Video for SEO: How video can improve your on-page SEO rankings

Mattison Hofstedt


September 20, 2023

March 20, 2024

Man looking at SEO reankings on computer.

Understanding 'Video for SEO' vs. 'Video SEO'

Why embedding videos boosts your SEO rankings

Leveraging video for SEO: What you need to know (Q&A)

Enhancing on-page SEO with videos using Storykit

Start using video to improve your SEO rankings

Do embedded videos boost your website's search engine rankings? Absolutely. Continue reading to discover why.

In today's digital age, content is king. But while written content has traditionally dominated the web, there's a new contender in town: video. As the consumption of video content continues to rise, many website owners and marketers are beginning to realize the potential of integrating videos into their SEO strategy. 

For example, Lemonlight sees that almost all of their pages bringing in the most organic traffic include video content, and they typically see boosts in organic traffic ranging between 10% to a whopping 250% when they add content to existing posts. 

Keep reading to discover the reasons behind the ranking boost from embedded videos and the best practices to implement them effectively.

Understanding 'Video for SEO' vs. 'Video SEO'

Before we delve deeper, it's essential to address a common point of confusion we often encounter: the distinction between 'Video for SEO' and 'Video SEO'.

While both "Video for SEO" and "Video SEO" aim to optimize online visibility, they target different outcomes. 

  • Ranking the webpage: "Video for SEO" is about integrating videos into blog posts or webpages, enhancing the overall content quality, and ultimately elevating the page's search ranking. 

  • Ranking the video: "Video SEO" is centered on producing and optimizing videos to achieve top rankings for the videos themselves in search results.

In this article, we are focusing purely on “Video for SEO” and how to use video to rank your website pages higher on search engines. 

If you want to learn more about “Video SEO” and mastering YouTube then you can check out this guide Video SEO the Definitive Guide

Why embedding videos boosts your SEO rankings

When Google and other search engines evaluate your content, they look at numerous factors to decide your ranking.

Integrating videos into your pages can positively influence these factors and here's how:

  1. Increased user engagement: Videos are inherently engaging and can keep visitors on your page longer. When users spend more time on your site, it signals to search engines that your content is valuable. This dwell time can positively impact your site's SEO.
  1. Lower bounce rates: A high bounce rate (when visitors leave your site after viewing just one page) can be detrimental to your SEO. Videos can captivate visitors, encouraging them to explore more of your site, thus reducing the bounce rate.
  1. Rich media enhances content quality: Search engines aim to provide users with the best possible results. Websites that offer diverse content types, such as text, images, and videos, are often perceived as more comprehensive and authoritative.
  1. Increased backlink opportunities: Quality videos can be a source of backlinks if other websites find your content valuable and link to it. These backlinks can boost your site's authority and SEO.
  1. Improved mobile user experience: With the rise of mobile browsing, providing content that's easily consumable on mobile devices is crucial. Videos offer mobile users a quick and engaging way to absorb information.
  1. Video thumbnails in search results: Properly optimized videos can result in video thumbnails appearing in search results. These thumbnails can make your search result stand out, leading to a higher click-through rate.
  1. Social shares: Videos are more likely to be shared on social media platforms compared to text-based content. Social shares can increase traffic to your site and improve its authority.
  1. Keyword opportunities: Videos offer an additional place to optimize for keywords, including the video title, description, and tags.
  1. Enhanced user understanding: Videos can explain complex topics succinctly and effectively. When users find answers to their questions quickly, it can lead to better user satisfaction, which can indirectly benefit SEO.
  1. Google prioritizes mixed content: Google's algorithm often prioritizes pages that offer a mix of content types. Having videos alongside text and images can make your page more diverse and appealing to the algorithm.

Leveraging video for SEO: What you need to know (Q&A)

While it's a given that incorporating videos into your web pages can boost SEO rankings, the specifics — like video management, embedding techniques, and hosting choices — often slow marketers down. 

We're here to demystify it all and give you the lowdown on what you really need to know with answers to the most common questions we get about video for SEO.

Where should you host your video? Does it even matter?

We have two approaches to this answer. 

Here is why your host platform DOESN'T matter.

According to Google’s John Mueller, there’s no difference, when it comes to SEO, between embedded videos and videos natively uploaded to a website.

He says that in the end, the main concerns here are getting the content indexed properly and ensuring users are happy with the experience. If both of those concerns are satisfied then everything is fine from Google’s point of view. 

If you want a blog page to rank higher, then your primary objective should be crafting videos that enrich your content, boosting elements like user engagement and time spent on the page. 

So, for this, don’t fret over the hosting platform; the key is its presence to elevate your content quality.

Here is why your host platform DOES matter.

Here is why WE think that hosting location does matter. Through our experiments with embedding videos on our blog, we've observed that while Vimeo-hosted videos can enhance our page rankings, they don't appear as video snippets in Google's search results, potentially leading to missed traffic opportunities. 

For instance, even if we position a Vimeo video at the top of our page — following Wistia's guidelines for Google snippet appearance — Google prioritizes a YouTube video located further down on the same page, even if it's not our primary content.

A case in point is our article, " Employee onboarding videos: 20 examples, tips & templates for 2023." The top-positioned Vimeo video on employee onboarding is overshadowed in search results by a YouTube video from Dropbox, which we've embedded further down in the article." 

Keep reading to learn more about video snippet in the next section and incorporating video's that aren't your own.

A heads-up on self-hosting: Thinking of hosting videos on your own turf? Cool, but remember, big video files can make your pages slow, which isn't great for SEO. That's why a bunch of people often lean on external platforms like Vimeo and YouTube.

How do you get your page to appear as a video snippet in Google search?

Okay the question you have been waiting for. How do you get your webpage to appear as a video snippet in search results?

