Ask the Expert: Does putting the video at the top of the page help SEO?

Posted by Rachel Stephens on August 22, 2023 at 12:10 PM     SEO
Ask the Expert: Does putting the video at the top of the page help SEO?
HubSpot Video

I was recently asked if putting a video higher on a page will help it rank better. 

I love it when we get questions about SEO. It makes my heart sing to know that our clients are engaged and understanding the value of search engine optimization. Search engine optimization takes buy-in from all levels to work. This particular question was so good, it’s worth sharing.

Here’s the video SEO question we got from one of our senior living clients:

Hi- I was reading tonight about search engines (that’s a dangerous thing- LOL!) and I read that search engines rank pages with video embedded near the top higher than those that without. True? And if so, do we have work to do? 

Here’s our response:

The placement of the video on the page DOES matter for SEO, but it might not be what you expect. Videos that are not a focal point of the page that they are embedded on are unlikely to be indexed as a "video page". Google indexes and shows video pages like this in the search results: 

Video page rich results with video thumbnail visible in the search results.

Video page rich results with video thumbnail visible in the search results.

Showing the videos prominently and near the top of the page IS a factor determining if Google will recognize and rank them at all as video pages. This does not influence the site's standard rank, but if you want the page to show as a video page and rank that way, it is important to have the video showing prominently and at the top of the page to show that that is the main content of that page. 

One way that we can understand the importance of prominence of videos on the page is through Google’s messaging around video page indexing in Google Search Console alerts. If you are utilizing video on your website already, you may have received a message from Google Search Console stating that your site has video page indexing issues detected. It can be concerning to get this message, but consider this a notification rather than an error that will affect your larger SEO strategy. 

Top Issues

When you dive into the notification on Google Search Console, they provide useful information about how Google indexed your video content. This, again, points to the importance of placing the video prominently on the page if you are interested in being indexed as a video page. 

To dive further into the topic, you’ll want to review Google’s documentation on video best practices. An important tip from the documentation to note: “To give your videos maximum exposure, create a dedicated page for each video, where the video is the most prominent subject on the page” (emphasis theirs). 

More Than Video SEO

In some cases, videos serve as supporting content on the page rather than the main content. That makes them less eligible for video results as shown above. And that is OK, as long as ranking as a video page is not your primary goal of the content. Using video in your marketing strategy has a variety of benefits, from SEO and beyond!

When incorporating video into your content, consider your goals. Is your goal to get more exposure for your page, get more video views or something different? Let your goals guide the strategy. If you have a question about SEO - whether you are a current client or not - feel free to reach out at any time.

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