Publishers often mistake video rich snippets with video carousels. Both are organic search opportunities, albeit different.
Video rich snippets are a low-effort way to increase organic search traffic. Plus, they combine well with product rich snippets, generating visitors to product pages, too.
Video Rich Snippets vs. Carousels
Google’s Search Console can answer both questions.
Any video can be embedded and thus earn a rich snippet in Google search results. In this example, ClassySchema.org’s embedded video is from Google Search Central.
In the screenshot below, the click-through rate (“Average CTR”) is gradually increasing after I started optimizing for video rich snippets in mid-August. And don’t forget to check the “Pages” tab to see the URLs that generate those rich snippets.
Now that Google has incorporated Core Web Vitals in its organic algorithm, it’s worthwhile to consider the impact of embedded videos on page speed.
How to Optimize
On desktop, video rich snippets are less prominent than on mobile. Plus they contain the date, which creates confusion with conventional dated snippets.
After embedding a YouTube video, the scores dropped significantly: Performance (40), Accessibility (82), Best Practices (87), and SEO (84).
The second step is to add Schema.org video markup to the page with the embed. Most video rich snippets don’t have the markup. But it won’t hurt. Plus, creating the markup is increasingly easy with plugins and generators. There’s no reason not to if earning rich snippets is a priority.
Surprisingly, despite being owned by Google, YouTube videos negatively impact page speed.
Create a Search Console filter at Performance > Search results > + New > Videos. This will identify which queries trigger rich snippets from your site.
The first step in optimizing for video rich snippets is to embed the video on your site. Again, try to host the video on YouTube.
The best-case scenario is for a video to appear in a rich snippet and a carousel on the same results page. This will place the thumbnail in both sections in mobile search results, generating video views and clicks.
And here’s the same page with a YouTube embed.
The click-through rate (“Average CTR”) gradually grew after optimizing for video rich snippets in mid-August, as marked by the blue arrow at right. Click image to enlarge.
How to Monitor
A video in a rich snippet (at left) and a carousel places the thumbnail in both sections on mobile search results.
Conversely, video rich snippets reside in Google search results within the standard organic listings. Clicking the thumbnail takes searchers to the page that contains the video. Thus video rich snippets build direct clicks to a site.
In my case, adding a plugin from WPBeginner to lazy load the videos worked wonders. An unexpected benefit occurred with the related videos YouTube shows at the end of each embed: The related video is my own!
Video rich snippets are especially prominent on mobile search results.
YouTube videos negatively impact page speed. This example shows the scores from the author’s WordPress site without a video embed from YouTube. The scores are Performance (95), Accessibility (91), Best Practices (93), and SEO (84).