Home Blog What Is SeekToAction Markup? Here’s What Brands Need to Know

As video content becomes increasingly important for brands in their local marketing strategy and Google continues to support new schema types, local businesses must adopt this engagement tactic to help their searchers more easily find what they are looking for. To better help brands showcase their video efforts, a new video schema markup called SeekToAction is available. This has been in beta since it was first announced at Google I/O earlier this year. Now, Google says it supports SeekToAction on all websites that host videos. 

Learn what it’s for and how to use it, plus tips that will help you make the most of this video optimization markup.

What is SeekToAction Markup?

SeekTo Action is one of two schema tags that enable ​​Google to display “key moments” for your videos in Search. The key moments feature was launched in 2019 and Google says it allows users to “navigate video segments like chapters in a book,” and gives better access to the parts that are most relevant to them.

Prior to SeekToAction, Google had already been trying to identify those most engaging and valuable moments in video marketing content. The clip schema markup allows you to manually tag the different parts of a video. If you’re using YouTube, you can already call out key moments using timestamps and labels in the video description.

This new  video SeekToAction markup enables the same functionality but without time-consuming effort. For videos that are hosted on your own website, SeekToAction is a much simpler way to mark key moments by allowing Google to do the work of finding them and linking users to those points

Here’s what the SeekToAction markup looks like in practice inVideoObject schema:

SeekToAction MarkUp example

Image courtesy of Google Search Central

How to Use SeekToAction Markup

The first thing to know about the SeekToAction markup is that it applies only to videos embedded on your own website. If you post videos on third-party platforms where you can’t control the schema.org markup, you’ll need to contact the tech support team at those platforms to see if this markup is supported.

In Google’s announcement that SeekToAction is now active across the web, it said that you just need to “tell Google the URL pattern for skipping to a specific timestamp within your video. Google will then use AI to identify key moments in the video and display links directly to those moments in Search results.”

The SeekToAction markup has a few requirements for VideoObject and other code. Keep in mind that for the best user experience, the VideoObject structured data should be added to a page where users can actually watch the video. 

In general, keep in mind that for SeekToAction to work properly, each video must be able to deep-link to some point other than the beginning of the video URL, and the total length of the video needs to be at least 30 seconds.

SeekToAction Markup Tips

Although SeekToAction is now active, Google reminds developers that “if you prefer to manually label key moments in your videos, you can continue to use Clip markup.” You can also opt out of the key moments feature by using the nosnippet meta tag. 

The main purpose of the nosnippet tag is to prevent Google from showing a snippet of your web page in Search results, but it will also stop Google from automatically generating key moments in your videos.

It’s very important that Google can actually fetch your video content. Load the file in a supported format, and make sure the video content URL or domain isn’t blocked. See this resource for more help on this topic.

Below is an example of how this markup may help you appear on a Google search results page:

Google Clip Schema

Image courtesy of Google Search Central

Additional Video SEO Tips

In addition to SeekToAction markup, there are numerous other video SEO tactics brands should consider. Just as you’d optimize your content, digital marketers should optimize video as well.

Here are a few tips to surface your videos to search engines:

  • Write a keyword-optimized video title, description, and relevant tags.
  • Use relevant keywords in the video description and in the video itself.
  • Use a clear and compelling video thumbnail. Your thumbnail image is the main image viewers see when scrolling through a list of video results.
  • Rename your video media file to be more relevant to the video’s content (ex: rename video.mp4 to dog_training_tips.mp4).
  • Add the video transcript to the description.
  • Add Cards and an End Screen.

Get Started With SeekToAction Today

Ready to let Google get to work on marking the key moments in your videos? See the required properties here for SeekToAction and reach out to your Account Director with any questions! Want more on how to apply Schema Markup to your local landing pages? Check out the following resources: