Let’s talk about the importance of transcripts and captions.
Hello! And thanks for listening to SEO tips today.
Today we will talk about how powerful captioning and having transcripts are to increase the views and engagement with your audio and video assets.
Providing transcripts and captions is an issue near and dear to my heart as my sister-in-law is deaf and relies on both as she navigates the internet or participates in online meetings.
Let’s start with captioning.
Did you know that 85% of videos on Facebook are watched by users without sound?
Discovery Digital Networks (DDN) experimented on their YouTube channel, comparing videos with and without closed captions. They found that captioned videos enjoyed 7.32% more views on average.
Captioning is important in mobile video viewing environments where audio may be disruptive or inaccessible. Even Facebook found that captions increase video views by 12% compared with uncaptioned videos.
So you should turn on and add captions to all of your online videos, and potentially explore how to create videos without sound, and Hubspot has a great list.
So how about Video Transcripts?
One study by Liveclicker compared 37 web pages before and after adding transcripts. Pages with transcripts earned, on average, 16% more revenue than they did before transcripts were added.
This American Life (the radio show) enjoyed a similar boost. When they transcribed their entire audio archive and posted transcripts online, they found that 6.26% of all unique visitors who came from search traffic landed on a transcript page.
Search engines can’t read the videos you post online (though machine vision is getting better), but they do read the associated text. The transcript is critical, and they help Google surface the answer to searchers even if it’s deep within your video.
Here are a few tips:
- Ideally, don’t let YouTube translate your video. Use a transcript service to ensure accuracy.
- Ideally, you would have put your target term into your video script before you recorded it. If you did that, those target terms are now in the video transcript! (Note: You can provide YouTube transcripts in more than one language.)
- Once you have a transcript, add to your website’s video landing page (with the timestamps) and upload it to YouTube.
And for live meetings, there is otter.ai that can help provide captioning, and Google Meets has auto-captioning for free for its meetings. I’ve heard that it’s not perfect, but better than nothing.
So that’s your tip for today. Pay attention to adding captioning and transcripts to all of your video and audio assets.
Thanks for listening.
Come back tomorrow for another SEO tip.
Listen to the previous episode: Federal .gov websites need SEO
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