Increasing Your Video's Play Rate

Regardless of where you’re posting a video—to your website, a blog, or social media—your goal is to get your visitors to click play. But what if that’s not happening?


If not many people are watching your video, your play rate will reflect this. The play rate is the ratio of people who visited the page the video is on versus how many people clicked play to watch the actual video. Your play rate is very important to look at because it gives you insight to whether you are posting on an insufficient page or if there’s something wrong with the physical look or location of your video.

Getting someone to start your video is the very first step to getting them to engage with your video and in turn, your business. If you notice you have a very low play rate you may want to look at the physical location of the video. Here’s a few things to consider:

  • Is it hard to notice?

  • Is there a visible play button?

  • Does the thumbnail look interesting and appealing?

  • Does the content on the page fit well with the video?

All of these are factors that can drastically help or harm your play rate.

Thumbnails are one of the most important factors when it comes to getting your viewers to click play. A really attractive thumbnail will draw the viewer in and make them want to see what is underneath. You should also make sure that the graphics in the thumbnail are consistent with the message of the video.

Designing a custom thumbnail with different colors, big letters, and a smiling face can really help your play rate.

Similar to the thumbnail, the design and placement of your video on your website can also have a big impact on your play rate. You want to make sure that there is context on the page around the video. Your viewers should have a good idea of what they are about to watch before they click play. Making sure the page is clean and not too crowded can also help. Another trick is to place your video front and center on some of your most popular pages.

You can adjust and play around with many different variables, but always make sure to not change too many things at one time. You always want to be able to pin-point which variables are making the difference in your results. And make sure to always document what does and doesn’t work for you, so you can use it for later projects!

Need Help With A Video?