Whether you have an existing video marketing strategy or are exploring this space, you should pay close attention to the Google structured data for videos. Through structured data or information schema markup, you can manually provide Google Search with more details and enable the search engine to understand your videos better.
First, what is structured data, and why is schema important in Google Search?
Google defines structured data or schema markup as a standard format for providing information about a page and classifying its content. On the backend, the structured data appears as organized information that helps search engines understand the content of a page. One of the most common examples of structured data is the recipe pages appearing in search results with details like the recipe title, author, prep time, etc.
How the structured data appears in code:
How the structured data appears in search results:
As you can see in the example above, Google also uses schema markup to enhance search results – yielding rich results that offer additional information or context to searchers.
Now consider all of these in the context of video. As videos become more visible in Google’s universal search results and the video search experience gaining ground, you can leverage structured data video markup to get your videos ranking for relevant queries from your target audience.
Let’s explore the new Google video structured data and how you can mark up your videos to enrich their appearance in search results and compel users to engage deeply with your content.
Aside from each structured data video example, we also quickly touch on:
• What is schema org?
• Google’s schema testing tool
• Technical search engine optimization (SEO) as an ongoing investment
Structured Data Types
As we’ve said, Google refers to your schema markup to make sense of your content – including video content. With Google structured data video markup, you can also expect the search giant to surface your video in the search results for a relevant query. You can even direct target audience to specific parts of the video that provide them with useful information.
Key Moments Feature
We cannot talk about information schema for videos without mentioning the key moments feature. This is Google’s way of dividing your video into segments (similar to chapters in a book) and showing the key moments or segments that match people’s search intent.
The thing is, Google will automatically detect key moments in your video unless you tell it where the important points are. And the way to tell it is through structured data.
There are two structured data types that you can use to set your key moments if you are hosting videos on your website, allowing you to attract searchers and compel them to watch:
• Clip structured data: Specify the segments in your video and add a title to each segment. Your specified segments or clips will then be displayed as search results. Use this if you want to manually tell Google where to link users.
• SeekToAction structured data: As the second type of structured data Google has introduced, seek markups tell Google where timestamps typically go in your URL structure. Google will then use machine learning to automatically identify key moments and direct users to those points in your video. The seek markup is not yet live at the time of writing.
Google schema markup also applies to videos hosted on YouTube. You can write the exact timestamps and labels in the video description box provided on the platform. Google will then automatically identify the key moments for you.
If you aren’t keen to add any type of video structured data Google has rolled out and want to opt out of the key moments feature, you can add the nosnippet meta tag.
How To Leverage the Google Schema Markup for Video for Greater Visibility
You can add the new video structured data to an existing structured data video example, such as BroadcastEvent, which will enable a LIVE badge on your video, or ItemList, which will enable a video host carousel. However, it takes schema markup SEO know-how to implement the changes successfully.
For starters, you need to get familiar with Clip and SeekToAction structured data. Here’s how:
1. Know Where To Insert Structured Data
As mentioned earlier, YouTube and website schema markups differ in their position on the page. For website schema markups, you need to stick to any format for structured data: JSON-LD (recommended), microdata and RDFa (Resource Description Framework in Attributes).
Note: While you can search for the correct properties and objects to use for each format, it is advisable to entrust this task to a web developer. Also, keep in mind that Google Search documentation takes precedence over schema.org documentation even as most Search structured data relies on the latter’s vocabulary. So this is another task best left in the hands of experts.
What Is Schema Org?
What is structured data without schema org or schema.org, right? So, for the uninitiated, what is schema.org?
Schema.org is a community effort among Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex. It also refers to the vocabulary of tags added to your webpages’ HTML, allowing search engines to understand your content.
Why Is Schema Important?
As we’ve said, schema markups enhance the results displayed on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Pages relying on Google schema markup, for instance, tend to rank higher than those that don’t.
2. Test Your Structured Data
Always validate your structured data during development using Google’s schema testing tool, the Rich Results Test. After deployment, you should also monitor the health of your pages through the rich results status reports and fix any rich results errors you encounter.
3. Follow Google’s Guidelines
Employing structured data video markup for SEO requires you to stay within Google’s structured data guidelines. In other words, you must keep track not just of the instructions for the two new examples of structured data Google supports for video but also for various other specifications that apply to your video schema markup SEO efforts, including:
• Webmaster guidelines
• General structured data guidelines
• Video best practices
• Video sitemap guidelines
• Livestream guidelines (if applicable)
• Carousel guidelines (if applicable)
• Best practices for marking timestamps on YouTube
Google can hit you with a manual action if it finds out you’re trying out techniques outside relevant guidelines. And a manual action can lower your rankings on the SERPs.
4. Integrate Either Structured Data Video Example Into Your Technical SEO Efforts
As cool as these new video structured data types are, they aren’t the only techniques you should apply to your video SEO. For example, if you’re hosting a video on your site, you must ensure the rest of the page content is related and optimized. This consideration comes on top of the guidelines you have to follow to avoid getting penalized by Google.
If you’re serious about positioning your videos on the SERPs and applying video enhancements for them to be eligible for rich results, it’s imperative to have an SEO-minded web developer or team take care of your structured data requirements. This allows you to focus your time, energy and money on core operations, saving you resources in the long run.
Achieve Truly Rich Results With End-To-End Support
It’s always a good thing to have basic knowledge of video SEO and information schema markup and know the answers to questions like, “What is structured data?” and “Why is schema important for your videos?” However, as a business owner, you should have technical SEO tactics working together to accomplish your SERPs and bottom-line goals.
With your online visibility and overall profitability at stake, it is wise to entrust your Google structured data for video activities to a well-versed and proficient SEO team.
When it comes to optimization strategies, Thrive is your best bet. Our full-service online marketing firm specializes in SEO and understands the importance of aligning various approaches in this space. As such, we combine technical SEO with on-page optimization, link building (off-site optimization) and other related services.
Further, we offer end-to-end video production solutions to help you craft quality and engaging video content.
Best of all, we sift through the options to deploy only the strategies that work for you. Get your brand-specific game plan from our trusted strategists and specialists. Call us today to learn how.