How to Leverage Video Content on Your Blog for SEO

Picture of webcam used for video content

Unless you’ve spent the past few years under a rock, you’ve come across advice to integrate video content into your blogging efforts.

Heck, Hugh and the Blogworks crew even gave you a very thorough guide on how to get video into your blog — more on that later.

But if you’ve been avoiding that advice, I don’t blame you.

Blog husbandry is hard enough. Creating an entirely new content stream in a new medium might seem like more work than you want to take on.

At the start of 2018, I decided to test using video content to drive traffic to my blog and grow my audience.

The test project was straightforward enough — I would interview experts about different communication issues, load the video up on YouTube, and embed it in my blog.

As simple as the project was, it would still take time – time normally given over to blogging. And search engines can’t crawl video, so I couldn’t not be creating written content.

What’s an overworked content creator to do?

A content lightbulb moment

The lightbulb moment came courtesy of a fellow speaker. I was chatting with her about my project, both bubbling with excitement and moaning about the difficulty of generating the videos while trying to keep up with my blog writing.

The genius of her recommendation was belied by her off-handed manner:

Make sure you get a transcript of the interview, then post both the video and the transcript to your blog. Google can search that text and it’ll give you a big SEO boost.

I could leverage video to create written blog content at the same time AND it was good for SEO?! Let there be light!

Dipping my toes into video content via interviews

It’s easy to go off the deep end when getting into video, and I wanted my foray to involve minimal headaches. That was why I started with an interview strategy.

Interviews are probably the easiest content to create and have several advantages:

  • Having a conversation with someone is a lot easier than staring into a camera and babbling to yourself
  • You just need to plan the questions and the overall flow instead of taking time to write out a full script
  • Interview videos are forgiving – you don’t need to use lots of fancy cuts and audiences don’t expect you to edit out every stammer or awkward statement
  • A 20-minute interview can net you thousands of words of text for some serious Google and SEO juice.

One of my earliest interviews was with Hugh himself. Check it out here, and you’ll see what I mean about the ease and enjoyability of conversation (and how you don’t need to worry about editing out the occasional stammer or non-sequitur).

Getting going with video doesn’t need to cost a lot

You don’t need to break the bank to try the video + transcript combo on your blog.

Here’s what I use:

  • Video conferencing software: I use Zoom for video conferencing and recording.
  • An HD webcam: Don’t get sucked into the pro vlogger DSLR camera vortex. Get thee a good HD webcam and call it a day. I use a Logitech C920. It cost about $100
  • An external microphone: Don’t rely on the webcam microphone or your computer’s integrated microphone, but don’t go crazy here, either – a cheap lav mic ($10 – $25) or even the headset that came with your latest smartphone will probably do. If you’re feeling more gung ho, or already know you want to do a lot of these, you can spend more. I use an ATR 2100 USB mic ($120)
  • Lighting: If you have access to a room with bright, natural lighting, great – you might be able to skip this part. But my office is a dungeon. I solved the lighting headache with a $125 Neewar ring light I bought from Amazon. You could also cobble together your own lighting from what you have on hand, as long as you can get it good and bright.
  • Video editing software: I do very little editing in my interview videos. I splice in a pre-recorded guest intro and some branded intro/outro clips, and chop out the first few minutes of chit-chat that always happens. You can likely do most of this with freebie video editing software, but I prefer Camtasia. You can also go totally hands-off and outsource the editing.
  • A transcription service: Transcribing the interviews is the one thing I always outsource. Rev.com gives high-quality transcription with quick turnaround at $1 USD/minute of audio.

A simple process for distributing video content across multiple platforms

Uploading videos on YouTube is easy – there are a million video tutorials out there, and BlogsWorks has a great guide on how to put your video into your blog.

I’ve discovered doing everything in a certain order makes it all much easier.

Here’s my posting process (after I’ve recorded and edited the video):

  1. Do the video stuff: Upload the video to YouTube. Enter the title, description, and put in a whole bunch of relevant keyword tags. Publish the video.
  2. Then do the blog stuff: Start a new blog post. Re-use EVERYTHING from YouTube in your blog – the title, the description, the tags. Except for minor tweaks, don’t re-invent the wheel, just copy/paste it all into your blog. Embed the video, then copy and paste the transcript right under the embedded video. Hit ‘publish.’
  3. Last, the newsletter stuff: Copy and paste the title, description, and a link to the blog post containing the video and transcript into Mailchimp (or whatever newsletter system you use). Hit send.

Boom. Done. I’ve got the whole process down to less than 45 minutes.

While we’re on the subject, here are some other tips for writing blog posts better and faster.

Audiences and search engines love the video-text combo

Once I started posting the interviews (and later expanded to Q&A videos) along with the transcripts to my blog, 4 things happened:

  1. My website’s organic traffic started to go up
  2. My click-through rate on my newsletters went up
  3. My social media engagement went up, especially on Twitter and YouTube. Granted, YouTube is where I host the videos, but the video posts generate more likes, shares, and comments across all my platforms than my text-only blog posts do.
  4. My newsletter subscribers told me that they liked the videos and really appreciated being able to skim the video transcript on the blog. They were getting the best of both worlds.

Yes, creating the interview videos take a little more time and resources than writing text-only blogs, but I find the process feels easier and more satisfying. Especially when I record the interviews in batches and create several months of content in a few days.

Videos + text + blog can create some real magic. Don’t worry about being perfect, just give it a try and see where it takes you.

