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The 7 Ways You Can Reach New Audiences with Video Captions and Transcripts

You probably know that search engine optimization (SEO) can help elevate your web pages. Video SEO can do the same for your video content.

To optimize videos for searches, you need to produce English captions and transcripts of the content. Search engines such as Google can crawl this text just like it crawls web pages. Adding closed captions and transcripts increases your keyword density and keyword diversity, meaning your video content will be well positioned for maximum exposure.

Hiring a closed captioning service or transcription service is a wise investment. Video captions and transcripts can bring you new viewers seven ways:

  1. Transcripts of videos boost traffic. Transcripts indexed by search engines simply provide another entry point to the video content, which improves inbound search traffic.

  2. Search engines rank videos with closed captions higher. Including closed captions with your videos improves their search engine results. Bots index the text files your videos refer to as they play. It is important to note that only closed captions offer SEO benefits. Open captions, which are encoded into the video file, are not read by search engines.

  3. Engagement grows when closed captions are used. One of the most important factors in determining a video’s search engine ranking is watch time: The longer a video is watched, the higher its ranking can be. Closed captions help viewers stay engaged, even if they encounter difficulty with the audio (which can be an issue with mobile viewing).

  4. Paginating transcripts can produce even better SEO. If you break up long transcripts into separate pages, you increase your SEO opportunities exponentially. Each page could potentially have its own keyword strategy.

  5. Transcripts and captions shape your SEO strategy. Seeing your video content in text form, either through transcripts or closed captions, will help you identify keywords used in the video, which will help you determine what your on-page SEO will look like. You might intend to optimize for one keyword but find that a variation of that keyword is more prevalent in the video. There are several free keyword density tools available online that make identifying keywords easier.

  6. Video transcripts provide new content. The transcript you produce for YouTube SEO can be used several times over for additional content, all of which can add to your content’s overall SEO. Ask yourself what derivative content could be pulled from the transcript. Among the many ideas: a webinar, short-form videos, blog posts, e-books, case studies, white papers, infographics, and much more.

  7. Transcripts and English captions enhance user experience. Google and other search engines are starting to reward sites that improve user experience. Transcripts provide lots of ways to make the user experience better. They can be used as study guides, limiting the need for students to have to keep referencing the video. They provide easily accessible quotes and facts for journalists and researchers. Perhaps most importantly, transcripts and closed captions make content accessible to the millions of people worldwide who are deaf or hard of hearing.


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