Banner Videos - Yes or No?

Humans are easily distracted. Am I right? I’m the Queen of distraction, Show me something shiny and I completely lose all train of thought! Hahaha!

Recent studies have shown that the average American adult has an attention span of just 7 seconds! Think I’m crazy? Go watch a commercial - or, for that matter, any TV program at all. Notice that the screen changes within seconds. You will never see a static image for more than just three or four seconds.

For this reason, I am a lover of banner videos on websites but ONLY when they are done properly! Having a banner video can draw in the eye of the user and enhance their user experience - engage them and peak their interest. But, you should really consider the following:

Does the video make sense? Your video should reflect your business or organization (maybe it’s a blurred video of you doing a training or of the atmosphere in your restaurant or a slideshow of your employees). OR - the other option is that it can simply be visual and subtle - but something that enhances your branding/color scheme, etc. Take my site for instance, I have an embedded video of me in a training video on my “Meet Jen” page. It serves as sort of a subliminal message of sorts. I also have a banner video on my Home Page/Cover Page. This video is strictly visual. It’s sole purpose is to catch the end user’s eye and be visually appealing without being distracting. THAT’s a key point! Make sure that your video isn’t so distracting that it pulls the user away from your main goal of your website.

A great example of making sure that the site is cohesive with your message is on www.kcproassembly.com. This Kansas City based company puts furniture together (among other things). On their Residential Page, I used a YouTube video of Ryan Reynolds attempting to put a baby crib together. This video reinforces the user that furniture assembly can be quite frustrating!

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On a Cover Page, go to Media and add the URL for your video (hosted on YouTube or Vimeo) and then make sure that you add a Mobile Fallback Image as well.

On a Cover Page, go to Media and add the URL for your video (hosted on YouTube or Vimeo) and then make sure that you add a Mobile Fallback Image as well.

What if it doesn’t load properly? Ultimately, we want our user experience to be amazing. This not only instills confidence with our clients, but it also shows search engines that our site is a quality site and is worthy of higher search rankings. If you have a video that loads slowly or doesn’t load at all, it can be frustrating for the user and make your site visually unappealing. Luckily, Squarespace helps us with that! Many times, if a video is not loading, it’s because of an unstable internet connection or because the user is on a mobile device. These are scenarios that are completely out of our control as designers.

Squarespace gives us the ability add Mobile Fallback Images. Basically, if a video is struggling to load, Squarespace will “give up” and show them the fallback image instead. The fallback image can be a static image from the video itself (I use my Screen Clipping tool to grab an image from my videos) or it can be any other image that is cohesive with your brand and/or message.

If you’re not using a Cover Page, but want a video on a Standard Banner, you simply go to that page’s settings, click Media, then video and add the URL there, but make sure to add an image here too as that will become the Mobile Fallback Image!

If you’re not using a Cover Page, but want a video on a Standard Banner, you simply go to that page’s settings, click Media, then video and add the URL there, but make sure to add an image here too as that will become the Mobile Fallback Image!

Overall, I am a big fan of banner videos as long as they are done correctly and are not obtrusive and/or confusing. You can create your own video using Promo.com or a even just your cell phone or web cam!

And, if you run into any issues, have questions, you can always reach out! I’m always happy to offer tips and tricks on these types of topics through my YouTube channel!

CLICK HERE

Take care and be well!

Jennifer Maher