Lauren Sergy (@lsergy) is a self-described public speaking and communication wonk. She’s professionally obsessed with helping people level up their speaking and communication skills. Click here for more communication-related insights.

 

Liked this post? Got another 5 minutes? Here are 3 more of our most popular posts all about video content for your blog:

The ultimate guide to adding YouTube videos to your blog
How to increase blog traffic by almost 30% in only 90 days — a case study
How to drive traffic to older blog posts

 

The Ultimate Guide to adding YouTube Videos to your Blog

the ultimate guide to adding youtube videos to your blog

Video is a great way to attract more readers to your blog and having them stay longer.

If you know how to do it.

In this guide you will learn how to quickly add a YouTube video. You’ll also learn how to add a Vimeo video, GIF, and SlideShare. And I’m going to make this very untechnical (even I can do it and so can you).

Once you have your video inserted and playing, I’ll also show you some neat tricks to get them to behave the way you want.

But, first let’s take a step back and talk about why you might want to add video.

More time equals more business

conference room of people
Your blog is like a series of breakout rooms off the main conference hall

Your website is like a conference hall – people come from lots of different directions to visit, explore, learn, and even buy.

Visitors arrive directly via your emails (announcing your new blog post) or from social media or organic searches (people find you by searching for a topic). Some will leave soon after arriving—as many as 25-40% won’t make it past the first room. The average time in that conference hall is about one to two minutes.

And then there’s your blog…

Your blog is like a series of breakout rooms off the main conference hall. Each room has a different topic – a new set of solutions tackling a problem your clients struggle with.

What’s different about those breakout rooms/blog posts is people stay a whole lot longer—like 5-13 minutes.

That’s a huge opportunity!

Imagine if conversations with your prospects were 5-10 times longer – that’s good, right?

That’s what your blog can do: make people stop, explore, look at your products and services and ask for more.

When you add richer, more detailed content – like video – this works even better. Now prospects will stay longer, get to you know you better and start to develop that know, like, trust relationship we all want.

That’s why video can be such a great addition to your blog. Now, let’s look at how to get the video into your blog.

How to insert your video

If you’ve already mastered the steps to insert images in your blog, adding video will be easy.

WordPress comes installed with a neat feature called auto-embed. This allows you to insert videos in your WordPress blog post by simply pasting the URL of your video directly in the post.

Auto-embed will work with YouTube, Vimeo and Wistia hosted videos. It will even work with your favourite Slideshare videos.

If you are working with a simple MP3 or GIF video, you can upload the file into Media, but note this will slow down loading time. You best practice is to always embed your videos from YouTube or a hosting site like Vimeo or Wistia. You can also embed your video directly from your Google Drive (see instructions below).

Here are the steps to embed your video directly from YouTube.

1. The first step is to capture the URL of the video you want. You can copy the URL from your browser’s address bar or directly from the YouTube share link button.

screenshot showing how to add youtube videos to your blog

Tip: For longer videos, you can easily change the start time (for example, 30 seconds in) by first checking the “Start at” box and choosing the time you want. Then copy the link.

screen shot of how to embed youtube video url

2. The easiest and quickest way to embed YouTube videos in WordPress is to simply copy/paste the URL into your new post. Make sure you are looking at the “Visual” editor, not the “Text” editor.

gif of how to add youtube videos

3. Once you have the video inserted, go to Preview and you can see it in action.

Want to change the settings? Use the WordPress blog edit menu. If you want to change the size of the video (this only works if you pasted the embed code), go to the “Text” editor and change the actual “width=” and “height=” settings.

Be sure to keep the ratio between the numbers the same (warning: this involves math!) For example “<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=” (315/560 = .56) could be changed to “<iframe width=”800″ height=”450″ src=” (450/800 = .56)

screenshot of how to edit inserted video

How to insert video from your Google Drive

If you are like us at BlogWorks, we like to have all the elements of our blog post neatly organized in one folder on our Google Drive. This includes the images and the videos for that post.

The goal is to embed that video, not upload it, so it will load faster and not take up room on our WordPress site.

It’s a bit of a work around, but once you’ve done it once (like making bread, Origami, or sex) it’s not so scary. Ready?

It’s a bit of a work around, but once you’ve done it once (like making bread, Origami, or sex) it’s not so scary. Click To Tweet

  • click on the video in your Google Drive.
  • once opened look for the 3 dots and click on “open in new window”
  • again, click on the 3 dots and this time click on “embed item…”
  • copy the embed code (it will start with “<iframe src=”https://drive.google.com/file…”)
  • head back to your new blog post and select “Text” view (instead of “Visual”) and paste the embed code where you want it.
  • finally, go back to “Visual” view to see your video and edit the settings.

gif showing how to insert video from google drive when adding youtube videos to your blog

Note: your video share settings must be set to be viewed by anyone who has the link. You can quickly change your share settings by opening the video, go to 3 dots, click on “Share”, click on sharing option drop down (you might have to then click on “more…”) and change settings. When you change settings here, it will change how your embedded video works on your site.

 

About privacy settings

Recent versions of YouTube have removed some of the earlier options to modify how your video played on your WordPress site (if you are using the embed code option.) You can still remove the player controls (start/stop etc.)

One option that has been added (and that you should use) is the “Enable privacy-enhanced mode.” Essentially when you select this YouTube will not collect information about your visitors unless they play the video.

Found this valuable? Here are more articles all about videos, images and more.

The ultimate guide: How to use images, videos and screenshots in blog posts
4 Ways to Make Your Blog Images Pop
Free Images for your Blog: 7 Awesome Sources