YouTube Video Embeds Skyrocket SEO Exposure

by Toby

January 27, 2022

video seo embedding youtube videos for better seo

If you landed on this page, you want to improve your SEO efforts. One of the easiest and most effective ways to significantly improve your website's SEO footprint in Google is by embedding YouTube videos in your website's pages and blog posts. 

It's a relatively easy task to embed your YouTube videos in your website's pages and posts.

When done well and correctly, YouTube video embeds can double or triple the number of keywords on the first page of Google's search results. And increase your site's impressions within Google searches – that means more brand exposure as well.

For this analysis, we compared the metrics of pages that had YouTube video embeds to the top five pages that did not have YouTube video embeds. We pulled data from Google Analytics and Google Search Console. 

And while you can embed videos in your pages that are hosted on services other than YouTube, such as Wistia or Vimeo (there are other benefits to use those services aside from SEO), you will see more SEO success through embedding videos that are hosted on YouTube. The reason for this will become more evident down below. But suffice it to say, Big G favors its properties.

So, let's get right into the results of our analysis and SEO benefits.

I have been embedding videos for improved page or post SEO for years on my and client sites. When done correctly, your pages and posts will rank far more keywords in more locations than without video embeds.

List of benefits of embedding YouTube videos in pages or blog posts:

1

Double The Number of Top 10 Ranking Keywords

We compared pages with embedded YouTube videos to those that did not have embedded videos. And found that pages or posts with YouTube video embed had more than double the number of keywords ranking in Google searches on page one.

number of keywords on google first page with video embed versus no video

Number of keywords on Google's first page with YouTube video embed versus no video

Related SEO Case Study

Here's a related SEO case study of a cooking site (very competitive space) that used embedded YouTube videos that generates 1 million impression, 5,600 clicks, and more than 750 keywords ranking on the first page per month.

number of keywords on google first page with video embed versus no video

Number of keywords on Google's first page with YouTube video embed versus no video

2

Increases In Clicks, Impressions, and Average Position

From the charts below, which were pulled from Google Search Console, you can see the increases in important metrics when the video was embedded on this page.

INCREASE IN CLICKS

growth in page clicks after youtube video embed

Growth in page clicks after YouTube video was embedded

growth in page clicks after youtube video embed

Growth in page clicks after YouTube video was embedded

INCREASE IN IMPRESSIONS

Growth in page Impressions after youtube video embed

Growth in page Impressions after YouTube video embed

Growth in page Impressions after youtube video embed

Growth in page Impressions after YouTube video embed

INCREASE IN AVERAGE POSITION

Growth in page Average Position in Google After YouTube Video Embedded

Growth in page Average Position in Google After YouTube Video Embedded

Growth in page Average Position in Google After YouTube Video Embedded

Growth in page Average Position in Google After YouTube Video Embedded

3

Increase in Average Time On Site

Pages and posts with embedded videos saw consistent increases in time on site versus pages with no video.

Comparison Table of Time On Site Per Page With Video Embedded and Without Video

Comparison Table of Time On Site Per Page With YouTube Video Embedded and Without Video Embedded

Comparison Table of Time On Site Per Page With Video Embedded and Without Video

Comparison Table of Time On Site Per Page With Video Embedded and Without Video

4

Pages Start Ranking Within the Video Tab In Google Search

Within any Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP), there are five or more additional tabs users can click on and open.


In the screenshot below, we have clicked on the Video tab. And we are ranking our blog post (Facebook Ads for Beauty Salons) with the embedded YouTube video in the number one spot. On the Video tab, Google ranks pages and YouTube videos. But because we embedded the YouTube video in the page, Google shows our web page URL, not the YouTube link to the video.


Why is this important?


Because the click on the post in the Video tab takes a searcher back to your website, NOT YouTube. You want to send the traffic back to your site, not to another Google property where you lose control and Google profits from your content, not you.


This is where companies that have YouTube videos fail in their video SEO strategy. By not embedding the video in a contextually relevant page on your website, Google ranks the YouTube video, and your website never sees that click traffic. And now the site visitor is lost on YouTube, distracted by funny cat videos. 

In most scenarios, whenever possible, you want the traffic on your website - a property you own and control.

Page With Embedded YouTube Video Ranking Number One In Google Video Tab

Page With Embedded YouTube Video Ranking Number One In Google Video Tab

Page With Embedded YouTube Video Ranking Number One In Google Video Tab

Page With Embedded YouTube Video Ranking Number One In Google Video Tab

5

Higher Rankings On Mobile Devices

Google often shows different results on mobile versus desktop. Below are two mobile screenshots that differ from desktop. Mobile is the majority of search traffic in most industries. 

