Adding video to your website isn’t necessarily as easy as 1-2-3. If you’re considering integrating video into your website, there are some particulars to think about first. You’ll need to do a little research to be sure that you’re not only integrating correctly, for example, but that you’re doing so in a way that allows your customers to view it with ease.
Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about integrating video and some tips on the best parameters to follow so that your videos run seamlessly and do what they’re meant to do – attract customers and clients.
Should I host my own videos?
So…you’ve created a video for your homepage. You’re super excited to share it so now you’re going to upload it to the media library on your WordPress (or other) site. Hmmm…it takes a while, but it should be okay once it uploads, right? Now you can be on equal footing with your top competitor, which has some great video on its website.
So, did you do the right thing? Well, self-hosting is a good option for some businesses and may be right for you. It gives you total control over your video content and how it is presented and it can’t be censored or banned. Another huge advantage of self-hosting is that all the traffic going to your video registers as visitors to your site, which improves your ranking rather than the ranking of any third-party site that might be hosting your video(s).
You can also control pop-ups and advertisements on your video, which can become annoying and troublesome when using a third-party host like YouTube.
But now that it’s up and running, you’ve gotten message from customers that tell you that can’t view the video or that it’s choppy or stops in the middle. What did you do wrong?
Well, now you’re experiencing the downside of hosting your own videos. The more people that watch your video, the more bandwidth you need. When you don’t have enough bandwidth of CPU power to stream your videos (your hosting server allocates only a certain amount of bandwidth), they’ll get slower and slower and visitors to your site will give up trying to watch them because of this lag. When that happens, site visitors will just walk away in search of a site selling a similar product or service. That equals lots of wasted money spent on hosting the content as well as making the videos.
But you might not even get that far. Most web hosts limit the size of the files you can upload to 50 MB or less, which amounts to about a 2-minute video max. Even if you’re able to upload your video(s), you could quickly exceed the amount of storage space provided by your hosting account.
Considerations for using a video hosting service
Instead, many individuals turn to third-party video hosting services in order to display quality videos on their websites.
Using YouTube to embed the content of a video on your website is the perfect answer for many business owners like you. The prime reason is its effectiveness for search engine marketing. Google LOVES video! So do other search engines. But the real clincher is the fact that YouTube gets literally thousands of visitors per second and remains one of the highest-ranking websites on the internet. That spells out a huge advantage for anyone using that platform for their videos. Vimeo works well too, though it doesn’t have as large a following as YouTube. Nonetheless, videos through Vimeo load fast and are generally of excellent quality.
For many business owners, the SEO perks associated with using a third-party host are enough to convince them not to self-host. There are, however, a few disadvantages to going in this direction rather than self-hosting.
The primary one is the inclusion of advertising on YouTube videos. In some cases, business owners note that they see advertising from their competitors when their video plays, which is certainly not desirable but is outside their realm of control. It’s a chance you have to be willing to take.
Furthermore, YouTube places a fair number of restrictions on how you can display your media. You’ll be restricted as to the thumbnails you can use on your display, for example, so you be not be able to use a specific graphic you had designed for the video. That can be frustrating.
Some business owners also express frustration over playback start times with YouTube. In other words, there can be a huge lag between the time play is pressed and the time the video actually begins. Vimeo is a bit better with this issue.
That’s a lot to think about! Certainly, deciding whether to integrate video into your website and how to do it can conjure up plenty of questions. That’s when it’s time to turn to the experts. At Watershed9, we can help you choose the best way to display video as well as offer tips on how to make them, proper length, and more. For more information or for a no-obligation virtual consultation, call us at 604-337-1449.