If you’re going to go to the effort and expense of creating a quality animation, why not implement it to give your website the biggest boost possible? To get the biggest bang out of your animation, pay attention to its quality, location, and attributes.
You want people to watch your video for two reasons: first, to learn what you have to say; and second, to spend more time on your site. Websites are graded, in part, by how long people are looking at them. A poorly produced animation not only hinders your message, it can make people leave your site faster than if you only had text.
It is likely that your business is something other than generating computer animations, so the first step to having a quality animation is to hire a professional to make it. As any business coach will tell you, do what you do best, and delegate everything else.
As part of the creation of the animation, make sure you have a thumbnail or preview image that will attract users – something that makes them want to click and watch.
Most online viewers have an exceptionally short attention span, to make the most of that brief amount of time keep your animation short (under 2 minutes) and to the point. Obviously, the definition of “short” does depend on audience and context. However, the general goal is to hook your audience right away so that they want to watch longer animations located deeper in your site.
Finally, a quality animation is appropriate. You want the subject matter, tone, and style to be consistent with your brand and target audience.
If you want people to watch your attention-grabbing animation, make it the first thing they see when they open your page. That means above the fold (the top section) of your Home or landing page. Once again, you want to be considerate of that short attention span. For the viewer to scroll below the first screen of your page, something in that first screen needs to convince them that your page is worth the effort.
And be sure to directly embed your animation on your website. A link to YouTube improves YouTube’s SEO, not yours. That said, putting your animations on YouTube with the appropriate optimizations and links back to your website is also a good idea.
In very simple terms, when you add an animation to your website, there are additional attributes that you can define that give it more search engine juice. The animation’s optional site map contains most of those attributes. Translation: the animation’s optional site map is a REQUIREMENT.
You can also include the transcript with the animation – providing text for Google to search. This means that at the beginning of the animation project, you want to keep SEO optimization in mind when creating the script.
Just as you want to embed the animation directly on your site, you want to make it embeddable. Doing this makes the animation easier to share and automatically links it to your website.
Punch Up the Punch
Being found on the internet is not an easy task. The number of businesses and amount information online competing for that coveted first page of search results is incomprehensible. However, there are ways to make your page more desirable than your competition. Add animations that are professionally produced, properly placed, and search engine friendly.
People frequently get caught up on a specific animation technology. The truth of the matter is that good animators are current on all the technology and know how to use each one to its best. Take a look at this Squash & Stretch Productions promotional animation:
Pretty cool, if we do say so. Did you notice that there were 2D graphics and 3D graphics? Would you guess that some of the 3D effects were done with 2D technology? If you watch it again, you may see some of the differences, but only because you looked for them. (And no, we will not provide any hints.)
The point is that animators know their craft and know how to use their tools.
If you have any questions about a particular animation trend or want to know how some of these trends can keep people riveted to your site, Squash & Stretch is just a phone call away!