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Optimizing your video using YouTube

YouTube view counts

Video is a great way to reach your audience

You used to optimize your videos for the search engines by paying attention to your title, description, tags and the category you choose for your video.

  • This simple change to your YouTube videos will triple your views

Using video is a great way to market your business. Video is appealing to people and you can incorporate a lot of content in a video. The biggest problem with online videos has always been the invisibility to the search engines. Search engines were never able to figure out the content of a video. The meta data was the only way to tell the search engines what the video was about. To optimize a YouTube video, for example, you have four areas where you could communicate the contents of the video with the search engines: the title, the description, the tags and the category. Selecting the wrong category could cost you your Google ranking.

Recently, Google implemented their speech software into YouTube. As a result, YouTube automatically attempts to capture the audio of your video for closed captioning. I say attempts, because the transcription is far from accurate. But even with the imperfect transcription it gives a much better picture of what the video is about than we have seen so far. The nice thing is that the search engines have started crawling these YouTube caption files and use them to index the video. With this change, search engines have switched from using the metadata to using the actual content of the video to determine its ranking. People looking for a specific piece of content will be able to find much more relevant videos than before.

I am sure that you realize from the above that it pays off to make sure that the transcription is accurate. From my own experience I have to say that correcting the transcription Google comes up with is much easier than producing your own from scratch. Here is how you find the translation and how you can edit it:

While in your YouTube channel, go to the video manager (in the top right hand corner).

YouTube Video Manager

This will provide you with a list of all your uploaded videos. Click on the arrow next to “Edit” of the video you want to edit and select captions. Make sure that the dot is green, which means that you have turned captions on and you have selected a language.

YouTube Closed Caption

Hover over the green dot, and a pencil will appear. When you click the pencil, you will be provided with the automatically created transcription file.

YouTube Video Transcription

You have the ability to edit this file and upload it to YouTube again. This is important to do, since the search engines are crawling these transcriptions and use them to rank videos in the search engines.

This is not the only reason you should start paying attention to the closed captions. Obviously, this feature is a big help for the hearing impaired. Furthermore, the closed captions are automatically translated in many foreign languages. As a result you are reaching a much larger audience than you do with written content. The translations are far from perfect, but it is better than to listen to a video in a language you don’t understand.

With this latest development you can reach a significantly larger audience. It creates a little bit of extra work, but the rewards are worth it.

Besides the benefits this new feature has for your marketing efforts, there is also another interesting advantage. With this new feature, you can easily transcribe any video you want, just by uploading it to YouTube!

To your success,



  • http://twitter.com/Brandbooster Brandboost

    Just tried this – the automated transcript was utter rubbish, just incomprehensible gobbledegook. Clicked on download to get the file so that I could edit it, the file had a .fbv extension and I couldn’t open it. Then I went to the upload a new file link, it gave two options: upload a caption file (presumably one of these .fbv things) or, in beta, upload transcript – but it didn’t say anything about acceptable formats. 

    Seems like a great idea, (and thank you for sharing), but as with most Google innovations the first time execution is laughably bad. 

    I’m sure in three months time, when Google has done some UAT, the bugs will be ironed out and it will become usable.