A video is undoubtedly a necessary aspect of every video marketing strategy. Blame it on social media or platforms like YouTube, people have grown used to videos. As video usage increases, the text has taken a back seat, or has it?
Ask any SEO expert, and they will tell you — video is the next big thing in SEO. While that is true, search engines like Google are still developing technologies that make video one of the hundreds of ranking factors. Until they do that, the written content is still integral to SEO.
In other words, embedded video is not necessarily an SEO ranking factor. That being said, there are several new developments that Google employs to push a video.
Google and placement of video
There are quite a few places where a video directly ranks on Google, including —
- When the search is video first. An example of this would be a search that says how to make cupcakes. Here, Google will show video options on its SERP (Search Engine Results Page) first.
- There is also Google’s video segment. Here, the search engine pulls data from platforms like YouTube and other similar websites to show videos relevant to the search.
Why doesn’t your content show up on Google?
Let’s begin with an example — you wrote a food review and embedded a trending YouTube video link in your content, but why isn’t your content ranking? To begin with, if you rely solely on embedded videos as a ranking strategy, it won’t work. There are over 200 ranking factors that Google checks before deciding how high to place your content.
Next, in major cases, Google pulls video content directly from, say, YouTube (which is a property of Google itself). So, the video may appear directly from the source rather than your website in search results.
Page speed is an important ranking factor. If embedded links (from YouTube, or your website) in your content are not optimised, it might pull down your site speed, which, subsequently, will pull down your SERP ranking. For starters, some aspects like keeping the embedded link light and ensuring the landing page is SEO optimised contribute to enhanced site speed.
Lastly, the attribution model that works in a scenario where you embed someone else’s video is such that it doesn’t help you as much. Because it’s not your property, the attribution given is to the owner of the video.
This also promotes the changes of increased bounce rate. When you think about it, people prefer video to text. So, if you have a written review followed by a video of the same review, people would prefer to watch the video. In that case, people will be quick to leave your blog. So, the placement of an embedded video plays a significant role.
What if you create your video and embed it?
You can shoot your video, cut and edit it using a video trimmer online and upload it on YouTube. Plus, write an SEO-optimised blog post and embed the video in the post. This way, you are the owner of both the video and the blog post. Although this might help you fetch maximum attribution, you won’t be able to get the best of it.
Why? From an SEO perspective, all you will get is referral traffic because the audience for video and written content is different. The audience that you get from YouTube will be a referral.
The best use of video in SEO
It’s not that bad for SEO experts who are embedding video links in their content. There is something you can certainly get out of your efforts.
- Appearing in rich texts
Optimising your content for rich data by abiding with schema puts you on the map — higher on SERP rankings. Video is an excellent source to gain some brownie points with Google to appear in rich data.
- Attractive thumbnails
Often, Google uses the thumbnail from the video link embedded in your content. So make sure to use an eye-catchy thumbnail. With this, your content has an opportunity to rank in various All, Images, and Video categories of Google.
- YouTube Traffic
Yes, it’s not a direct SEO factor. However, the mileage you gain from YouTube is tremendous. It’s a give-and-take relationship. You get hits on your website from YouTube and vice-versa. So, it’s not that your efforts to create video content would go in vain.
What to keep in mind when embedding video links in your content?
Embedding videos is a strategic decision. Even though it’s not a direct contributor to SEO ranking, Google will find a way to negate your efforts if you are not careful how you use videos.
- Ensure the video you embedded is directly or indirectly contextual to the published content. It should not be that your blog content is about gym workouts but the video on the best types of chocolate cakes.
- Contemplate if embedding a video is all that necessary. The video should add value to your overall content. If it seems promotional or forced, there is no reason why Google will even consider it.
- If there are videos that play automatically or take the reader to a different website, there are chances that your landing page bounce rate is going to increase. An increased bounce rate is not a positive ranking signal. So, choose the way you embed your videos wisely.
Why put effort into creating videos?
Yes, you can embed videos into your content, but there are more reasons why you must invest in creating quality videos.
Let’s circle back to the fact that video is the go-to source for people to consume information. So, it’s natural that, as a creator, you need to produce videos, if not today, very soon. Why wait? Further, you can repurpose these videos in a variety of ways. For example, put it on YouTube. You can also create a categorised video gallery on your website of videos. Sharing video content is also very convenient.
So, yes, embedding video won’t help your content rank today. But, it might just be another algorithm update away from doing so. So, don’t stop publishing, embedding, and creating video content.