YouTube and Google have been making changes and improvements in how you can optimize your video SEO. I have often blogged about how to improve the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your videos and I have recently updated our eBook Search Engine Optimization for YouTube Videos to reflect those changes. There have been a number of small format changes in the interface and a few name changes such as YouTube Insights is now called YouTube Analytics. One of the biggest changes over the past year is YouTube’s Auto Caption Program.
How Captions Increase Video SEO
One of the biggest problems with online video has always been its invisibility to search engines. Search engines cannot tell what is on a video and the metadata was the only way to tell the search engine what the video was about. To optimize a YouTube video for search engines you had four areas where you could make a difference:
- Title: This is still the first and most powerful aspect of SEO for your video.
- Description: While the first two lines will show up in search results a complete description can include names, keywords and information that will help your video get found.
- Category: YouTube uses 15 categories to catalogue all its videos and a video in the wrong category can loose ranking.
- Tags: These are your keywords and long-tail-keyword phrases and still important.
Now YouTube will automatically attempt to capture the audio from your video and attach the transcription to your video for closed captioning. The best part is that YouTube Search and Google Search will crawl these YouTube caption files and the videos will turn up in search results for keywords contained in the YouTube Subtitles. For an in-depth look on how this works read Mark Robertson’s REELSEO blog: In-Depth Look At YouTube Closed Captions – YouTube SEO and More.
Now search engines look at the CONTENT of the video rather than just the METADATA for keywords. The most important thing is that people looking for content will be able to find it within videos. As a video producer and marketer you will need to be sure that the YouTube caption files are correct. The auto transcription service is a long way from fool-proof, especially background noise, music, technical jargon and accents. You will need to download and edit the transcriptions and make sure they are correct. Our free eBook Search Engine Optimization for YouTube Videos goes into more details on how you can do this.
Let me know if you have updated your video transcriptions in the comments section below and how it has worked.
Photo Credit: Harry Cole