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Do you embed YouTube videos on your website? If so, you need this (in my opinion)

You’ve got video on your website, right? The overwhelming majority of clients and prospects have told me that’s the first thing they’re looking for when they come to a speaker’s profile.

Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to get video on your site these days — especially with YouTube. Post it. Embed it. Done. And what’s not to love about YouTube? Here are three of my favorite things:

  1. They get over 800 million unique visitors a day!
  2. YouTube videos perform well — or can be optimized to perform well — in the search engines.
  3. It’s free!

There are some things I don’t like about YouTube, though — things that can actually undermine your success, specifically when you embed their videos on your site.

In this post, I’m going to shine the spotlight on the issues you need to beware of, and I’m also going to share the coolest tool I’ve found to help you power-up your online video strategy (when combined with YouTube). Click here if you’re in a hurry (affiliate link).

YouTube Videos Are Ugly

Here’s my first “issue” with embedded YouTube videos: They just look out of place when inserted into a speaker’s nice, clean, professional website.

I love web design — and design in general — so maybe I’m pickier than most, but there is no design to an embedded YouTube video. When you’ve spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on your website, I think embedding a YouTube video is a mistake. It diminishes the value of everything around it, if you ask me.

When it comes to design, I like to remember: WWAD. What would Apple do?

To demonstrate what I mean, look at an embedded YouTube video:

Embedded YouTube Video - Screenshot

Notice all the extra “stuff” at the top and bottom of the video?

Now look at a video on an Apple webpage:

Embedded Apple Video - Screenshot

Do you see a difference?

Apple’s video display is totally clean.

I’m not saying that you or I need to compete with Apple — they probably have a few more resources than we do. Still, there’s no denying that they are a model of clean and appealing design… so let’s aim high.

Is Your Website Leaking?

Design issues aside — because that is admittedly a matter of personal taste — there is another issue that is undeniable: embedded YouTube videos open up traffic leaks. Look at that YouTube screen capture again:

YouTube Traffic Leaks


And there’s another big leak that can catch you by surprise if you’re not careful:

YouTube Big Traffic Leak - Screenshot

That’s the “Videos You Might Like” panel that will come up at the end of your video (if selected in the YouTube embed options) — practically begging your visitors to take their viewing elsewhere!

See, YouTube’s goals are different than your own: They aren’t concerned about your success as much as they just want people to watch as many YouTube videos as possible — ideally on their own website! (Remember, they’re in the advertising business, not the video hosting business.)

When you attract someone to your website, though, you have two goals: 

  1. To keep them there, until
  2. They take the desired action (opt in to your newsletter, buy a product, inquire about your availability to speak, etc.).

That’s why you want to eliminate as many traffic leaks as possible. (Some web design gurus will even go so far as to tell you to remove the social media links from your website sidebar — more temptation for a visitor to leave your website.)

So how to you balance this?

On one hand, you’ve got some tremendous benefits coming from YouTube. On the other, you’ve got one hazard that’s arguable and another that’s not. What do you do?

LeadPlayer Solves Both Problems… and Then Some!

LeadPlayer (affiliate link) is a WordPress plugin I discovered earlier this year that will “deliver” your YouTube videos to your website while solving the two problems indicated above and adding impressive functionality related to goal #2 (leading your visitors to take action).

(By the way, don’t worry if your website is not built on WordPress — you can embed LeadPlayer videos on non-WordPress websites.)

Remember what a “messy” embedded YouTube video looks like? Here’s that same video delivered by LeadPlayer:

LeadPlayer Sample Video Screenshot

Getting closer to Apple’s cleanliness, isn’t it?

And notice that the traffic leaks are gone? The only visible “leak” on a LeadPlayer video is when the YouTube logo appears in the lower right corner — if your visitor drags their mouse pointer over that area. It’s there, but it’s not staring you in the face!

LeadPlayer Leads People to Action

Remember how you want your visitor to take some action while on your site? (Because if they don’t do it now, odds are that when they’re gone, they’re gone.)

With most videos (and other content), you’re posting some quality material and hoping that your visitors will do what you want them to do while — or after — consuming it.

Hope isn’t a good business strategy, though.

You can’t — and shouldn’t — force your visitors to do anything they don’t want to do, but you should make it as easy as possible for them to do what you want them to do, and LeadPlayer helps you with that.

For example, you would like your speaking demo video to stimulate speaking inquiries, right? So instead of hoping that a person will go to your contact page after they watch your video, why not suggest and invite them to take action while they watch your demo video, like this:

LeadPlayer Call to Action Button

Better yet — since asking someone to book you on their first visit is a little like asking someone to marry you on the first date (!!!) — why not offer your special report or a subscription to your e-newsletter after someone has seen enough of your video to be intrigued?

You can do that easily by adding this overlay to your video, at your choice of beginning, middle or end:

LeadPlayer Opt In Sample

Those are just two ways you can use LeadPlayer in your business. Can you think of others?

Try LeadPlayer for 30 Days Risk-Free

I’m using LeadPlayer on all of my websites now, and given that it allows you to continue accessing the power of YouTube while “cleaning it up” and adding functionality that’s exactly what you need as a speaker, I encourage you to check it out (affiliate link) — there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can see if it’s as good as I think it is.

by Shawn

Shawn Ellis is founder of The Speakers Group and creator of Succeed Speaking. An award-winning speaker agent and manager who has worked with many of the world's best speakers, authors and thought leaders, Shawn has a passion for helping a new generation of speakers rise up to reach more people with positive, meaningful messages -- while building innovative, profitable businesses at the same time. Learn more...

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30 comments… add one

  1. I really like the look of the ‘cleaner’ , more streamlined videos. My only question is: by removing the toolbar along the bottom of the video and only leaving the timeline, do you lose the option of fullscreen viewing?

  2. Hi Rosie – LeadPlayer doesn’t currently offer the full-screen option, but Clay Collins (co-founder) says that’s coming soon. They’ve rolled out multiple updates and improvements since I’ve been using it and it just keeps getting better. Clay has said that new features are added based on user demand, and the full-screen option just hasn’t been in high demand. But still, it’s coming.

    Thanks for checking this out!

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