How to Optimize Video for Your Website – Part 1 - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Reducing your file size will improve the viewing experience for web users.

When you hear people talk about video, HD (which stands for high definition) is what everyone wants–it’s slicker and it’s sexier. But if you, as a business owner, want your audience to see a high quality video from your company, remember that bandwidth is key. Because having customers wait for your video to load while they see that “buffering” message is…not so sexy.

Playback Bandwidth measures the number of bits per second transferred over an internet connection from your website to a user. The larger the files on your website, the more bits per second you will transfer to your users. Video uses more bps than text or photos

File size is important for two reasons: The larger your video files, the more money you’ll have to pay for video hosting. Of course, YouTube will host your video for free, but even they have a limit of 20 GB per video. But if you choose to pay a company to host your video–like many private companies do–then you’ll be charged based on the amount of bandwidth that you use each month. That fee can range from $25 to hundreds of dollars a month depending on how much bandwidth you use and the size of files you need to store.

Every time a user watches a video on your site, they use a certain amount of bandwidth. If the file sizes for your videos are small, more people can view your videos and you can have several videos on your site. Fewer people can watch your videos if your video files are large.

File size also matters because every viewing experience is different based on their internet speed and the device on which they watch your video. The larger the video file, the more problems a viewer might have watching it. The video might load slow, choppy, or not play at all.

Here are four things you can do to reduce the file size of your video so that you use less bandwidth, save more money, and reach a larger audience.

Shoot shorter videos — Besides the fact that most people don’t have the patience or attention span to watch a video longer than one or two minutes, shorter videos will keep your file size low and allow you to host more than one video on your site.

Shoot simple videos using single subjects that avoid a lot of movement. The more movement, the more key frames, and the more key frames the more bandwidth a video will need. Unless you plan on spending more money on broadband don’t create action videos. Also, using a tripod will help reduce the file size because it reduces movement within the frame.

Keep fancy editing to a minimum. Try eliminating or reducing the amount of dissolves, fades, or animation, you use for scene transitions. Transitions increase the number of pixels needed from frame to frame which will mean you’ll spend more on bandwidth.

Convert stereo audio to mono. Two audio channels are great for watching a movie with lots of action and dialogue. But most people won’t miss the stereo sound it if they’re watching a talking head in a silent room. When you edit your film, converting stereo audio to mono will cut the file size of your audio information in half.

For more video editing tips read:

How to Capture the Eyes (and Wallets) of Web Users

Cyberwise: Live Streaming Advice

How to Determine if Web Video is Right For You

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.