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Using video on web sites

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Thursday February 5, 2009 )

I’ve visited a few sites today after getting emails about topics I’m interested in, only to find on visiting the page, there’s just a video. Bleh.

I understand that video is The Current/Next Big Thing and it’s uber-popular with many visitors, but I think folks are forgetting that some of their visitors have slow connections, stingy bandwidth caps.. or who just like to read. Like moi.

I process a ton of information each day and I don’t read every word on a page as I don’t have time to – I just scan for the information I need. I can be on and off a page in well under a minute. A video forces me to sit there and consume a lot of stuff I don’t need or want to know about a product or whatever else it’s trying to convey. Halfway through it I usually get distracted by something else like a fly on the wall or start contemplating the wonder of dust bunnies under my desk.

So I don’t hang around, unless it’s super-duper critical for me to get the information. Even then, I find I often have to “rewind” the video to hear the critical information again and it’s really all just a pain in the ass :).

I’m certainly not saying you shouldn’t use video on your pages, but I think it’s equally as important to have a textual representation of what the video is about.

In addition to user-friendliness, you’ll likely get added bang for your buck in doing so by providing search engines with what they want – text. Quality textual content, and lots of it, is a very important search engine optimization technique and it will remain so for a long time to come.


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