The home-page of your website is where visitors are going to get their first impression of your business and decide if they should stick around or click to another website. If it doesn’t excite and engage them: you’re running the risk that they will move on, find your competitors website and you’ll lose the opportunity to build a relationship with them. One of the best ways to grab and hold an audiences attention is by having an effective video on your home page.
This is because video, through its combination of moving images, audio and graphics, is immersive, draws your audience closer and can really hold their attention in a more powerful way than just straight text, where they may be tempted to simply scan rather than really focus on your message.
But it’s not simply a case of just putting a video on your home page. A successful home page video contains the right combination of ingredients. Once you’ve read this you’ll know how to make an effective homepage video that will drive people to action.
Give People the Choice to Watch
It’s tempting to make your video play automatically when somebody loads your website, but we don’t recommend doing this. Generally, in Australia, people find this annoying. And if your video is being watched in an open plan office environment it can disturb the people sitting near the viewer, and immediately set a negative connotation of the video. So with this in mind, people won’t appreciate having a noisy video pop up out of nowhere.
Give people the choice to play the video when they’re in an environment where they want to watch it. By adding a nice big play button they’ll know straight away that it’s a video, so you don’t need to worry that it won’t be watched.
For Effective Home Page Video, Make it Prominent
A good rule for placing your home page video on your website is to keep it ‘above the fold’. This is a design term that refers to the top half of a page. The term comes from the layout of a newspaper where the top half includes attention grabbing headlines and images that compel you to unfold the paper and read on.
Your website should be the same. The video should be the centrepiece that draws the viewer’s eye when they first look at your home page, and then they can move on to your other content.
Draw Viewers in With a Thumbnail
When a video is embedded on a website, the image viewers will see before they click play is known as a thumbnail. The role of a thumbnail is to give people an idea of what the content will be. And it’s role is also to entice your audience to click play. So, a good thumbnail is a high quality, interesting or curiosity-arousing image. And it will make your audience more likely to click play.
Using a still image from your video is a good way to begin but consider adding a large title, your branding and any other imagery that will make it stand out.
Most video hosting websites allow you to either upload your own thumbnail or select a single frame from your video. We made this tutorial that shows you how to do this yourself. For a homepage video, it will probably look best to create your own so that the design suits your website.
When people are searching for a business they will be weighing their options and comparing different providers. They won’t have time to learn about every aspect of your business, so you should keep your video short or risk your audience getting distracted and leaving before they’ve watched the video.
It’s far more effective to keep your video short and leave your audience wanting more. So the job of this type of video is mainly about grabbing attention, setting an impression and encouraging your audience to go deeper into your website. Try to keep your video under 40 seconds to give it the best chance of being seen all the way through. If viewers start watching but don’t make it to the end then they’ll miss out on vital information. If they don’t make it to your ‘call to action‘ or your contact details then you’ll lose your chance of getting their business. If your video is short it will make an audience happier to invest their time in watching it through.
A great way to keep it short is to keep your message simple and to the point. The vital information that your audience will be looking for is: who you are, what you do, who you work with, how you can help them, and what action they need to take.
Finding a way to answer these questions quickly and directly will mean your video stands the best chance of making an impression on your audience and keeping their interest. This is because the information you’re giving them will be relevant and useful so they won’t tune out.
Keep it Looking Professional
Your home page video should be of the same quality that you extend to your work, your website, your branding and your corporate ID. It may be appropriate to make your own videos for things like social media or blogs, but for key marketing material and client-facing videos it’s vital that your home page video is professionally produced. This is because it will reflect on the standard of your business: if your home page is sub-par then you run the risk that your viewers will make the same assumption about the quality of your work.
The best way to make a high quality home page video is to find a production company that has the expertise to produce one for you. We created this guide to finding the right video production company to ensure you get the best result.
Use Professional Video Hosting
Every video on the web has to be hosted by a service. Once your video has been made it’s time to think about the best way of putting it on your website. There are plenty of video hosting services for you to chose from but they aren’t all as good as each other.
YouTube is great, but it’s not necessarily the best place to host a video for your website. This is partly because the video will contain YouTube’s branding rather than your own companies branding. And you then run the risk of diminishing your businesses perceived authority or professionalism. The other downside of using YouTube is that at the end of your video they will also suggest related videos to your viewers, and these could potentially be from your competitors. Or, they might just click on a suggested video and forget why they came to your website in the first place.
With professional video hosting, such as the service Dream Engine offers, we can host a custom thumbnail and embed a clickable ‘call to action‘ at the end of the video. A call to action can take people straight to your contact page to help increase conversions.
By following the steps in this blog post, you’ll be: catching the attention of your viewers, giving them the information that they came for, entertaining them and leaving them wanting more. By doing this, your home page video will be an effective part of your website that will engage your viewers and help convert them into customers.
I’ve been creating web videos for a range of clients in Melbourne and around the world for many years now. If you want an effective home page video for your website then get in touch today.
Ryan Spanger is one of Melbourne’s most respected and sought-after video production professionals. Ryan founded Dream Engine in 2001, and specializes in helping medium to large corporates, government departments, and the non-proﬁt sector to connect with their audience by using video.