5 Reasons Why You Should Transcribe Your Podcasts

September 13, 2016 BY EMILY GRIFFIN
Updated: January 4, 2018


All podcasters should transcribe their episodes — now.

Here’s why.

Get More out of Each Episode

You’ve gone through all the trouble of producing a brilliant podcast episode — shouldn’t you make the most of it?

Just as many podcasters have taken to posting video versions of podcasts on their YouTube channel, you can turn your episodes into blog posts by publishing the audio transcripts.

Text blogs are still an essential part of driving traffic to your website. Instead of having to come up with all-new written content for your blog, you can use podcast transcripts. That’s a huge time-saver!

Plus, some people simply prefer to read instead of listening to audio. Why not let those audiences enjoy your podcast in their preferred format?

Boost SEO

A search engine can index text far better than it can index audio. Search bots can’t really listen to audio — they can crawl the metadata, but not the content within the file.

An audio transcript translates all that keyword-rich content into text that bots can read. Publishing your audio transcripts along with your audio files will significantly increase your web traffic.

How can we be sure?

Well, This American Life tried it, and here’s what happened.

This American Life — Case Study

In 2014, This American Life (TAL) decided to publish audio transcripts of their entire archive and see how the transcripts affected SEO.

They found that:

  • New inbound traffic increased by 4.36%, directly attributable to the new audio transcript pages.
  • New inbound traffic via search increase by 6.68%, directly attributable to the new audio transcript pages.
  • Inbound links increased by 3.89%, directly attributable to the new audio transcript pages.
  • 7.23% of all unique visitors viewed at least one transcript.

Read the full This American Life Podcast SEO Case Study

If you rely on a YouTube channel to attract new listeners, you can upload the audio transcript to YouTube and create closed captions on your podcast video. Closed captions are also proven to increase SEO.

All that extra search traffic will help new listeners discover you and help faithful listeners find and share their favorite episodes.

Increase Web Accessibility

Podcasts are wonderful, but they’re an imperfect medium.

Audio content just isn’t accessible to everyone. Consider all the people who might enjoy your podcast but can’t access it in audio form:

  • Deaf or hard-of-hearing people
  • People whose first language is not English and may have trouble following along
  • People with Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder
  • People with ADD who struggle to focus on audio stimulus

Don’t forget that audio can limit situational accessibility.

For example, it would be rude to listen to audio with earbuds at someone’s graduation ceremony, but subtly reading on your smartphone during a droning speech never hurt anyone.

What if your loyal subscribers can’t hear the latest episode of your podcast over the din of a noisy bus? Or they left their headphones at home and they’re stuck in a quiet waiting room?

They could read the audio transcript instead!

Transcription Wins Only Human an Inbound Link

Auditory Neuropathy: How Closed Captions Help People with
An episode of the podcast Only Human inspired us to write a blog post about Auditory Neuropathy.

Because the podcast published their audio transcripts online, we were able to easily find the episode, quote it, cite it, and link directly to their website.

Auditory Neuropathy: How Closed Captions Help People with “Brain Deafness”

Get Quoted & Credited

A podcast transcript will seriously increase the chances of getting quoted in a tweet, blog, or article.

If someone hears something amazing on your podcast and they want to share that nugget of brilliance, they would have to transcribe it themselves. That’s way too much trouble.

But if you supply transcripts on your podcast’s website, then listeners can search for that episode (finding that page thanks to an SEO boost from those transcripts) and copy/paste the quote they want to share.

Researchers or bloggers may stumble upon a particular episode of interest via Google search, and a handy audio transcript makes it easy for them to quote your podcast and, importantly, cite you as a source. With that come valuable inbound links to your site.

In short, providing a podcast transcript will make your episodes vastly more shareable, quotable, and citable.

Create a Better UX

Podcasts are fantastic to listen to while exercising, driving, or doing other tasks on the go. What’s more difficult: keeping the listener engaged while they’re sitting in front of a screen.

Since podcasts aren’t visually engaging, the experience of listening to a podcast on a desktop is somewhat lacking.

Luckily, there are some innovative ways to make that UX more engaging.

First, someone can read along with your audio transcript as they listen to the podcast.

Take that to the next level by making the transcript interactive: listeners can click on a word and jump to that point in the audio, scrolling through to a different section of the episode, or even search for a particular word that’s spoken.

You can really transform podcast UX by creating a customized, interactive audiobook. Integrate stunning visuals, interactive navigation, and video search with tools like the P3SDK. (See the below GIF for an example of an interactive audiobook made with P3SDK tools.)

GIF of audiobook

By adding interactive, visual components to your page, you’ll improve the desktop podcast UX.

Want to learn more about the benefits of transcription? Download this free white paper:

Download the White Paper: 8 Benefits of Transcribing & Captioning Online Video

Read the free report: 2017 State of Captioning.

The closed caption CC icon shown in the middle of a TV.