5 Ways Transcripts Can Improve Your Podcast
Updated: October 15, 2020
Podcasting is a valuable marketing tool, but what if we told you that with podcast transcripts, you can squeeze even more value out of your audio content?
The way people consume content is changing. Brands must create content that meets people where they are, and right now, people are all about podcasts. The number of podcasts just keeps growing. Currently, there are over 700,000 podcasts and nearly 600 new ones are created each day. Individuals all over the globe are displaying loyal listening patterns – almost 50 million people tune into their favorite podcasts weekly.
Podcasts are great storytelling tools that engage and delight audiences of all types. But with transcripts, you can get more out of your podcasts such as improved search engine rankings and better web accessibility. All in all, you’ll be serving up more value to more listeners, and you’ll have transcripts to thank for it.
1. Get More out of Each Episode
After going through the trouble of producing a brilliant podcast episode — shouldn’t you make the most of it? Adding a podcast transcript can help you do just that!
From one podcast episode, you can make loads of other content. Many podcasters have posted video versions of podcasts on their YouTube channels or turn their episodes into blog posts by simply 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 save yourself some time and use podcast transcripts.
Plus, some people simply prefer to read instead of listening to audio. Why not let those audiences enjoy your podcast in their preferred format?
2. 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 the keyword-rich content from your podcast episodes into text that bots can read. You’ll find that publishing your podcast transcripts along with your audio files will significantly increase your web traffic.
How can we be sure?
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 percent, directly attributable to the new audio transcript pages.
- New inbound traffic via search increase by 6.68 percent, directly attributable to the new audio transcript pages.
- Inbound links increased by 3.89 percent, directly attributable to the new audio transcript pages.
- At least one transcript was viewed by 7.23 percent of all unique visitors.
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.
The increased search rankings and extra search traffic will help new listeners discover you and help faithful listeners more easily find and share their favorite episodes.
3. 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
Plus, audio can limit situational accessibility. 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.
4. Get Quoted & Credited
A podcast transcript will increase the chances of getting quoted in a tweet, blog, or article, which improves page authority and SEO.
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 too much trouble for your listeners. But if you supply transcripts on your podcast’s website, then listeners can search for that episode 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.
5. Create a Better UX
Podcasts are fantastic to listen to while exercising, driving, or doing other tasks on the go. But here is 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 Interactive Transcript.
By adding interactive, visual components to your page, you’ll improve the desktop podcast UX.
Don’t miss on all of the benefits of transcription for your podcast. Learn more about transcription solutions today.
This post was originally published in September 2016 by Emily Griffin and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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