One of the lesser known techniques for optimizing any video you upload to YouTube so that it can be found easily is by adding Closed Captioning or subtitles for the hearing impaired.
Now of course this will only apply to a video that has some kind of spoken content in it but the subject itself is well worth taking a look at.
If you have already uploaded such a video then chances are that YouTube has already used its own internal speech recognition software to analyse the spoken content and create closed captions for your video.
That feature will not however be used unless you have chosen to “Show Closed Captions” in the preferences of that video.
Most people tend to think that closed captions are simply for the hearing impaired or even don’t really know what they are so just never think to activate them.
However there is another reason they can be of use to you.
You see when the search engines like Google or even YouTube’s own internal search function analyse a page that is mainly a video they have no real way of knowing exactly what that page is about.
They rely heavily on the title of the video and the description you write of your video to make an assumption about the actual contents of that video.
They have to do this because they cannot “see” a video, they can’t watch it and understand what it is about.
This leads us to the second function of closed captions that most people are unaware of.
When YouTube analyses the speech in your video it creates a text file with timing markers of the speech in the video.
As the video is playing this text file with its timing notations is what you see displayed as the closed captions.
This file is called an SRT file and as I said before it is basically a text file with some timing notes in it.
The searches engines CAN read and understand this file and through it can gain a better idea of what your video is about.
Having this file in place and activated can greatly improve not only the user experience of your video but make it far more understandable to search engines.
OK that the good news… now the bad.
If YouTube really has automatically generated a closed caption file for your video then you can be pretty certain that the text in it will be utter rubbish!
Unfortunately speech recognition software still has a long way to go before we can rely on it.
There is a workaround for this so that you can add you own accurate SRT file to your videos and you can check out more detailed instructions here:
- Getting Your Videos Online Advanced Techniques
- Do Video Closed Captions Really Deliver ROI? Yes!
More YouTube Stuff
Carrying on in the field of YouTube tips here are some excellent idea for understanding how effective your videos are, how well they are engaging with people and how to improve and grow you YouTube presence.
- YouTube Creator Discovery Handbook Part 1: Watch Time and Getting Found
It’s Been a Hard Days Night!
There is absolutely nothing to learn or use here. This is just completely interesting!
- Beatlemania in Black & White: Restoring A Hard Day’s Night in 4K
How To Make Awesome Slideshows With Muvee Reveal
On the Cutting Edge… Disney? Microsoft?
I am totally not going to comment on this story. Possibly it is good, possibly its a pile of steaming poo.
- Disney Develops an Automatic Editing Tool For Footage From Multiple Cameras
- Press Release: “Disney Demos Automated Multicamera Editing” by Bruce A Johnson
- The ‘Magic’ of Disney? New Software Automatically Edits Video Footage | Premiumbeat.com
- Disney Research Unveils an Automated Video Editor With Human Taste
OK to be honest there have been lots of reports this week on the subject of Microsoft developing some kind of stabilization software.
I haven’t really looked at it all too much because stuff like this seems to come and go with monotonous regularity. Maybe it is or will be good, maybe it will be forgotten by next week… who knows!
Pure Disney Fun!
This is a great old video of Walt Disney explaining some of the techniques they developed back in the day for their animations. Pretty cool stuff.