Beauty & Brains in Branding & Web

Videos on Websites: 5 Tips for Using Video Effectively

Video: 5 TipsContent on any site should be dynamic and engaging. One way of achieving this is to include some video alongside your text and images. But video shouldn’t only be seen as a complement to your content mix. Video content can help improve your ranking with Google by increasing average visit lengths and lowering drop-off rates. After all, a visitor who watches a video on your website is likely to hang around for longer than one who doesn’t. If you are thinking about using video content on your website, here are 5 tips to consider:

1. Don’t depend on video directories exclusively

Hosting your content on a free social directory like YouTube or Vimeo is fine but presents the risk of losing content if an account is shut down. Sometimes an account can be closed without a clear reason or ability to appeal. This type of loss can be devastating to a website. The solution is to host your content on your own server or a paid third-party hosting account. If you do rely on a social directory, be sure to document where each video is displayed on your site so that you can replace them quickly if your account or content is made inaccessible.

2. Use a mobile compatible format

Choosing a broadly compatible video format is important if you want your videos to be watched by all your visitors. MP4 is a standard file compression format that is commonly used for distributing high definition media. Using this format will ensure that your vids are compatible with all Apple devices, one of the most popular brands amongst mobile and tablet users. One thing we re-iterate again and again at HTC is to avoid the Flash video format, as it will severely limit the amount of visitors able to view your content.

3. Long loads lose visitors

Visitors start to abandon a video after 2 seconds of loading, with each incremental increase resulting in a 5.8% increase in abandonment. Unfortunately, you have a limited number of options to reduce buffering time because you can’t control your viewers Internet speed. Compressing video files to make them load faster is the first step. Once this is done, aim for a video quality “good enough” rather than high-definition. A quick-loading video with average quality will have less drop-off than a slow-loading HD version.

4. Keep it short and sweet

The shorter the video, the more likely the visitor will watch the whole thing, so be concise and compelling. If you are covering a long topic, break it up into a series of videos. A general rule of thumb is that instructional videos should be no more than 5 minutes and promotional videos should be limited to just 2 minutes.

5. Maintain some breathing room

Clutter equals confusion so don’t jam all your videos into the same corner of your site. Ordered videos need to be positioned sequentially so that visitors know which one to click first. Prioritize a logical visual flow over the segmentation of videos; text, images, and video should work together to create a dynamic, attractive, intuitive layout.

Et voila! With these tips on hand, you can start to implement video effectively into your website. Before you go, take a look at the compelling stats in this video by YouOn Tv. What insights do you glean from the vid? Let us know in the comments.

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About Lucas

Lucas is a native of Montreal and completed degrees in Film and Professional Writing at Concordia University. As our web and multimedia producer, he assists clients looking to develop new web initiatives and supports the success of our websites through the implementation of multimedia projects. Alongside his interest in creative work, Lucas also has a passion for technology, comics, and all things geek. He can be contacted at lucas[at]htc.ca

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