Here’s a quick question for you: you’re travelling toBerlinsoon. You’d love to experience as much of the city as you can, but you’ve a limited budget. So you’d like to find out about cheap accommodation and things you can inBerlinfor free or for a low cost. You start browsing the web for ideas and you come across these two articles:
Which one seems more attractive and useful to you? Well, it’s a no-brainer, isn’t it? The second article is the obvious choice. And here’s why: it doesn’t just provide you with some paragraphs about the things you can do in the city for free, like the first one does. It contains a map of the most popular hostels inBerlin, a hostel search widget, as well as a sidebar with hostel rates and recommendations.
Embedding: Why it Makes a Difference
The above example comes to show that any article or web page can instantly become more attractive to the people who view it if only you embed graphics, web tools, documents, and any other type of multimedia files into it. Thus, you can make any dull, essay-like article become a brilliant compound document – a document that combines text with non-text elements such as the ones described above: think Youtube videos, Powerpoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, weather widgets, calendars and so on.
Embedding doesn’t just enrich your content; it also makes it far more visible on the web so that more people will reach it. How so?
Well, it makes your content more relevant SEO-wise: that is, the more relevant your content it, the higher it will be ranked in Google. This is important especially in light of Google Panda Update – Google’s recent update to the search results algorithm. With Google Panda, the rank of ‘low-quality’ sites, containing lots of advertisements, went down, while the rank of ‘high-quality’ websites like social networks and news websites, went up. This means that you want your website to be of the highest quality possible and contain the most relevant material.
There are numerous types of content you can embed, some of which you have probably never heard about. Well, we decided to make your life easier by providing a complete guide on all these types of content. So you better start reading because you’re minutes away from gaining the tools to making your content a million times better.
Content Types You Can Embed
Photos & Web Albums
- Picasa – Picasa is Google’s freeware services for uploading, editing and sharing your photos. Picasa allows you to embed a single image, an album or a slideshow on your website. Simply follow these instructions.
- Photobucket – Photobucket is a website for hosting images and videos, sharing photos and creating slideshows. Embed photos and videos from Photobucket by using this simple guide.
- Flickr – Flickr, too, is a website for image video hosting, however, it is also a thriving online community for bloggers who share and embed photos on their blogs. To embed from Flickr, follow this guide.
- Pinterest – Pinterest is the hottest social network of the moment, which allows you to pin images you like on a virtual pinboard. We even wrote about it last week. What’s good about Pinterest that in addition to letting you pin your images on it, it also allows you to share pinned images on your website! Here’s a useful guide on how to do it.
- Instagram – Who doesn’t love Instagram, the program that got us all filtering our photos with smoky colors, making us look, well, very cool indeed? Embed that coolness on your website by using the Embedagram plugin.
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a website for professional networking, where you can find professional profiles of individuals and companies, as well as create one of your own. Let’s say you want to display your company’s professional profile on your website, or have potential candidates apply to jobs using their LinkedIn profile. You can do all this and more, by simply using these LinkedIn plugins.
- Facebook – Every website nowadays must feature Facebook plugins in order to be easily shared with the world. So here’s how to embed the Like button and the Facebook Share button on your website. For further information on using Facebook’s platform for websites, you’re welcome to read this length document.
- Twitter – Tweeting is another useful feature for many of us who want to update our followers about the latest news from our company, as well as new products and services that are coming out. Embedding your Tweets on your website will allow users to retweet them, reply to them, follow them, etc.. Go on, Embed your Tweets!
- Tumblr – Tumblr is a social network used for microblogging, that is, posting content in the form of a short blog. Find out how to embed your Tumblr posts into your website here, or here.
- FourSquare – Say you have a list of location on FourSquare you think your website users could befit from, such as all the vegetarian restaurants in your area, your company’s stores, or hotels in your town for an upcoming conference. You can now embed FourSquare lists into your website by using this tool.
