Time needed: 1 hour.
Most horse adoption videos don’t rank well in Google search results for keyword phrases like, “horses for adoption” or “horses to adopt”. They also don’t include clickable links to the rescue organization for adoption information. Foster homes, rescue horse trainers and rescue organizations can make simple changes to create better adoption videos.
- Make SEO work for your videos by narrating them.
There are two ways that help videos reach large audiences, one is viral content and the other is because the video is optimized for Google and YouTube search. Viral content is cute puppies and people getting hurt in stunts. I”m talking about optimizing for Google and YouTube search. That’s called search engine optimization or SEO. Google and YouTube understand what a video is about by trying to understand the voice narration. They are good at it. No narration will mean that your horse adoption video will not do well in search results. Cut out the loud music.
- Use keywords in your narration related to horse adoption.
The narration must use the keywords that people use to find horses to adopt. So you have to say “horse is available for adoption” or “adopt this horse” or other variations of the words “adopt” and “horse”.
- Describe the horse in your narration.
Include details like age, sex, height, level of training and a description of the horse’s temperament and personality in your horse adoption video. Try to include selling points that emphasize what’s special about the horse. Include mentions of the rescue organization’s website, and make them clickable in the video description by adding the HTTP or HTTPS in front of the domain name. For example, http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/ is clickable and www.bluebonnetequine.org is not.
- Pause between sections of your video.
When you’re doing your horse adoption video, pause for several seconds between sections while facing the camera. If you want to look at notes, pause while looking at the camera, look your notes, look up and pause, then start talking again. You want to make it easy to edit out do-overs and notes pauses. You can also combine video clips and photos, taken at different times and places, into one video and then do a voice-over narration of the composite video.
- Talk about the rescue organization.
Include references to the rescue organization in the narration of your video, and make sure you include the website address.
- Edit the automatic captions that YouTube generates.
Google and YouTube index those captions to understand what your horse adoption video is about. The automatic captioning systems from YouTube and Facebook often misunderstands specialized words — like those associated with horses. So create captions, edit them and update the automatic captions on Facebook or replace the automatic captions on YouTube to ensure that search engines properly index and rank your video. You can purchase captions for your videos using https://www.rev.com/ for $1.25 per minute of video. Rev also provides easy tools for editing your video and downloading in formats for Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook and in text files for blog post content.
- Qualify your rescue organization for non-profit benefits from Google and YouTube.
If you qualify your rescue organization as a non-profit with YouTube you can add clickable links to your video. You should also add clickable links to the video description — you make them clickable by including the http or https portions of the domain name. There are many other benefits as well, and I’ve included links to YouTube’s information page in the video description.
Even on the hard days, try to remember what you have accomplished. Try to remember why you do the hard work. For me, that means somedays I walk out and hug one of those horses we help. It makes the rest of the problems fade away.Jennifer Williams, PhD, Executive Director, Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society
Different Ways to Create an Adoption Video
There are lots of ways to put together a great horse adoption video. I’ve described recording video at one session with pauses between each section of the video. But you can also record video clips or take photos of your horse in various situations and doing different things. For example you can create a horse adoption video by combining video clips of your foster horse working in a round pen, walking down a trail, and jumping cross rails with photos of your foster horse having hooves trimmed and being saddled. Then add your narration by doing a voice-over of that video.
You can also use Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote to put together a slide show and then export the slide show as a video. I don’t use PowerPoint, but with Keynote you can add audio narration to each slide before you export to a video. I assume that PowerPoint has a similar feature.
More Information about the Google and YouTube Non-Profit Support Programs
For information about becoming a Google and YouTube recognized non-profit organization, please visit this link — https://www.google.com/nonprofits/offerings/youtube-nonprofit-program/ . Here’s information from YouTube related to non-profit support — https://socialimpact.youtube.com/about/ and https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/3545195?hl=en.
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