Before I begin, I need to let you know that this isn’t something I came up with. I wish I was that smart. It’s something I learned from Australian entrepreneur James Schramko.
Have you noticed how I’ve been creating media highlights for my new podcast episodes and videos? Let me show you what I mean:
You can see how I’ve created a timeline that outlines the specific topics covered in the podcast episode. It’s convenient, because it makes it easy for listeners to skip around to different parts of the show, depending on what they’re interested in learning about.
That’s how you would create highlights for your audio or video content. No big deal, right? Anybody could do that. But there are several benefits to creating these highlights beyond the obvious. Let’s take a look.
It’s Good for SEO
Ah, the dreaded search engine optimization topic. Don’t worry – for reasons I’ll discuss a little later, it’s not as big of a deal as you might think.
And more to the point, media highlights are good for SEO, and should help you create more traction for your audio and video content.
Why are timecodes good for SEO? Because they are keyword-rich. They specify what the content is about.
Have another look at the above image. Here are a few examples of the titles used for different subsections of the show: “Creating products versus marketing”, “Choosing your focus”, “Guest posting strategy”, and so on.
Pretty good descriptors for the different sections of the podcast, don’t you think? Each of the section titles could potentially be blog post headlines unto themselves.
Even if I didn’t add any other words to the post, Google would get a pretty good sense of what the media is about. The highlights serve as a concise and straightforward description.
It’s Good for Users
This really goes hand in hand with the previous point about SEO. In all honesty, user experience is more important than SEO. In the age we’re in, user experience = SEO. You can’t trick search engines into liking you or your site anymore.
Why are media highlights good for the user? Because they make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for.
For instance, we’ll say you listened to one of my podcast episodes. You remember that I mentioned a particular book, but you can’t recall its name. By scanning the highlights and skipping to specific points in the podcast episode, you could more easily find the title of the book. Definitely a better way of going about it than listening to the entire episode from start to finish in search of the book title.
Users like to feel like they’re in control of the content experience, and with media highlights, they are. They can tune into what they feel is important to them.
It’s Good for YouTube
When you insert media highlights into YouTube, it automatically hyperlinks them. When users click on the links, they are brought to that specific part of the video (i.e. 34 seconds in). Who would have thought?
Again, this is good for the user experience, which explains why it’s also good for SEO. People can easily find what parts of the video they actually want to watch.
And, as already noted, this adds keywords to your video’s description. Always a good idea, right? When Google provides you with fields to enter text into, what do you do? You fill them with descriptive, keyword-rich text!
It’s Good for You
At the end of the day, creating media highlights is good for you too. Why? Because it gives you a consistent, repeatable process for every piece of audio and video content you create. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every single time.
I like adding a few other extras, like a transcription, quotes to tweet, and a short description. But this is more time-consuming, and not necessarily something you have to do. Your podcast or video accompanied by media highlights can help you kill multiple birds with one stone.
At this point, I am obligated to say that you may not want to/need to create highlights for your latest demo or music video on YouTube. When it comes to music, most people are satisfied with lyric sheets.
But for podcast interviews or vlogs, or any content that features a significant amount of talking, it’s a great thing to do.
In summary, media highlights are good for SEO, your website visitors, listeners or viewers, YouTube, and for streamlining your ongoing content creation efforts. May your media reach new levels of exposure and popularity!