- Yahoo! Media Player – The Yahoo! Media Player locates all MP3 files and links on your page and integrates them into a playlist. For instructions on how to do this, go here or here.
- SoundCloud – SoundCloud is a platform that enables you to easily share audio tracks and embed them anywhere: Facebook, Twitter, your website or your blog, as well as Tumblr, StumbleUpon, etc. You can find the Embed Code by simply clicking the ‘share’ button on the desired audio track. Here’s how. Working with WordPress? Here’s an excellent tutorial for sharing your SoundCloud tracks on WordPress.
- Grooveshark – Grooveshark is another popular website where you search for music, find any artist you want, listen to it as many times as you wish and create playlists. Grooveshark also allows you to easily incorporate a single track or a playlist on your website. Look here or here for instructions. And
- Last.fm – Much like the two websites above, Last.fm is another source of streaming music online. Embed a Last.fm player into your website by following these instructions.
- Spotify – Spotify is a hugely popular source for streaming music that features a wide range of artists from numerous record labels. Just a few days ago, Spotify announced that, too, enable embedding songs, albums and playlists on your website, blog, or social network.
- YouTube – Embedding YouTube videos is easily done via the ‘Share’ button at the bottom of the video. Here are some instructions from YouTube, as well as an easy-to-follow video on how it’s done. You have an awesome YouTube channel you want to share with the world? You can embed that, too.
- Vimeo – Vimeo is a service that is very similar to YouTube where videos can be uploaded, shared and viewed. Vimeo, too, allows you to embed videos on your website in a very straight-forward way: simply by clicking the ‘Embed’ button on the video’s right-hand side.
- Dailymotion – Dailymotion is another major website for sharing videos. Emedding videos from Dailymotion is fairly easy and much like the sites above, all you do is click the ‘Share’ button (found right underneath the video) and choose the ‘embed’ option. These are instructions for how do on WordPress but it’s applicable for other websites as well.
- Blip.tv – Blip is a video sharing website that focuses mainly on high-quality, professional web series as well as original web series from budding produces. To embed a blip.tv video, all you have to is simply click on the ‘embed’ button on the bottom of the video and voila, you get the embed code. Simple as that.
- Wistia – Wistia is a cool video service, originally intended for filmmakers, which provides hosting, tracking and managing services of video statistics for websites. In addition, you can use it to add text transcriptions to videos. Embed videos with track reviewing from Wistia on your website, and you will be able to know how many of your website’s visitors watched your video, get the statistics for individual views on one or more videos, as well get the viewers’ IP address, location and company IP.
Maps & Traveling
- Google Maps – Why provide lengthy directions on how to get to your offices or store (or just anywhere else) when you can use Google Maps? Do want to embed a Google Map on your website? Go here for directions.
- Google Street View – Google Maps are awesome, but help someone find your exact location by simply showing them a photo of the desired spot and its surroundings. All you have to do is to embed a Google Street View of your location.
- Google Earth – Do you want your users to explore your part of the world or view a Google Earth project associated with your website or business, this tutorial page from Google can help you.
- TripAdvisor – If you’re in the tourism business or you want to providers the readers of your website or blog with some tips or reviews on hotels, attractions and restaurants in your area, TripAdvisor.com, a service that specializes in collecting and sharing travel information, provides these very cool widgets you can embed in your website.
- Waze – Waze is a voice-guided GPS navigation application for mobile phones. It’s community-based, which means users can share traffic updates and driving times with their friends. You can embed Waze maps on your website. Learn how by visiting this page.
A clock showing the time in different parts of the world can be incredibly useful both for tourism-related websites as well as any business that has employees in several time zones. Here are several options for you to embed:
- ClockLink - find out the current time in every country.
- WorldTimeServer - converting the time of an event abroad to your local time.
- WorldClockr - clock showing the time at your location.
