Sticky Websites: The Power of Placing Video on Your Homepage

By Saturday, July 18, 2015 0 No tags Permalink

In a recent study, 77 percent of consumers said companies that create online videos are more engaged with them. Part of the reason people might feel that way is that video is a powerful learning tool. It’s more interactive than text because it engages more of the senses. Online videos can be a combination of audio, video, and even kinetic typography. So, it’s possible for businesses to engage users via multiple learning pathways.

Most Businesses Don’t Do Video Correctly

Many businesses fail to take advantage of the fact that people regularly go to company homepages. It almost seems too easy to miss this one, but the fact is that homepages for most companies have become a sort of “catch all” for blog entries, “about us”-type introductions, and even a company’s latest products.

According to usability expert Jakob Nielsen, most homepages struggle to convey their message to users. Instead of implying what you want to show to ideal prospects, show them. In other words, put video on the homepage.

How To Put Video On Your Homepage and In High-Visibility Areas On Your Site

The first step in getting video on your site is to convert your video into a format that is suitable for the web. While there are a lot of ways to do this, the easiest is probably YouTube downloader. Its conversion feature lets you optimize the playback for a multitude of platforms, including Windows and Mac as well as popular iOS and Android devices.

Choose a Good Video Hosting Provider

Most of the time, you’re going to want to upload your video to a third-party video sharing site. This could be a site like YouTube or Vimeo, but you don’t have to choose sharing sites. You could choose a company like Wistia or Vzaar. These sites host your video and give you access to advanced analytics – which you’ll need if you want to measure how well your video is doing on your homepage.

There’s another advantage to hosting your video with a third-party provider that most people don’t appreciate. When you self-host, you’re absorbing all of the bandwidth costs. If you expect your video to go viral, that’s going to crash your website and result in a lot of unhappy customers. It’s also going to send your hosting charges through the roof.

When you host with a professional video hosting site, you shift the bandwidth costs to another company – saving yourself a lot of headaches and letting others do what they do best: host video.

Embed Your Video On Your Site

Embedding your video on your website shouldn’t require a degree in astrophysics. Most video hosting sites provide embed links for your video. You just copy the code and paste it into the HTML of your homepage. Sites, like YouTube, put the embed code below the video, making it easy to grab (copy) and paste into your page.

If you run WordPress, it’s as simple as switching the target page to “source” in the admin panel area. Once you paste the embed code, save your page and you should see it appear live on the site.

Check Your Video In Multiple Browsers

Before you promote your site, make sure you test it out in several browsers first. Just because it works in one browser, doesn’t mean that it will work in all of them. So, load up Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, and Chrome. If you see any disparity between the browsers (and you might), go back and tweak the video settings until you’re satisfied.

This is where having a video host may prove very useful. Sometimes, videos won’t display properly in some browsers. For example, Safari tends to have trouble with some flash video. The video host can help optimize the video playback for specific browsers. Baring that, your website host may have to alter settings server-side.

A Word About Self-Hosted Videos

If you choose to self-host your video, for whatever reason, keep in mind that you may need to bump up your bandwidth plan, create additional servers, and tell your host in advance about impending traffic spikes. If your host has a CDN (content delivery network), take advantage of it. Yes, it costs extra to implement, but it’s going to be better than having your site crash from a spike.

Finally, don’t be afraid to host videos on other pages, like your “About” or “Contact” page. These pages are often neglected, and yet they’re a perfect opportunity for you to show your prospects and clients more about your company in a format that’s very underutilized.

Remember to respect intellectual property with video downloads.

Paul Jones is a modern marketing guru. With a knack for technology integrated into classic marketing strategies, he loves working with clients to build their brands and customer bases.

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