Using YouTube video on your website? These easy steps will set you up for better gains

Ever phoned a company and while you’re on hold, had to listen to a radio station, then been further distracted when the station plays a random advert? It all gets really irrelevant.

I’ve had a similar experience many times when visiting websites, but in this case when watching a video on a company’s website (this could be your website), and at the end of the video, links are presented to more ‘suggested’ videos.
Most times, these videos are by other parties, who are not closely related. Sometimes they are even competitors’ videos, which is undesirable and distracting. And irrelevant.

When using YouTube, Vimeo or any other hosted video service, it’s in your best interest to embed these videos into your own website pages, blogs etc. and link your newsletters, social media and other promo material back to your website, not straight to the video on these external sites.


The great thing is that this unnecessary link trail can easily be avoided with a few clicks when the video is being inserted into your website.

This is how it’s done


Firstly you need to find the video. You do this by going to your YouTube channel or with a YouTube search. If the video is embedded on another website you can right click on the video and select “Get Video URL” or click the YouTube video logo in the bottom right corner which will open the same at YouTube.
  1. Click ‘Share’, then ‘Embed’ followed by ‘SHOW MORE’
  2. Choose the video size that fits within your website structure. 560 or 640 wide should fit well
  3. Un-tick “Show suggested videos when the video finishes”
  4. Copy the code starting with “<iframe width=“ into your desired web page – this will vary depending on your CMS and setup
embedding youtube video on your website

How to improve engagement?

Have just one video per page


It’s always about focus and relevance. Any topic can be drilled down to date/event, specific topical or geographic area and so on. Being focused allows search engines to better categorise and prioritise importance and relevance of your content to a specific search query. It also allows consumers to select specific areas of interest while avoiding being bombarded and overwhelmed by masses of information.

youtube video embed

As an example let’s say you are performing market updates. Within your blog you could have a summary page that shows the title and a 2 line summary for each update. If it is a blog, the actual article however could include;

  • A short heading/intro/hook
  • The video
  • A textual summary of the video including stats, numbers etc.
  • An infographic highlighting the above or specific supporting imagery
  • Social sharing buttons along with comments area
  • Links to other related content in your blog or website – ideal for cross promoting – note that showing links on the right to months is un-inviting. If this is your approach, you’re better off showing the latest 5 articles

Keep in mind you can chop and change the above based on specific information you have on hand and expand on this as needed, or relevant to your business.
This approach not only builds up engagement and usefulness but also provides the same information in differing formats that can appeal to different consumers, and empowers others to share your message and promote your brand in the process.

On the flip side, you could list your videos on one page in your blog and then repeat the same in the actual blog article – which do you think will provide better results?


Naturally you want to understand what content is being consumed on your website, so a segmented and categorised approach will create clarity for visitors and also yourself when reviewing website traffic and visitor interactions.

Regarding page length, this can vary however longer pages still require topic focus, better formatting, and spacing, to avoid overwhelming your audience.

The right YouTube title and description


Sounds simple right? However a large number of videos are uploaded to YouTube with Generic Title and Descriptions. With 100+ hours of video uploaded to YouTube every 60 seconds detail matters.

It’s argued that with video the title and description are the most important aspects for exposure. As these are used to show your video in Google and YouTube search results, why would you want to leave Google and your audience guessing?

Be relevant, engaged, and descriptive. Remember that you are writing for people, not robots.
This applies to YouTube video and YouTube playlists.

youtube title and description sweet spot

Here is a censored example that could be working much harder for its publisher;


Existing Title: XYZ Property Update for February 2015

Existing Description: XYZ Property Consulting Melbourne Market Update for February 2015 with XYZ, Managing Director, XYZ Property Consulting.

