The secret to getting people to spend more time on your website

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The secret to getting people to spend more time on your website

Video may not have done much for the radio star, but if done right, it can do wonders for your website.

In fact, a relevant, well produced video can encourage your audience to stay on a page an average of 2.6 times longer.

I’ll be the first to say that video production isn’t for everybody. It requires time, effort and (sometimes, but not always) money to get right. Above all, your videos must engage your audience, communicate a relevant (and preferably useful) message or piece of information, and give them a good reason to stay on your website.

If you can achieve this, you’ll give your audience a good reason to stick around.

So, exactly how effective can videos be for you? And more importantly, how do you start producing them?

97.06 seconds

That’s the average time people spend on an adviser’s site (we know, because we’ve done the research).

To put this into context, research carried out by video hosting company Wistia shows that the average time spent on pages without video is 2 minutes 48 seconds. Pages with video receive much more attention, with an average 7 minutes 21 seconds spent on them.

This shows two things:

  1. The average adviser website is far less engaging that it could and should be
  2. Adding video will help to solve the problem

However, adding a three-minute video won’t increase the amount of time spent on your site by three minutes.

If only it was that simple!

Adding any old video isn’t enough. It must be relevant, engaging, informative and represent you as a business for the full benefit to be felt.

Variety is the spice of life

Increasing the amount of time that people spend on your website is arguably the biggest advantage of video, but the benefits don’t stop there.

People respond differently to various types of media; a blog won’t be welcomed by everyone. So, including your content in multiple formats will make it accessible to more people. Those that prefer video will have a reason to visit your site, and your current audience will appreciate the variety.

Be yourself

Video also allows you to present yourself in a much more personal way than through audio or text. Although, the very idea of appearing in front of the camera is enough to put some people off, and I’m no different.

However, if you power through the initial stage of self-consciousness, you’ll be glad you did. I certainly was when I created our launch video. In fact, if you fancy a laugh, I’ll happily (one day at least) show you the outtakes.

Of course, if you really don’t feel at home in front of the camera, you won’t be able to make a great video. But all is not lost; consider alternative approaches, such as using animation, or simply talking over slides that appear on the screen. Don’t be afraid to try things out; if the content is the main thing driving your videos, your audience will be happy to engage.

Think beyond your website

Video will no doubt be a great addition to the websites of many, but they can be used in so many other ways.

Take Facebook as an example. Business profile pages now have the capability to use a video in place of a static image banner. This is a relatively new feature, and is still technically under development, but it gives you a great opportunity to stand out from your competitors.

Thinking beyond your website isn’t constrained to social media either. If you had to name the second largest search engine in the world, what would you say? Yahoo? Bing?

Anybody who guessed Youtube gets 10 points. According to Google, over three billion searches are carried out each month on Youtube. Uploading your videos and making them searchable on Youtube will increase the likelihood of people finding their way to your website from there.

It sounds like a lot of effort

And it is, but most things worth doing tend to be.

Getting people to your website is one thing; getting them to stay is another. There are plenty of ways to improve engagement on your website, and video is definitely one of the most effective.

So, what are you waiting for? Your audience awaits!

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