A video is a powerful tool for attracting and engaging users. Video is already one of the trends of the present and the future, and its popularity in advertising is constantly growing. Even now videos contribute more than 70% of all web traffic. You need to learn how to estimate companies that use video in their ads because they have a higher CTR and higher conversion rate.
All in all, there are many reasons to use video on your website. But here comes the question of optimization: how can you use video without harming your site? But first, let’s review the formats:
Video file formats
The WebM file format is intended to be used for free in HTML5 videos based on the Matroska file container. Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Google Chrome web browsers support playback of WebM video files, but Internet Explorer 9 and Safari generally require third-party software (e.g., QuickTime) to play WebM files. YouTube uses WebM files as part of its experimental HTML5 player. Both the web browser format and the Nintendo Wii YouTube app use this exact file type for video playback. Wikimedia, Skype, 4chan, and Logitech also use it. The file container was created by ON2, Xiph, and Matroska but was adopted after significant changes were made by Google.
AVI is a multimedia container format introduced by Microsoft in November 1992 as part of its Video for Windows software. AVI can contain both audio and video data in a file container that allows synchronous audio-video playback.
Windows Media Video (WMV) is a file type that can contain video in one of several video compression formats developed by Microsoft. The original video compression format used in the file, also known as WMV, was originally developed for streaming Internet applications as a competitor to RealVideo.
Supports multiple codecs and is easy to edit without rewriting the entire video file. It is also easier to work with this container in Final Cut. By trimming and editing the desired parts of the video, you only need to transcode those parts, unlike other containers and video editors which will encode the entire file, even with minor changes.
The QT file extension is used for files associated with the QuickTime program (in particular, the QuickTime player). QT files are video files. QuickTime Player also gives you the ability to create, edit, and even publish many different types of media. These files can contain a wide variety of content, including videos, graphics, animations, and even movies. Typically such files are compressed because of their size. Compression makes it much easier to transfer and distribute files. In addition, the reduction in size allows such video files to be streamed on the Internet.
How to choose the best video file format
Choosing the best video file format depends entirely on what you plan to use the video for. You should choose a format that provides the required video quality, but no more than that. Excessively high-quality video files can be inconvenient to move, share, convert, and manage. Also important is how the video files will be viewed. Not all programs, browsers, and devices can open a particular video format.
If the video will be viewed online, select a format supported by most browsers. That way, your video can be played without downloading the file and using a separate player. Browser-supported video formats include MP4 and WebM.
For YouTube and Vimeo platforms, the standard formats are MP4 and WebM. MP4 is supported by all browsers, while WebM is currently only supported by Chrome and Firefox. Videos in WebM format tend to weigh less than MP4 files, but MP4 looks slightly better on portable devices.
Optimizing video for your website
Reduce the size of the video file
Smaller files load faster, which means that compressing the files will save the time it takes for the page to load.
The key is not to compress too much at the expense of quality, as a high-resolution video will still look more professional and interesting, whereas a poor quality video can give a poor user experience.
Convert to HTML5 supported formats
Use free video converters with no watermark to convert your video to MP4 or WebM.
Remove sound (if you don’t use it)
Even if you have a video with no audio, you can still strip audio data from the video to reduce the file size. This can be done either at the video export stage or you can do this while uploading to YouTube.
What you need to do to display your video correctly.
The exact size of the video
Be sure to specify vertical and horizontal dimensions in HTML or CSS to make it easier for browsers to determine the video’s throughput.
Loading video after page loading
If you have a video that will start playing automatically when the user comes to the page, delay loading it until after the other elements on the page have been loaded. This way, users will have a more pleasant experience.
More and more people are surfing the web with the help of mobile devices, so websites not optimized for mobile devices will inherently lose out to optimized sites.
Follow the guideline of adaptive design: your site should display properly on displays with different resolutions and sizes, and it should understand the orientation of the device in order to play videos correctly.
Making the site display properly on different devices won’t be easy, even for an experienced frontend designer. Yes, you can make a separate version of your site specifically for mobile devices, but there’s an easier way to make your site portable.
Tips for SEO
Yes, there are now popular platforms for posting videos like YouTube. However, if you want to promote your site on Google, you need to post videos on your source. If you post a video on YouTube and link to your website, search engines will favour YouTube, and as a result, someone searching for your company on Google will go to YouTube rather than your website.
- Add metadata to your videos (to make them easier to index).
- Give your videos descriptive (not generic) titles. Don’t make the title too long; it is worth using keywords.
- Selecting keywords can take some effort (and time), but it will increase the chances of your video appearing in search engine results.
- Choose an appropriate thumbnail (this is important).
If you optimize your video before adding it to your site, it will have minimal impact on performance — as opposed to conversion, which can increase dramatically.
Experiment with videos: put them in different places on the site, analyze what your users like best, and finally learn how to create great videos for your YouTube channel, to optimize them easily.
After all, optimizing a video isn’t as hard as making a truly interesting video. Good luck!