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Discover how to create a user experience that embodies utility, ease of use, and efficiency by identifying what people want from websites, how they search for information, and how to structure your content to take advantage of this. In this course, author Chris Nodder shows how to merge engineering, marketing, graphical and industrial design, and interface design to create a website that meets the needs of your customer, and is simple, elegant, and engaging. The course shows how to use graphics to help rather than hinder visitors, balance advertising and content, and integrate video, audio, and other media. Other tutorials consider the landing page experience and elements like contact forms from the visitor's perspective.
If you think that people will want to immediately watch or listen to the media you provide, it makes most sense to embed it in the page. If you think they are going to want to download it for use later on, for instance, as a podcast, then you should provide it as a link on your site. Each downloadable piece of content should have its own page. When you create a link on your site, you link to that page. The page should have a summary of what the downloadable content is about, the formats it's offered in, and related items like transcripts for video or other podcasts in the same series. The reason for giving each piece of content its own page is that this gives visitors a chance to check that they are downloading the right thing before they start rather than after they open it, which might happen some time in the future after they've left your site.
Also, having a page for each download gives you a chance to provide a text description of the media. Because search engines can't work out what's in the media items directly, this text description provides a lot more context, it means that your site will rank higher in search results than other similar sites that don't provide the same level of description. When you think that people will be using the media from within your site, display it along with your other content, in the same way you would with any other image or graphic. It often makes sense to also provide a link to the same media for download so that people can easily share it or use it offline.
If you're hosting on a service like YouTube or Vimeo, embedding the video in your site automatically creates a link back to the video on the hosting site. So, I think a separate link isn't necessary. It may seem like more hassle to create separate pages for each download, but this will pay off in the future. Search engines are notoriously bad at being able to extract the meaning from videos, podcasts, and sometimes even PDF files. If you create summary pages for each downloadable piece of content and have good summary descriptions on those pages, then you've made your site much more accessible to search engines and probably boosted the likelihood that people will come to you for that information.
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