Be honest, you tried to click on the above “Play” icon, right? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one! Today we’re talking about the importance of video (and audio) on your website.
Adding Audio and Video to Your Website
A recent statistic in AdWeek.com noted that people have halved their attention spans in the past 10 years. Take a look around online, and most relevant websites are reflecting this and adopting faster, easier-to-consume ways of presenting content. Using short videos and audio clips is one great way to catch attention and keep your audience engaged.
Think about it; what do you prefer when visiting a new website, a page-long introduction or a two-minute video explaining how-it-works to you? Most customers are looking for the latter, and may not stick around long if they can’t find a video to quickly tell them what they want to know.
You may choose to shoot or produce your own “About Us” video, or create an animated video using software like www.goanimate.com, where you pay a monthly subscription fee for the service. You could outsource this to a friend or agency to help you create something a little more professional as well, if you feel it is worth the investment. When producing the video, remember to think about your target customer; who are they and how do they interact with your site? Which language do they speak, and is it worth developing a few versions of the video with subtitles? (This can help people who may struggle with the language, or simply those who will view your video without sound.)
Once you have your video made, uploading it to YouTube is usually the first step. Naming your video and description with your primary keywords is quite important, as this will help Google (the owner of YouTube) to rank and display your video to those searching for similar topics. You can then embed the video into your site by linking back to the video hosted on your YouTube account. This will help your SEO by attracting people to your YouTube page and website via the keywords you have chosen, and also resulting in another referral channel (YouTube) for organic traffic.
Podcasts can be a fantastic way to engage your audience, giving them an alternative way of receiving your information. The audio file can be downloaded directly from your page, or via the iTunes store as an .mp3 file, which the customer can then upload to their smartphone to listen to later, or go ahead and listen to on their computer or tablet. As with video, you may find that this medium helps to attract and engage customers for much longer periods of time than text or copy does. Consider creating a transcript of popular podcasts for people to follow along with or reference later as well.
In general, audio that is automated (such as music as a backing track for your site) is not encouraged, as this can be distracting and off-putting to your potential customers. For example, if a young lady is visiting your site in her working hours, she might not want to have classical music playing across her office, alerting her colleagues to the fact that she is surfing the Internet (and not working). The end result: she quickly presses the back button and no purchase is made. The same goes for videos; allow the customer the choice of watching or listening to this content, rather than forcing it upon them with an auto-play function as soon as they visit your page.