Many websites are turning to more than just content. Instead of paragraph after paragraph of content, websites are trying to attract their audience by providing content through other multimedia strategies, such as videos or audio files.
But just because multimedia is popular and a great way to add some flair to the site, it doesn’t mean that every website has to utilize it. Sometimes a website simply doesn’t require the use of multimedia. The following are five ways to know if multimedia is right for you and your website.
1. Use multimedia if your website contains heavy text.
If your website has a great deal of text, adding multimedia can be a great way to break it up and provide your audience with a new way to retrieve the information. A simple video or audio file can make a huge difference on websites that contain too much text. When your audience sees a great deal of content, it can deter them from wanting to spend a lot of time on your site. Too much copy can scare visitors, and if you provide multimedia options on your site, you can attract, engage and interest them to the point of staying on your site and seeing what you have to offer.
2. Don’t use multimedia if your site takes too long to load.
Multimedia files are going to slow down your website, so if your site already takes a long time to load, it’s not a good idea to add multimedia files. Studies have found that the longer a site takes to load, the more frustrated visitors become, which means that they’ll be likely to move on to another website instead of stay on yours. Don’t hurt your site’s chances of earning and keeping website traffic by giving it a longer load time.
3. Use multimedia files if you need to make your site accessible.
Adding multimedia files to your website is a great way to make your site accessible to those with hearing and vision impairments. When you add video or audio files to your site, you can also add closed captioning or transcripts that can reach and attract those with vision and hearing impairments. Individuals with hearing impairments can read the transcripts to know what’s being said, and those with vision impairments can use special programs to read the content aloud. If you truly want to make your site accessible, be sure to add multimedia files to your website.
4. Don’t use multimedia if it doesn’t make sense.
The purpose of adding multimedia to your website is to add value to the content already on your site. If you can’t find multimedia files that don’t resonate with the content or that don’t add value to your content, then don’t add it. There is no point in putting multimedia on your site that your audience will not find interesting or entertaining, so don’t waste your time.
5. Use multimedia if you can follow the basic rules.
There are certain rules that should be followed when adding multimedia to your site. For example, you should never allow your multimedia files to play automatically. Users become upset when they have to struggle to find the pause button, and instead of forcing them to hear or watch your files, you need to allow them to play the audio or video file on their own time when they can dedicate their attention to it.
You also need to make sure that you double check that your multimedia files play on all devices and on all platforms. For example, just because the file plays in Safari on a Mac computer doesn’t mean it will work in Internet Explorer on a PC. Try out your multimedia files on different platforms as well as double-checking it on mobile devices.
Before adding multimedia to your website, take some time to learn some tips on adding multimedia to your website to determine if you can follow the rules. If you can, and if multimedia makes sense for your specific site, then start adding the files as soon as possible for your audience.
Jayma Watson is a freelance writer and online reputation management professional who helps small businesses monitor customer reviews through social media.
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