Visual content is important for any type of website. In this article, we will give you ten useful tips for your videos. Some types of websites (should) have a significant number of videos – travel blogs, video portfolios, photography sites, realty sites, etc. These tips will help you to optimize your videos, to speed up your website, and to improve the overall user experience.

If you don’t have any videos on your website, you should consider adding one, or even a few. As you will see below, your website can only benefit from that.

Why do you need videos?

If you still wonder whether you have to add videos on your website or not, here are a few reasons why this can be a good idea.

  • Easy to comprehend. Visual content makes it easy for people to comprehend new information, especially compared to a full page of text. Visual information can be processed much faster. Many people, especially decision-makers, simply don’t have the time to read too much information, so they would rather watch a video. It is easier to explain a concept and display how something works using a video, so you shouldn’t hesitate to add one.
  • Keep people engaged. An interesting video is a great way to keep people longer on your website. If the video is visible when they open the site, it can help you to reduce the bounce rate on the site. If you keep people engaged, it is more likely that they will want to learn more about your company and your products.
  • Help for brand exposure. A video allows you to present your brand name and your values. You do not have to offer your products/services in all your videos. You can dedicate one just to introducing your brand name, so people can start associating with that brand. That video doesn’t have to be long, but it should be memorable.
  • Boost SEO. Search engines often display at least a few videos in the search results they display. This is a way to attract additional organic traffic. It is more likely for a good video to rank higher in search engines than text, as you will have less competition. Videos will also keep people longer on your website. This is one of the factors for a better search engine position, as search engines will consider your content to be more valuable.

    Of course, the keywords you use for the video (title, description) should be the same as the ones you have on that page. Do not use different sets of keywords for the video and for the text around it.
  • Gain people’s trust. Whether you take part in your video to show your potential customers the human face of your company, you show existing customers sharing their success stories, or you explain something related to your services, you can easily inspire people’s trust in your products. If people can see real people instead of stock images, they will trust you more. This way, you can close the gap between your potential customers and your brand.

If we convinced you that you need a video on your website, here are some

Best practices

1. Use an appealing still/thumbnail

An example of a still that is clear and descriptive of what the video is about.

After all, this will be the first thing people will see when they come across your video. If you offer some product, make sure it appears on the still/thumbnail for maximum exposure. This way, even people who do not play the video will see what it is about. Avoid using blurry images or displaying content that doesn’t say anything about your product. The still should be clear and relevant to the video content.

If you use a video platform to embed your videos, you can use a built-in option to add a thumbnail/still. If you want to add a video from your hosting account, however, you can add a still image by using the “poster” attribute. Your code will look like this:

<video height="" width="" poster="URL of the image to be displayed"> 

Or

<video width="400" height="350" controls poster= "https://example.com/images/videostill.png"> 
<source src="https://example.com/videos/video.mp4" type="video/mp4"></video> 

2. Do not autoplay

While in some cases autoplaying a video may pay off, in the general case it can be quite annoying. If people are interested in a video, they will probably play it anyway. Starting a video automatically can be a bad surprise for people who do not expect it, or for people with earphones, for example. Playing a video can also affect the performance of your website, especially if a visitor uses an older device. If you must autoplay the video, at least mute it.

If you use a video sharing platform, check if the options allow you to control the autoplay and the sound. If you use a video uploaded to your hosting account, you can use the corresponding attributes to control the video:

<video width="360" height="260" autoplay controls muted> 
<source src="movie.mp4" type="video/mp4"> 
<source src="movie.ogg" type="video/ogg"> 
</video>

3. Position it well

Similar to other website elements, position is important for your videos. If you want to present something important, it should be centered or in the top left side of the page. These positions are suitable for videos that carry most of the content for that page. Videos that are positioned on the right or down the page, are usually complimentary to the rest of the content.

4. Make your videos accessible

Video sharing platforms often add auto-generated captions.

This is something people will appreciate. If possible, add closed or open captions, depending on the player and the video editor you use. Add a text transcript, so screen readers can read the text for visually impaired visitors. Do not add too bright or flashing images.

If you have a file with the captions/subtitles, you can use the following HTML code in case that you use a video that is uploaded to your hosting account:

<video id="video" controls preload="metadata"> 
<source src="video1.mp4" type="video/mp4" /> 
<source src="video1.webm" type="video/webm" /> 
<track label="English" kind="subtitles" srclang="en"src="subs/video1.vtt" 
default /> 
</video>

You can change the attributes of the “track” element as you see fit. Find out more about the element here: https://www.w3schools.com/TAGs/tag_track.asp

5. Add a call-to-action button

A visitor has decided to watch your video. What is next? Use their interest to ask them to sign up or order. Even if your video is purely informational, you can ask visitors to join your site, to sign up for a newsletter, or something similar. The last screen of the video should indicate what visitors should do next. Alternatively, you can add small notes throughout the video with the same idea – prompt them to sign up or to check more about your product. You can also use small arrows/bubbles for that without interrupting the actual video.

6. Keep it short

Unless there is a good reason to add a long video, try to keep all your videos short. It is unlikely that people will watch a video that is more than a few minutes long before they get bored. A short video with a few main points will be more useful as people will probably play the entire video. If it is longer, they may skip parts or simply stop watching. The idea is to keep people engaged, and not to ask them to watch long videos that may distract them from the rest of your content.

7. Use the right title and metadata

Video content can help you with bringing additional traffic to your website. It is one of the underestimated channels for SEO. If you add a good title, a short description with the right keywords, and the right metadata (additional information about the title, the description, the file name, etc.), you can reach more people and expand the audience of your website.

8. Focus on quality

This is valid for both the content and the video quality. Spend more time and/or money, if necessary, but make sure that you have a good video in terms of lighting, sound, and location. A well-written script and/or a creative idea will help as well. If possible, use a high-quality camera, although a good phone can also do a pretty good job these days. A high-definition video with bad sound or script, or a great video in terms of content that is blurry or pixelated, can discourage your visitors from watching.

9. Use a proper format

Some file formats are web-friendly and are more appropriate than others. Use mp4 or webm for your videos as all modern players and web browsers support them. The formats support high-quality videos with small file size, which is important for all your site visitors. Other formats may not play on some platforms or may be too large to be uploaded as they will take up too much space on your hosting account.

If you already have a video in a different format, you can convert it. You can use VLC Media Player or OpenShot Video Editor on your computer, for example, or any online converter.

OpenShot Video Editor is feature-rich free software that you can use to convert your videos.

10. Embed, if possible

If you use a video sharing platform to upload your videos and then embed them on your website, you won’t have to worry about some of the things we have listed so far. The videos that you upload will open in any browser and on any operating system; they will be responsive; they will be played in the best possible quality depending on the Internet connection your visitors use. Some platforms can add auto generated closed captions as well. If you wonder whether you should upload or embed your videos, check our article on the topic: Uploading vs. Embedding a Video – Which Option is Better?

Wrap-up

Video content is important for any website. It helps the site visitors to perceive information better and faster. This is why you should make sure that all your videos are optimized and accessible to all visitors. Keep them short and pay attention to their quality. Use the right format and choose the proper position on your site depending on how important a video is. Of course, if you are not sure how to do some of these things, you can use your preferred video sharing platform to upload your videos and embed them on your website.

Author

A web hosting provider since 2001. We host over 58,000 websites for customers in over 140 countries around the globe.

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