How to time-stamp YouTube videos and create key moments • Yoast

Phil Nottingham

Phil Nottingham is a advertising strategist specializing in video search engine optimization and branding technique and search engine marketing.

Important moments arrived at Google search finish of 2019. It’s a characteristic that permits intensive, outstanding video search outcomes, with clickable hyperlinks to each chapter in your video. In apply, this implies you could obtain not only one hyperlink inside your video consequence subject, however dozens of them. Point out key moments your videos within the search outcomes, you want to know the way to time-stamp a video.

This is clearly extraordinarily highly effective for search engine optimization. This means you’ll be able to make sure that many, if not most, hyperlinks to the primary outcomes refer to your content material asset. Allows you to seize a big a part of the vote for some competing informative queries, if you happen to settle for can arrange video content for them.

How your video might look within the search outcomes if you happen to add key moments to it.

The proper video content material, on this context, is tutorials or conversations about longer kind – the sort of videos which might be nicely suited to chapters. It could also be a good suggestion to begin serious about investing in a video series or podcast, if you happen to haven’t already.

The catch with this ‘Key Moments’ feature, for now, is that it solely works on YouTube videos. So you want sending customers to your video on the YouTube web site or program, quite than your web site. However, Google has arrange infrastructure (by means of the ‘Clip’ scheme) to allow this characteristic extra broadly sooner or later. They have already prolonged using key moments to just a few chosen websites. For now, be a part of this unique trial run to arrange key moments in privately offered videos. Otherwise, you could settle for the restriction and optimize your videos on YouTube.

Add timestamps (chapters) to YouTube videos

The excellent news is that if in case you have well-optimized content material accessible on YouTube, all you’ve to do to benefit from this characteristic is add timestamps to your YouTube video descriptions.

1. Write an inventory of timestamps (chapters) in your video description

Adding timestamps may be very easy. This is not going to solely enable you to obtain Key Moments options in Google searches, but in addition offer you video chapters (hyperlinks that enable customers to skip to particular moments) on the YouTube platform.

To add timestamps to your YouTube video, you could edit the “description” within the video particulars part. Write the time codes of every level within the video the place you desire a new chapter to seem, as an inventory, all through this description. Then write the identify of this chapter subsequent to every time code (see the instance under):

Image showing how to add timestamps to your YouTube video by editing the video description
Write your timestamps within the video element subject to your YouTube video, e.g. ‘0:42 Lighting’.

You can add as many of those timestamps, with corresponding chapter titles as you want. For videos longer than an hour, timestamps could be printed after the hour mark with two colons, e.g. 1:34:56. You could make the titles so long as you need (though I like to recommend staying under 50 characters to keep away from titles being reduce off).

It actually is so simple as that. Chapter titles may even be the names of the ‘Key Moments’ once they seem in Google search. It might due to this fact be clever to take into consideration titles which might be probably to generate clicks, primarily based on the final intentions of the consumer behind the key phrase (s) you’re optimizing for.

2. Click save.

After doing so, merely press save, and every part is prepared. The subsequent time you watch the video on YouTube, you will notice that the sport bar is segmented into sections. You additionally see hyperlinks to the best of the timeline. Clicking on it should take you to the start of the subsequent chapter.

Image showing timestamp indicators in the playbar of a YouTube video
If the playbar of your YouTube video exhibits segments like this, you’ve efficiently added timestamps and are eligible for key moments.

In common, timestamps ought to be added on the factors that make sense by way of general navigation and consumption. Moments, when there’s a matter change or an interruption within the dialog, is an efficient alternative. If you want additional steering, take a look at your viewers management graph in YouTube analytics. Any factors the place you see a ‘peak’, which signifies elevated involvement, are most likely good factors to begin a chapter.

And that’s it! After including timestamps and chapters within the description of your YouTube video, you are actually eligible to obtain Key Moment Links in Google Search.

Add key moments to videos your web site

But how are you going to benefit from key moments to your personal web site? Is it potential to direct traffic to it, rather than YouTube? Sorry, until you’re a part of the few chosen websites presently whitelisted for this characteristic. However, it doesn’t damage to set issues up in order that sooner or later it is possible for you to to use this characteristic if and when Google opens it on the broader internet.

To optimize the videos in your website, you want to implement structured information, particularly the characteristic “clip”, both through microdata within the physique of the web page or through JSON-LD within the header.

First of all, as well as to the usual information wanted to optimize a video (details here), you want to add details about hasPart and Clip.

If you employ microdata, it should seem like this:

And if you happen to use JSON-LD, it ought to seem like this:

"hasPart": [{
                          "@type": "Clip",
                          "name": "Cat jumps",
                          "startOffset": 30,
                          "endOffset": 45,
                          "url": ""

Note that each implementations require a prescribed begin and finish (startOffset & endOffset). This differs from the implementation with YouTube descriptions, the place you solely want to decide the start of the chapter, and the size is set by the point till the subsequent chapter.

The URL you’ll be able to specify right here can also be essential in order that customers could be despatched straight to the best level within the video. On many, however not all video platforms, you’ll be able to set this with a URL parameter. For instance, with Wistia, including the wtime parameter to a URL (for instance will allow you to in firstly of the clip.

YouTube doesn’t presently have a characteristic that permits you to customise the beginning time of the embedded video utilizing a URL parameter in your website. Therefore, it’s best to use a video internet hosting platform apart from YouTube to implement the schemes in your website to benefit from key moments when and when it’s extra accessible for open web pages.

Want to know extra about video search engine optimization? Look at Phil’s advice to improve your online video strategy within the Yoast search engine optimization podcast.

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