Optimizing Videos to Benefit Your SEO Strategy

Succeeding in SEO means keeping your content not only relevant but also diverse. Written content—while it can certainly put you in the top of Google rankings—is sometimes not enough. When appropriate, you also need to use search engine-friendly multimedia content—particularly videos.

But you can’t just take a random video on your phone and upload it. You have to make sure that any video you embed or upload on your website is optimized for your goals.

Optimizing Videos to Benefit Your SEO Strategy

Hosted videos vs. embedded: Which is better for SEO?

It doesn’t matter. This was the answer John Mueller from Google gave during Google Search Central SEO office hours last January 29, 2021.

According to Mueller, videos that are natively hosted on your website have the same SEO value as videos that are embedded from other sources.

While Mueller’s answer was straightforward, it went against the common belief of the SEO community. To clarify things further, he explained how Google shows video results, reiterating that Google treats embedded videos and hosted videos similarly with regards to SEO.

He added that when a site hosts its own videos, those videos are typically served from another content delivery network (CDN), anyway—which is technically a separate website. Thus, hosted videos are not that different from embedded videos.

Ultimately, the main concern of someone who wants to optimize a video should be to make sure that users are pleased with the viewing experience and that the video content is indexed properly. By addressing and satisfying both concerns, your video content strategy should be good in Google’s point of view.

But there are conditions

Following that clarification, another relevant question was brought up during the forum. There is a widely-held belief in the SEO community that it’s better to host your own videos because doing this ensures that your page shows up when that particular video is looked up. If you embed a video from another website like YouTube, there’s a risk that YouTube will be shown as the content’s source even if you made the video.

Muller’s answer to this question was this:

“It depends.”

According to him, Google could either show the web page where the video has been embedded or show the YouTube landing page in the search results.

The outcome really depends on which page is more optimized.

If a page where the video is embedded has more information on it, Google may prioritize it over the YouTube page because it has more value to the searcher. However, if there are more ranking signals and relevant information on the YouTube landing page, then Google will show that in search results.

Google may serve a YouTube page instead of the page with the embedded video, but that is not likely to happen every time. As per Mueller, it will depend of several factors.

YouTube has two video landing pages: The one on YouTube and on your site. Google will then have to determine which of the pages makes more sense to show to the searcher, and it may choose your site as the landing page if it has more information on it. However, it can also choose to display the YouTube landing page if there is more information or more ranking signals there.

The bottom line

The best way to ensure a successful SEO strategy is to use written or “textual” content alongside multimedia content like videos and images. The textual content will reinforce the message on your multimedia, signaling to Google that your website is a rich source of information. This combination will increase your chances of ranking well.

Ultimately, a successful SEO content strategy is diverse. So go ahead and create a rich multimedia portfolio of videos, podcasts, images, and interactive tools that encourage engagement, link sharing, and conversion in the long run. Not every form of media will be right for your goals, of course, so you need to pick what works and focus your efforts on those. To get started on a comprehensive SEO content strategy, contact us here at SEOValley.