What Is Video Schema, and Why Should I Care About It?

Schemas are the HTML tags used to markup your videos in a way that is recognized by search engines. All major search engines use this markup to display better, richer search results.

When you get your schema tags right, it's like sending out a snowplow to clear the road to your videos, thus allowing the search engine to easily find your video and index it. That is, if you've done a good job of marking up your videos! If you haven't, there will be no plow—and no way for the search engines to get to your video and make sense if it.

To make sure you're clearing a path to video SEO success, follow Google—and thereby Bing and Yahoo!'s—recommended schema tags for your videos:

  • Name. This is a required tag. It is the title of your video. Keep it short and engaging, and include a geo-specific keyword when possible.
  • Description. This is a required tag. It is the description of your video. Make it good because it will appear in a rich snippet in search results. It must entice the viewer to click.
  • Duration. This is a recommended element. You'll need to note the length of your video in ISO 8601 format.  
  • ContentURL. This is a recommended element. It is the URL that points to the video media file and should be in .mp4, .wmv, .avi, .ram, .flv, .mpg, .mpeg, .mov, .asf, or another video file format. It's important that all files are accessible via HTTP. Doing so allows Google to generate both thumbnails and video previews. It also helps the search engine verify your video.
  • EmbedURL. This is a recommended element. This is a URL that points to a player for your video. In general, this is the information in the src element of an embed tag.
  • UploadDate. This is only recommended if it applies to your video. It is used if you want your video to expire.   

Want more? What a go-getter you are! Here's the complete list of VideoObject Properties over at schema.org—Google's recommended schema tagging system and the one we use in DSS.

Why You Should Care

Video schema helps your video rank better. It also allows search engines to display a "rich snippet." A rich snippet is the detailed information displayed with your search result. If you've properly marked up your video, then your result in Google should include an image from your video along with the interesting title and description that you added to the schema.

A rich snippet is search engine gold. It's been found that people are much more likely to click when a rich snippet like this is displayed:

FWM Video Rich Snippet





Instead of a sad little snippet like this:

FWM Poor Snippet




Which snippet are you more likely to click? I think the choice is clear!

The Bottom Line

This is a lot to digest, I know. But I believe that using schema tags to make the most of your videos is key to their success and, therefore, the success of your marketing efforts. 

If your competitors have completed schema markups on their videos and are rewarded with rich snippets, they are going to get more traffic, a better click-through rate, and more business, clients, or customers than you.

Daunted by the video schema markup process? Don't be! In DSS, we offer an automated markup tool that checks the boxes of every major search engine. Call 888-886-0939 today, and our team will either walk you through the simple process or markup your videos for you. So what are you waiting for? Let's make the most of your videos today!