Desktop Search Results

Here's a screenshot of desktop results in Google for the query, Facebook Ads For Restaurants. Google is showing Featured Snippets at the top. 

desktop search results in google

Desktop search results in Google

desktop search results in google

Desktop search results in Google

Mobile Search Results - 2 Listings

But, here's the exact search in Google on mobile. No Featured Snippets. The top of the page has 4 Google Ads, followed by "Interesting Finds." So, our page ranks number one in "Interesting Finds." 

ranking video in Google Search on mobile

Ranking Pages with Embedded YouTube Video in Google Mobile Search

ranking video in Google Search on mobile

Ranking Pages with Embedded YouTube Video in Google Mobile Search

And right below the "Interesting Finds" is what many might consider the traditional organic listings where the same page ranks again on mobile. But this time, Google is highlighting that there's a video on the page by showing a small play button. So, this page has two listings in one Google Search Results Page - that's more shelf space on that page than anyone else. And if you were running paid ads too, that would be three spots on one page with your brand dominating the results.

ranking video in Google Search on mobile after Interesting finds

Ranking Pages with Embedded YouTube Video in Google Mobile Search

ranking video in Google Search on mobile after Interesting finds

Ranking Pages with Embedded YouTube Video in Google Mobile Search

6

Engage More Visitors:
Not Everyone Wants to Read

Some of your site visitors do not want to read and would rather watch a video. Google knows who those people are that prefer video. And thus, if your page has a video embedded, guess which page Google is more likely to show to that searcher?

7

Traffic and Clicks Are Directed Back to You, NOT YouTube

If you have YouTube videos and the only place those videos live is within your YouTube channel, any clicks from the Video tab within a Google Search will go back to YouTube, not your website.

The Google search result below shows listings on the Video tab with sites that have embedded YouTube videos (the first listing). But then below that first listing in the second position is a YouTube video listing. Unfortunately, a click on that YouTube video listing goes back to YouTube, where you lose control of the traffic. And as a result, it is much harder to monetize and capture the lead. The site visitor is now forever lost in funny cat videos on YouTube.

YouTube Videos Ranking In Google Search Video Tab

YouTube Videos Ranking In Google Search Video Tab

YouTube Videos Ranking In Google Search Video Tab

YouTube Videos Ranking In Google Search Video Tab

8

Hosting Videos on YouTube Allows You To Rank in YouTube As Well, Not Just in Google Search

If you have many of your videos hosted elsewhere, such as Wistia, or Vimeo, you need to think carefully about moving those to YouTube. At a minimum, any new videos you create that are not behind a paywall should be hosted on YouTube to leverage its exposure. Don't forget that YouTube is also the second largest search engine behind Google.

And Sometimes You Just Get Luck - Both Are Indexed and Showing In Search

I wouldn't count on this, but for this video and blog post, Google is showing my page with the embedded video and then down below the same YouTube video. These two listings are the same video but have different thumbnail images. 

sometimes you get lucky and you get youtube and your website listed

sometimes you get lucky, and you get YouTube and your website listed

sometimes you get lucky and you get youtube and your website listed

sometimes you get lucky and you get youtube and your website listed

Best Practices for Embedding Videos in Your Page to Ensure Top Search Rankings in Google

  • First, host your videos on YouTube. Videos hosted here have far more opportunities to capture search traffic. And in Google search, pages with embedded YouTube videos versus pages with embedded videos that are hosted elsewhere (e.g., Wistia or Vimeo) take a priority in rankings. That wasn't always the case, but Big G favors its properties whenever it can.
  • Make sure to use video schema markup on your page. This will tell Google all the necessary details about the video and that there is, in fact, a video on the page. 
  • Add chapters to the video in YouTube. This is a feature in YouTube videos that allows you to identify important points in the video. People can then scrub the timeline by dragging the mouse over it to identify the different topics of the video. And as a bonus, chapters further help Google understand what the video is about.
  • Embed the video near the top of the page to give it more top-of-page exposure and importance.
  • Ensure your YouTube channel and specific video is optimized and link back to your site. This helps Google connect the dots that your website, channel, and specific video are the same author, giving each more authority. Plus, if you link back from your YouTube video within the description, you can send YouTube search traffic back to your site.
  • Any video content you embed should be aligned to and about the textual topic on the page. 

And a related post here on ranking in multiple places within a Google search results page. And if you're local to our agency, we're an experienced SEO Company in Temecula, please reach out to us today.


Talk to us. How can we help you?


About the author 

Toby

Toby is the co-founder of 39 Celsius. He has over 20 years of digital marketing experience and has started several companies throughout his career. He's an expert in SEO, Social Media Ads, Google Ads, Marketing Automation, and more. He has a BA in Chemistry/Biochemistry from UC San Diego and an MBA from SDSU.

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