With almost everyone on fast broadband connections these days it’s getting easier to download large files and stream high quality video. YouTube being the most obvious example, of course. When working with clients it’s great to be able to show the work that is being carried out in easier to understand formats than just spread sheets and filled out templates. One use of all the extra internet speed is video casting. While a lot of our clients are happy with access to their live loop to keep them up to date with goings on, being able to go through things in real time and discuss the progress can be invaluable.
Many clients, when they first come to us, have a lot of frustration. Some because they don’t really understand what SEO is and no one has been able to show them what is involved in a digestible format, while others because they have never really been clearly shown what they are getting for their money. By conducting online meetings all of the mystery can be removed. Many of our clients have never seen what their backlink profiles look like until we show them during one of our online review meetings, for example. Well, why would they? Other things that are much easier to see in a visual format include progress graphs. When climbing up the rankings on Google I have never seen a smooth progression. There are always jumps in positions, both up and down, but the overall progress is much easier to show with the visual aid.
Almost always throughout my work with our clients there are times when it’s difficult to explain something, or more importantly it can be difficult for a client to ask the right questions to get the answers they need. I’m sure you have all been there when someone is telling you to click on something in particular or read a piece of information from a page and no matter how hard you try you just don’t even seem to be looking at the same thing. With the visual aid all of these kinds of problems disappear in an instant. Video is an invaluable tool in doing this but it can also help build trust, and most of my meetings end up as a discussion of strategy more than progress.
What about information?
I often see videos out there on the web that try and give a definitive answer on a subject or problem. When helping clients with their SEO it is often very difficult to give a one size fits all answer. Yes, I think there are many elements that can be explained using a video but as no two sites are the same they are always more of a guideline than anything else. I see many videos out there that are just one person talking to the camera and I think this is because it is really hard to show information that will be applicable across all sites.
My view is that really small snippets of information can be good as short videos but anything more and they become too impersonal to be of much interest.
It is so much better to get general information down in writing so that different parts of the information can be easily referred to while working on a particular goal. This is especially true of the more technical aspects of a site where coding is involved, for example.
What about using video in your site?
From Google’s point of view anything that you can put in your web pages that improve the user experience or functionality of your site is something you should be rewarded for. As most people engage with different types of media, some like visual and others like text, it makes sense that you are adding value and functionality to your site by including video. As I mentioned before they can make explaining some things much simpler. You should include images, diagrams and video within your information if it makes sense to do so. My advice would be to keep the videos reasonably short in length, something most people do is begin watching a video and then they continually check to see how long is left unless they are immediately engaged. Most will ‘skip’ parts as well which is something you don’t want to happen if it can be helped.
In conclusion, video is a powerful tool when explaining and demonstrating, and if used in the right way can make life a lot easier for all involved.