SEO Best Practice for Video

Regular consumers of social media will have noticed a recent rise in the use of subtitles in videos posted on the numerous social media platforms available.

Quite often, users are engaging with social media on buses, trains, or public places where audible sound may not be appropriate. They could also be deaf, hard of hearing or not speak English. Subtitles are therefore very convenient when it comes to engaging with video content, enabling the viewer to better understand the meaning of the content without the need for sound.

Statistics show that 85% of all Facebook videos are watched with subtitles and no sound, so it is very important to include this feature in order to promote user engagement.

It is often possible to add subtitles with tools provided by the video platform you use to host your video. Vimeo and Youtube, for example, offer this feature, and the latter also includes an auto caption feature that will attempt to automatically transcribe the speech in your video.

There are different types of subtitles that can be added. Open captions, closed captions and SDH. With Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, open captions are best for optimal user engagement. Open captions are always turned on and visible in the video. With Youtube, implement closed captions, which can be turned on and off by the user. One benefit of closed captions is that the viewer can choose to display them in different languages. SDH subtitles (subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing) are subtitles produced specifically for the deaf and hard of hearing community. As well as transcribing conversations, they include descriptions of other noises happening in the video, such as birds tweeting, for example. The remaining option is to include your own hard-coded subtitles in your videos. Many publishers are now opting to include subtitles in their videos at the creation stage.

As well as making the content more accessible, adding subtitles can also help to improve your video’s ranking in search engines. Generally, making content more accessible to users will help to achieve this, as search engines prefer to surface content that is available to the widest audience possible.

When it comes to SEO (search engine optimisation), if you’re hosting your video using an online video platform, you should ensure that your video includes relevant metadata, such as title, descriptions and keywords or tags.

If you are embedding your video into a page on your website, you should also ensure that the HTML code for that page includes relevant metadata, again, title, description and keywords. Also, try to include relevant keywords and phrases in the content of the page where your video is embedded, particularly in the headlines and subheadings.

Objective Creative, a video production company in South Yorkshire, is a full service marketing agency that can manage your project from planning, story-boarding and production to post-production and advising on best practice for video used in social media.

Get in touch with Objective Creative at to discuss your project.