Since launching my video tutorials I have wanted to setup some tests to increase conversion rates.
As part of my Google Webmaster Guidelines experiment I have integrated a few tracking points to track things like email sign ups, social actions, affiliate clicks, and downloads which I have setup as goals in Google Analytics.
I will be reporting on those metrics as part of that experiment but at the same time I want to optimise the conversion rate of the videos.
I have discussed and published a post on conversion rate optimisation before so if you’re not familiar with what it is then check it out.
The Problem With Video
I’m still getting used to producing videos at the moment. While they are great for teaching people it is often difficult to convert a viewer into a subscriber or affiliate sale.
This is because you have to rely on the user to take manual action. It isn’t like an image where they can just click through to a link.
Usually this involves typing a URL into the address bar that is shown in the video which is how I have things setup.
What I needed is a way to embed an e-mail sign up form and clickable elements into the video itself. That just isn’t possible with YouTube hosted videos.
I discovered a few solutions for this-
Wistia provide an advanced video player as well as hosting the videos for you. They allow you to place clickable banners into the videos and had some pretty nice analytics.
What really drew me to this service was you ask for a users e-mail address before they started the video. I thought that would be perfect on video 3 in a series for example BUT there’s a problem. It doesn’t integrate with Aweber or similar services; you can just export a raw list of the e-mails to manually import into Aweber.
It looked like the winner on the surface, but no e-mail integration was a killer.
Easy Video Player
Reading around online Easy Video Player had some fantastic feedback and did everything I wanted it to do.
That was until I clicked the Buy Now button and found out it was $127! Just for the player it was $127! On top of that I would have to move the videos over to Amazon S3 which would see even more costs.
Easy Video Player is certainly one of the most advanced players out there but there had to be something cheaper than that.
Easy Web Video
The Easy Web Video service also had the majority of the features I was after. You could easily integrate e-mail forms and add clickable buttons.
There were some other cool features like automatic trigger points where you could make things appear underneath the video at predetermined timings.
In fact the only reason I didn’t go with Easy Web Video is because I came across….
Simple Video Pro
Simple Video Pro is a wordpress plugin so offers direct integration into the site. It allows you to insert a clickable logo, clickable banner ads, clickable splash images, trigger point reveals, social media buttons and completely custom html.
In terms of customisation options and choices it is by far the best. The custom HTML section is especially useful and you can pretty much do anything you want. The only drawback is you can only add 1 of each item listed above. So you couldn’t have a clickable banner 2 minutes in and then again 8 minutes in etc.
What set this apart from the competition was the fact that I could use the videos I already had hosted through YouTube.
That is a huge benefit and huge cost saving as hosting them on Amazon S3 or similar service can be expensive.
Simple Video Pro allows me to pull any video in from YouTube and insert overlays on top. Perfect!
After settling on Simple Video Pro as my new player of choice I needed to work out the best way to utilise it to increase conversions.
It really does offer a lot of options and it’s easy to go crazy by adding social icons, banners and custom HTML but for the purpose of this test I decided to keep things simple.
I know from YouTube’s analytics that 60% of viewers watch the entire video. I decided at the end of the video I wanted to display some custom HTML.
This is what users currently see at the end of a video-
Just a bunch of related videos on YouTube, which is fantastic….. if your YouTube. Not so great for conversions.
I had a play with a few designs and finally settled on this-
So at the end of the video users get presented with the option to subscribe or find out more about things mentioned in the video. Pretty sweet huh?
I decided to setup a split test in Google Analytics (known as Content Experiments) to test the original page against the new page and see which one offers the best conversion.
The only difference between the pages is the video player. One of them uses the standard YouTube player and one of them use Simple Video Pro with the custom HTML display at the end of the video.
Other than that, the pages are identical.
I’m running this test across the entire Ultimate Guide To Tiered Link Building series right now.
This seems like a complete no brainer and I fully expect that the Simple Video Pro player will provide significantly better conversion rates for subscriptions and affiliate clicks.
However I could be very wrong! But that’s the beauty of setting up tests like this, you can throw opinion out of the window and make decisions based on cold hard data.
Once the test is complete I will pick a winner, publish the results and then change something else to improve things further.
Update: The test results are now available!
What Are Your Predictions
What do you think of this experiment? Which one is going to provide the best conversion rate?
Do you have any tips or ideas on improving video conversion?