An easy account of how important transcripts are for videos

Using video in your content marketing strategy is being talked about everywhere today.  People are not searching for a product or service online via their desktops or laptops as much as they once were, mobile phones, phablets and tablets have advanced so much these are quickly becoming the most popular devices to view videos, especially via social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.

Videos can be used in a variety of ways; short explainer videos, adding one in an email, embedding one on your website's landing page.  They are a great way of driving traffic to your website where potential buyers of your product or service get to explore what you have to offer even more.

With video broadcasting becoming more and more popular it is projected to claim more than 80% of website traffic in 2019, so the question is how do you get your video to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) above everyone else's?

The answer is a transcript.

To help everyone who is considering the use of video in their marketing plan, or maybe just starting out, for remembering how important it is to add an accurate transcript, I have designed and created an infographic acronym please see it below.

Acronym of Transcripts
Transcripts are important for video marketing search engine optimization (Background image by Freepik the acronym was created by Virtuadmin.uk)

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Designed by Freepik

 

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How To Increase Your Video SEO The Affordable Way

Video Marketing SEO The Affordable Way

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:-

  1.  Find your page, crawl it and know the content is good quality content
  2.  Index it accurately accordingly
  3.  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.

Conclusion

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.

 

 

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5 SEO Tips for Videos: How Google Ranks Them & How to Optimize

Video media optimisation

Videos are becoming increasingly important for B2B marketing. Companies with dedicated video marketing strategies generate more leads, earn more revenue, and enjoy better brand awareness than those engaging in all other forms of marketing.

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are great places to get eyes on your video content, but prospects aren’t necessarily in work- or buy-mode as they scroll through these platforms.

We do know, however, that 90% of B2B decision-makers use search to research business decisions. To reap the benefits of video marketing, your videos must be optimised for search. By following a few best practices for video SEO, you’ll enjoy more visible video search results and drive more organic traffic—and qualified leads—to your video content.

How Does Google Rank Videos?

In its general search and video search functions, Google ranks videos using the same ranking factors as written content—content quality, the number of backlinks, and RankBrain are the most important signals. When hosting videos on your site, the tasks for optimizing video content are similar to those for written content and images.

Similar, but not identical. Here are five steps you should take to improve your search rankings so your videos stand out in search results:

1. Transcribe Your Video Content

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.

Video transcriptions can be optimized for search in the same way as any other text-based site content. While this may seem to break duplicate content rules, transcriptions actually provide a good user experience by catering to different learning styles. While some visitors may prefer videos, others may prefer reading. In fact, 85% of business executives prefer reading over watching videos when making business decisions.

When transcribing video content, there are two approaches you can take:

  1. Provide a full, word-for-word transcription as Moz does for their Whiteboard Friday videos.
  2. Provide text highlights like Content Marketing Institute does for their This Old Marketing podcast.

Full transcripts provide more engagement SEO opportunities, while highlights are good for long videos and can encourage more views by teasing readers with compelling content that’s discussed in more detail in the video. Ultimately, use the approach your audience prefers: you can poll them to find out, or do some A/B testing to see which approach drives the kind of engagement you’re looking for.

Read the remaining 4 more tips for video optimisation on Marketo Marketing Blog.

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What is a .srt file and how to create one free

How to create a .srt file
What is a .srt file and how to create one

A .srt file is a common name for the extension SubRip computer files and a commonly used file format for subtitles or closed captions on videos.  The benefit of using a .srt file is that when it is added to a video to create the captions it enables search engine crawler bots to index your video more accurately due to the additional text file.

Although automatic captions are generated and all videos that contain speech when uploaded, Google and all other search engines do not consider them accurate enough to use as reliable information about your video content.

How to create a .srt file

Creating a .srt file to add to your video is quite easy and involves six easy steps.  These 6 steps are taken from a post by Andrew Meer on Techwalla

Step 1

Open Notepad by clicking “Start,” “All Programs,” “Accessories” and “Notepad.”

