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The Ultimate Way to Embed Any Link on Your Website With Embedly

James Bruce 17-11-2015

Create more engaging content with superior embedded links and media, with Embedly.

Embed any links, from any site, regardless of whether your blogging platform supports it. Put simply: Embedly is a game changer when it comes to content creation and user experience.

Let’s face it – creating an engaging and compelling content experience is tough. We should know, we publish hundreds of posts each week. Just having high quality written content doesn’t cut it any more. Readers want pictures, videos, and attractive links. That means if you’re not using Embedly, you’re at a significant competitive disadvantage.

Embedly makes the process of embedding videos, rich media and links to other content incredibly easy and attractive; and it doesn’t just work with a handful of selected services. It works with basically any website out there. If you were linking to a MakeUseOf article with Embedly, you wouldn’t just get a regular text link – Embedly would transform it to something a whole lot more clickable, like this:

5 Reasons to Give Your Kids a Raspberry Pi 5 Reasons to Give Your Kids a Raspberry Pi If you don't own a Raspberry Pi and you have children of a suitable age, you need to seriously think about bringing one home. It could transform your child's life – here's why. Read More

You like GIFs from Giphy? Go ahead and liberally plaster them all over your blog post. You know you want to.

Steven Universe Animated GIF

How about some product links to Amazon (with your affiliate code, of course).

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B Project Board – 1GB RAM – 900 MHz Quad-Core CPU

Don’t like those hover-on share buttons that appear on the side? They’re optional.

Why Do I Need This? WordPress Already Embeds Things!

If you’re thinking “WordPress already embeds some URLs as soon as I paste them in!” – you’re right. But it’s extremely limited in what it offers, and works with only a handful of popular services. If you’re only ever going to embed the odd YouTube video, you probably don’t need Embedly — but you’d still benefit immensely, so read on to find out why.

Engagement. User Experience.

Embedly doesn’t just offer a simple way to embed things from many different sources; it provides a wholly superior embedded content experience, and in a world where on-page engagement is the only thing differentiating your website from the many thousands of other sites offering similar content, that’s an incredible advantage to have.


Let’s talk SEO for a second, because this is an important point and it’s worth stating again. There’s a growing body of evidence that says Google is looking at how people are interacting with your page, and how much time they’re spending on it. Google wants to understand how the user experience is on your site – do your readers take one glance then run to the back button, or do they stick around, read all the content, and click on the videos? Which do you think Google is going to consider to be a better page?

customize card embedly

Better Video SEO With Cards

Let’s revisit the SEO aspect, because there’s also a technical side to why using cards created by Embedly is vastly superior to simply embedding through iframes or the automated WordPress embed: added on-page content.

Here’s what a search engine will see when it scans your page and finds a video, without using Embedly.

<iframe src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe>

Not very descriptive, is it? Can a search engine tell anything at all from that? No.

Here’s the code for a Youtube Card made through the Embedly plugin.

<blockquote class="embedly-card">
<h4><a href="">
Home Automation on a Raspberry Pi with OpenHAB (and Arduino Sensors)</a></h4>
<p>OpenHAB is the ultimate home automation system that runs on a variety of platforms including the Raspberry Pi. Don&#8217;t put up with all those incompatible and disparate single use app: control ALL THE THINGS from OpenHAB.</p>

Just look at all that rich meta information, adding relevant content to your page – this isn’t just a video: it’s a video about a particular topic, with that description. The user doesn’t need to see this: they just want the video. The Embedly script handles all that, presenting the user with their YouTube video, while search engines can see that additional meta information right on your page.

Home Automation on a Raspberry Pi with OpenHAB (and Arduino Sensors)

OpenHAB is the ultimate home automation system that runs on a variety of platforms including Raspberry Pi. Don’t put up with all those incompatible and disparate single use app: control ALL THE THINGS from OpenHAB.

You may have heard SEO is dead. The truth is that technical SEO — on-page factors and particularly the rich markup of content — is more important than ever. Ranking isn’t just about getting links anymore – it’s about providing a compelling user experience. Use Embedly to get that competitive advantage.

That isn’t the only cool feature Embedly will add to your videos either: if the user pauses or finishes the video, Embedly will try to find some more of your own content and recommends them underneath that video. Users have learnt to ignore YouTube’s own recommendations: this novel approach is just the thing to get their attention again.

I’m Convinced. How Do I Give This a Try?

It’s ridiculously simply to make your first embed with Embedly. Simply head over to, and paste a link to the content you want to embed into the box. Anything will work. Try it!

But Wait, There’s a Plugin Too

For the occasional embed, pasting a URL into the form is fine, but that’s going to get tedious if you have to write a couple of posts a day each with a few different embeds. This is where the Embedly WordPress plugin can come in really handy. You’ll need to sign up, but a free account is fine, and you can do so from within the plugin. It took less than 30 seconds to get my site signed up and ready.

embedly wordpress plugin

The plugin replaces the standard WordPress functionality, so there’s literally nothing else you need to do. Just paste a link into the post editor — any link. Embedly will detect it, and give you a preview of the embed right in the editor. It really, really, couldn’t get any easier. If you need to adjust the embed options, the plugin settings page has you covered.

I think I just found my new favourite WordPress plugin.


The good news is that Embedly offers a completely free plan that will suffice for most people. That covers you for up to 5,000 URLs a month, where a URL is defined as a unique URL being requested every hour (or in other words, the content is cached for an hour, so it only counts as one URL in that time no matter how many times it’s displayed on your page).

If you do find yourself hitting that limit, the service costs $19/month for up to 50,000 URLs. It’s still a bargain.

Embed All Things

I’ve signed up for a few personal blogs, and I’d encourage you to as well. Creating unique content is so hard nowadays. Embedly really helps you to stand out.

Related topics: Webmaster Tools, Wordpress Plugins, YouTube.

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  1. Keith Lewis
    November 18, 2015 at 12:46 am could spend an hour of time and learn to create HTML markup and create a website in which you can embed anything at anytime. And guess what? If Embedly goes out of business? You can still embed any link. And the code it yourself service costs 0.00 USD/month for ? links. And caching? it can cache as many links as you want to for an hour, a day, a week, whatever.

    • James
      November 18, 2015 at 8:35 am

      I think you've missed the point of the service. You could manually code those, sure, but the point is to produce engaging without spending a week crafting it.

      • Keith Lewis
        November 18, 2015 at 2:11 pm

        and, if you are spending a week making a web element, you are doing it wrong. I didn't miss the point, I get the point, but my point is, someone could do a little self-improvement and save money/be more versatile, rather than waiting on someone else to do everything for them. More self-reliance is almost never a bad thing.