The Long and Short to Video SEO

auth-joshA few weeks ago we wrote about several behind the scenes tricks you can do to improve your Video SEO through YouTube. We wanted to continue that discussion with two more tricks that are often under utilized but just as important to boosting your video.

The long format: Transcription. Before you put your high school typing skills to the test, you should know that YouTube now has a tool to automatically transcribe the audio in your video.   You should also know it is not perfected yet so you will still have to review and possibly edit the transcription, but at least you have the basics to get you started. Or, if you so cleverly used a production company like Midland Video then your video is already in script format and can easily be copied and pasted into the form.

Why should you transcribe your video? Well the answer is simple; it is another place for your keywords to show up in a Google search, helping your Video SEO. An added bonus, you can now use this information to create subtitles or closed captioning. According to an article by, “Studies have shown that captions increase view times not only for deaf people or those who know English as a second language, but also for users who watch video in a sound sensitive environment like a workplace or library.“ This helps your SEO because a video that is captioned and watched for 3 minutes will rank higher in the results than a non-captioned video that is only watched for 30 seconds.

The short format: Annotations. We have all seen them exclusively on YouTube. That clickable text overlay you can add to your video highlighting key points. Annotations are a great way to boost the viewers engagement by driving traffic to an email list, website, social media or another video. The key is to keep it simple and direct. Use your top keywords to direct them to a place that is related to the main topic of the video. The key is not to force it or look like you are trying too hard. The topic should be natural and obvious, if it’s not, don’t do it! We recommend no more than two annotations per video to keep the focus on the video.

Think of annotations as an added bonus that reinforces the point. It’s important to be aware of the size and the position of the annotation. You don’t want it so big that it blocks important content, but you don’t want it too small or discreet that it gets lost behind ads and other content. Placement, timing and the number of annotations determine the effectiveness, so use them wisely. The goal is to enhance the content.

The long and short of it is – a video is just a video until the right people see it. A few behind the scene tricks will take your video to the right viewer and keep them engaged longer.

This blog was written in conjunction with an article from The Next Practical Step. To read the original piece, click here.