Improved format;


Improved Title: XYZ Melbourne property market update February 2015.
(max 70 characters)

Improved Description: XYZ February 2015 Melbourne property market update. Melbourne prices keep rising, the RBAs rate cut has been passed with another expected in the future.
(Max 157 characters)

  • Keep in mind that we all search differently, so including aspects of your video in the description will help you to be found
  • Within the second line of your description you can include your website address. Linking this straight to the article/blog on your website isn’t a bad idea and allows you to add more value when found on YouTube search
  • Having your website address at the end will ensure the more relevant descriptive information is shown in search results opposed to your websites URL
  • Driving all traffic and engagement back to owned assets – in this case your website, is beneficial

YouTube and annotations


YouTube enables you to add text layers at specific time segments on your uploaded video's using annotations. This can range from a comment to a link and helps create greater viewer engagement including;
  • selecting from a list of videos
  • subscribing to your YouTube channel
  • visiting a specific website link
  • following your brand on Twitter or Facebook.
By accessing the 'video' tab, clicking 'edit' on your video of choice and then selecting the 'annotations' tab, you can then scroll through a previously uploaded video and add or edit any of the below video annotations;

Speech bubble

As per its name, allows you to display additional information/value during key points in the form of a speech bubble.

Note

Similar to a speech buble, however due to its square transparent nature is less intrusive and easily used to house links to related videos.

Title

If you need to add heading or section titles to your video to define sections, then using title annotations will allow you to customise the size and colour to suit your video style.

Spotlight

Similar in nature to note annotations, however spotlight allows you to highlight a specific area or item on your video canvas. This can work like a DVD menu allowing different parts of the screen to link to different videos. Extending the end of your video to use Note or Spotlight annotations is a great way to continue to engage with your viewers.  

Label

A hybrid between note and spotlight it allows you to highlight an area, while adding a comment and link.

Why bother with annotations? Its a great way to increase and refine viewer interaction through your existing videos. You can test different 'calls to action' throughout video hot spots and ultimately expose more of your content and drive more of your target audience towards business outcomes.

Your own YouTube channel


If you’re going to be creating and uploading videos, you’ll need to assess what works best for your own business.
Those seeking higher quality video have been known to use vimeo, however being the second biggest search engine behind Google, YouTube is where many reside as it helps drive exposure and business gains.

Video is 53 times more likely to produce a first-page search result than websites


What are the benefits of your own YouTube channel?

  • You spend time promoting your videos, naturally you should own and manage the area they reside in now and forever, not your old video guy who decides to change or remove your videos from his/her channel
  • Ability to have customised imagery, logo and information relevant to your business is more professional and builds brand credibility
  • Ability to group, categorise, create video playlists along with hiding specific videos as needed
  • Include third party videos you have tagged as favourites
  • Allowing comments can create user engagement; however this needs to be managed and should be reviewed before activating
  • Linking your YouTube channel to your website helps your videos come up in search results when someone searches for your brand phrases

YouTube channel and playlists


A video playlist enables you to group a sequence of videos by subject matter into a relevant education or sales flow.

By segmenting your library of videos you can target different audiences. You can also refine your flow and trial mixing generic with specific focus/target videos.

A refined and targeted playlist facilitates greater video consumption with the ability to skip videos while creating a more relevant and engaging consumer experience.

Grouping of video's via playlists not only helps viewers but also Google and YouTube when it comes to subject matter. Effective grouping will make it easier for you to create compeling and more focused title and descriptions for your playlists.

Promoting your video’s

promoting your youtube video

  • Focus on videos that address a problem or educate your audience and share them via LinkedIn, Twitter and other social platforms
  • Ensure your video topic and approach appeals to being embedded in third party websites. This adds value to their visitors while exposing your brand and positioning as an expert – sell indirectly by educating
  • Create targeted exposure on YouTube by using Googles paid advertising service “AdWords for video” – these play before free related and targeted videos
  • Try not to have the end of the video act as a dead end, create engagement past the video that entices viewers to lead into other related videos, content or details capture

Advanced video embedding


For those looking for more advanced video embed options, you can take a look at the following third party offerings;
  • http://support.jwplayer.com/customer/portal/articles/1406725-youtube-video-embed
  • http://flowplayer.electroteque.org/youtube

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