Step 2

Divide each subtitle phrase into numbered sections when creating an SRT file. Type “1” (without quotes) and then press “Enter” to start creating the first subtitle phrase.

Step 3

Enter the time span to display the subtitle phrase when playing the movie. For example, if you want the first subtitle phrase to be displayed from the second minute to the third minute of the movie, type “00:02:00 –> 00:03:00” (without quotes) and press “Enter.”

Step 4

Type the subtitle phrase and press “Enter” to finish creating the first subtitle phrase.

Step 5

Type “2” (without quotes) for the second subtitle phrase and follow steps 3 and 4 to create the second subtitle phrase. Do the same for the other subtitle phrases that you want to create, but ensure that you separate the subtitle phrases into numbered sections.

Step 6

Save the file in the SRT file format after you finish creating it. To do so, click “Start” and then click “Save.” Select “All Files” from the “Save as type” drop-down menu. Next, type a name into “File name” field and type “.srt” (without quotes) after it. Click “Save.”

Conclusion – Outsource?

Depending on the length of your video, podcast, or webinar depends on the length of time it will take to actually produce the transcript to add to your video.  Outsourcing the creation of the transcript process may well be worth considering.

At Virtuadmin I have created many transcripts for closed captioning purposes.  If you would like to hire me to quickly create your transcript please get in touch at cyberspaceayuda@gmail.com.  Alternatively, I have active freelancer profiles on People Per Hour and Fiverr and would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the process.

 

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Closed captions: Transcripts Aid Learning for Almost all Students

Transcripts for Students from Video Aid Learning

Most college and university students who use closed captions and transcripts on video and multimedia find them helpful as a learning tool, despite them not regularly being made available, according to new research from Oregon State University.

One of the first surveys of its type, of 2,124 students across 15 public and private universities nationwide, found that 98.6 percent of students say captions are helpful, with 75 percent of them noting that they use captions as a learning aid in face-to-face and online classrooms. For video transcripts, students referenced the tool as a learning aid 85 percent of the time.

More than half of students surveyed said captions help by improving comprehension. The most common reasons students use captions are to help them focus, retain information and overcome the poor audio quality of the videos, while transcripts are often used as study guides and to find and retain information.

The national study, conducted by the Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit in collaboration with 3Play Media, also shows that among the students surveyed, only 13 percent had registered with an office of disability services and less than 12 percent require academic accommodations. Of all respondents, 19 percent cited having difficulty with hearing and 37 percent have difficulty with vision.

"Many people associate the use of closed captions and transcripts only with disability accommodation, and that can mean they are not made widely available," said Katie Linder, director of the Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit and author of the study. "One hope for this study was to help educate university administrators about how a range of students are using these tools, and that making them more available could help more learners."

According to Linder, closed captions and transcripts are now a legal obligation for universities that receive federal funding when they create videos for courses and for institutional purposes, to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access.
"Despite this, many institutions do not understand the legal obligation, or they only associate these tools with disability accommodation and do not consider how they could be helpful to all students," Linder said.

The study found that almost 100 percent of survey respondents had at least one course, either face-to-face or online, that included some video content. However, more than one-quarter of respondents were unsure about the availability of closed captions and almost one in five were not sure about the availability of transcripts of the videos in their courses.

"Not only is captioning often necessary for accessibility compliance, but, as the study shows, 75 percent of students use captions as a learning aid to improve their focus, retention, engagement, and comprehension when watching videos for class," said Lily Bond, director of marketing at 3Play Media, a company that provides closed captioning, transcription and subtitling solutions.

"As the use of video in higher education becomes more commonplace, making captions and transcripts more widely available should be a priority for institutions."

The survey was voluntary, conducted online and contained 46 questions. All study participants were college and university undergraduate and graduate students, mainly undergraduate, over the age of 18, and the majority of them came from the public, four-year institutions.

