The good and bad of autoplay video web design

In a recent article, our Knutsford web agency predicted video will continue to be one of the few leading website trends in 2017… Well over the past year, there still continues to be an increasing trend of businesses using autoplay video’s on their website homepage.

With internet speeds increasing, web-browser technology advancing and the ease of capturing HD or 360 interactive video straight from your smart phone, implementing a video on your website homepage, news feed or social media has become the everyday normality and can be implemented with a simple click of a button!

As a Knutsford web agency, everyday we are tasked with designing a new website but should video be incorporated in every design? Is video appropriate for every business website? We provide our intake on both the good and the bad of points of why you should – or in some cases shouldn’t – have a video on your website homepage

4 reasons why you should have a video on your website homepage

First Impressions
Regardless of if a user lands on your website through a newsletter, social media or a good old-fashioned internet search, first impressions count for everything and could be the difference in converting a user to a customer or an increased bounce rate. According to study, 4x as many customers will view your business more positively after watching video content about your products and services.

Boost your SEO rankings
Video has become an excellent way to target your chosen keywords within numerous search engines. According to statistics, YouTube has become the second biggest search engine after Google, with other video platforms such as Viemo now being widely adopted by over 20 million users. With an increase in video traffic, video content is expected to rise with experts predicting video will account for up to 80% of internet traffic by 2019 – Source BBC

Just as you can when uploading to YouTube, simply apply your chosen keywords in the description and meta-tags and according to Forrester, a video correctly indexed by Google may have up to 50 times more chance of ranking within the first page over a regular search enquiry based on your chosen, targeted keywords.

Suitable to all mobile, tablet and desktop devices…
With mobile surpassing desktop in the number of users across the globe, time spent browsing on websites has proven to become shorter and shorter with 50% of mobile users likely to abandon your website if it takes longer than 10 seconds to load or read the information they need.

With websites now optimised to accommodate all mobile, tablet and desktop devices, it’s become an essential that all businesses make their websites fully responsive. By implementing video, information can be absorbed much quicker than text and a number of different versions of the video, in terms of size and the length to accommodate a number of factors such as speed and attention span.

If you are unsure if your website is responsive, or would like to make your website responsive – our web design agency in Knutsford offer a fully responsive rebuild service – See our Solutions page for more information…

Increased Click Through Rate / Page Sessions
Following in the footsteps of first impressions, this is where things get a little analytical. Research shows that three out of five users will invest two minutes in a video that explains a product or service they are thinking of purchasing, almost double the time a user will spend reading text which will increase average page duration (time spent on your landing) page.

Along with improved page sessions, according to Hub TV, video is likely to generate 41% higher click-through rate than a website with text, a blog, or email marketing which will also have a higher conversion rate.

3 reasons why you shouldn’t have a video on your website homepage

When video becomes the call-to-action.
While showcasing a combination of different types of media can prove to be helping in getting you branding and messaging across, do you measure the success of your website based on how many users view your video? No! You measure the conversion rates and sales.

For every business, within every industry, the call-to-action will never be the same. For some, the purpose of your website may be getting users to subscribe to your blog where others may want to improve online sales. For example, if you want to increase newsletter subscribers, will adding a autoplay video about your business increase subscribers or prove to be a distraction!? Although video’s may look cool, question if having a video meets the call-to-action of your website.

Slows down pages that need to be speedy
Regardless of organic, social or referral traffic, your homepage will very likely be your main landing page which means it will also be where most users will experience your website for the very first time. Remember when I discussed first impression!? Well first impressions of speed really matter as 57% of online shoppers will abandon a page after just 3 seconds of load time. To add to that, search engines openly favour websites with faster loading time so if your video takes an age to load, it could very well rank much worse in desktop and especially mobile search.

Not only could embedding an large, HD auto-playing video drain the bandwidth with the amount of data required, if a user is accessing your website on a weak connection such as mobile data or accessing free wifi – this could cause several seconds of delay which will like put users off.

Google AMP News Articles
Although this next reason might not apply to most local businesses, if you are a local business who reports local news or hosts regular events – you may be familiar with Google AMP (Click for more information) In summary, Google AMP is a stripped-down, faster version of pages containing news relevant to your news as shown in the example image. Although some are very fast to load, other news websites cluster news pages with video advertising which not only takes an age to load, if they have volume they become a distraction from what you were looking for!

With advertising video’s slowing down speed and being irrelevant, this can have a impact on search rankings and lead to an increased bounce rate.

Should you have a video on your website homepage?

Honestly, there isn’t a right or wrong answer – it depends on your industry and website goals. Embedding a video on your homepage looks cool and offers many positives but you must think about the negative effects it can have. If you would like to discuss video or the possibility of a redesign of your website, get in touch with your local web design agency in Knutsford.

Give our Knutsford office a call on 01565 653616 for a free, no-obligation quote or to ask about what services we could provide for a new or existing website.