While researching possible article topics today, I ended up going down a rabbit hole of my own making over at the main Google blog. See, I started by reading a post about the new Nexus S smart phone, which will run the much-hyped Gingerbread version of Android. And I noticed they had a couple of neat little videos embedded in the post—one an introduction to the Nexus S and another about the phone's back story.
Not long after that, I found myself reading about the new Google eBookstore, which will hope to rival Amazon and other online publishing platforms. And I saw another cool explanation video embedded in that post.
A few short minutes later I was pulling up each of the last 20 posts on that blog and recognizing an obvious pattern: Google embeds videos in almost all of their blog posts. Here's a brief sampling of their posts that do this, each published over the last week:
- Nexus S
- Google eBookstore
- Google Apps Highlights
- Building A Business on Mobile
- The 2011 Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship
- YouTube Highlights
- Tracking Santa
- Planting Trees With Nobel Prize Winner Wangari Maathai
- Human Side of Climate Change
There were a few posts in that same time frame that did not include an embedded video, but the vast majority of them did. And it just stuck out like a sore thumb to me. Why do so many bloggers in general, and so many video-marketing bloggers in specific, fail to embed videos with their standard blog articles? (By way of confession, it's something we at ReelSEO could probably stand to do more of ourselves.)
But why? Why does Google do it… and why do we need to follow their lead? The answers might be obvious, but sometimes the obvious stuff is what we tend to slack off on—or forget to do altogether. Since this was a fantastic reminder for me personally as to the power of embedding videos in your blog, I figured there might be some readers who could do with a little reminding as well. Here are some of the chief reasons you might want to imitate Google in this regard:
- Video is quickly becoming the most-sought-after variety of content online—if it's not there already. With YouTube having already become the de facto "second-most-popular" search engine, it's clear that video is the target destination for a lot of web users—which is supported by YouTube's claim that 35 hours of video are uploaded every minute and over 2 billion views are recorded every day. And considering how wide the variety is in online video topics and styles, there's virtually no topic that can't be improved and supported through the use of video. In today's web, if you're not posting video content, you run the risk of losing readers to blogs that do, and you might even wake up one day soon to find yourself irrelevant.
- Support your other products & content. If you have videos on YouTube, embedding them on your blog is a fantastic way to spread the word to readers who might not find it through standard YouTube browsing behavior. Google is promoting their own product, of course, due to the fact that they own YouTube. But beyond just supporting their video platform, they're also supporting their own videos—a majority of the clips they embed in the list above comes from one of the official Google-branded YouTube channels. Give your videos a chance to find an audience, which means publicizing it wherever you might have eyeballs—your Facebook fan page, your Twitter account, and your own blog.
- Video sitemaps. As you may have read on ReelSEO a while back, we've been seeing some outstanding SEO improvements coming out of video embeds. In some cases, if you pair your embed with a proper Google Video Sitemap, you can even outrank the original source in the search results—which, by the way, works across a variety of video platforms.
It seems like a simple and obvious tip—and maybe it is. And yet, I see bloggers in the online marketing space that ignore its many benefits on a daily basis. Maybe you fancy yourself a text person. I do talk to people all the time that still have a preference for text articles over video content, usually because it allows the user to absorb the content at their own pace. Perhaps your own bias in this regard has led you to assume your readers feel the same way? I hope not, because that's probably an erroneous assumption.
The statistical evidence of video's popularity is rather overwhelming. Consider tapping into that power for your own promotional purposes by remembering to embed videos with your blog articles to maximize your chances of success.
And of course, if I didn't find a supporting video to include in this post, I would be ignoring my own advice and I'm sure you guys would rightfully roast me for it. So I found a tutorial called Embedding A Video On A WordPress Blog. Most of you probably already know how to do this, but I thought it was a good fit since the whole theme of this post is about going back to the obvious basics. Enjoy: