Website videos can be a really powerful asset if used right. You can use videos to educate, inform, engage, introduce, explain, and so much more.
Over 90% of marketers today say that videos are essential for their marketing strategies. However, lots of businesses struggle with videos and don’t get the results they hope for, all because they don’t use them the right way.
Simply put, they don’t incorporate them properly into their website, enabling visitors to experience their video content seamlessly. They work hard on creating high-quality videos, but fail at adding them to their site, negatively affecting their entire web design.
To avoid this costly mistake, here’s what you need to do.
Find a Reliable Hosting Service
Why would you need a hosting service for videos when you already have one for your website?
Well, we’re not talking about web hosting. To improve your video content, you should find a reliable video hosting service.
Why is that necessary when you can host your own videos?
Self-hosted videos require a lot of bandwidth, especially when it comes to Full HD and Ultra HD (4K) videos. Most cheap shared hosting providers offer limited CPU cycles or concurrent database connection , so even though they stated “unlimited bandwidth” in their plan, your videos may still load slowly or constantly freeze when you hit the server capacity threshold.
Some web hosting providers also offer limited storage space on their servers, with file size limits that may prevent you from uploading large video files.
So, forget about cheap shared hosting to host your video site. You need a good VPS or dedicated server, or video hosting sites that will allow you to embed videos seamlessly on your site, play them smoothly, and store them safely.
Explore the top video hosting sites available, such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Wistia, and choose the best one for your needs.
And if you want to switch to another web host (perhaps one offering unlimited bandwidth), check out the comprehensive web hosting reviews by WHSR. Get a closer look into server performance, customer support, and other features, to find the right web hosting solution for your website.
Compress Videos Without Sacrificing Quality
Compressing your videos is important for speeding up your website. Whether you self-host or embed your videos, failing to compress them first might make them slow-loading.
However, you need to make sure your videos don’t lose quality when compressed.
That’s where quality video compression tools come in. They can effectively reduce the size of even the largest video files, without ever sacrificing quality.
Some of the best video compression tools you can use are HandBrake, VideoProc, VLC Media Player, Wondershare UniConverter, Clipchamp Utilities, and Movavi Video Converter.
Here’s what it looks like with HandBrake..
You have loads of options, including setting the video codec, frame rate and quality.
For instance, the H.265 video codec ensures the best video quality and can handle even 4K videos. Setting frame rates per second (FPS) sets the speed at which images are shown. The higher the FPS is, the better video quality you’ll get.
HandBrake can even optimize your videos for the Web to ensure seamless reproduction:
This option is available when you want to convert a video to an MP4 format, and it’s perfect for compressing 4K videos or other large video files. Once you check the “Web optimized” box, the tool will compress the video and keep its quality, ensuring it streams smoothly across all devices.
Convert Videos into a Suitable HTML5 Format
HTML5 also supports MP4 and WebM formats, allowing you to upload your website videos seamlessly and ensuring they’ll play smoothly on all browsers.
To convert videos into suitable HTML5 formats, use any of the tools above. Simply upload a video file, choose the desired output format, run the file converter, and download the video.
Here’s an example for Wondershare UniConverter:
Once you upload a file, you can choose from various output formats, including ASF, VOB, Divx, OGV, 3GP, WebM and many others. You can then select the desired resolution -SD 480p, HD 720p, HD 1080p or Auto, which keeps the source’s resolution.
VLC Media Player is even more straightforward:
It lets you convert videos into formats suitable for different devices and compatible players. You can convert them for a MPEG4 720p or 1080p TV or other devices, DivX compatible players, iPod, Android devices, and YouTube.
However, it has fewer options overall, as opposed to all the other mentioned tools.
Avoid Using Looped Videos
Looped videos take away vital resources because they keep playing in the background. They keep consuming bandwidth and slowing down your site.
They also increase your visitors’ CPU usage, eat a lot of their data, and drain their device’s batteries. If some of them have a slow internet connection, your looped videos will result in a poor user experience.
Most of all, people find looped videos annoying. They distract them from other parts of your website and may compel many visitors to bounce.
If you insist on using them, include a script that pauses them after a certain number of seconds, or on the last frame, or turn to CSS to add a pause button.
To turn off a looped video, you can change its settings on the hosting site, or do it manually by changing the “loop=1” parameter to “loop=0” in the embed code.
Add Shorter Videos
Longer videos take away more resources and take longer to both upload and load. They can slow down your website and even make people stop watching halfway through.
Given the declining human attention span, which has dropped to only eight seconds, longer videos may not be your best choice.
Short-form videos can help you get to the point quickly, keep viewers engaged, hold their attention all the way through, and generate more conversions. They’ll also be fast-loading and won’t consume much of your bandwidth and storage space.
Make Videos Adjustable for Mobile Users
Ensuring your videos adjust automatically to different screen sizes and resolutions will help you engage and convert more mobile users. By providing them with a seamless user experience, you’ll eventually increase traffic to your website.
If you use a video hosting site, you won’t have to worry about this because they have default settings that make all hosted videos responsive.
But if you self-host your videos (which, again, we don’t recommend), make sure your video player is mobile-friendly and automatically adjusts videos to mobile devices.
If you use one that’s not mobile-friendly, you can add a script in your HTML code to accommodate all mobile devices, but that’s a much more complex process.
Include Low Bandwidth
Not everyone has a stable internet connection, which means many of your website visitors may have trouble playing your videos. With low bandwidth, they may face frustrating buffering, which will likely make them bounce.
That’s why you should set up a low-bandwidth playback option.
Provide your visitors with an option to reduce the video quality for a slow broadband connection. That way, they’ll view compressed videos and have no trouble watching them all the way through.
Don’t Use Autoplay
Just like looped videos, the autoplay feature slows down your site significantly. It consumes too much of your bandwidth, as it needs a lot of data to load a page properly.
Needless to say, that drives away potential customers, because no one likes waiting forever for a page to load.
Did you know that 64% of smartphone users expect a website to load in less than four seconds fully? Autoplay can’t achieve that, which means you could lose many conversion opportunities.
So, don’t use autoplay. If autoplay is a default feature on your chosen video hosting site, you can change it in the settings.
And just like with looped videos, you can change the “autoplay=1” parameter to “autoplay=0” in the embed code.
Use a CDN
Using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) is one of the best steps you can take to improve your website’s video content.
A CDN is a network of servers distributed globally, which reduces latency, improves page load time, and speeds up content delivery, providing users with better experiences.
How does that work?
Let’s say a user located in the UK wants to access your US-based site. They would experience much higher latency than any other US-based user because their HTTP request would need to travel a long distance to reach your server. We’re talking seconds, but enough to make a frustrating delay that drives away consumers.
With a CDN, your website would have cached versions of it stored on multiple servers across the world. That way, when a user sends an HTTP request to view your site’s content, the CDN’s edge server nearest to their location will deliver the required content.
Here’s a visual representation to help you get a clear picture:
A CDN can improve your entire website’s performance, but it can be particularly useful when you have large videos that take longer to load. It will ensure faster delivery, no matter where your visitors are coming from.
These are some of the best ways to improve your videos and attract, engage, impress and convert more website visitors.
But to really improve your video content, you need to measure your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
Use Google Analytics or any other similar tools to monitor your key metrics. Keep track of the views, impressions, watch time, clicks, signups, and all the other metrics important to your business. You’ll be able to uncover your most popular videos and take the right steps for continuous improvement.
Deana Kovac is an internet marketing specialist and self-professed geek, passionate about writing. She enjoys sharing the knowledge and expertise she gathered with her team but also with wider audiences.