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How YouTube Video Transcripts as Captions Help in Better SEO and Indexing

If you are using YouTube for business, do you know you can provide more value to your audience by transcribing your videos? Apart from this, transcribing helps videos get indexed and rank better on search engines.

There are two ways you can get your videos transcribed. You can either use YouTube’s inbuilt voice recognition program or outsource the work to a transcription company. For the first option, follow the steps mentioned below to get your video transcribed:

  1. For reviewing and making automatic changes to closed captions on Youtube, you need to click on your account on the top right of the Video Manager and select the categories as described here >creator studio > Video Manager > Videos
  2. Click on the drop-down menu next to the Edit button which is next to the video where you want to add captions or subtitles.
  3. Thereafter, you need to select Subtitles and CC.
  4. You will see a display Language (Automatic) under “Published” section on the right side of the video if in case automatic captions are available.
  5. Thereafter, automatic captions can be reviewed and the instructions can be used to remove or edit any portions that lack proper transcription.

How YouTube Video Transcripts as Captions Help in Better SEO and Indexing

Your video transcript will be in the new browser. You may have to do some decoding and rescripting, as YouTube voice recognition greatly depends on the quality of your audio.

However, automatic transcription by YouTube is not always the best. Generally, the accuracy of the transcriptions is wanting. The quality of the transcription will depend on how well the speech is recognized by the program. Most of the time, you will have to touch up the automatic transcription to correct it.

Why Transcribe Videos?

Make Videos Rank Higher in SERPs

Transcribing videos can make them rank well on search engines. When the videos are transcribed, they can be found in search results when your target audience types various keywords related to your products, services or industry. When presenting content through videos, you will most likely be using your industry keywords in the videos.

When your videos are found by someone, you’d definitely want that they keep watching. Watch time determines your video’s YouTube search ranking and a longer watch time has a direct bearing on a higher SERP rank for your video.

Closed captions increase viewer engagement on the video irrespective of whether they have access to audio, thus increasing its viewership. This is all the more important in an environment of mobile video viewing where audio might be inaccessible or disruptive.

In an analysis, Facebook found that videos with captions had appreciably more views than those that were uncaptioned. Also, in other studies, it has been found that viewers are more likely to watch a video with closed captions to completion than those that aren’t.

When the videos rank well on search engines, more people will find and view them. You can convert these new leads to customers and increase the likelihood of achieving your business goals.

Transcribing videos ensures your audience gets the correct message you passed. The transcripts also help people with hearing impairment.

Huge Asset for Video Optimization

A video transcript that is accurate becomes a huge asset in optimizing your video for search. Search engines can crawl text, but they can’t watch a video. The transcript of your video will have plenty of relevant keywords indicating what your video is about: this way, Google will be able to crawl your content and rank you in accordance.

To ensure accurate transcription of your video, the simplest solution is to hire a professional video transcription service. Their transcript will be of high-quality delivered in quick turnaround time.

When you receive a transcript, the creation of a caption file and getting it uploaded on the video is strongly recommended; Youtube is able to create closed captions by automatically time-syncing the text. For an overview, refer to this link here. While closed captions are good for SEO, they come with many other benefits as well, some of which are listed below.

#1. Higher Search Ranking

Captions on YouTube videos boost SEO and increase views significantly. Captioned videos rank highly for a phrase in captions because search engines can crawl the caption text.

#2. Improved User Engagement

YouTube videos having closed captions increase user engagement and earn more likes, shares, and comments compared to videos without captions. Higher engagement boosts video search rank as a result. A higher search rank translates into more views: according to a study by YouTube, captioned videos earn 4% more views.

#3. Accessibility on Web

Closed captions make YouTube videos accessible to those viewers who are hearing impaired while letting people watch your video inside a noisy train or in a quiet library while keeping the sound muted. Thus captioned videos become viewable, understandable, and enjoyable to a much larger audience.

#4. Adding Transcript to Video Description Boosts SEO

In order to display your transcript on YouTube, the best option is a video description since it is the prime spot for search engines to crawl and index your video. Since your transcript is most likely to be keyword-optimized for the topic of the video, it’s great from an SEO perspective.

#5. Content Creation Becomes Easier With Transcripts

After transcribing your video, it is easy for you to repurpose the text transcript for more content creation. Since quality content forms the basis of a good SEO strategy, any method for making content creation simpler becomes a bonus.

#6. Transcripts and Captions = Improved UX

While keyword optimization still holds much importance, search engines are now tending to value user experience more to determine page rank.

Providing a video transcript becomes a reliable way for improving user experience on your site. A major part of optimizing UX is to make your content fully accessible to everybody.

A transcript can make audio content accessible to people who are hearing impaired, and closed captions are able to vastly improve the video viewing experience for them.

By making your content equally accessible to all, you’re broadening the number of people who can find and enjoy your video. This is a lot more important than just SEO, and since inclusive design gets rewarded by search engines, it becomes a win-win situation.


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Spokesperson of Transcription Certification Institute, a Buffalo, NY based online educational institution that provides in-depth online certification and training courses for general transcription. http://www.transcriptioncertificationinstitute.org

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