Advances in transcription technology has enabled "searching" through video and Google has utilized this to the max, by including video results in SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
With everyone jumping on the bandwagon of creating video content, grabbing and retaining viewer attention is a tug of war, one weak link, and the whole game is lost.
So how do you stand out from your competition? Simple, think from Google’s perspective.
Adding captions and transcripts to your video makes it easy for Google to understand what your content is about and what kind of solution it provides.
But first, let’s understand what captions and transcripts are, and how they are similar but different.
Captions and Transcripts
Captions are a text version of the spoken content in a video. Typically, you will see captions at the bottom of a video screen. They can be used to provide a transcript of the dialogue or narration in a video.
There are two core caption types:
Open captions are permanent captions, visible in movies, TV, and online videos. These are burned in the video and the viewers cannot turn them off.
Closed captions are almost the same as open captions, with the difference being that the viewer can control them. Closed captions can be turned on or off. This type of caption is the most used in video content, especially on platforms like Facebook or YouTube.
Learn more on Open captions vs Closed captions
A transcript is similar in the sense that it involves the conversion of a speech or audio file into a plain text document, but transcripts don’t live "in" the video.
There are two major types of transcription:
Verbatim transcription refers to transcribing audio word-for-word, including all sound effects, filler words, and utterances used for TV shows and skits.
Clean read transcription is where the texts are edited to make them more readable and are used for unscripted content like interviews or recorded speaking events.
How video captions and transcripts improve SEO
1. Increase search traffic to your site
Since search engines like Google use text to understand the content of a webpage, transcripts and captions enable search engines to analyze and index your content.
Captions and transcripts also improve user experience making it easier for people to consume video content. It increases the chances that people will watch and share your content on social media, increasing your site's traffic.
2. Higher ranking in search results
When you search for something in Google, it shows results depending on the relevancy to the searched query.
Transcripts and captions provide more text for the search engine to index, improving the page's search ranking.
3. Improve audience engagement
As per a survey done by Verizon Media and Publicis Media, 69% of people view videos without sound in public places, and 25 % watch without sound in private places. So how do you retain viewers with no audio accessibility? Captions.
Captions make your videos accessible to a wider audience and keep the viewer engaged. It becomes easier for people to follow along with the content and provides an option to read rather than listen or watch.
4. Allows you to do more with your content
Creating a transcript of your video makes your content available in textual format. Those are useful for social media blog posts and other content marketing forms, which help level up your site’s search presence, depth, and reputation.
Learn The Ultimate Guide to Repurposing Your Video Content
5. Paginated transcripts increase SEO value
The length of the video determines the length of the transcript. Breaking down transcripts into separate pages gives you the opportunity to create additional keywords.
Paginated transcripts provide internal cross-linking opportunities. This enriches your SEO with those extra internal links.
SEO optimization for Business Success
If you deal with video content, don’t ignore your video SEO. Missing out on using captions and transcripts can cost your video the top spot.