"In many ways, this study is just scratching the surface of what we know about how students use and perceive closed captions and transcripts in the college and university classroom," Linder said. "Additional research related to student use and perceptions of closed captions and transcripts is welcomed and encouraged."

A summary of the findings is available online at http://bit.ly/2eKmswJ, as well as a downloadable version of the full report.

* This report first appeared on http://phys.org/news on the 1st November 2016.
** Header image designed by Virtuadmin

Why Add a Transcript to your video?

Video captioning
Why transcribe your video for closed captions

What are “closed-captions” and why would you hire a freelance transcriptionist to produce a transcript for your video?  That’s what I want to answer and why an accurate transcript of the speech spoken in your video helps it rank higher in your niche when someone makes a relevant search.  Marketing in the new-age digital has been rapid in development and utilisation has expanded over the years.

To add closed captions (or subtitles) to your video as opposed to open simply means to add visual text to your video that the viewer has the option to them on or off.  Open captions are burnt onto the video and you don’t have that option although they are used for example in films or programs that are in a different native language to the viewer, which I for one are grateful for!

Late Senator wants closed captioning of in-flight movies

Closed-captions were originally developed for the hearing-impaired and in years gone by in the early 1980s provided by Digital Teletext services essentially for this purpose.  The late former senator “Thomas Harkin” complained that on airline flights passengers with hearing impairments couldn’t watch the films on-board because they lacked subtitles.

Today transcripts have additional resource value and have many different time-saving purposes like Tweets; blog posts ideas; social media post headlines; incentive to potential clients to participate in a webinar; marketing interviews that are transcribed can often be enough to provide literature to create a course/e-course; material that can be printed into a hard copy and provide a point of reference are to name a few.  The bonuses of a transcript in itself that are naturally included in your text document for a one-off fee, probably more affordable fee than that of a video editing business or outsourcing organisation.

So why add a transcript to a video?  Video and video marketing has evolved rapidly since the coming of the digital age and with the Internet, mobile phones that can record video and upload it to the net pretty much instantly are all channels for businesses and marketers to get their product or service out there to a much larger audience than ever before.

Some facts and figures about video marketing, the first three are taken from Adeliestudios.com where they published a post titled “The Top 15 Video Marketing Statistics for 2015”.

  • 2015 is The Year of Video Marketing. – HubSpot Marketing
  • 70% of marketing professionals report that video converts better than any other medium. – MarketingProfs
  • When marketers included a video in an email, the click-through rate increased by 200% – 300% – Forrester
  • 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. – YouTube (That’s a lot of cat videos!)
  • 59% of senior executives prefer to watch video instead of reading text, if both are available on the same page. – Forbes Insight (Does that therefore mean that 41% would prefer to read a text document if both are available on the same page?  Comments welcome at the bottom of this post.)
  • Average time spent on mobile devices is 40 minutes per session. – DMR
  • 85 Countries have launches a local version of YouTube. – DMR
  • 96% of Business to Business are planning to use video in thier marketing in the next year. – HubSpot
  • 52% of Marketing Professionals name video as the best type of content for return of investment (ROI).
  • That, by 2019, video content will account for roughly 80-90% of internet traffic? – B2C (Cisco Study)

Anyway, so all that said how does a transcript help Search Engine Optimization when its included on a video?  It’s about accurate text when you add the transcript to your embedded video.  The search engine bots like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Explorer and others they have more content information due to the transcribed text document and this enable them to rank your video higher because there is more video content information.  Having a video transcribed by the nature of the script it is keyword rich because it is your niche that you are speaking about.  This could be personal or professional, for profit or for non-profit but a transcript will give search engine trawlers a lot more detail other than that of just the title, subtitle, and of course the video and its content.

So if you are not currently using video in your marketing strategy for your business hopefully the advantages bullet-pointed above have given you some thought for inclusion of video marketing with a transcript in your future marketing strategy?