Quotable Clips and Better SEO for YouTube Videos

Lori Halley 11 March 2010 7 comments

Video is hot with online audiences, but there’s one big problem for video producers: search engines just can’t deal with the "talkies": Images and audio are behind a glass wall when it comes to indexing for search results. And if your nonprofit is going to take the initiative to produce and post a video, obviously you’d like it to help being visitors to your blog or website from the search engines.

Better SEO for YouTube Videos

Until recently, search engines had to rely on title text and tags to learn about the contents of your video. Now, as we’ve mentioned before, YouTube has added automatic captioning to unite a transcript with the timeline of your video. Basically, automatic captioning adds your specified text to the audio-visual content throughout the video, letting search engines and text-based readers get a look inside.

Even so, however, the SEO benefit of that added text is limited. Links go to the YouTube channel, not back to the website of the content producer – to your organization’s own website.

SpeakerText screenshotQuotable Clips

There’s another problem, too, that’s particularly tricky with longer videos:

You can share a link to the video easily enough, but it’s cumbersome to direct someone’s attention to one specific clip in the video.

Sure, you can tell them “see Brian’s remarks on our organization, at about the 4-minute mark” – but what if you could link directly to the clip you want to share?

Can do, now, thanks to SpeakerText.

SpeakerText brings together your video and a transcript, side by side, and gives you copy-paste code to embed this in a web page or blog post as easily as you would a YouTube video – but that’s only the beginning.  Viewers can click on the transcript text to move backwards and forwards through the video, a very efficient way to replay one particular clip.

To link to any section of the video, just highlight the quote you like in the SpeakerText, then hit the “Quote” button.  This copies the quote to your computer’s clipboard, along with a link to the exact moment inside the video where it came from – something like this:

<a href="http://speakertext.com/play.php?stid=2eca&as=1&ss=74">Paste it into a blog post and it looks like this.</a>

 Paste it into a blog post and it looks like this.

An ordinary clickable link, that takes your reader straight to the point in the video that you wanted to highlight. You can paste it into an email, too, of course – anywhere you’d share any other hyperlink.

The quote link will take the viewer right to the same embedded video you were viewing when you created it. That means, if you create a link from your video’s page at SpeakerText, clicking will lead the viewer back to that site – but, in theory, if you embed the video on your own organization's blog or website, and create the quote link there, then the link really should bring viewers back to view the video at your NPO's home base. I'm not convinced this is what's intended, but the idea of sending links back to the publisher site, obviously, can help to bring additional search engine “juice” and web traffic to your organization’s own site, instead of referring it all over to YouTube. And even if the creators of SpeakerText are not intending to add that full referral function, at the very least what you've got here is an easy one-click way for bloggers to create text links back to your video (using an exact quote from your video), which brings new potential for viral sharing.

So how do you get a SpeakerText’d video?

If your nonprofit has produced a video, the odds are that you’ve got a script on file somewhere already. A few quick edits to tidy up, and you’ve probably got a workable transcript. If not, SpeakerText can act as middleman to help you purchase a human-created transcription for your video, but that’s totally optional.

Or you can transcribe a video yourself. To create the transcript I used to test this out with a video snagged from Wild Apricot's YouTube channel, I used voice recognition software to get the rough transcript and then cleaned it a bit to fix a few errors. For anything under 5 or 10 minutes running time, that may be a workable (free or inexpensive) option for you, too.

Post your video on YouTube, call it up from your free SpeakerText account, and paste your transcript text into the box provided.

Now you’ll need to add time code – markers in the time line that correspond to points in the transcript. This really couldn’t be easier. Just play the video and, as it runs, click on the corresponding point in your transcript and click the TimeStamp button. You can also enter time code points manually, just by clicking and typing in the transcript, and correct any errors the same way. If your transcript already has time code in it, that should work fine too, just as along as the format is the same.

And that’s really all there is to it.

Note: SpeakerText is brand new, still in "beta" in fact, so we can expect to see some glitches, bugs, and broken bits to come to surface while they're ironing out the wrinkles and getting it ready for prime time. It's the trade-off for getting to play with new tech tools, I guess!

Go on over to SpeakerText.com, play around a bit, then I hope you’ll stop back over here to share your impressions – Is this a tool you might find a use for in your organization?

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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Thursday, 11 March 2010 at 6:30 PM

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  • Bou The Caribou said:

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 at 11:23 AM

    Thanks for the tip. I will have to give SpeakerText.com a try.

    There is also a quick way to link someone to a specific spot in a YouTube video by just adding "#t=XmXs" to the end of the YouTube url where"x" is the minute and seconds where you want to start the video. To start a video at a specific spot using an embedded YouTube video all you have to do is add "&start=X" to the end of the video url - X represents the starting time in seconds.

    If you are interested, here is a link to an article about using this method: http://www.reelseo.com/youtube-deep-linking/

  • Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

    Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] said:

    Thursday, 11 March 2010 at 11:52 AM

    Bou, thank you: It's good to know the URL can be customized for a specific start time - very handy indeed! ...Now, wouldn't it be great if YouTube would just make it really easy for less-techy folks by adding a wee one-click button? :-)

  • katie davis said:

    Saturday, 13 March 2010 at 8:11 PM

    can anybody help this non techie answer the question...how to show video streams on my website.  can i do this with wild apricot?  does it take special techie like skills?  

  • Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

    Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] said:

    Sunday, 14 March 2010 at 9:41 AM

    @Katie davis - do you mean streaming your own videos or displaying video streams from other sources? I am assuming the former. What you need then is a streaming video hosting (Wild Apricot hosting is not tailored for that but you can embed into your webpage video streamed from another place).

    This google search is a good starting point:


  • Keith@agito.ca said:

    Friday, 09 April 2010 at 6:08 PM

    Great post, Rebecca. I'd like to see this take off and gain wide adoption. I love the ability to scan the text and move forward and backward in the video. I find video to be time consuming to get to the parts you want to hear, and this makes video much more rapidly consumable.

  • single women  said:

    Saturday, 09 October 2010 at 3:36 AM

    thank you: It's good to know the URL can be customized for a specific start time - very handy indeed! ...Now, wouldn't it be great if YouTube would just make it really easy for less-techy folks by adding a wee one-click button? :-)

  • Flights to Manila said:

    Tuesday, 18 January 2011 at 11:29 PM

    This is a very helpful post, i hope this really helps me to complete my project.

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