If you’re a company that produces online and digital video, but you haven’t looked into Video SEO yet, you should.
What Is Video SEO?
Video SEO, also known as VSEO or vSEO (and sometimes even video marketing), is the practice of optimizing videos for search engine traffic and rankings. The point of this optimization to drive traffic specifically to your video and content, as opposed to the video hosting provider’s site, if they are two separate things for your company.
Though online videos have been around for a while now, Google didn’t include videos in its searches until about 2007. Many companies weren’t really concerned about video SEO until recently, and now that they are, the field is exploding with real and so-called experts who claim they can get your video to show up on the first page of Google.
Why Video SEO Is Important
Frankly, there’s good reason that all these video SEO marketers are offering their services to companies who make online video. Video SEO is highly valuable when done right, and can drive lots of traffic to your videos and then your company. Here are a few reasons why video SEO is so important for your company:
1. Videos show up more easily in search engine results. A study in 2009 showed that videos had a 1-in-11,000 chance of showing up in results for a particular search term, whereas text and copy-heavy web pages only had a 1-in-500,000 chance of appearing in the results. Though this study is over four years old and online video uploads have only grown, it’s probably still safe to assume that the more you work on video SEO, the more likely you’ll show up in rankings compared to videos without it.
2. People can’t get enough of video. Cisco estimates that by 2017, 69% of all consumer internet traffic will be strictly related to videos, video watching, and video searches. This doesn’t even include videos that consumers share between them! So if your company is in the business of producing online video, you miss out on a LOT of potential traffic when you don’t optimize your videos.
3. Good video quality along with solid video SEO implementation means more and sustained traffic. It won’t matter how good your video SEO is if the quality of your videos stinks, so you need to make sure you’re putting in good work. Also, we’ve already pointed out a few times how valuable video SEO is for attracting traffic. But it’s also important because people who watch a video on your site tend to stick around longer, which means you’re more likely to turn them into a customer.
By now you should be convinced that video SEO’s worth your time. If your company doesn’t have the ability or means to work on video SEO yourself, look into a marketing group or business that can do it for you, like Speechpad. Just make sure you start optimizing those videos so you can see more traffic and more success in the coming years!
Captioning is transcribing the dialogue and audio events that take place off-screen in a text format. Audio events include laughter, a dog barking, the ringing of a doorbell, music, etc. There are two types of captions. The first type of caption is the open caption. The second type is the closed caption, which is the most common type of caption.
The difference between open captions and closed captions is that open captions are always on-screen and cannot be turned off; while closed captions can be turned on and off. Generally, either type of caption appears in the video format in white text with a dark background.
Captions were initially created for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. However, other uses include non-native speakers who use the captions as a tool to learn to read, write and speak the language shown in the video. Captions are also used in loud environments where the audio cannot be heard clearly, such as in a sports bar.
The transcription of the captioning is very labor-intensive because it involves accurately converting the dialogue and the off-screen audio events of the video into a text format. Therefore, it is important to retain the services of a professional company like Speechpad with specialized equipment and training, to ensure the captions of your video properly reflect the events taking place in your video.
Last, but not least, one of the most important aspects of either type of captioning is that it makes your video accessible to a much greater audience. By not captioning your video, you could be missing out on a huge potential market share.
Subtitling is written text appearing on a video format. Subtitles are based on a transcription of the dialogue in the video. Subtitles are generally targeted toward individuals who are not hard of hearing or deaf. For the most part, unlike captions, subtitles only contain the spoken dialogue of the video and do not contain audio events that take place off-screen. Also, unlike captions which appear white text with a dark background, the subtitles have different appearances, such as having more colors and fonts.
Subtitling is also very labor-intensive because the transcription used to create the subtitles must also precisely reflect the dialogue of your video. This is especially true when the quality of the dialogue in your video is garbled, mumbled or not easily understood. Professional companies like Speechpad use special equipment and trained professional transcribers to filter out background noises and/or filter programs in order to create a transcription that reflects the actual dialogue in your video.
Sometimes it is difficult to decide whether to use captions or subtitles in your video. The best way to determine whether your video should have captions or subtitles is to consult with the professionals at Speechpad who can provide you with their professional opinion, based on their many years of experience, and in-depth knowledge of the market demands of your specific video project.
Imagine you were hard of hearing or deaf and weren’t able to catch your favorite TV show on its network last night. You go the network’s site, find the replay video, click “play,” and then… nothing.
You can see the images moving and you can tell the characters are trying to talk, but you see no white words with a black background scrolling past on the bottom part of the screen. And you don’t even have the option to turn on closed captioning anywhere.
A Brief History of Closed Captioning for Online Video
This is what millions of deaf and hard-of-hearing people have to deal with when they attempt to watch online videos. Though the internet’s not a young invention anymore, many companies are still trying to catch up with its fast pace and adapt their online videos to meet the current TV standards.
Closed captioning became required in 1990 when Congress mandated TV sets come with the feature, and then Congress went even further in 1996 to require TV shows have their own closed captioning, as well. So closed captioning for TV has been around for years, but it’s having a very slow time making it over to internet platforms.
Fortunately, improvements have been made. Hulu offers many TV shows with closed captions, and are still trying to add captions to the rest. Even YouTube has a speech recognition program for all its uploaded videos. Unfortunately, the site only transcribes clearly-recorded English and their closed captioning isn’t always correct; because of this limitation, many companies choose to go with transcription services like Speechpad that offer high quality closed captioning.
The Value of Online Video Captioning
What this means for any content creators is that you need to be aware of providing closed captioning for online videos you may make. Though current FCC standards only seem to require closed captioning for videos previously shown on TV networks, progress in the captioning industry is not going to stop there.
The benefits of showing your online videos with closed captioning are enormous. For starters, you will attract a hard-of-hearing or deaf audience who would otherwise not be able to enjoy your content. Second, you’ll also be ahead of your competitors who haven’t even considered adding closed captioning for online video (which could easily be the case since this is a relatively new concern in media). And you also can’t ignore the fact that when you add closed captioning to your videos, Google indexes these words which in turn makes your site to show up more in searches.
Join the ranks of Hulu and YouTube in providing valuable closed captioning for online video. Keep closed captioning in mind as you create, make it a regular part of your projects, and you’ll be well ahead of the digital closed captioning game.