Video remains one of the best ways to reach an audience online. If done well, videos are easy to digest and exhibit little demand on our brains. There are a lot of optimization tactics1 lawyers can do to a video to help enhance its performance in search.
Closed captioning is a feature on Youtube videos that makes them more accessible to users. This change won’t make any additional text for search engines to crawl but it will make them accessible to more users.
Google is a fan of making the web more accessible for everyone. By making videos more user friendly, lawyers may be able to increase the chances that they will show up above those similar videos that do not offer closed captioning support.
Googlebot (and other bots) crawl and index text content. They can tell when video files are present along with other types of files but they cannot tell what that content is about. Transcription makes that content visible to search engines. You can either take that content and post it into the description of the video or embed the video on your site and post the transcription underneath it.
You do not have to do this with every video. For example those without spoken words might be more difficult to transcribe. Focus on videos that contain content you might want to show up for. You can also paraphrase your video in the description area like in the screenshot below.
Search engines crawl pages and they read the file extensions of those pages. A page is essentially a document or a file. Your video is the same thing and if you can include keywords in the file name, that is one more chance for a search engine to find it relevant to a keyword phrase. For example if the keyword you were targeting was “attorneys new jersey”, your video file name would be something like “attorneys-new-jersey.MP4”.
There are a lot of other opportunities for you to insert keywords on YouTube. For example make sure they are present in the description field of your video. The title or headline is another good place for them. You should also include keywords as tags in the appropriate field. Make sure you perform some keyword research2 to see what you should be targeting with your videos.
There is evidence3 that videos which are more engaging are rewarded with greater visibility in search. This is something lawyers have control over but it is far more ambiguous than inserting keywords into a text field. Ultimately videos that perform well in search are those that are well made, compelling and/or entertaining.
For instance, videos that are interesting or that tell you how to do something are much more likely to get watched all the way through or get watched more than once as opposed to videos that don’t add a lot of value for viewers. As a rule, your video should set out to accomplish a goal such as entertaining, informing or guiding. They should resonate with your audience and have content that people would share with their friends or other likeminded individuals.
If you are using YouTube as a serious marketing tool, keep in mind all of the tips you can use to make your videos more visible in search. Of course there are always the paid methods like True View advertising from Google4 but if you are looking for inexpensive (i.e. do it yourself) solutions, SEO5 is a good way to go.