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VWO BLOG

on Conversion Rate Optimization

If you consider it, there’s not much of a difference between online dating and browsing through a website. Yeah, the comparison is funny and even I chuckled at my weirdly-wired brain when I thought it. But think about the similarities!

Online dating is all about messages and profile pictures until you’re intrigued enough to talk to the person over the phone. Similarly, on a website, appearances matter a lot – you get a sense of the overall feel of the website, see static product images, read product descriptions until finally you are compelled to watch the video.

While you’re playing the online dating game, imagine if you’re told that the other person doesn’t want to talk over the phone or something, would you still be so keen to take the relationship forward? Chances are that a lot many of you won’t. You’ll have your doubts. The same applies to a landing page or a website that doesn’t have an explainer video. So it would perhaps not be too far-fetched to guess that adding videos could increase conversion rates for any sort of website.

Heck, you can just skip all the nitty-gritties of a website (product images, descriptions, sales letter, et al) and still manage fine with just an explainer video on your landing page (one happy example is our customer, Carl Juneau who increased his conversion rates by 46.15% when he replaced his lengthy sales letter with a video-only homepage).

But if you’re taking things slow and avoiding to talk over the phone or in the case of a website, you keep pushing the task of adding videos on your site to a tomorrow that never comes, you may be losing an easy opportunity to convert your website visitors into paying customers (like you would, of course, lose an opportunity to meet that perfect partner too).

Okay, let’s say you finally decide to jump the gun and add a video to your website. The thing up next on your radar is, how the hell can you persuade (or impress) your prospect? This step is very crucial. One mistake, and it can all go wrong. While a relationship expert might be a better help for online dating, to create compelling videos for your website, I can tell you this:

Videos that Show the Product in Use

Static images or blobs of text fail to tell visitors how a product will feel and look when they actually have it. When a product is shown in use in a video, it gives customers a better idea if the product is suitable for their needs. This alleviates anxiety concerns for many visitors and increases conversions. For example, you can view this video that shows Evernote’s picture editing tool in use. Doesn’t it make you want to try Evernote?

Videos that Explain Benefits and Features

Unlike the modest videos that take a neutral approach and simply show the product being used, benefits and features videos are typically your sales executive in action. Because of the promotional nature of these videos, it might be possible that many people lose interest while watching them.

To keep them going until the end of the video, make sure your script distinguishes well how your product is better than other products in the market. But be careful not to be annoyingly salesy. Stay tasteful!

This video by Buzzstream explicitly explains benefits and features of their link building tool without coming across as “salesy”:

 

Instructional Videos

These are perfect for complicated products, such as home theater systems. Explain how to install or evaluate the product category. The less confused your visitors are, the lesser they will wander to other sites for more information. Here’s one of the videos which is a part of the nine-part video series that show customers how they can change their disc brakes:

Of course, it is expected that having watched the video, customers will be more interested to buy equipment and parts from Advanced Auto Parts. Now this approach is different than the usual hard sell approach that people have followed for ages.

Narrative + Slideshare Videos

This cost-effective video type involves recording a narrator’s introduction and explanations in a studio and then combining them with existing slideshow marketing material and photos.

No matter which video type you prefer to adopt, a kick-ass script forms the basis of a killer video. If you want to go the DIY way, you can read this article by Neil Patel that explains how you can write a good script for a video.

Impact of Videos on Conversion Rates

There’s another interesting fact that came into light about using videos on websites. According to a report by ReelSEO, an online resource that combines search, video and social media marketing, visitors who do not even watch the video but still have an option to watch it convert at a higher rate than those who don’t have an option. Probably it’s the trust factor that plays the role here.

This fact is based on multivariate testing conducted by Treepodia (mentioned in the ReelSEO report) for two of their eCommerce clients, where 46.22% and 27.05% conversion increase was recorded for visitors who had an option to watch the video (irrespective of whether they watched it or not) than those who had no option to watch it.

Should You Include the Video as a Link? “Watch the Video” Icon? Or, Embed it Directly on the Page?

Yes, you can include a video on a website in any which way you like, but which way does it convert better?

One of our customers, The Social Man, saw a 28% increase in their newsletter signups as they changed their direct “Get Instant Access” call-to-action button to “Watch the Video” icon.

Version A: 11.9% conversion rate

Instant Access

Version B: 15.3% conversion rate

Watch the Video

The ReelSEO report above suggests that while view rate of your video can be anywhere between 5% and 15% when you add it as a link, it rises to 10-35% when you embed the video directly on the product page.

Where Should You Add Videos?

Stacks and Stacks does a brilliant job of adding videos on many of their product pages. You can check out this pet screen door video as an example. Their tests reveal that visitors who watch their videos have 144% higher probability of buying the product than those who don’t.

And why only the product pages? You can even display videos on your homepage or landing page to estimate their conversion potential. Crazy Egg displays a great animated video on their homepage that increased their income by $21,000 per month, according to the Neil’s article mentioned above.

 

Apart from using videos on the homepage and product pages, video testimonials is another dimension you can explore to increase conversion rates of your website. See how Priceline makes it work for them.

A/B Testing Ideas for Your Videos

It may sound unlikely but A/B testing thumbnails of videos can also make a difference to your conversion rate. Yobongo saw a conversion lift of 70.9% when they tested their video thumbnail.

Of course, reducing the duration of the video can have a huge impact on your conversions as well. Neither is the attention span of people on the Internet too great, nor do they have the time to watch 4-5 minutes long videos that go on and on about your products or services. Short videos are probably ideal in most cases to improve conversion rates.

Innovative Ways to Use Videos for Higher Conversions

Insert Multiple Clickable Links in the Video

Flipseek is an innovative video production company who came up with the concept of Live Link Video. Viewers are shown a series of products in a single video with clickable links embedded in the video for each of these products. Like the shirt which that model in the video is wearing? Click on it to reach directly to its product page. How cool is that?

Use Videos to Conduct Surveys

Ever thought about conducting a survey through a video? Sounds weird, I know. But Morison’s Wine Cellar site utilizes this well for their customers. The purpose of the survey was to identify the wine preference of each visitor. Those watching the video were made to answer three multiple choice questions in the video itself, before they can watch the video any further. After the video, a numerical Taste Rating is given to those who completed the survey and provided a list of wines they are likely to enjoy.

So, just as self-fulfilment and higher confidence are the non-apparent advantages of dating, enhanced social media presence, reduction in returns and sometimes even increase in average order value are some advantages that you realize once your videos begin to contribute to the success of your website. And this can definitely give a good push to the bottomline of the company.

Author

(6) Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Wonder why most web design and SEO companies do not have videos. It’s become the standard for start ups and sites with a dedicated product. Neil’s article is great.

  2. Video is the best way to represent your thoughts. People don’t like to reach lengthy content by video you can easily express your ideas and terms to the people. Thanks for sharing such a nice article.

  3. Great article with excellent embeded links and Videos

  4. @Josh Most small businesses don’t have videos because creating a professional video can be complicated for those that don’t have the expertise. And hiring an agency to produce a video will set you back a few thousand dollars at a minimum.

  5. Good one. But i would like to know how many people have the time and patience to watch video? And it depends on internet speed also , right ?

    Francis

  6. Great article. We’ve been singing video’s praises for years now at Treepodia. The return our customers have witnessed by implementing videos onto their product pages is just phenomenal, with the average increase being between 40 – 50%.

    Video is doing wonderful things for online businesses, and those who haven’t bitten the bullet are seriously missing out.

    Cheers,
    Mike

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