Video and SEO: How Captioning Enhances Your Message and Expands Your Reach

by: David Titmus

Video has fast become the king of online content, with studies showing that video accounts for more than 70 percent of all web traffic, with 55 percent of people watching online each day.

YouTube now stands as the second largest search engine after Google, attracting more viewers ages 18-34 than any cable network in the United States. Over on Facebook, which retains a monthly audience of 1.9 billion people, video posts have increased by 94 percent annually, and Cisco has estimated that, globally, IP video traffic will account for 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021.

Though embraced by consumers and advertisers alike, this upsurge in online video content does bring with it a few new challenges for businesses, especially those trying to stand out from the rest of the crowd at the top of search engine results pages.

But that’s where VITAC can help. Adding captions to online video goes a long way in boosting that video’s search engine optimization (SEO) ranking.

SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements needed to improve web site/content rankings, drive traffic, and increase search engine awareness. Bots – programs designed to scour the web – index Internet pages and collect various bits of online data, including the words and keywords on web pages or the way in which other sites link back to you, to ensure that your content appears high on the list of results returned by search engines, such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo!.

But videos throw these web bots a curve, as the programs aren’t able to “read” their content unless the videos also contain some sort of text that the bots can index.

Captioning videos, however, do for search engines what they do for 50 million deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans — translate audio to text. By adding captions, you are essentially embedding transcripts of your content in the video file’s metadata, pulling all the video’s searchable keywords to the forefront for the bots to capture and boost your search rankings.

In today’s competitive market, SEO is more important than ever. Search engines serve millions of users per day looking for answers to questions or solutions to problems. Captioning external content expands reach, boosts rankings, and ensures everyone, everywhere, sees your message.

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