Let’s start with one undeniable truth: your website is doomed without SEO. Sure, you’ve probably heard this before, but have you really done anything about it? The truth is that every site could use a little more search engine love, even if you have been diligent about your strategies. For new tips or to brush up on old ideas you may’ve forgotten, let’s look at some reasons why your website isn’t attracting as much traffic as it should.
These days website design trends tend to favor clean layouts, and for good reason. In addition to aesthetic appeal, simple appearances with an intuitive flow of content helps your UX (user experience). This is critical to keep people clicking on your site, thereby reducing your bounce rate (or the percentage of people who visit your site but leave without clicking on any other pages). Google puts more value on sites with lower bounce rates, so make sure you design your site with the intent of keeping users on board.
Most websites feature video content of some kind. Whether it’s a product description, a customer testimonial, or it’s just content that’s relevant to your audience, video is a great way to drive engagement. However, if you fail to transcribe the video, you’re missing a golden opportunity. Transcribing speech to text provides more content for search engine spiders to crawl. It’s a tried and true tactic, and yet many brands fail to do it.
No title tags
Of all the ways you can optimize your site for better SEO, writing title tags is perhaps the most important. Title tags refer to the title of a document, and are used in search engine results as a preview of a snippet of an article. Search engine spiders are programmed to use the title of a page to determine the theme of the content. If you don’t have a title, or if you provide it incorrectly, you’re losing out on sweet search engine mojo! (To see a title, hover your cursor over any page’s tab). Make sure your titles are between 50-60 characters in length, and if possible, include one of your keywords.
No site map
If you haven’t guessed, search engine spiders like organization. If your website is poorly organized, or if content just doesn’t follow a logical flow, those pesky spiders won’t know what to make of it. To combat this problem, create a site map for your website. Site maps outline the pages and content of the site in a very easy-to-read-and-click way.
No new content
A lack of new content can kill a website. To fight this, many companies create a blog so they can continually update the site with valuable information. This is a great idea as long as you actually follow through with it. Rather than seeing this as a burden, think of it as an opportunity. Providing value to your users will improve UX, and it’ll signal to the search engines that your site is updated and relevant (and don’t forget to optimize that blog content with keywords and internal links!).
Most businesses know that video can be a powerful tool. Whether you’re providing a helpful how-to demonstration for a product or service, or using humor to show the human, playful side of your brand, video can reach customers in a way that text and even images can’t.
However, if you don’t provide subtitles, you defeat the whole purpose of using video.
In some instances, a really funny and clever video doesn’t need help. It’ll catch on and go viral on its own. But this is the exception to the rule. Every other video effort needs a strategy. You always want to provide value to your customers, but you also need to optimize it with subtitles, or it may not rank very well in search engine results.
To put it into context, check out some of the benefits of subtitling your videos.
Longer view times
In an ideal world, users will watch your whole video. However, think about your own viewing habits for a second. How often do you watch a brand’s video from start to finish? Most of us get the gist and move on. So how do you keep people hooked for the duration?
According to research provided by Reel SEO, adding subtitles can increase users’ viewing times by 40%. And in instances where subtitles were used, 80% of users watched the entire thing. Not only can this help you deliver your message in full, it’ll ensure that the viewer sees an end-of-video call to action, if you have one. To guarantee that you get an accurate transcription, make sure that you use a reliable subtitling company.
Search engine fodder
Search engines rank websites for their content. Based on your text, images and videos, they can connect users’ search queries with your online presence. While Google uses video in search results, it can’t rank it based on visual and audio content alone. This is where subtitling comes in.
You need to provide search engines with copy. By transcribing the dialogue and action of the video and printing it within the video or on your website, you can successfully inform the search engine about the content. With a little planning, you can even use keywords to help your site rank better.
Improved user experience
When adding a video to your website – or any content for that matter – you should bare in mind search engine optimization, but you also can’t forget about the user experience. Stuffing your video caption with words and phrases aimed at scoring with search engines may actually backfire (Google will penalize you), and it will certainly turn off users. Captioning should always be used to enhance the user experience. Whether a person is impaired, prefers to read content rather than watch it, or likes to have a textual reference for what they’re viewing, adding a caption can dramatically improve the watch-ability of your video.
Most businesses know that simply having a website isn’t enough; they need to optimize it. In an ideal world, your awesome company will draw search traffic on the strength of its jaw-dropping content alone. But in reality, that’s probably not going to happen without a little help.
Keywords, meta titles and internal linking are solid, basic ways to guide search engine spiders through your site. But there’s one successful tactic in particular that’s specific to sites with video content: transcription. Providing text translations of your videos can give you an S.E.O. edge over the competition. If you’re unsure if you want to invest time and money, here are a few benefits of transcription to consider first.
Video improves rank
When Google started adding video to its search engine results, the message was clear: video is valuable. For the visitors to your site, it enhances their experience. Video has become an enormously popular medium online. Its familiarity draws people in, and provides another way for them to receive your content. Google sensed this early on, hence the presumed change to their algorithm. Additionally, adding a transcription to your video doubles your S.E.O. efforts. You’ve given the search engine spiders more content to crawl, augmenting their understanding and evaluation of your site.
While a transcription can help with the S.E.O. power of the page from where the video is hosted, it can also add a boost to other pages as well. For longer videos, your transcription will most likely have several pages. Take advantage of this. Optimize each individual page with its own keyword. Plus, more pages means more chances to cross-link within your site.
However, if you’re not familiar with this process, you may want to consider using proven subtitling services. Companies that specialize in transcription can give you an accurate rendering of your video or other digital asset, and may be able to advise you on how to utilize its S.E.O. potential.
Having video on your site is great… now how do you get people to watch it? It certainly helps if the content is relevant and appealing to watch on its own, but another great way to ensure that people interact with it is through transcription. Not everyone is a visual learner. Someone who prefers to read along while the video plays will stay on your site longer if you provide accompanying text. For pages with video, Google values longer view times. Make yours as accessible as possible. Not only will it give people more reason to hang out on your site for longer, it’ll also increase the chances of someone sharing the video online, creating a potentially great backlink opportunity.
Extra content – for free
Offering new, relevant content to your visitors can be tough, but according to Google, it’s necessary in order to compete online. An extra benefit of video transcription is that you now have a document from which you can build. Take some transcribed text about a given topic and spin it into a blog post. It’s already partially written; you just have to tweak and expand on it with your expertise. You now have additional site content at no extra cost to you.