Let visitors to your city know whether to pack a raincoat or a bathing suit by showing the current temperature at your location by embedding:
- Yahoo! Weather Widget
- The Weather Channel - give a complete weather forecast by simply clicking on the ‘Share’ button next to the forecast.
Presentations & Documents
- Scribd – Scribd is a website on which you can post documents of different formats (such as PDF and OpenOffice documents, as well as PowerPoint presentations) and then share them on your website. Learn about embedding documents from Scribd here.
- Slideshare –Slideshare is web service for hosting presentations from programs like PowerPoint, OpenOffice, PDF and Keynote. These are the instructions for embedding SlideShare content on WordPress, however, they’re applicable for several other websites as well.
- Prezi – Prezi is another tool for sharing presentations, however, it is unique in the fact that it is also an intuitive tool ideal for brainstorming and sharing your ideas on a virtual canvas. Another special feature of Prezi is that has a zooming interface, which enables its users to zoom in and out of their presentation media. Look here for instructions on embedding a prezi on your website.
- Excel Spreadsheets – Here are a few tips how to embed an Excel Workbook into your webpage and embedding an Excel file using an HTML code
- Google Docs – you can also embed spreadsheet file using Google Docs.
- PowerPoint – Microsoft Office enables you to embed a PowerPoint presentation in your website or blog by following five easy steps.
- Screenr – Screenr is a tool that enables you to capture your screen and voice and create a screencast that you can share on the web. For example, you can capture a webcam recording of yourself explaining about your new product and embed it on your company’s website. Here’s how.
- Adobe Captivate – Adobe Captivate is a web tool for e-learning on which you can create software simulations and demonstrations, quizzes and branched scenarios. These instructions and video will guide you through embedding your Adobe Captive projects on your website.
- EventBrite – A great method of promoting an event you’re hosting is by embedding an EventBrite registration page to this event on your website. The EventBrite contains all the events details about your event, as well as a map, ticket information and so on.
- Google Calendar – Keep your website’s followers updated on your future activities by embedding a Google Calendar on your website. Google provides some instructions on how to do it.
Polls & Surveys
- Polldaddy – Polldaddy is website on which you can create polls, surveys and quizzes and share them on social networks, as well as your website or blog. To embed a poll from Polldaddy on your website, go here.
- Poll Everywhere – Poll Everywhere is another cool service you can use to create polls and get immediate audience feedback. To embed a poll from Poll Everywhere on your website, you can either use these instructions or this tutorial video.
- Google Forms – Another way to create a survey is via Google Forms (one of the document types available on Google Docs). And this is how you embed the survey on your website.
Charts & Mind Maps
- Xmind – Xmind is a mind mapping and brainstorming tool where you can easily share ideas with your team. Go here to learn how to embed an Xmind mind map.
- Mindmeister – With Mindmeister you can create mindmaps and share them, as well as work on them collaboratively with other people. You can embed a Mindmeister mind map by following these instructions.
- Cacoo – Cacoo is a drawing tool you can use to create diagrams and share them online. Visit this page to learn how to embed a Cacoo diagram on your website.
- Lucidchart – Lucidchart helps you create charts and diagrams and share them online. Go here to learn how to embed a Lucidchart diagram on your website.
- Flowchart – Flowchart is website that lets you create flowchart and collaborate on them. Watch this video to learn how to embed flowcharts from Flowchart on your website.
- Sparkeo – Sparkeo is a platform you can use to create instructional videos, video courses, video lectures, etc. Embedding a Sparkeo player is done by simply copying the code that appears right underneath the player, as you can see on this example.
- 5min – 5min is a website where you can find short instructional videos on every topic in the world. To learn hoe to embed 5min videos, go here.
Ready, Set, Embed!
This post tried to cover the most useful and popoular many types and categories of content that can be embedded. What are your favorite types of embeddable content? Do you know of other cool services, tools and widgets that can be embedded on a website? Tell us in your comments! This way we can keep updating this list with your ideas.