3 Reasons Why You Need Video Transcription

September 20, 2018 BY SOFIA ENAMORADO
Updated: April 10, 2020

Video transcription is the process of translating your video’s audio into text. This is done with automatic speech recognition technology, human transcriptionists, or a combination of the two.

What motivates a video publisher to transcribe their content? Plenty.

Video Transcription
1. The easiest way to transcribe a video is to use a 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 a 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.

Here are the top three reasons why you can’t afford not to transcribe your videos.


1. SEO

Providing a transcript is proven to boost your video SEO.

A 3-week long SEO study by SafeNet compared the search rank for web pages with video transcripts added. 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 transcripts to their web pages, This American Life saw a significant increase in inbound traffic and user engagement. In fact, 6.26% of all unique visitor who came from search traffic landed on a transcript page.

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

Transcripts also help with 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.

2. Better UX

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

Everyone learns differently, so adding a transcript gives viewers the option to digest information according to their strengths.

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

Here are two other features you can do with transcripts that improve the user experience tremendously:

Playlist Search

We mentioned that transcripts make your video searchable by search engines. You can also implement onsite search capabilities. With a tool like a playlist search plugin, you can scan an entire video library for mention of specific words and hop to the moment(s) in a video where that word is spoken. This is hugely useful for researchers, but it’s a benefit to 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 on the video – a much smoother UX than having to mark timecodes when navigating a video.

3. Accessibility

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].

free download: 8 benefits of transcribing and captioning online content

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 a sound-prohibitive environments

A recent Nielson poll uncovered that we spend almost half of our life on the internet, watching TV, or on our phones.

In fact, we spend up to 11 hours per day connected to some form of media.

Now, consider all the people who discover your video 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 website.

Non-native English speakers

Video transcripts help ESL 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 4.4 million ESL students in American public schools, why not make your videos more accessible?

discover the benefits of captioning and transcription. This white paper covers the top 8 reasons why video transcription and captioning are beneficial for your organization and your viewers. 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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