Using Video to Optimize Web Conversions


According to Forbes, 2014 saw a 43% increase in video engagement, 3/5ths of which took place on a mobile device. Additionally, posts that contain video are much more likely to be shared and commented on.

Paradoxically, though, while online video is arguably the most powerful form of media currently circulating in the world, it’s one of the most under-used forms of media on business websites. Creating a range of high-quality website videos can help increase conversion rates and maximize exposure to a number of important visitor connection opportunities.

Most sites have a 70/30 text-to-image ratio. If a site offers video, the collateral ratio is generally ~10/60/30 (video/text/image). These ratios privilege visitors who prefer to consume information via text and alienate visitors who prefer to consume information aurally, visually, and conversationally.

Moreover, the kinds of videos one sees on a business website tend to be almost entirely rhetorical in nature (eg., client testimonials). While rhetorical, testimonial-style videos can help move prospects through the pipeline, exclusively relying on them minimizes a number of equally important visitor connection opportunities.

An ideal set of video collateral would contain not only rhetorical videos but also brand-, communication-, overview-, and training-focused videos.

Rhetorical Videos

Client testimonials and other forms of rhetoric-focused, argumentative, compare-and-contrast videos that answer the following kinds of prospect questions:

  1. Why are we worth considering?
  2. Who thinks we’re worth considering?
  3. How do we compare to our competitors?

Narrative Videos

High-concept narrative, branding, and marketing videos that answer the following kinds of prospect questions:

  1. Who are we?
  2. What’s our story?
  3. Why do we do what we do?

Descriptive Videos

Descriptive, pedagogical, and communication-oriented videos focused on:

  1. Defining services and offerings.
  2. Training user/customers.
  3. Process-oriented, usability-focused how-to’s.

Using a variety of videos on your business website will help you target prospects at different stages of the buying process, offer these prospects a more comprehensive view of your business, and communicate important cultural values.

For service businesses, video can also help give shape to often abstract service offerings, turning them into tangible, easy-to-understand narratives. If you sell SaaS subscriptions or other technical goods, video can help increase demand by clarifying complex-but-important details and highlighting relevant features that might go unnoticed in dense copy decks. (For a concrete example of the latter, see this case study.)

Video can also help businesses find traction on the social web. Facebook feeds have seen a 3.6x increase in video content, year-after-year. Tweets with images and videos receive more favorites, retweets, and responses. As such, using a variety of different kinds of video on your site will not only help you optimize conversion opportunities, it will also enhance your social media engagement strategy.

Next Steps

If you’re interested in learning more about how video can help your business build a next-gen online presence, download our eBook and infographic. We created them to help website developers, managers, and online marketers amp up lead generation, create targeted user experiences, and otherwise make more meaningful connections with website visitors.

Marketing Plan

Whitney Allison

Marketing Director

Whitney served as SH's marketing director from 2014-16. She studied Marketing with a minor in Management Information Systems at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also the co-founder of Peritus Coffee: a craft coffee roaster in Fort Collins, CO.