How Video Captions & Transcripts Improve SEO

By: Verbit Editorial



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Savvy business leaders are always looking to improve the reach of their brands, keeping SEO as a top-of-mind strategy to do so.

The challenge of increasing website reach, particularly for greater Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is something that many organizations struggle with. Studies have shown that 68% of site traffic comes from search engines, a number that will only continue to grow in 2021. However, ensuring that online content is optimized for SEO is rarely straightforward.

With more online media, such as pictures and videos, being used, there are some new tactics to improve SEO with elements other than SEO keywords and text on your homepage. Closed captioning and transcribing videos is one tactic that more business leaders and marketers are leaning into to improve SEO.

SEO: A Quick Refresh

SEO is the process of making website content more easily discoverable for search engine users. Search engine machines are built to automatically search the Internet for content, organize the content, and then include it in the mass index of searches online. The more relevant pages are to a given search query, the higher these pages appear in search results. Improving SEO brings in more visitors that translate into greater potential for business opportunities.

Another important component of SEO is creating compelling and engaging content, including individual pages, blogs, whitepapers and graphics. It can be argued that the more pages you have on your website, the better SEO you will have. However, the quality of your content is also a big factor in determining SEO success.

More video is being used to offer high-quality content and it’s now being captioned and transcribed more regularly to improve SEO further.

Optimizing Video for SEO

Unlike written content, video and audio can’t be read by search engine machines. Video content needs to be indexed in search results in order to increase traffic. It’s therefore important to have text representations of any audio and video material posted. There are effective strategies that can be used to improve video and audio SEO easily:

A set of hands holding a tablet that is showing different social media platform icon.

Use captions and transcripts

Specific phrases or terms that appear in a video often aren’t displayed in the title and description of a video. Adding captions and transcripts to videos can improve their SEO by clarifying the target keywords, which are typically based on high search volume or frequently used terms, resulting in improved visibility and discoverability.

In addition to adding captions, offering transcripts of videos improves SEO. Transcripts can also be included on the site, either directly on the webpage, in the HTML header or on a second, linked page. When videos have stronger SEO, users will be able to find them faster and easier, leading to higher engagement and customer conversion.

Additionally, captioning and transcribing videos not only help for SEO purposes, but make them accessible to the Deaf and hard of hearing communities. In the long run, business leaders can benefit from increased traffic overall, but also strong engagement with this community who may not be able to engage with video content otherwise. Important digital accessibility guidelines and practices are also outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and WCAG 2, which professionals must be aware of to avoid potential lawsuits or complaints. Verbit offers a video accessibility solution which should help with adding captions and transcripts to your existing video.

Improve SEO –  user experience

Research has shown that a better user experience (UX) design may help to increase conversion rates by up to 400%. In the case of video content, giving more people the power to view your content in different ways will make a big difference in video reach. Providing a helpful description and offering captioning and transcription is just the beginning.

Users can also be delivered a better experience with the content they’re consuming when they can scroll through, search, and select which parts of your video they want to jump to immediately. The key to this is using a video player with interactive transcript features.

Verbit is helping to provide these interactive search, find and skip features to consume video in a way that meets the users’ on-demand and timely expectations. For example, a business leader may want to post an on-demand video from a webinar on their site that’s one-hour long. The viewer may only care about one topic that was discussed for 10 minutes. Offering them the ability to search specifically for the topic, let’s say ‘Zoom capabilities’ by typing it into a search bar just below the video itself will save them serious time from having to sift through the entire video to find the section where how to upload a Zoom background is discussed.

Example image of a YouTube video from Verbit’s YouTube, showcasing the interactive transcript feature.

Audiences will want to consume more content on a site that they can access quickly and efficiently and captioning and transcribing video content offers them this ability.

Video SEO Translates to Business Success

With up to 80% of individuals receiving their data from search engines, it’s important for businesses to continue evaluating and updating their online content for greater SEO. In many cases, improving video SEO is just a matter of making adjustments to your existing content.

Following good SEO practices such as including text descriptions and video captioning and transcription will help you reap the benefits of the content professionals are likely spending valuable time and money to produce.