You’re going to hear us mention video translation or video transcripts quite a bit. That is because Google can’t view images or videos. We have to use text to tell search engines what these elements are.
Since the text is the lifeblood of search engines, script translation are hugely crucial to video SEO. Keep in mind that translation SEO, especially in video, is an emerging field.
Some of the strategies proposed here are tried and true. Others are still evolving. We’re basing this on core SEO principles and the best available information.
So let’s dive in.
What are the benefits of video translation?
1. Increased traffic
By assisting search engines in indexing your video translations, you will increase traffic to your site, expanding your audience globally and domestically.
2. Greater authority
Duplicate content is not penalized across different languages. Translated video content gives your site more pages, keyword rankings, and inbound links.
3. Less competition
It’s easier to rank against competitors because there’s less competition across different languages.
4. User experience
Your video content will engage non-English users, resulting in longer view times, retention, and a better user experience.
We cannot stress enough that a great user experience with script translation is hugely important to SEO.
Essential Things to Consider when Building SEO with Video Translation
Now we’ll discuss fundamentals to consider before building your video translation SEO strategy.
1. Goals: Monetization or viewership?
Do you need traffic for advertising, or can the videos be watched anywhere?
2. Video duration
Short-form or long-form formats can affect how the transcripts are published.
3. Which player or platform?
The player or platform you use will determine workflow, plug-ins, and the type of transcript and subtitle format needed.
4. Can you create a separate set of video web pages for each language / video translation?
As with other translated content, the best practice is to have a separate language section.
5. Which search engines will you target?
Find the leading search engine in your target market. We tend to mention Google by name as it is the largest search engine globally, especially in the United States.
But Yahoo dominates Japan, and local search engines lead in China and South Korea.
6. What is your non-English keyword strategy?
As mentioned in other articles before, keywords in target languages are different from source languages. Do not use direct translations, and be aware of spammy words.
Best Practices for Publishing Video Translation
OK, so now, moving on to some of the best practices for publishing your video translation.
1. Create a separate video landing page for each language.
Creating a separate video landing page for each language is best to localize a website with translated videos.
2. Use only one language per web page.
Google determines the language of the page based on the text so that multiple languages can confuse the algorithm.
3. Create one video site map per language.
A video site map is the most reliable way for Google to learn about your videos. Unfortunately, there isn’t an excellent way to incorporate multiple languages.
4. Create a separate video site map for each language.
Also, notify Google of equivalent video pages in other languages. Each language should cross-reference every additional language, including itself. So a video in three languages would require nine entries.
5. Build on-page and off-page SEO.
Follow the same on-page best practices you do for your English videos and transcripts. You can check out our blog to access more in-depth information concerning on-page text elements and off-page linking strategies for video SEO.
6. Decide on transcript placement.
Earlier, we mentioned that the video length could determine how to utilize transcripts of your video translation. If you use a plain transcript for five minutes or less, you can place the transcript on the video page or link to a separate page. Either strategy optimizes as long as there’s text and script translation around the video for search engines to read.
Your choice might be based on a better user experience. Long-form video transcripts, however, should be placed on separate pages and paginated. A 10,000-word video transcript can cover a lot of information. Breaking this up by themes and building a separate page targeting different but perhaps related keywords is a good option – it can build out site size and assist SEO.
Again, we have articles on our blog discussing short-form and long-form video SEO strategies. As you saw in our demonstration, another publishing option is interactive transcripts or a multilingual captions plug-in. For SEO purposes, when using either of these tools, you want to place a plain transcript on your site wrapped in no script tags. This simple script is invisible to users but readily indexed by search engines.
7. Utilizing YouTube multilingual subtitles with script translation
If your goal is to maximize viewership, then you cannot ignore YouTube. Upload your translated subtitles to YouTube to get indexed by Google.
There is a provider with round-trip integration with YouTube. So when you have completed the subtitles and video translation in your account, they will automatically show up on your YouTube video.
8. Always remember to set the default language for video translation
Logically, if you’re on a Chinese video page and press the Closed Caption button, Chinese subtitles should be turned on by default.
Google generally doesn’t index subtitles or script translations in non-YouTube players. But they will improve view times, retention, and user experience.
Bonus Tips to Index Your Video on Google
And wrapping up, more so, we’ll discuss two newer methods to get your video indexed by Google.
1. Video Schema with Script Translation
One of those is video schema. Video schema is a new markup standard. It allows video metadata to appear in the body of the HTML.
Readily indexable by search engines, HTML5 supports several properties, including the ability to add a transcript. And still very new, HTML5 makes it easier to add subtitles as metadata.
2. Deep Linking with Video Translation
One of the significant advantages of adding subtitles or captions as metadata is that search engines will index the text and associated time codes. The association enables search engines to return results pointing to a specific part of the video. What we have just talked about is called deep linking.