Hi there and welcome to the second part of the article in which we discuss the content that probably should be on your website. In the first part we listed the different content and discussed the inclusion of images on your website. Today, as the topic suggests, we will have a look at audio and video on your website.

When you consider including audio and/or video on your website you have two options. You can either refer to a video/audio clip on another website via a link. Once a visitor clicks on the link, the video/audio file will open and play in a new browser window. Whilst this may have some value for the visitor to your website it offers no value to you as the website owner.

The other option available to a website owner is to embed the video in your website via a bit of HTML 5 coding. What the website owner will benefit from here is the fact that an embedded video/audio clip adds SEO value to your site. Videos/audio clips embedded on your website are visible to search engine spiders and will be recognised as items adding value to visitors to your website.

With that bit of important technicality out of the way we can have a look at what should be considered as good ideas when it comes to embedding video/audio clips on your website.

Before we look into audio and video separately I wish to share my golden rule when it comes to adding any content to a website. I will only add content if the answers to the following questions are “yes”.

1) Will it add value to the visitor?
2) Will it add value to the website?
3) Will the website be lacking without the content?
4) Will it help to enhance the UX (user experience)?
5) Will it assist in promoting my brand/product/service?

So let’s look at the typical video and audio content that can enhance your website:

Video:

videoclips

Video clips, a handy addition to a website.

Always keep the video content relevant to your website/brand/service/product. As video files tend to be large files it is best to keep the clips as short as possible. In countries, such as South Africa, where the internet speed is not fast, it can be frustrating to view a video clip that keeps on lagging or buffering endlessly. Types of video clips may include:

a) Weekly/monthly podcasts:
This may include interviews, explanations, a product overview or demonstration of some sorts. Interviews with customers may also be considered.

b) Promotions:
Promotions speak for itself and need no explanation. I have seen very successful and engaging promotions/competitions in video format on websites.

c) Speech:
If you or somebody notable from your company gives a speech a short video clip of the important parts will add value to your website.

d) Tour of your company:
Possible clients just love to see what is happening in your company behind the scenes and what makes your company so successful. Clients who see the actual driving force behind a company will trust your product/service much quicker. The more transparent your company, the better.

Audio:

audioclip

Audio clips, a handy addition to a website.

As with video content, audio content should also be relevant. Although audio files are not as big as video files it is important to keep it short as visitors tend to get bored with audio much quicker as it does not engage them in the same manner as video clips.
The type of audio clips that can be considered for websites are:

a) Sounds:
The path to success with sounds is caution, caution and a bit more caution. I have seen nature websites that have sounds of waterfalls and birds in the background that actually enhanced the overall experience. I have however also visited sites where the sounds of alarms, sirens and other noise pollution have put me off completely. It is a good time to remind ourselves of the four golden questions we must ask ourselves. I have visited sites where clicks on any links were accompanied by very subtle but still audible clicks. This has enhanced the experience for me.

b) Music:
Dare I say it? If you sell music, or if you are an artist/songwriter/musician it is obvious that you should have some examples of your work in the form of audio clips. There is no other way to display your talent.

c) Interviews/speaking:
A question and answer session or even a public speaking event could be recorded and added to your website with definite success. As mentioned above, it is best to keep the recording short.

d) Podcasts:
I know, I have mentioned this in the video section. Podcasts in audio can also be successful and therefore deserves a brief mention under audio content as well. It will definitely enhance your website if you host a podcast that visitors can subscribe to. It enables visitors to download digital audio recordings of a show or program and listen to it on an iPod or other device. This makes content from your website available offline.

As mentioned above, it is better to embed video and audio clips directly to your website. It is not difficult to do and any web designer/developer will be able to assist you with this.

The two important facts raised in this post which are worth remembering is that your website can be enhanced to make it attractive and engaging to your visitors. There is no reason why your website should not be visitor-orientated. This leads to the second fact which is that a properly functional website with visitor-orientated content will lead your website to higher search engine rankings which in turn will bring more visitors to your website.

If you think I may have missed any specific video or audio clip which should have been listed here you are welcome to let me know.

®WebScripto, a Pretoria based Web Design Company.

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