When visitors arrive at your website, do they instantly see a video playing? An autoplaying video is not uncommon on business websites, but many companies don’t realize that this could actually be hurting the actions their visitors take when they arrive at the site. It seems like a good idea and a great way to embrace your visitors, but this action can actually be a bad thing and, as a result, many shouldn’t invest in an autoplay video as soon as the visitor arrives.
How Is It a Bad Thing?
It’s innovative. It’s eye catching. And, it’s so common. How can using auto play like this be a bad thing? There are several drawbacks to using it in this manner.
- It slows down how fast your site loads. This is a big factor for many users. In one study, 57 percent of people shopping online left a website after just three seconds if it did not load immediately. And, when your page loads slow like this, it also hurts your search engine ranking. Even a small video will slow down that load time significant.
- Even if it does load fast, such as when you use asynchronous resources, there’s still a time when there’s a grey-out homepage. It is that lack of homepage within those first five to ten seconds that can make all of the difference in whether your website visitors stick around or move on. It creates a bad first impression, too.
- It’s too much for your readers to think about. How does that make sense? Cognitive load, a term that describes the amount of effort your brain has to use to accomplish a task, is worsened when auto play is on your homepage. To improve user experience, on the other hand, you need to reduce cognitive load. Flashing images, background sounds, and various links to choose from, not to mention the video to watch, is too much for the brain to handle instantly.
- Your video becomes your “everything.” That is, it becomes your call to action on your homepage. When you use your video as your CTA, you are basically telling your visitor to sit there, watch the video and then choose an action. Because of this, your viewer now has another step to take before they actually contact you. That can reduce your click-through rate significant. And, you don’t want your homepage to be an ad, but rather an introduction.
So, how does video fit on the homepage of your website? To be clear, it should be there. You’ll want to include the opportunity for users to click on your video and watch it. Video can be an excellent tool for most pages of your website including the homepage, as long as you are not forcing your website visitors to watch it as soon as it loads. Create a well designed website with ample content and great images. And, then, use video throughout the site to allow your visitors to learn and grow in their brand awareness of your company.