In the last few years, people have become increasingly aware that video adds value to your audience. It’s also important to increase average time spent site. Video can help explain a point, increase engagement, showcase a destination and increase time spent on a page. Yes, that’s right, placing a video towards the top of an article can increase your ‘average session duration’ in your analytics. Here’s how:
By placing a high-quality video at the top of a useful page, one of the following is likely to occur:
1. The person is lazy or short on time so they watch the video to get the information instead of reading the content.
2. They read the content then watch the video they noticed at the top because they found the article valuable and want to see more.
Both of these are great for your blog.
Did you know that the average time spent on a page is logged within analytics only if the page has an “engagement” during that time?
Here’s a scenario. You have an amazing blog post that someone reads for 10-minutes, they find a range of useful information, and then they simply close the tab or window. This is NOT counted as engagement and therefore the time spent on that page is lost forever.
However, if they click through to another page, share it or click to watch your video, the time on page is logged in Google Analytics. For more information as to WHY Google calculates the average session duration this way, please read this article.
Now that we know this, how can you use video to increase the average time spent on a page, if you don’t make videos?
You embed someone else’s video.
Although I make my own videos, I also post other people’s videos if I haven’t made something suitable.
Here’s how you can safely and legally find YouTube videos to post in your own blog posts.
Embedding someone else’s video the safe way
This is my preferred way because I know it’s 100% legal and I don’t have to contact the owner of the video for their permission because they have already given it to me!
1. Search for videos using the search bar
2. Once there are results (don’t look at them – you’ll be tempted!) click the top right ‘Filter’ button
3. Filter the results by “Creative Commons”
4. Check the license of the video by looking in the description area
5. When you find one that fits the post, feel free to embed it!
When someone uploads and flags their video as Creative Commons, they are essentially giving the audience free use to copy and reuse their video without payment. This contract is usually specified as “with” or “without” credit to the original maker of the video. By embedding instead of downloading and re-uploading you are essentially giving them the credit that is required for the use of their video.
This is the safest way to use someone else’s video on your blog. You are also free to download this video to use in your own edits if you wish.
It could take a few tries before you find something good enough to embed on your site. You may have to try a few different search terms, but remember to filter by Creative Commons every time you do a new search because YouTube defaults its searches without this filter.
Embedding someone else’s video legally
It is within YouTubes terms of service that so long as the embed button on a video is enabled then the owner of the video is giving permission for you to embed that video on your website. However, some Youtube creators may not know about this, or the video they have uploaded contains copyrighted material that the uploader themselves do not own. This is where things can get a little murky.
1. Search YouTube and find a video that you like
2. Check whether the share and embed buttons are enabled
3. Watch the whole thing and take note of whether you can tell that this is the original work of the owner of this particular video
4. If it is, according to the terms of YouTube you are free to embed this on your site
You may want to go one step further and quickly ask the owner of the video for permission to embed. You can do this by writing in the video’s comments section on YouTube. This is courteous and if you get a ‘yes,’ you will be safe in the knowledge that this will never come back to bite you in the butt.
But don’t just embed any old video to your blog posts. If the video isn’t at the same quality of your blog post, you may do more harm than good. When choosing a video, keep the following in mind:
1. Is the video relevant to the post?
2. Does it provide value to the reader?
3. Has it been created recently? People like the fresh content!
4. Is it visually appealing? Don’t post ugly videos. This won’t help you.
If you aren’t yet convinced to use video in your blog posts, according to this article, tere are even more reasons to use video on web pages:
• Video increases SEO: You’re 53% more likely to show up on page one of Google if you have a video in your article
• Video builds trust for your brand
• Video appeals to mobile users who are on the go
• Video marketing can explain important information in a short period of time
• Video engages even lazy readers and buyers
• Video encourages social shares
So this is some solid reasoning as to why you need to add videos to your blog posts now. What is your experience with video? Do you use it?
This post was written by Crystal from Castaway with Crystal. You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook. If you’re an experienced blogger who would like to share some wisdom with our readers, contact us.