For your reference, a video snippet is an organic Google search result that appears with the following video metadata:

  • Video title
  • Page URL
  • Meta description
  • Video thumbnail

A video can appear on Google in the following places: 

  • Main search results page
  • Video tab
  • Image tab
  • Discover

Where videos appear on Google (Source: Google Search Central)

Sometimes it’s enough to just have a video on your page (But remember to host the video on YouTube if you can for reasons mentioned in the last section) like the example we posted above — especially if you’re looking to rank in the “Videos” section. This is because Google is still using all of the information you provided on your blog post to answer the search query and not just scanning the video metadata.

When Google identifies a video on a page, it tries to understand what the video is about so they can serve it to users who are looking for that topic.

The information that Google gathers about your video comes from: 

  • Text on a page: Title, headings or captions near the video
  • Signals from other pages: Like referral links
  • Video content files: To understand it’s audio and video content
  • Structured data markup: Structured data on the page describes the content of that page 

However, if it is a competitive subject and you want a specific video to compete in general search, then what you need to do is make the video the main content of your page. This way, when someone clicks on a snippet they can easily find and watch the video.

According to Wistia, here is how you make your video the main part of the page: 

If you want to learn more about optimizing your videos to appear on google you can check out Google’s video SEO best practices

If I embed videos from YouTube, then will YouTube show up as the source for content? 

Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer to this question. 

According to Google’s John Mueller, Google could either return the YouTube landing page in search results or return the web page where the video is embedded. If the page where the video is embedded contains more information then Google may serve it over the YouTube page as it would be considered more useful to searchers.

On the other hand, if the YouTube landing page has more ranking signals and more relevant information for people, then that’s the one that will be shown in the search. 

It all depends on the quality of the content and the search intent. 

What text / metadata do you need to include about your video? 

You've likely heard that search engines can't "watch" videos. So, the more textual info you provide about your video, the better search engines can grasp its content and relevance to the page. 

Think of it like giving a movie synopsis; it helps set expectations.

While more details are always a plus, remember you are not JUST trying to get your videos to rank, you are using video to boost your content's SEO. It's the same as embedding an image — you want to provide enough context so that when Google crawls your page, it gets the gist and knows that the video is adding value to the content on the page.

Here's a quick checklist of text you can include with a video, but remember, the most important thing is that it is there: 

  • Title: Make it relevant to the video's content.
  • Description: Add it if possible.
  • Captions: Add informative text around the video and on the page.
  • Text Thumbnails: This is more for your audience than Google. It makes viewers want to watch.
  • Transcript: A bonus if you can add it but it’s more important for getting your video to rank directly in search results or on YouTube.
  • Other fields on your hosting platform: When you upload a video there will be a variety of fields that you can fill in to give information about it. Use common sense and fill out as much as you can. When it comes to SEO more is always better. 

The key takeaway? Don’t fall into a trap by focusing too much on all the information “you think you should add” about the video you want to include. Create good videos and put them in your content. 

Keep reading for insights on how you can create videos to boost your on-page SEO.

Can embedding third-party YouTube videos boost your on-page SEO?

Yes! We use videos we find on YouTube all the time to elevate our content’s performance and so do a ton of other businesses. The goal is to complement your stellar text with engaging media - it doesn’t mean it has to be your own. 

Let's break it down with an example:

SE Ranking has an article titled “How videos impact your SEO rankings”

This ranks for keywords like “video content seo” and “videos and SEO”. They offer a list of details to include for optimal video indexing — super useful for Video SEO — but if you peek at their article, you'll notice a mix of media that they are using to get their content to rank:

  • Two YouTube videos that aren't even their own, used as examples
  • Two of their own YouTube videos
  • A series of screenshots and images supporting their text

In essence, they've packed in a variety of elements that boost on-page SEO, making the article more digestible and engaging (which equals better ranking). 

Also, like we mentioned above, the YouTube video that we featured in our onboarding article made it possible for us to rank first on Google’s “video search”. 

Enhancing on-page SEO with videos using Storykit

By now, you should recognize the significant impact videos can have on enhancing your on-page SEO. 

While leveraging existing content from platforms like YouTube has its merits, producing original videos is equally crucial. However, diving into video creation can be daunting, especially without prior experience. The thought of spending time and money on high-end equipment and intricate editing software can be discouraging for many.

Enter Storykit AI: a tool designed to swiftly transform your existing text content into engaging text-based videos. These videos not only enrich your content but also make it more accessible and engaging for your audience. For instance, we've used Storykit AI to craft the video at the start of this article, illustrating the concept of "Video for SEO."

To begin, simply extract text from your existing pages and input it into Storykit AI. The result? Compelling videos that elevate your content without the hefty production time or costs. 

See how it works below.

Reach out to learn all the benefits of using Storykit to create videos for on-page SEO. 

Start using video to improve your SEO rankings

Hopefully, you're motivated and prepared to integrate valuable videos into your web pages.

But remember, although video is just one element of on-page SEO that can score your content points and grow those rankings, don’t forget that there are a lot of elements that go into on-page and off-page SEO that you need to check off to be successful. 

Ready to create high quality videos?
Try Storykit today.

First time here?

Hello. We’re Storykit, the complete video creation tool that transforms any text into compelling video content.

Our thing is video for everything, video for everyone. And by everyone, we mean everyone who wants to do high volume, even higher quality video. Everyone who doesn’t have the budget or time for traditional production. Everyone who has absolutely no editing skills. Everyone with a content plan. Everyone without a content plan. Everyone who’s never made video in their life. That everyone.

Let’s do it. Let’s Storykit it.

Want to read more?

Give us a few minutes and we’ll show you just how easy life can be when you Storykit it.