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?

What is Play Rate?

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. Why is it important? Your video’s play rate gives you insight into whether you are posting on an insufficient page. It will also tell you if there’s something wrong with the physical look or location of your video.

How to Increase Your Play Rate


Pressing play on your video is the very first step to getting your audience to engage with your video and in turn, your business. If you notice a very low play rate, you may want to look at the physical location of the video. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Is the video 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.

Design and Placement

Similar to the thumbnail, the design and placement of the video on your website can also have a big impact on 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. Make sure the page is clean and not too crowded with content. An additional trick is to place your video front and center on some of your site’s most popular pages and/or blogs.

Walk before you run

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

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