There's a right way and a wrong way to add video to your website

Video Play iconSo you’ve just spent a good amount of money on commissioning a corporate video. Now it’s time to distribute it and make it available to your audience. The first stop should be your website, but how you add the video to your site will impact how successful it is.  

Choosing the right host

It might seem as simple as sticking it on YouTube and embedding the link into your site, but that screams amateur to the trained eye (especially since once your video has stopped playing, YouTube helpfully suggests 4 additional videos that the viewer might like – if the viewer does like these, then they are off your site at the click of a button!). You’d be much better off to use a paid host, especially one that delivers your video unbranded – we use Brightcove but there are other options, including Vimeo (paid).

You want your video to be viewable on mobile devices. Most hosting services do this automatically. If your hosting service doesn’t do it by default, then you need to choose your encoding settings. If this sounds too technical, your video production company will certainly be able to help. But it is worth checking – best way to check? Watch it on your mobile!

Where does SEO come into it?

You also need to make sure your video can be found by the search engines so that you can reach the widest audience possible. A video production company that works closely with your search engine optimisation team can ensure that the videos you've invested your budget into are readily found on the search engines by your target audience. This is, after all, why you are doing it.

Your first consideration should be to build a video sitemap for your website, since the search engines cannot read the embedded content without it. The sitemap will tell the search engines about each of your videos in detail, through the metadata that you include, which is essential if you want your videos to be found easily.

Your second consideration should be in optimising your video at the host's end. There are a number of ways to optimise your video to ensure the search engines and your target audience find it.

1.    Optimise the video title and description, making it as intriguing to the potential viewer as possible. If you can include keywords relating to the content then even better.

2.    Upload a transcript of the video, which will invariably include more keywords that will help your video to be found by search engines and your target audience.

3.    Optimise the tags for keywords relating to the video content. These will enable your target audience to find your content easily.

Quality over quantity!

Always upload in HD. Always get an HD version from your video production company. A lot of companies will say ‘it’s unnecessary if it’s just going online’ but that’s absolutely not the case! With increased broadband capability, most people in the UK can now enjoy online video in HD without any buffering and it means that your viewers can watch the video in full screen without it looking rubbish. I feel quite strongly about this - last week I blogged that if your video company offers HD at a premium, you should sack them!

Technical considerations

Ask your video production company to provide you with an encoded version of your video that is optimised for your hosting specifications. Again, if you feel marginalised by the jargon, get your video production company to liaise directly with your host on this. They should be more than happy to do so. 

Furthermore, never have the video play automatically when the page loads. This is a sure fire way to give visitors to your site who haven’t got the mute button on or who have the volume too loud a fright, urging them to press the back button. Give the viewer the option to play the video – don’t force it on them.

And finally...

Choose an appropriate thumbnail – not your CEO gurning while he makes a particularly important point – choose instead something that highlights your brand and encourages a curious click.

Further reading: If your production company charges extra for HD video, sack ‘em

Find out more about TopLine's video production services.