Adding videos to a blog or website is a great way to make your content more accessible to a wider audience. Youtube alone gets almost 100 million new users per year, and visitors watch an estimated 36 billion hours of footage a year.
Embedding a video in your blog also helps optimize your page for search engines, making it easier for people to find you.
How can you pick a video that’s right for your needs, when there’s so much out there? This quick and easy guide will help you search for, select, and include videos in your blog.
In this example, I´ll pretend that I’m running a blog for music fans, reviewing albums and sharing performances.
1. Know what you’re looking for and use specific keywords.
- There are billions of people on the web, and with them come billions of ideas, facts, and other kinds of information. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed, and that’s why it is often easier to search for more specific results. Let’s say I’m a music critic looking to review performances from Steely Dan’s recent tour in 2011. Where do I start?
- If you’ve been on Youtube, you’ve probably seen the search bar at the top of the page. As you can see, simply typing in “Steely Dan” gives us tons of results:
- So, let’s narrow our options by entering something more specific:
- By specifying that I’m looking for a live performance, and giving a year, I’ve substantially narrowed my results. Experimenting with keywords is an excellent preliminary step when searching for a video. You can also use the filter option to find even more specific results:
2. Use Youtube’s playlist feature.
- You’ve got some search results. Clicking an item in the list will take you to a new page displaying a video, along with recommendations for related videos. If you like, you can start with one video, watch a bit, and jump to another recommendation. This approach often works well enough, but Youtube’s recommendation system is not perfect, and you could be led away from relevant choices.
- You can narrow your options by selecting a video, clicking the Add to button below the viewer, and selecting Playlist. Building a playlist will help you view all of your video options in an organized way:
- Another helpful option is to open different results in separate tabs within your web browser.
3. Make sure your videos have what you want.
- If you’re trying to decide between more than three videos, selective viewing is a helpful technique. Some videos feature lengthy introductions, and others may only discuss your topic of interest for a few seconds before moving on to other subjects. A video might also be of poor quality, and it might be difficult for viewers to understand what’s being said. It’s important to be sure that your video selection actually focuses on what you want. Watch the first 15 seconds of one of the videos. If it still seems like a candidate, jump a third of the way forward, watch a few seconds, then another third. This technique should give you enough information to weed out irrelevant or undesirable options until you’re left with no more than three videos.
4. Watch your candidate videos and finalize your selection.
- If you haven’t already, make sure you watch your remaining video options in their entirety to be sure that they really have what you want, and that they’re appropriate for your intended audience.
5. Share the video.
- Now for the part you’ve been waiting for. You’re ready to share your find with the world. What to do?
- Look at the menu below the video. You’ll see a button labelled Share. Clicking Share will open another menu beneath:
- Click Embed if you’re editing with HTML on a site like WordPress. This opens another menu with more options:
- After customizing the video, you can copy the provided embed code into WordPress’s HTML editor:
- You can also use the provided URL with WordPress’s Media Manager. Select Upload/Insert at the top right corner of the page, which will open a new menu:
And that’s it. You’re set. Now go out and explore the wide world of internet video, and expand your site’s accessibility and exposure!
And here’s a video that I inserted into this post using the WordPress HTML editor: