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Is anyone finding your website online?

By now you know that more and more businesses are moving online.  Sure, some traditional brick and mortar companies have accompanying e-stores, but many businesses now exist completely in the digital space.  The cost of running a website is much cheaper than the alternative, and one less barrier to entry into the market.

Of course, to be successful, people have to know you exist.  The disadvantage of the internet is that it’s incredibly crowded and competitive.  Most likely, people aren’t just going to find you accidentally.  You need to drive your brand in their direction.  A great product helps of course, but without proper optimization of your website, search engines like Google won’t know how to connect you to your customers.

Here are some tips to ensure that your site doesn’t get lost in the noise of the internet.

Video transcription

Video has taken the web by storm (or by hurricane, depending on which metaphor you prefer).  Its rise in popularity has provided an opportunity for businesses to reach their customers.  Meanwhile, Google has added more videos to their search engine results, indicating that it values video on a website.

While this is now fairly common knowledge, what people don’t necessarily know is that video alone doesn’t dramatically help your search engine rank.  You have to transcribe video to text if you really want to improve your visibility online.  Think about it.  A transcription not only makes the video more user-friendly, it provides text for search engines to index.

Keywords

Keywords are perhaps the basis for on-site optimization.  They help Google, Bing and Yahoo understand and categorize your service and location.  When (re)-launching any site, it’s important to conduct research into which words and phrases are going to help you the most.  AdWords is a good place to start.  It’ll provide you with all the information you need to help you stand out among the online competition.

Fresh content

Adding content to your site is critical.  Of course, constantly changing the fixtures like the Home or About Us pages would be a hassle and probably drive you crazy.  The easiest way to update your content is through a blog.  By their nature, blogs are supposed to be refreshed often.  By adding new posts, you communicate to the search engines that your site is actively trying to provide value to your customers.  Together with the right optimization, you may soon see more traffic coming to your site.

Backlinks

Internally linking to your site is a good way to boost your profile, but you can’t rely on internal links alone to promote brand awareness.  A great way to improve your website’s status is through a backlink, or link set on another site that directs people to you.

Again, it comes back to how much value that you’re offering.  When search engines see that other sites are pointing to you, they assume that you’re providing the internet with a valuable service.  Important: if you have a relationship with another site and want to ask them to post a link to you, make sure it has a good reputation.  The more legitimate the site is, the more valuable you’ll look.

5 Things Your Business Needs to Be Transcribing

Despite our ever-growing digital landscape, a lot of people still think of transcription in limited terms.  Sure, you can transcribe court proceedings or notes from a meeting, but there are so many other options now.  And these days you don’t just need them for convenience, but to boost your visibility on the web as well.

We’ve written before about the importance of S.E.O. (search engine optimization), and can’t stress it enough.  Adding a text version of your media file is crucial in helping your rank among search engine results.  It will assist the so-called spiders to crawl your website, and figure out what your content is all about.

For example, if you transcribe video, you’ve given the spiders not just one but two sources to examine.  They can more accurately place you in front of someone who’s searching for your specific service.

But while video is a popular choice, let’s not overlook the many other modes that businesses increasingly use every day.  If these categories aren’t all relevant to you now, perhaps you should consider how they might benefit you.

Podcasts

To stand out, more and more professionals are positing themselves as thought leaders.  Podcasts are a great medium for this.  You can record yourself talking intelligently about a specific topic relevant to your industry (probably with a guest), and make it available to stream or download from your website.  Then, get an extra bang for your S.E.O. buck by transcribing the conversation into text!

Presentations

These are a no brainer.  A researched, coherent presentation is ripe for video, but transcription as well.  Despite video’s popularity, some people just prefer to read information instead.  With an accompanying text version, you satisfy both types of needs, while also establishing yourself as an expert on the presentation’s topic.

Q & A

Q & A sessions typically follow presentations, and they’re more unpredictable.  But that doesn’t mean they don’t provide valuable information.  In fact, sometimes they can produce lively conversation that a visitor to your site may find useful or entertaining.

Testimonials

Like Q & As, testimonials give users a great way to engage with and speak about your business.  In the age of social media, consumers and other businesses alike will expect you to directly interact with them.  So be prepared: if someone wants to give you a glowing review over the phone or in person, make sure you record it.  Once it’s converted to text on your site, your visitors will not only see a positive review, but that you’re keeping up with digital trends as well.

Google+ Hangouts

Google+ sometimes gets dismissed among social media sites.  It tends to be less popular than, say, Facebook.  But it’s still a great source for S.E.O. authority.  Many businesses have turned to the Hangouts function as a way to interact remotely with other employees or clients.  Make sure you record these sessions so that you can post a readable version on your site.

The Most Important Thing “Her” Told Us About The Future

When it comes to transcribing, computers miss the mark.  Whether it’s speech to text services or standard captioning, technology hardly competes.  There’s an essential human element that just can’t be duplicated.

In some ways, this is one of the points made by the 2013 critical smash, Her, which was released on DVD last week.  The film was lauded for its unique treatment of intimacy and interpersonal relationships – and computers.

Set in the year 2025, Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore, a depressed writer who composes sincere, intimate letters for people who are unable to write them themselves, for whatever reason.

Reeling and lonely from a divorce, Theodore buys a personal, talking operating system.  He decides to give it a female voice, and with that, “Samantha” enters his life.

Samantha is curious, supportive and undemanding.  She’s also extremely intelligent, so much so that she rapidly begins to understand human psychology, despite being a computer.

Before long, Theodore and Samantha grow close and begin a relationship.  At first, they’re a perfect match and Theodore learns to come out of his shell again.  But eventually Samantha “outgrows” him due to her thirst for infinite (artificial) intelligence.

The art of transcription

The theme of transcription resonates throughout the film.  In the most obvious way, Theodore interprets people’s keepsakes, as well as generalized thoughts and feelings, and communicates them in the form of letters.

(In 2025, letter writing is a rediscovered art, perhaps because our lives are so saturated with technology that strives to be personal, but can’t quite get it right).

A sensitive guy himself, his letters are heartfelt and poetic, yet surprisingly not cheesy.  He’s able to express the nuances of feelings in ways that feel real and direct, as if he were completely in his subject’s mind.

In other words, he’s a professional writer.  It’s a position he masters because of his understanding of social cues and relationships (being able to turn a phrase doesn’t hurt either).

People use his service because, we’re lead to believe, communicating online feels detached and hollow, despite being more integral to our lives than ever.

Failure to compute

For much of the film, Samantha is fascinated by what it means to be human.  As soon as Theodore brings her to life, so to speak, she begins consuming knowledge and building out her seemingly infinite database.  It’s a rush for her.  She’s thrilled to be alive and deeply involved with another person.

However, as evidenced by her devouring of complex philosophies and scientific concepts – things Theodore can’t quite grasp – she eventually becomes more self-aware, and realizes that she’s not meant for a human relationship.

Ultimately, they aren’t compatible because there’s an essential humanity missing from Samantha.  Theodore ends up dating another person.  For all of its fascination with technology, Her ultimately shows how it can’t replace people.

At Speechpad, we know this point well.   Our work is 100% human-generated.  Technology is amazing, but it doesn’t know what it’s like to be human.  In the end, that’s the kind of philosophy that you want behind a transcription service.