We’ve highlighted the SEO value in YouTube before, as the second largest search engine in the world, you are fool not to be featuring your brand, but it appears few people know about a YouTube feature that not only expands your reach but can also improve your SEO.

For every video uploaded you have probably optimised the description and Keywords fields but have you used every tool available?

YouTube has a helpful transcription facility designed to help you reach out to the hearing-impaired audience but which also acts a great SEO tool too. YouTube’s closed captioning service can literally put words to the pictures as they appear in the video.

The machine transcription system effectively works via voice recognition and actually is not one of the most accurate of its ilk but even the experts appear to have been stumped at creating total accuracy in this field. However, the automated processing can be easily overridden and edited, so spending a few extra minutes can make your transcription word perfect and the effort will bring a big boost to your organic search.

Here’s how to use the tool:

1. Upload and save your video to your YouTube channel

Remember to include an engaging headline, relevant keywords and a full description of what your video is about

2. Use YouTube’s Machine Transcription

Once your video uploads select it from your list of videos and click click the edit link. Next click on the Captions and Subtitles tab. You should now be presented with “Available Caption Tracks” with a checkbox beside “English: Machine Transcription”. Click the download button and let the system work it’s magic.

You may be presented with the following message “Machine Transcription is available for the videos in this Channel. To enable Machine Transcription for this video, please ‘Request Processing’. We will try our best to get some results in a few days.”. In which case click the “Request processing” button and allow the system time to try to carry out  the transcription.

3. Edit your transcription

Once you have transcription you can download the same and edit it in any text editor. You can amend any errors and typos and event arrange the correct words with the correct video sections. Be careful to ensure the time coding is kept intact and is accurate to the location of that text in the video. You will see the formatting is fairly logical but this is usually the part that creates problems for people.

4. Upload your captions

Once you are happy with the transcript simply upload it to the video under “Add a Caption Track”. Before you set the video live check the captions are in sync and correct by watching the video through. Click the cc symbol on the bottom right of the video screen to kick the captions in. If there are any errors you can easily correct any errors by repeating the process above. If it works send the video along with the captions live.

Now sit back and watch the traffic roll in. As well as providing vital subtitles to the hard of hearing your captions will now provide a transcript for search engines to trawl. It effectviely provides them with a complete catalogue of every word used in the video including any vital keywords. To add extra value download the completed transciption file and save it to your computer. On this version strip out the timecoding references and then use the text to create a blog article to support a page you might embed the video on.

Have you used YouTube captions to good effect?


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