3 Reasons Why You Need Video Transcription

June 18, 2021 BY REBECCA KLEIN
Updated: May 19, 2022

Video transcription is the process of translating your video’s audio into text using automatic speech recognition technology, human transcriptionists, or a combination of the two. Without video transcription, your videos rely solely on audiovisual material to convey information.

What motivates a video publisher to transcribe their content? There are plenty of reasons. In this article, we’ll go over the top three reasons why you can’t afford to not add transcription services to your videos.


8 Benefits of Captioning & Transcription



1. Video Transcription Improves SEOSEO icon with magenta blob

Providing a transcript is proven to boost your video search engine optimization (SEO).

A 3-week SEO study by SafeNet compared the search rank for web pages with video transcripts. In less than a month, the pages with video transcripts climbed the ranks in Yahoo and Bing for a targeted keyword phrase, moving from no listing, up to 14th, then to 9th and 11th place, respectively.

By adding video transcription to their web pages, This American Life saw a significant increase in inbound traffic and user engagement. In fact, 6.26% of all unique visitors who came from search traffic landed on a transcript page.

Since search engines can’t crawl video, transcripts provide valuable text that can be indexed and ranked. A transcript makes your video more searchable across the web and within your website or archive.

Transcripts also help your SEO keyword strategy. Use your transcript to find prominent keywords mentioned in your video, then adjust your on-page video SEO elements to match the phrasing of the keyword.


 Boost your video SEO with captions and transcripts  ➡️ 


2. Video Transcription Creates Better UX

Once a viewer has access to your video transcript, there is great potential for a better user experience.

Everyone learns differently, so adding a transcript gives viewers another option for digesting your video’s content.

Transcripts also make it easier to search the video for keywords or topics.

Here are two other transcript features that can improve the user experience:

Playlist Search

Transcripts make your videos searchable by search engines, but you can also implement onsite search capabilities. With a tool like a playlist search plugin, you can scan an entire video library for mentions of specific words and hop to the moment(s) in a video where that word is spoken. Searchable transcripts are hugely useful for researchers, but they’re also beneficial for average users, too.

playlist search in action. searching for algorithms

Interactive Transcript

You can also make your video transcript interactive. An interactive transcript highlights words as they are spoken in time with the video. The timed text keeps the viewer engaged and reinforces the content since it can be read and heard at the same time. The user can click on the text to jump to that point of the video, which is a much smoother UX than having to mark timecodes when navigating a video.


 Learn how to create captions yourself using the DIY method ➡️ 


3. Video Transcription Increases AccessibilityComputer, keyboard, and phone represent various modes of technology

The more people who are able to watch your videos, the more views you will get. So, who else joins your audience when you add video transcripts?

Deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers

People with limited or no hearing cannot consume your videos without accompanying text. A video transcript relays more than just speech; it should also include speaker IDs and essential non-speech sounds like [LAUGHTER] or [SILENCE].

To create an equivalent viewing experience for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers, use your video transcript to create closed captions.

Making your online video accessible isn’t just a nice-to-have—for many organizations, it’s required by law. Accessibility laws vary by state, but federal law requires that videos be transcribed and captioned for all federal agencies. Video accessibility is mandated for broadcast media and for “places of public accommodation” like museums, libraries, and universities.

Viewers in sound-prohibitive environments

A 2021 Pew Research study found that 31% of U.S. adults report being “almost constantly” online. A 2018 Nielson poll found that we spend almost half of our life on the internet, watching TV, or on our phones.

Now, consider all the people who discover your videos on their smartphones while commuting to work on the train, waiting in line at the post office, or eating lunch in a noisy cafeteria. Not every environment is conducive to playing audio. A transcript gives your viewers an alternative to consuming your content, keeping them from bouncing off your site.

Non-native English speakers

Video transcripts help ESOL viewers fully comprehend your content. The transcript provides a reference for vocabulary, and spelling and can be used as a study guide. Considering that there are an estimated 4.9 million ESOL students in American public schools, why not make your content more accessible for the millions of people who could benefit from video transcription?

How to Add Video Transcription
  1. The easiest way to transcribe a video is to use speech recognition software. You can upload your video or audio to YouTube and use their free captioning tool to get a rough transcript. You can also use a captioning vendor.
  2. If you used speech recognition software, make sure to edit the transcript to ensure it matches the audio in the video.
  3. If you are using your transcript to caption a video, you’ll want to time code the transcript. You can use YouTube, a vendor, or do it by hand.
  4. Upload your transcript to a webpage or video description box. If the transcript is separate from the video or audio, make sure to provide a link from the media.

Learn more about the benefits of captioning and transcription—check out our white paper ⤵️
Discover the benefits of captioning and transcription. Download the white paper

This post was originally published by Emily Griffin on February 3, 2015, and has since been updated.

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