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Optimising Videos for Google’s Featured Snippets

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Video content is in increasingly high demand all over the web, making up over 70% of all consumer web traffic. People who watch videos on a page are also 64% more likely to make a purchase! Obviously, the benefits of video content should not be overlooked. One way to make use of the demand is by optimising videos for Google’s Featured Snippets and cash in on zero-click searches.

Optimising videos SEO Sydney Google search

Suggested Clips are videos that appear in the Google Featured Snippet ‘zero position’. Featured snippets are a great way to drive clicks, and we have another SEO Sydney post on how to rank in them here. Suggested Clips usually show up for queries that require visual explanations, like ‘How-To’ searches. These short clips are taken from longer videos and directly answer the query. Keep in mind that for videos to be selected for Google’s Suggested Clips, they need to be in the top 10 of the relevant keyword SERPs. Next, we’ll go through some strategies on optimising videos to maximise your chances of appearing in Google’s Suggested Clips. 

Optimising videos SEO Sydney Google suggested clips

Using Structured Data for Video Search Enhancements

The first step to getting videos featured on Google’s Suggested Clips is to let Google know your video exists. This can be done using structured data, which can provide Google with more information about your videos. When you’re doing this, make sure you’re following Google’s guidelines.

Structured data is used to provide search engines with information about what’s on your page and what to do with it. Schema markup is a standardised form of structured data, which was collectively developed by Google, Yahoo, and Bing. SEO Sydney has a few posts expanding on this further. Check out our video on optimising your site using schema markup below.

Schema markup allows search engines to display rich results, such as Featured Snippets and Suggested Clips, which is important for optimising videos. Thus, video content would benefit from marking up using VideoObject, a specific type of schema markup for videos.

Using VideoObject for Video Optimisation

Multiple formats for code are accepted by Google, including JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa. However, JSON-LD is preferred. The JSON-LD code can be injected into the <head> or <body> of the page, or into the javascript of the page itself. However, Google does prefer it to be injected into the <head>. An example of a single VideoObject coded in JSON-LD would look something like this: 

<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”: “Google is introducing the self-driving bicycle in Amsterdam, the world’s premier cycling city. 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, which will have a great impact in their home country.”,

      “thumbnailUrl”: [

        “https://example.com/photos/1×1/photo.jpg”,

        “https://example.com/photos/4×3/photo.jpg”,

        “https://example.com/photos/16×9/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>

You should edit the information inside the VideoObject dependent on the video in question. What information you add depends on which properties you want to include.

Required properties:

Properties are information specific to each video that should be included within the code. These give Google a better understanding of your video, and some of these properties are required. Google needs these properties in order to accept the VideoObject, and they include:

  • description: The description of the video.
  • name: The title of the video.
  • thumbnailUrl: A URL pointing to the video thumbnail image file.
  • uploadDate: The date the video was first uploaded, in ISO 8601 format.

Recommended Properties:

Google recommends some additional properties to nestle into the Video Object. The recommended properties include:

  • contentUrl: A URL pointing to the video media file, in a supported encoding format.
  • duration: The duration of the video, in ISO 8601 format.
  • embedUrl: A URL pointing to a player of the video, in a supported encoding format.
  • expires: If applicable, the date after which the video will no longer be available.
  • hasPart: Clip properties for important segments.
  • interactionStatistic: The number of times the video has been watched.
  • transcript: The video transcript.

If needed, additional properties can be added. A full list of properties can be found here.

Next Steps:

Once the JSON-LD code has been written and inserted into the page, the code can be validated using Google’s Rich Results Test. You can inp