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How to boost your website’s performance

Online video will bring your brand to life and boost your website’s effectiveness. Paul Clapham explains why How to boost your website’s performance

It’s a three dimensional world. We see in 3D, we think in 3D (most of us, anyway) and we tend to devalue anything that is not presented to us in 3D.

How many people would watch TV or go to the cinema if the promise was two dimensional images supported by screeds of text to be read? Very few, I suggest. But this is essentially what marketers expect their customers to do.

Customer expectation

When was the last time you saw or heard an advert in any main media that didn’t make a pitch for ‘visit our website’? Okay, it was this morning, but I’m sure you recognise the point I’m making.

The problem is that when the prospective customer does actually visit that website they are, as above, reading text and looking at 2D pictures. Okay, they’re used to this because it’s the basic structure of over 90 per cent of websites. So imagine how delighted that customer would be to find the message presented in 3D.

Remember, this is about customer expectation. The fact is most business owners are proud of their websites, even if they do set new world records in dull. The truth is that most businesses, including those with serious marketing budgets, fail the ‘dull test’.

It’s honesty time. List your toughest competitors and fillet their websites. Above all, do they feature video? If they do, are those the toughest competitors? If they are, you’ve got your answer. Equally, look at websites you rate in other sectors. Again, do they include video? I predict that they do.

So is adding video to your website going to turn you into a zillionaire? Don’t be silly - marketing has no such silver bullet to off er. But it will increase the effectiveness of your site. You will get more hits and they will tend to be more profitable.

Wise investment

Right about now, any sensible person will be asking: what’s it going to cost? In the same way that TV advertising requires a film to be produced, so too an online video presence. That’s not cheap, but if you have multi-pound signs putting you off , don’t think the worst - the cost of video is falling steadily.

You will have heard people selling their product or service referring to it as an investment. I would say that video as part of your website genuinely is an investment and one that will show rapid returns.

The reasons are simple: it will make you stand out from your competitors; it will encourage repeat visits; it will lead to referrals; it will make you look cutting edge. All these factors help to drive increased levels of enquiries and then sales.

If you’re into social media in a big way, video is an important factor in that succeeding. It’s vital for YouTube and important on other platforms. If your target audience is young, they increasingly expect to see video on websites and in your social media posts.

Tell a story

You should aim to tell a story with video - this is a film after all. Cut down on the amount of sales pitch because the message will go home more completely if customers are not just being sold to. Video is full of emotive power. Use it to appeal to people’s hidden desires and needs.

20 per cent of viewers will click away from your video inside 10 seconds. Little wonder that the video experts recommend ‘short and to the point’.

Get straight to the nitty gritty right at the outset. Answer the question: why should I watch? Will it teach them something new, will it convince them to act or will it entertain them? Aim to make it the best minute of their day and the first 10 seconds the best ever.

The worst thing you can do is bore your audience - you won’t get any sales and you will have wasted your money on shooting a film. Don’t take yourself too seriously - you’re not aiming to win an Oscar. But something a bit risky is a good idea.

How long would an audience stay with you were you to say: “This video includes lots of valuable insights, but it’s deeply dull.” None, zero.

Just because you’re selling business to business, doesn’t justify a streak of dull. Are all your customers dull? I very much doubt it and I guarantee they don’t think so. But if all the marketing messages watched on the web by a client are dull, except yours, guess who’s going to sell?

Search engine optimisation

As ever with the web, SEO is critical. There’s no point spending serious money on a good video and nobody being able to find it. Start by uploading it to your site and then to any sharing sites you favour.

With video, SEO lives and dies by descriptions. They have to be there to enable Google’s search spiders to understand your video and what the content entails. So be sure your video is tagged with relevant keywords and fully fleshed out descriptions, plus unique titles.

Here’s a fact: 65 per cent of people are visual learners. Who knew? You can see instantly why that makes video important.

So aim to teach your customers and prospects how your product works, which video can do so well, including demonstration, show and tell and original creativity. I’d recommend that you and your staff feature in this part of the video - it’s always good to meet the people who are the business. Read more like this

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