Text Sites vs. Video Sites – The Straight Stats


There are a lot of statistics (and hearsay) floating around about how sites featuring video fair against sites using only text. Much of the actual data comes from major advertisers using pre-roll video (the video ads you have to watch before the video you want to see is played). So these statistics, while telling, aren’t necessarily “in tune” with the average web site owner.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Internet marketers who will claim insane levels of success by using video in place text. Problem is, they never quote any specific numbers or give any clues as to what the “before video” and “after video” pictures look like.

So I’ve decided to share the actual statistics (from Google Analytics) between a video site and a text only site. Now, please understand I won’t be sharing any financial statistics (sorry)…just statistics regarding general visitor behavior.

For the video site (I label it video in the stats), I’ve chosen my homepage (webvideouniversity.com). Now, my homepage isn’t 100% video based…it’s a mix of video and text…however, it does contain a dozen videos.

For the text site (I label it text in the stats), I’ve chosen a site from one of my partners. It’s a site that is 100% straight text. And while it’s not in the same exact market as my site…it is of similar design and gets the same amount of traffic. So the comparisons, while not perfect, are pretty good.

Alright…now onto the stats:

Bounce Rate (people who go to the homepage and leave without taking any other action):

Text = 87%
Video = 59%

Average Time On Site:

Text = 42 seconds
Video = 5 minutes and 50 seconds

Browser Used:

Text = 76% Internet Explorer, 20% Firefox, 4% Safari
Video = 43% Internet Explorer, 53% Firefox, 4% Safari

Operating System:

Text = 92% Windows, 5% Mac, 3% Other (Linux, iPhone, etc.)
Video = 79% Windows, 20% Mac, 1% Other (Linux, iPhone, etc.)

Internet Connection Speed:

Text = 70% DSL or above, 24% Unknown, 6% dial-up
Video = 78% DSL or above, 21% Unknown, 1% dial-up

Now, I know a lot of people will want to know “what’s the conversion rates” between the text and video sites…and again…like I said, I won’t be sharing any financial information here. But I’ll give you a hint. Look at the Bounce Rate and Average Time On Site statistics. They should give you a pretty good clue at which site converts better.

For the Browser Used and Operating System statistics, I’ve included those because they illustrate a trend that has been proven in other web video statistics…that people who watch online videos are actually more educated than those who don’t.

That means they don’t use whatever browser that comes pre-installed with their computer (they understand they have a choice…and usually a better choice…as evidenced by the large jump in Firefox users on the video site). And they do their homework when it comes to PC vs. Mac these days…as evidenced by the jump of Mac users on the video site.

I’ve included the Internet Connection Speed stats to illustrate a point I’ve long been making…the percentage of dial-up users online is so small that there is no reason to dumb-down the quality of your videos to accommodate them. They can wait…or they can upgrade to technology that became available 10 years ago. In any event, they probably don’t have the money to buy your product anyway.

So those are the stats and a few of my comments. What are your thoughts?