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4 Video Optimizing Strategies You Might Have Overlooked

Here are some tips to help you get more eyes on your videos, make your content more enjoyable and boost your SEO. 

Katie Caron
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(Photo: Pixabay user JuralMin)

If your business is producing video content, you’re already ahead of the curve. A 2015 eMarketer report found that just 9 percent of small businesses use YouTube. While making solid videos is a great way to reach your audience and gain new customers in this competitive retail landscape, simply producing content isn’t enough. If you want to boost your SEO, get more eyes on your videos and make your content more useful and enjoyable for consumers, you can take some added steps. Here are a few tips for optimizing videos that you might have overlooked.

1. Include closed captions

Including closed captions on your YouTube videos can help boost your SEO. A study from Discovery Digital Networks found that videos with captions saw an increase of about 7 percent in views. This may seem small, but anything you can do to boost your traffic is worth your time. Rather than writing out and uploading your own transcript, it might be tempting to rely on YouTube’s automatic captioning feature. But beware, this feature isn’t entirely accurate and will likely bring mistakes to your captions. If you use auto-captions, Google will no longer index them, which means there’s no benefit to your SEO. Your SEO could actually take a hit if your captions are gibberish. Additionally, captions with mistakes aren’t helpful to viewers.

Along with the SEO benefits, closed captions make your videos accessible to those with hearing impairments and they allow people to watch your videos in loud environments or situations where they can’t have the volume on. Captions will also be helpful to those who don’t speak English as their first language.

2. Add the video transcript to your video description

Along with a summary and links to your site and social media, include the transcript of your video in the description section. You likely already typed this up to use as your script and to upload for captions, so this should be an easy step. Adding your transcript gives search engines more to work with when categorizing your video. The text could also be helpful to viewers, especially if it’s a how-to or a video with complex details or steps to follow.

3. Focus on sound

Poor sound quality is one of the most efficient ways to get people to close your video immediately. People are more likely to be forgiving of bad video quality than poor audio quality, so it’s important to take some steps to make sure you aren’t turning away viewers. Record your video in the quietest space you have access to. Background noise can be distracting and sound much louder on tape. If you’re near a vent, see if you can turn off the fan while you record. You can invest in a quality microphone for under $50 that will record sound with more clarity than your computer or camera’s built-in mic.

4. Choose a strong thumbnail

A thumbnail is a snapshot from your video that will show up as the image people see before hitting play. Since it’s the first thing browsers see along with your video title, it’s important to take care to select a strong thumbnail. YouTube automatically generates three thumbnail options when you’re uploading your video. Think about which one best conveys the message of your video and entices browsers to click. You might need to play around with editing the video a bit to generate new thumbnail options.

Getting in the video game is great for your business, and taking some extra steps to refine your content will only increase your ROI. What steps do you take to set your videos apart from the competition? Let us know in the comments!


Photo: Pixabay user JuralMin

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