Optimize videos for conversions

1. Match your video file size, type, and width to the platform to minimize playback issues.

.mp4 offers good quality with small file size and is the recommended format for YouTube and Vimeo. .mov is a high-quality video format with large file sizes, but requires VLC on Windows. .wmv is a good quality format with large file size, but requires VLC on MacOS. .flv offers a small file size, but needs extra steps to increase the quality. This format does not play natively on most Mac and Windows machines and only works on browsers that support Flash. Videos between 401 pixels and 600 pixels wide have the highest average play rates. Test a larger or smaller widths if you have the traffic.

2. Use the Handbrake video conversion tool to optimize your video file for your website.

Navigate to Source, change Constant Quality to 25, and tick the Web Optimized checkbox. Alternatively, keep your videos short and to the point to help with file size and load speed.

3. Choose one desired action to call your viewers to and use one CTA per video.

Ask your viewers to: Download your latest e-book or PDF, Watch another related video, Visit another page or blog post, Share the video with friends, Submit their email for more information, a discount, or a free trial. Use annotations to allow viewers to click through while they are watching. Alternatively, capture information using a form that gates the second half of the video, appears at the end of the video, and slides out from the player mid-video.

4. Name your video with carefully chosen keywords to optimize it for search engines.

Identify high-value keywords using Keywordtool.io. Use those keywords in your title, description, and tags. Organize your chosen keywords in a clear phrase format. For example, when selling marketing automation platforms, use keywords like marketing automation or best marketing software in the video’s title so that it appears when people search for it. Avoid using phrases like getting the most out of your marketing software, because viewers are less likely to search for it.

5. Transcribe your videos using a tool like SpeechPad, oTranscibe, InqScribe, or Fiverr to create a searchable transcript.

The text component of a video is important for search engine optimization. Google can parse content, but it cannot extract all the text from your video.

6. Use videoObject schema language to provide contextual information about a thumbnail, transcripts, video length, and more to search engines.

Use the documentation found at schema.org, and add the appropriate code to the page upon which your video is embedded. VideoObject schema language tells search engines as much as possible about your video and allows the search results to include thumbnails, descriptions, and other pertinent information about your video, which gives you a more visual presence on the results page.

7. Optimize your website and video for mobile devices.

If the video is embedded on your site, create a dedicated mobile site or a responsive design. If you are self-hosting the video, make sure it adjusts properly when viewers rotate their mobile devices. Use the file type necessary for viewing with mobile devices. For example, use an MP4 file if your video is under four minutes long, or Apple’s HTTP Livestreaming if it is over four minutes long. Check that your buttons are large and easy to click and that your calls to action work well on all mobile devices.

8. Position your video near the top of your page.

Wistia found that as viewers scroll, video play rate decreases. The further down your page a video is, the less likely it will be played. Just below the fold, play rate is 46%, but one additional scroll down means a play rate of only 27%. Video often serves as a summary for those who do not want to read all the way down a page.

9. Use the native analytics in your video tool, Google Analytics, or Google Tag Manager to measure the play rate, watch rate, conversion rate, and relevance of your video.

Play rate and watch rate are your engagement metrics. Assess play and watch rate by asking how many people started watching the video and how far into the video they watched. Assess conversion rate by asking if people who watch the video convert more often, and how many people click the call to action within your video. Measure revenue as close to the sales as possible. For example, you can use HubSpot or Salesforce to see how much revenue you generated from your video.

10. Conduct A/B testing informed by research on your video.