How to Add YouTube Videos to Your Website: A Step-by-Step Guide

Download Now: Free YouTube Description Templates
Doug Bonderud
Doug Bonderud


Video adds value to your website, and the right videos can help drive increased traffic and conversion. As noted by Forbes, users retain 95% of the message when they watch videos compared to just 10 percent by text, making video a great starting point to streamline connection with prospective customers.

person using a computer to add a youtube video to their website

Your best bet for videos? YouTube. With more than two billion logged-in monthly users, YouTube videos now reach 74% of adults in the United States — so it’s no surprise that the platform is used by almost 90 percent of marketers to drive user interest. Ready to leverage video on your site and capture the growing YouTube marketplace? Here’s a step-by-step guide.

→ Download Now: 7 YouTube Video Description Templates [Free Prompts]

The Benefits of Adding Video to Your Website

Video rules the digital media marketplace, but popularity alone isn’t enough to drive widespread adoption. In practice, YouTube videos come with key benefits for your site, including:

Improved User Engagement

As noted above, visitors to your site retain more information when viewing videos than reading text. This makes it possible to drive improved user engagement by creating compelling content they’ll remember long after they leave your site — and will hopefully bring them back again. YouTube also incorporates features to increase engagement, like sharing options and playlists.

Reduced User Frustration

If users have to scroll through walls of text just to find the basics of your brand or understand your value proposition, chances are they won’t stay long. An embedded YouTube video provides a quick rundown of your site as soon as users arrive.

Simplified Storytelling

What’s your story? What sets you apart from the competition? This is what prospective customers want to know. While well-written text blurbs can give a general idea of what you’re about, they don’t have the same impact as video-driven stories that showcase your purpose and passion.

Increased Brand Connection

Organic marketing is now a critical part of business success. Buyers want to purchase products from brands and people they trust. Videos offer a way to connect with visitors face-to-face and help personalize and humanize your brand from the first moment visitors arrive.

Best Practices for Adding Videos to Your Website

While videos offer advantages in capturing and maintaining user interest, there are several best practices to keep in mind to ensure your videos deliver maximum impact.

Watch your file size.

When it comes to YouTube video viewing on your website, you’ve got two choices: link or embed. Linking to videos means that users must leave your page to view the content, while embedding allows users to watch the video on your site.

Although embedding is better for engagement, it’s worth considering your video’s file size — the larger your video file is, the more bandwidth it requires to display on user devices, which in turn can potentially slow down the user experience. Wherever possible, smaller and shorter is better.

View the whole video.

Whether you’re embedding a YouTube video you’ve made or one from another creator, make sure to watch the entire video before posting it on your site. If it contains information that’s not immediately relevant or actionable, consider linking to it rather than embedding.

Check the length.

Always check the length of your videos. Here’s why: If you embed anything longer than a few minutes on your home page, most users won’t stick around to watch the end. Either trim down the video and then embed it or link out to it with a small description for interested users.

Consider autoplay carefully.

It’s possible to have videos play automatically when visitors arrive on your site. This is a contentious issue — some users are vehemently opposed to autoplay and will immediately leave your site. Others don’t mind videos if they offer immediate and helpful information.

One option here is to create a small and silent autoplay video that provides basic brand information without demanding user attention. Worth noting? Autoplay consumes data without the visitor’s permission, which can be costly for mobile users. Choose carefully.

1. Find your video

First, head to YouTube and find the video you want to embed. In this case, we’re using the Introduction to HubSpot CRM video.

the youtube video page for a HubSpot Academy video

2. Click “Share”.

Next, click Share at the bottom right side of the screen, which will give you this pop-up menu:

a youtube video page with the share modal open

Here, you can choose if you want the embedded video code or simply want to share the link on social media networks like Facebook or Twitter.

3. Select “Embed”.

Select the Embed option on the far left-hand side. You’ll be given a snippet of HTML code, which you’ll paste into your website page to embed the YouTube video.

the html code snippet for embedding a youtube video onto a website

4. Copy the HTML code.

Copy the displayed HTML and return to your website platform. To make things easier, YouTube offers a Copy button that will copy the code directly to your clipboard.

5. Paste the HTML code on your page.

Depending on your website hosting platform, the steps for pasting your HTML embed code will differ. If you’re using WordPress, for example, open the post or page where you want to embed the video and then select Text on the right-hand side.

the classic editor in wordpress with the text button circled

Then, post your HTML code and select Update. When you navigate to the post or page again, you’ll see the embedded video.

If you’d rather not bother with HTML, you can also simply copy and paste the video’s URL into your visual WordPress editor. This process starts the same way as the HTML approach: Find your video on YouTube and click Share. Then, head to your WordPress page and paste your URL directly into the editor itself. WordPress will automatically convert the link to an embedded video.

Capturing Video Value

YouTube videos can add significant value to your website by making it easier for potential customers to find your content, retain key information, and better understand your brand.

The caveat? It’s not enough to simply post a video — to get the most value for your visual marketing efforts take the time to review and curate your content before posting to deliver maximum impact.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in May 2011 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.updated-youtube-templates


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Use these templates to help your YouTube videos get discovered and point to the right next steps.


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