Video on websites, how to do it properly

Video on websites, how to do it properly

Using video can either make or break a website, here's how to do it right.

Having video on a website has become hugely popular. With advances in both home broadband speeds and mobile internet connectivity there is less red-tape than ever before when it comes to putting video on your webpage. 

What can you use video for? There are a few key areas where you can utilise motion and audio in order to further your message or better tell a story. Some example of this include:

  • Testimonials – having a video testimonial from previous customers is hugely powerful. It gives added credibility over just reading a simple textual quote, giving other visitors reassurance that the testimonial can be relied upon. It’s far harder and more expensive to fake a video testimonial than a written endorsement. Generally, if a company has gone to the trouble of filming a customer, this is a strong sign that the company has satisfied customers.
  • Introductions – these can be powerful when used as either video intros on the homepage or to provide more in-depth information when used on a secondary page, such as an “about” or “more” page. As video is a wider communication medium your visitors get a much clearer insight into what sort of company you are, your brand and your ethos. If your brand is all about personality, a video could help build a far greater rapport with your customers.
  • Backgrounds – although these are more of a design element, adding motion and movement is a great way to make an impact with your visitors. Help draw the eye and catch peoples attention by having a less static website. When done correctly, background video elements can increase interaction and engagement while also offering you the chance to showcase that fancy drone footage you’ve yet to utilise.

With these points in mind, there are however some pretty major pitfalls to be aware of.

  • SEO – search engines don’t index content in videos. If you rely completely on video for your site content then your page would appear to be devoid of content in the eyes of a search engine. Video should be used to accent the written word rather than replace it.
  • Speed – be mindful of drastically increasing page load speeds by filling your site with video. This is especially evident if a video autoplays in the background. This file has to be downloaded by every visitor, regardless of if they want to watch it, or if they’re trying to conserve data on their mobile contract. Autoplay videos should be small and well optimised.
  • Accessibility – it should be possible to play, pause and mute a video. Think carefully before making an unmuted video autoplay. Your visitor could be sat in a deathly quiet library!
  • Optimisation – the absolute worst thing you can do it throw a huge unoptimized video onto your site with no regard for file sizes. 4k video looks great, but is overkill for 99% of website content. Website visitors are notoriously impatient, if something takes too long to load then they leave. Unoptimised video is, in our eyes, the number one mistake when using video on the internet. It can lead to a poor used experience, increase visitor bounce rates, lower search engine rankings. The list goes on!

Looking for help with your current website? Want to know how you can effectively use motion to increase engagement? Get in touch and we'll help you get it right.

Video on websites, how to do it properly
Charles Sellers
By Charles Sellers