There's no way to deny it: video is one of the most compelling content formats on the web. But to make sure your site's visitors have a smooth experience, you need to optimize your videos for the web.
You might think that industry influencers are exaggerating when they say that video marketing is the future of SEO, but modern internet users actually prefer to digest more video content than plain old text. That means that a lot of websites are uploading, hosting and playing all types of videos imaginable—leading to some serious competition between sites.
So while you can't deny that video has the ability to attract, engage and compel viewers in unparalleled ways, their large file sizes (along with other technical complications) can prevent you from getting the ranking you want if you don't properly optimize your videos.
So this article will show you how to optimize video for web distribution to help give your content the best opportunity to connect and resonate with your ideal audience.
Why You Need to Optimize Video
If you're looking for a way to capture your audience's attention, it's time to consider adding videos to your website. Videos, when done right, can be highly engaging and make your site look professional. But, as with all amazing things, they come with a price.
Larger video content (especially if they are on auto-play) will cause your page to load more slowly. This can drive out impatient and busy visitors—meaning you'll lose viewers and customers.
Regardless of how important or relevant your content is or how perfectly designed your website is, Google won't rank your website high if you have high bounce rates and poor page loading times.
This is when the need for video optimization comes in. When optimized correctly, videos will load fast and you'll be able to maintain the attention of your viewers—which Google will surely love.
Best Tips On Video Optimization
Let's explore some of the top tips you can implement in your video optimization...
#1 Use the right video file type
If you're looking to optimize your videos for the web, you're in luck. There are a number of ways you can do this—without spending a lot of time.
To start with, you need to know that there are many different video file types. The most common is .mp4, which offers good video quality with a small file size and is best for YouTube and Vimeo. If you want a video with high quality and a large file size, you can use .mov or .wmv platforms. However, you'll need to employ a VLC player to ensure that the video will work on both MAC and Windows computers. Finally, if your website has a smaller capacity, you could stick with .flv as it has a small file size—though videos with this file type are of low quality and can only be played on browsers that support Flash.
Once you've chosen what kind of file type to use, make sure your video is embeddable. You can do this by uploading it to a site like YouTube or Vimeo (depending on what kind of site your company uses) and then embedding it from there. By using these platforms, your videos will be compressed automatically so they will load quickly without sacrificing image quality.
#2 Focus on video length
Have you ever been distracted while on a website because of a long video? Or have you wondered if the length of your videos can affect your site's performance?
There is no denying that videos are excellent tools to attract and engage users. However, if the length of your video does not match the purpose or type, it can end up being counterproductive for both your site and your viewers.
With this in mind, it is critical to optimize your videos and ensure that they have the appropriate length.
So what video lengths should you consider? For website videos (landing page videos, sales videos, and email marketing videos) keep it under one minute. On the other hand, explainer videos should be shorter than 90 seconds, while tutorial videos should not go longer than 4 minutes.
#3 Compress video for each channel
If you want to optimize your videos, there are two things you need to remember: You have to minimize its file size without sacrificing the quality of the video.
To achieve this, you can run your video through data compression tools like Adobe Media Encoder or HandBrake.
Having both—high-quality videos and small file sizes—is necessary in order to optimize your videos for the web.
Videos with smaller file sizes load faster so your visitors won’t have to wait too long to watch them. On the other hand, high-quality videos can make your website come across as more professional and reliable.
#4 Make videos mobile-friendly
Most people (especially your customers!) are watching videos through their mobile phones. If you don’t optimize your website and videos for mobile viewing, you will lose out on a lot of potential viewers and customers.
That's why we highly recommend that you stick to optimizing all videos to work best for a mobile viewing experience by following the principles of responsive web and video design.
The main purpose of responsive web design is to make sure that your website looks good on every device — from a desktop computer to a tablet or smartphone.
By optimizing your video for multiple devices, you ensure that it not only plays well on all platforms but also looks good!
#5 Distribute videos on a trusted Content Delivery Network (CDN)
There are several ways in which you can optimize your videos for the web. One way is by making use of a CDN, or a Content Delivery Network.
A CDN is a network of servers that are located at different places around the world. It contains cached copies of your website's static assets. You can make use of these servers to ensure that all the content that your viewers need will be served from the nearest server. As a result, your videos will be downloaded much faster and can buffer quickly.
CDNs are simply a way to publish your videos to the internet.
Here are some of the most popular publishing tools businesses and agencies use:
#6 Make videos HTML5 optimized
HTML5 is a language written in markup, designed to help you create content that can be viewed on the web. It's super cool, but it will only be fully supported by all browsers by 2020. That means that if you're using videos right now, you need to make sure you have the right size and file format so they can be displayed properly.
For best results, use WebM and MP4 formats.
WebM, for example, is an open-source container format that was originally developed for playing high-quality videos in the web browser. It uses VP8 and VP9 codecs to play a wide range of audio and video files on different devices.
MP4 is another popular format for streaming all types of audio and video files in multiple resolutions. You can use it as a container or an encoding format to stream any kind of content using HTTP.
#7 Always add captions and subtitles
You may have noticed that your favorite streaming service includes captions and subtitles for its movies and TV shows. If you've ever tried to watch anything online in a noisy environment or while traveling on public transit, you know why: captions let people follow what's going on even if they can't hear the audio.
Plus, it also helps keeps your content ADA compliant — making easy for the hearing impaired to get access to your message.
If a user can't hear your video, then captions, subtitles, or transcripts will make it possible for the to watch and ready your message.
Video optimization must be at the foundation of your video distribution plan so your content can get in front of more people. Because of the increasing popularity of videos as an effective marketing tool, you have to make sure that your videos are easy to upload, download, and watch on various platforms.
Let's plan and optimize your video content together, browse our video service marketplace to create videos the right way to grow your business!