the content is, which, if it’s brand new, can certainly work in your favour. If you know that your videos will stop being relevant after a specific date, your schema markup will allow you to include an expiry date (when your video will no longer be available to view). This expiry date is useful if you have a specific time when your video will stop being relevant.

Timestamps

As part of making it easier for users to find the most relevant info within a piece video content, Google now allows you to mark up timestamps. Timestamps make it easier for people to find exactly what they’re looking for, even when it’s just a small part of a larger video. Timestamps can be marked up so that they appear in rich results, helping users to quickly jump to specific points of the video (depending on what they are looking for) simply by clicking on that specific timestamp. They not only help to make the video stand out but also help to answer any questions that the user might have, by quickly showing them the most relevant content. So, we’d definitely recommend marking up different timestamps in your videos, especially for those that are longer or have more depth. 

seo

Image: developers.google.com

Appearing in the video specific SERPs

Whilst the rich results achieved from a video schema markup will assist your video’s visibility in the regular SERPs, we’ve also seen success within the video specific SERPs as a result of marking up our client’s videos. Here, we see a legal client take multiple positions (appearing in the SERPs more than once) for their helpful FAQ style video content:

dental neg

Rich snippets

Video schema markup can enable your video to show as a rich snippet, including a small clip of what the video contains, appearing in the regular SERPs when someone searches on Google for information relating to your video. Rich snippets are proven to improve the click-through-rate of your search results and also generally improve the visibility of your video, resulting in a chance to increase traffic to your site through your video. Without video schema markup, your video would be unable to show as a rich snippet and you would therefore risk your competitors getting the clicks instead!

rich snippet

Example of a video rich snippet

Proof that video schema markup really works

At Hitsearch, we’ve had several successes with producing video schema markup for YouTube videos and other content alike, not only for our own creative content but also for those that we have produced for clients, too. We have replicated video schema success for clients in a variety of different sectors – take a look for yourself:

Daisy London – Ecommerce jewellery retailer:

Jewellery and other retail brands can achieve great results through video just like Daisy London has. After combining extensive keyword research to find the right keywords to optimise for, with other useful parts of the schema has meant that more and more people have seen Daisy’s videos and therefore become more aware of them as a brand.

daisy london

Stephensons Solicitors – Legal firm:

Our legal client Stephensons is new to video schema markup and despite only just starting with this activity, their clicks are on the up – achieving a whole lot in just the first day, which proves how successful this strategy could be in the long term for this client.

stephensons

Simply Extend – Property development sector:

Simply Extend has seen continuous growth from just video content alone and is still growing, as seen within the video's impressions. The videos are optimised with the company’s phone number for a no-click search, meaning that the business can receive calls even without the user clicking through to the website, as their phone number is on display in the SERPs.

simply extend simply extend2

Dental Law Partnership – Specialist legal firm

Whilst this client is performing well in all areas of search, we wanted to explore all of the opportunities to acquire more traffic and leads for them.  Although the video audience is small for ‘dental negligence’ related search terms, we have already seen many clicks to videos take place for this firm, proving that video schema markup is an effective marketing tool here.

dental law 

Joju Solar – Renewable energy sector:

As you can see, Joju have already showed signs of success with with over 450 clicks and almost 35k impressions within 1 month of implementing video schema:

joju solar

Hitsearch’s Organic Search Services

The clever implementation of video schema markup is just one example of the ingenious ways that our technical team are constantly striving to maximise organic search visibility for our clients.

If you would like more information about how our organic search services can be beneficial to your business and how Hitsearch can help you to achieve results such as the above, then speak to the experts at Hitsearch by getting in touch today.

If you have a business in the financial sector and would like to up your marketing game or receive some expert information about digital marketing for financial services, then get in touch with a member of our team!

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