Published July 8, 2011

4 Tips on Using Video on Your Small Business Website

In the 21st century digital age, it is no wonder that multimedia like photos and videos, which were once a bane to slow dial-up internet connections just a short decade ago, are a few of the biggest players in the SEO market. While keyword optimization and smooth website navigation are important to the growth of an online business, videos have the potential for making a viewer base grow exponentially.

Of course, one of the reasons high bandwidth content like video are successful is the increase in speeds of internet connection, both at home and on the go with mobile smartphone technology. But the other reason is social media. People love to view interesting, curious, and otherwise "cool" photos and videos and share them with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites.

Take a look at media websites such as Fail.com, IcanHasCheezburger.com, and of course, YouTube.com. These sites have millions of visitors each day viewing files that make them smile, gasp, and even LOL. And when a video elicits an emotional response, people feel the need to share that with others.

This is one of the biggest reasons you should include video on your website. Not only does video give your potential customer moving images to help learn about your company and its products or services to help make buying decisions, but your well-made videos can reach a much larger global audience if it goes viral with social sharing.

So how do you make great videos and use them to your business advantage? Here are a few tips:

  1. Video Creation

    First, your small business video must be created in such a way that it is ready for viewing. Much like a band in a recording studio, you don't want to release anything until it is absolutely ready.

    Writing the Video
    You wouldn't go into a recording studio and just press the record button without knowing the music you are playing or singing, would you? Same goes for video. Write a script of what you want to say in your video. Keep it short. Consider that an internet video should be no longer than 3 or 4 minutes long, and 10 minutes at the very most.

    Video techniques
    To make a good video you need the right elements.

    • Lighting - Be sure your subjects are well lit. Use artificial video lighting to create a well-lit atmosphere, or natural lighting from windows or outside if no lighting equipment is available.
    • Sound - Always use microphones to collect your sound. Use lapel mics or even boom mics if you have the personnel.
    • Composition - Don't put your subject too far away. Nor put them too close. Use proper composition techniques to frame your subject with head at the top of the frame rather than the middle.
    • Camera techniques - Handheld is generally too shaky. Always use a tripod to stabilize your recording.

    Video Editing
    Use video editing tools to help you create a smooth flowing video. Cut extraneous dialogue or long pauses. Keep your video paced so it moves from topic to topic. And as always, keep it short. Remember your audience has a MTV attention span.

  2. Video Hosting Where you host your video plays a big part in accomplishing your goals. You can host videos on your own domain, meaning you upload the files directly to your web host's servers. This way you get the most of SEO with site referrals and search engine results. Hosting on YouTube is another option if you would rather shoot for the "viral" and get value from the most audience views.
  3. Optimize Video Files Like any SEO strategy, choosing the proper file name and description for your video will help the success of your video campaign. Use properly chosen keywords in both title and description, and write a brief but engaging description that makes a viewer want to see more.
  4. Sharing Video Wherever you choose to host your video, once it is uploaded share the link on all your online outlets. That includes your main home page, your blog, sharing on an email list, including a link on Facebook, and sharing a Twitter link.

Using videos can help your website attract visitors, help your SEO, and ultimately increase your sales by reaching a viral audience base. Be sure you use these techniques to create and share your small business videos online.