With social video and video marketing becoming one of the most powerful ways to engage your audience, the digital landscape has changed dramatically over the last 10 years.
Digitalisation and technology have become less expensive than it once was. In today’s digital world you don’t necessarily need to contract a professional video producer. Today’s modern technology allows you very simply to create a marketing video yourself, upload it to a video hosting platform like YouTube or Vimeo to name just a couple, plan your marketing strategy and off you go.
Marketers, Entrepreneurs, businesses, anybody making a video with the intention of marketing their brand, service or product to an audience, it is 100% essential to create and upload an accurate transcript for enhanced SEO and accessibility for the hearing impaired. Something else Google will think highly of your video for.
In a recent post by leading marketing agency Marketo, last month published a post on essential SEO tips for videos. Number 1 recommendation on their list of ‘5 SEO Tips for Videos‘ was “Transcribe Your Video Content”.
Nate the author of the post explains “providing both a video and transcription on a single page offers dual benefits: it caters to different reader preferences, and it makes video content more likely to appear in general Google searches.” He goes on to say “full transcripts provide more engagement SEO opportunities“.
By adding an accurate text document, either a full transcription or providing text highlights (as described in the article on the Marketo blog), the transcript will create closed captions (subtitles). Search engine crawler bots cannot see visual images or hear the speech, they rely solely on the readable text.
Unless you add an additional transcript bots only have the information you input in the title, subtitle, description in the metadata. That is until you upload your video transcript to the hosting platform of your choice.
Automatic captions are not indexed
Yes, the video hosting platform will most probably automatically create subtitles/captions, however, Google (and other search engines) do not index them, which they do need to be to appear in search engine results pages. Closed captions (subtitles) ‘auto-captions’ are not considered accurate enough to rely on for indexing purposes.
So if your video doesn’t get crawled and indexed, your ranking will not be that great. This is because there is so little information about the content. The only source of information that they can reliably use is the basic title, subtitle, content of the video within meta tags.
If search engine crawlers cannot index your marketing video, for example, it will not get found, this is not the desired result. It is also an issue that you do not need when it’s for business or entrepreneurial intentions.
Why add a transcript?
Adding an external transcript of the speech content is a huge asset, it enables search engine bots to read the text and:-
- Find your page, crawl it and know the content is good quality content
- Index it accurately accordingly
- Keywords tied to your niche subject area are naturally spoken and will occur regularly within the transcript
Here are a few statistics to help you understand exactly how popular video marketing has become in recent years. Courtesy of Buffer, from their comprehensive post of ‘50 Video Marketing Statistics to Help You Create a Winning Social Media Strategy in 2017‘ states “Captions on Facebook video ads increase video view time by an average of 12%.
If that is on Facebook Ads alone, what would it do for your video marketing efforts by adding a transcript; how much extra view time would that generate for your product or service?
Case Study (3playmedia.com)
Digital Discovery Networks performed a study that proves captions on YouTube videos boost SEO and increase views by 13.48% in the first 2 weeks and 7.32% overall. To test this, they searched for a keyword phrase that was present only in their video captions, not in the title, description, tags, or metadata.
Video transcription does not have to be expensive
Ultimately adding a captions file in the form of a transcript is the right way to increase your video ranking in SERPs (search engine results pages) increasing customer views, there are few ways you can do this.
- Create the text document yourself
- Outsource to a video captioning service (expensive)
- Outsource to a freelance transcriptionist (affordably)
Creating the text document yourself
If you are fairly quick at typing this can be the most economical option for you, it won’t cost you anything! However, there are factors such as the length of the video, how man speakers, when you ideally would like it to be completed for, that determine if you can indeed produce the captions file quick enough.
Also, without transcribing software and a transcribing foot pedal, it is not so easy to go back and replay a couple of seconds to replay what was said if you missed it the first time. This can eventually lead to frustration and time delays, something you do not need or want.
Outsource to a transcription/video captioning service
With the growing popularity of video marketing, so has the demand for video transcription. With higher demand comes higher costs and no shortage of online digital transcription vendors specifically available to transcribe the speech from the spoken content within your video.
Unfortunately, however, these providers do have overheads if their staff are on-site office based. If this is not the case, they operate purely via the internet, they still have overheads to take in consideration that they obviously need to factor into their fees when contracting out their specialist services.
This can be expensive and unaffordable, especially if you are a start-up, solopreneur/entrepreneur, self-employed and working from home, that are just a few examples. You are trying to obtain the best professional service with the outcome of an accurate transcript with the least expenditure.
Outsource to a freelance transcriptionist
This is ‘How To Increase Your Video SEO The Affordable Way’.
There are some excellent freelancing websites out there today full of talented people waiting to provide their professional services at a fraction of the cost, transcription and video captioning is no different. It is ultimately a risk-free way to get your video transcribed into text that you can then go on to use as a captions file.
How is it risk-free? If you order the service of a transcriber via a freelance website you will deposit funds for their services into a holding account, such as Escrow, for example. When the work is completed, delivered and you are happy, you pay them the funds. If the worst happened and the transcript wasn’t delivered to you or it was totally unsatisfactory and not fit for its purpose, then it is simple to either hire someone else or ask for a refund.
Finding the right freelance transcriptionist can be time-consuming, invaluable when you find one. As a freelance typist/transcriptionist here at Virtuadmin, over 20 years experience transcribing audio and video, a video up to 15 minutes in length, with a single speaker, would cost just £10 to transcribe and send in a text (.txt) file format. This is how affordable video SEO can be.
Other formats for closed caption files are available, however, from experience in captioning and uploading text (.txt) files to YouTube, I know this format works extremely well at automatically syncing the speech with the text.
If you are or planning to use video as a promotional tool for your brand, product or service, how is your video going to be found amongst the millions without a transcript?
The only way to be sure of optimising your video for SEO the affordable way is either type it yourself into a text document or outsource to an experienced transcriber, like me at Virtuadmin, with the relevant equipment to deliver exactly what you need.
Transcripts are a great investment too, especially from a marketing perspective. Once you have your document there are other alternatives ways to utilise it. See my infographic ‘9 Ways to Use Your Audio Transcript’ for other instances to capitalise on your investment of a transcript.
Have you got any questions about video captions for SEO? Please do not hesitate to get in touch, I would be happy to answer queries you may have.