Using video in blog posts – Is there an SEO advantage?

Using video in blog posts – Is there an SEO advantage?Using video in blog posts creates an interesting dilemma; do you only feature a video, do you repeat the same content in the video as on the page or do you write separate content for the video and the page content? Is there an SEO benefit or penalty from choosing one of these options? Lets take a look at each in turn.

Video only blog post

Creating a video and embedding it in a web page will encourage Google to provide a ‘rich snippet’ in its listings (assuming you have set-up Authorship in webmaster tools). This allows visitors to see a thumbnail image of your video and your listing is likely to benefit from Google’s current preference for video content. If you are using YouTube as your video hosting service, then there is a good chance that the YouTube listing will come before the embedded version. This is not always true but given the way YouTube makes money (advertising) you can understand why this happens.

Ignoring this for one moment, let’s consider what Google can analyse on your web page. If your embed is fairly basic then you may simply have an HTML title, a page <H1> title and possibly a META description. This does not give Google very much on the page to consider. Even though it knows you have a video embedded, the page itself is fairly empty. One option to fix this is to add a video sitemap. This can contain a lot of information such as the transcript, subject and length, but it is not always easy to implement or to add data to.

Duplicate video and page content blog post

This has to be a fairly safe bet, not just for SEO purposes but for website visitors too. If the visitor does not have speakers or maybe fast enough broadband for video, they can obtain the content simply by reading.

From an SEO point of view it is quite common to provide a transcript version on the page. These words are indexable and help the search engines understand what the page is about. Every web page online is analysed for what it contains (as well as many other off site factors such as reputation and social popularity), so adding content and optimizing the page normally is highly recommended – video is not a magic solution to any SEO requirement, it is simply a content format. One other added benefit is that you can format page text using links, lists and other appropriate styling controls.

Separate video and page content blog post

The chances are that the video and page content will vary slightly anyway. This will be due to the extra titles and sub headings you may add and any amendments necessary to make the content work in the written form (for example if you ad-libbed your video you may decide to remove any ‘ums’ and ‘ers’ from the transcript).

You might decide to write the page copy as accompanying notes, you could write an introduction to the video or you may choose to write a compelling ‘call to action’ for viewers to read after they have watched the video (with a mention in the video to keep viewers reading the page). From an SEO point of view, this will all work in your favour as long as the page content and the video content are in tune. After all your page is likely to be found by users searching for the topic that the page focuses on.

An interesting SEO, viewer and marketing solution (after all these are all important) would be a blend of the last two approaches. Adding the transcript makes sense as this is a helpful alternative, adding an introduction seems sensible too as it can be optimised for search engines and visitors alike. Adding a call to action, links and notes as ‘bonus’ content will enhance the viewers experience and hopefully lead them on to the next stage of your engagement plan.

Video only blog post

Creating a video and embedding it in a web page will encourage Google to provide a ‘rich snippet’ in its listings (assuming you have set-up Authorship in webmaster tools). This allows visitors to see a thumbnail image of your video and your listing is likely to benefit from Google’s current preference for video content. If you are using YouTube as your video hosting service, then there is a good chance that the YouTube listing will come before the embedded version. This is not always true but given the way YouTube makes money (advertising) you can understand why this happens.

Ignoring this for one moment, lets consider what Google can analyse on your web page. If your embed is fairly basic then you may simply have an HTML title, a page <H1> title and possibly a META description. This does not give Google very much on the page to consider. Even though it knows you have a video embedded, the page itself is fairly empty. One option to fix this is to add a video sitemap. This can contain a lot of information such as the transcript, subject and length, but it is not always easy to implement or to add data to.

Duplicate video and page content blog post

This has to be a fairly safe bet, not just for SEO purposes but for website visitors too. If the visitor does not have speakers or maybe fast enough broadband for video, they can obtain the content simply by reading.

From an SEO point of view it is quite common to provide a transcript version on the page. These words are indexable and help the search engines understand what the page is about. Every web page online is analysed for what it contains (as well as many other off site factors such as reputation and social popularity), so adding content and optimizing the page normally is highly recommended – video is not a magic solution to any SEO requirement, it is simply a content format. One other added benefit is that you can format page text using links, lists and other appropriate styling controls.

Separate video and page content blog post

The chances are that the video and page content will vary slightly anyway. This will be due to the extra titles and sub headings you may add and any amendments necessary to make the content work in the written form (for example if you ad-libbed your video you may decide to remove any ‘ums’ and ‘ers’ from the transcript).

You might decide to write the page copy as accompanying notes, you could write an introduction to the video or you may choose to write a compelling ‘call to action’ for viewers to read after they have watched the video (with a mention in the video to keep viewers reading the page). From an SEO point of view, this will all work in your favour as long as the page content and the video content are in tune. After all your page is likely to be found by users searching for the topic that the page focuses on.

An interesting SEO, viewer and marketing solution (after all these are all important) would be a blend of the last two approaches. Adding the transcript makes sense as this is a helpful alternative, adding an introduction seems sensible too as it can be optimised for search engines and visitors alike. Adding a call to action, links and notes as ‘bonus’ content will enhance the viewers experience and hopefully lead them on to the next stage of your engagement plan.

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