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You should embed videos on your content instead of linking to them and here I share some tips and best practices. Besides the practical reasons for embedding, there are some other side benefits too such as the impact on search results and getting around site blockers.  Oh, and did I mention it was really easy to embed them too?

When SEO people get together and discuss search, we eventually get around to talking about video because, after Facebook and Google, YouTube is the most visited website worldwide and second most used search engine. (And who own YouTube? Google.) Video is incredibly popular because it entertains and is very effective at communicating ideas. A good video can mean instant stardom for a new artist (Lana Del Rey, for example), raise the profits of a struggling company and be a platform for change (e.g. TEDtalks). .

Content with Embedded Videos Rank Higher

Adding video to your content will help give it a boost in search engine results.  This is primarily because more time is spent on pages with video and this increases the level of engagement for that page: more time on page translates to more opportunities for visitors to like, rate, comment and share your content.  Higher page times can also send a positive signal to search engines since longer visits are interpreted as the search engine having sent you to a quality link containing what you were looking for.

Another compelling reason to embed the video is that you’ll be able to capture feedback on your content instead of on the page on the video sharing service.  It’s also more likely that you content will be shared rather than the video’s URL. 😉

Embed videos: don’t link.

Challenges Leveraging YouTube Videos in B2B Marketing

While less common than it once was, many corporate networks and educational campuses block popular video sharing sites to preserve bandwidth.  This creates a real challenge in reaching your audiences because you can’t always count on them returning later on.  While smartphones provide a good way around this issue, it’s still more advantageous to provide the video when and where it’s needed.

Embedding videos usually help get around this issue because the most common way to block someone from a site is by a website blocker that stops people from visiting black listed URLs.  It’s simple but effective.  Embedding your video on the page helps bypass the website blocker (or filter) allowing your audience to see it. It may not work for everyone but it’s a start.

Doing it Right

One video is usually enough and it shouldn’t ever appear alone on a page.  Always precede the video with an a description of what it’s about and why your including it: videos are still primarily indexed and navigated via text.

You can embed video on SCN from these domains: youtube.com, dailymotion.com, video.google.com & vimeo.com.  Visit Inserting Videos on SCN Content for more information and instructions.

Here’s an example of what an embedded video looks like. It’s one of Matt Cutts’ video responses to webmaster question on the use of stock photos:


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8 Comments

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  1. Moya Watson

    Wow this is a fantastic post!  And not just because I’m a user-generated video fanatic!

    I never knew these things:

    • YouTube is the second most used search engine
    • Content with Embedded Videos Rank Higher

    In a recent webinar on video in the enterprise, I mentioned how SAP has grown leaps and bounds in video adoption — remember how we never used to stream conferences externally? then they’d stream but you couldn’t ‘share’ them?  And embedding videos elsewhere — easily sharing and propagating content — was so remote.  Now we really really get it and live it — I thank you for sharing these tips!

    best,

    -m

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    1. Jason Lax Post author

      Yes, a long way: everything, everywhere, anytime.  The argument is easy: video is incredibly powerful at getting a point across with the less effort.

      Here are some eye opening stats from YouTube:

      • 1 billion+ unique users each month
      • 6 billion hours+ of video watched each month on YouTube
      • 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute
      • 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
      • Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US young adults than any cable network
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  2. Tom Cenens

    Hi Jason

    One of the problems for me is still the fact that many corporate companies block these videos. This means that if a community member wants to watch my embedded video, they might not be able to at work which is a pitty and when it’s a work-related topic which is most often the case on SCN it lowers the value of the content.

    I can’t watch any video of the mentioned sites. The embedding doesn’t stop the blocking tool either.

    For the above reasons and other reaons it would be interesting for SCN to have it’s own video services.

    Best regards

    Tom

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    1. Chip Rodgers

      Thanks for your comment Tom!  And I’m sorry to hear that you’re not able to see videos from inside your company firewall.  We have considered a video streaming module for SCN, but frankly the cost is high, performance can be an issue without extensive regional delivery nodes, and there’s no promise that the content still wouldn’t be blocked by company firewalls.  There are also advantages to using youtube for video sharing as well — SEO is a big one, but also the fact that you can tag your content and it will show up to others looking for related content on youtube as well.  So the best answer are the services Jason mentions above.

      Chip

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      1. Tom Cenens

        Hi Chip

        Thanks for the information.

        I hope most companies will reconsider blocking YouTube and alikes over time as nowadays a lot of educational content can also be found on those channels (Vimeo also for example).

        Performance wise, yes indeed, it does make sense to take advantage of existing offerings which have regional nodes.

        I’ll keep on watching the videos from home for the time being 😉 .

        Best regards

        Tom

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        1. Jason Lax Post author

          Hi Tom,

          Thanks for the feedback.  Embedding only works when the URL blocking is in place instead of something more complex such as port blocking.

          As Chip pointed out, hosting a video sharing service is a big undertaking and when you start to investigate that option, you quickly come to appreciate what YouTube is providing–and doing it for free!

          In terms of access, I feel that the tide might be changing because, besides for productivity reasons, blocking YouTube was often done to preserve bandwidth where/when internet access was at a premium.  Now we’re seeing infrastructures improve and prices fall. At the same time, more and more people can just use a smartphone to bypass network restrictions.

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  3. David Trites

    Great post, Jason. I can validate your advice to embed videos, not link to them (whenever possible) with a scenario of my own. When I originally posted this blog about REI I had to link to the video on SAP.com because the video wasn’t yet uploaded to YouTube. The blog got about 1000 views. A few weeks later the video was uploaded to YouTube so I embedded it into the blog and the views shot up to over 20,000. Nuff said. 🙂

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