When you add a video to your website, the process involves more than just a press of a button. If not handled properly, an uploaded video can cause more harm than good. Videos need to be optimized to perform correctly and bring value to your website. In this modern age, users are looking for ways to take in information in an engaging way, which is precisely why more and more websites are using videos to appeal to their audience.
Before anything else, make sure you choose the right video formats. There are plenty to choose from, and each brings its own benefits. MP4 and WebM videos are standard formats for commonly used websites like YouTube. This format is able to provide high-quality videos in smaller file sizes, making them easier to upload.
WebM files are only fully supported by browsers like Chrome and Firefox, while MP4s are supported by all browsers, though typically they are lighter than MP4s. That said, MP4s have the added benefit of looking better on mobile devices. You also have the option of using WMV, FLV, MOV, and AVI formats.
WMV and AVI formats are not usually recommended for websites since they utilize larger file sizes. FLVs are also not recommended since flash video usage has gone down over the years and does not play on mobile devices. MOV requires QuickTime for making high-quality videos in its own niche.
A video needs to be further optimized to perform well and draw in an audience with whichever format you choose. Doing so ensures maximum page speed, proper embedding, and the best display of your videos.
Stream From Your Server
Modern streaming technology allows the way video files are downloaded to be changed. Before, they needed to be fully downloaded onto a computer before playing. Now, videos are made ready for browsers almost instantly from your server by using HTML5 tags.
HTML5 video streaming is professional-looking and commonly used on websites across the web. It allows for the manipulation of media with the right tags, specifically <audio> and <video> HTML tags. All it takes is using the <video> tag to make a native HTML5 video player and all the options that come with it—allowing your website to host high-quality content with just a few clicks and codes.
Compress Your Videos
Using HTML5 videos is a great way to ensure quality content for your site. The only downside is their inherent effects on the website, causing slowness and hampered video loading. But, with some compression, these problems are easily fixed. Data compression tools are plentiful online and help ensure smaller media files for faster loading. Be careful and remain mindful of the video quality during compression, though.
Convert Your Videos
When you convert videos to an HTML5 supported format, you make it easier to accomplish other optimization options. You can do so without any plug-ins and with the use of many online video converters.
Utilize a Content Delivery Network
Content Delivery Network, or CDN, helps ensure faster content delivery and becomes important for larger videos. The CDN itself is a server network that stores the cached copies of your website’s static assets. When you use it, content is served from an edge server in a speedy manner that improves your website’s performance. Users can enjoy their content much more quickly with reduced buffering and loading times.
Get Rid of the Audio in Your Muted Videos
You can save the file size of a video by removing the muted audio from it completely. It is better than leaving muted audio in, and without the unnecessary data, it will run more smoothly. You can do this during editing or just edit the audio out later.
Ensure the UX (Video User Experience) Is Friendly and Accessible
It won’t matter how well done or informative a video is if it’s a hassle to watch. You want your videos to be as intuitive and easy to use as possible. So, that means not using autoplay in most instances to give users more control. It also helps to resize your videos to better fit mobile devices. Try to avoid sudden ads or pop-ups that would ruin user experiences and offer options for lower bandwidth users.
Clean Up Unnecessary Data
If you want a well-optimized website that runs its videos well, it is important to make sure that there is no unused data. It is good data practice to reduce server space usage and avoid using any additional energy. Updates are necessary for plenty of software programs, especially when they include customer data that could be put at risk. When you update a website, remove unpopular or outdated videos. They take up space and lack purpose when better-performing videos draw in views and your audience.
Be Sure to Host Your Own Videos
It’s tempting to host your videos on platforms like YouTube or Vimeo, but SEO optimizing your videos for Google may require a different approach. When you place a video on YouTube, then search engines lean towards YouTube as the link to place at the top of the search results. When you want someone to type in your company’s name and see your website, then this scenario is one you should try to avoid. Work with a skilled video business like Media Monsters and host the videos on your website to draw in searching customers more effectively.