How Transcripts Boost Video SEO

How Transcripts Boost Video SEO

Brightcove technology partner 3Play Media provides premium captioning, transcription and translation solutions to higher ed, enterprise and government organizations.

Storytelling is evolving. In 2012, more than 90 percent of marketers utilized video for content marketing. Marketers love video as a content medium because it conveys so much more than words alone. Even in our personal lives, how often does this dynamic medium pick up when the narrative falls apart? Describing a funny video is a lot harder than a Google search. "Show me, don't tell me," is truly the axiom of a connected society where video streams in the palm of your hand.

Marketing through video is meant to achieve many goals. In a recent survey of Brightcove users, 64 percent of digital marketer respondents reported engagement is a primary goal of video content. 52 percent create video for educational purposes and 46 percent claim lead generation as the priority. So whether we are delighting customers, informing prospects or driving fresh leads through the funnel, how do you ensure this video content is found?

Interestingly enough, this is where words still have their place. The success of SEO hinges on keywords, so video transcripts add valuable spoken content and furthers your site's presence with search engines.

Bridging the Gap: How Video Transcripts Boost SEO
Video transcripts pick up where meta descriptions and video tags fail to offer more detail. After all, transcripts are a complete textual representation of the spoken content in a video. Since search engines crawl text and use text for indexing purposes, a transcript enables search engines to understand video content on a deep level.

SEO is a practice motivated by higher page rank and more site visits but strategy can depend on keyword queries. As such, it is important to recognize that video transcripts add to a site's keyword density for a desired term. But unlike "keyword stuffing," placing a transcript below a video is a natural way to integrate keyword phrases throughout a page. Additionally, a healthy SEO strategy means targeting more than one keyword phrase. Transcripts are a great way to include many secondary and tertiary keyword phrases which are undoubtedly spoken throughout company video content.

Transcripts can also help assess a keyword strategy. For example, if you built out a video landing page targeted around the keyword phrase: "running store" but "Boston's largest running store" is repeatedly spoken throughout the video, consider adjusting your on-page video SEO elements to match this more relevant longtail phrasing. If possible, create a page for each video so that keywords and on-page content can be customized to that specific video. This means that the page's url structure, page title, h1 and h2 headers, image alt text, page content and anchor text should all incorporate the keyword phrase. It is also important to remember that if your video content and video landing page are misaligned, you could be duping visitors. This may result in a higher "bounce back" rate as visitors discover the content is not a match for their search queries and leave.

Video adds a human element back into the world of Web search, and as such, is quickly becoming the preferred method of consumption by digital natives. Search engines measure these human signs. Many marketers already know that social media signals and great video content are becoming increasingly important to SEO because they possess a human component that is hard to fake. Yet, search engines can only infer so much. Make webinars, demonstrations and product videos digestible for search engines by utilizing transcripts. While video transcripts are often a forgotten step, they assist marketers and SEOs by augmenting keyword density and realigning keyword strategy. After carefully producing, posting and curating video content, you now have a secret weapon to drive video discovery.

Shannon K. Murphy is the content marketing manager for 3Play Media, an online video captioning and transcription service located in Cambridge, Mass. Prior to 3Play Media, Shannon worked as a marketing consultant at HubSpot and Dow Jones Local Media. Shannon has been passionate about SEO, inbound marketing and content creation since 2008.