The Goals

This American Life embarked on a project to transcribe its entire audio archive and make transcripts freely available to website visitors. The goals were to a) increase inbound traffic from organic search, b) increase the number of inbound links, c) engage users and create a better user experience by providing alternate ways to consume the content, d) make content accessible to people with hearing disabilities, e) make it easier to pull quotes and reference a section of the audio.

This American Life began transcribing its radio archives in April 2011 and completed the entire backlog by October 2011. Currently, it provides transcripts for new episodes one week after publishing.


Transcription for Your Podcast

SEO Impact of Transcription [36 Months] This American Life. Unique Visitors increased with more episodes transcribed

The Results

The Conclusion

Transcription for podcasts and radio programs provides a number of benefits: accessibility for people with hearing disabilities, improved comprehension for visitors who know English as a second language, ability to follow along in sound-sensitive environments, ability to translate the text to other languages, and the ability to search through the text and reference a section of audio.
Transcription also helps with search engine optimization.

By transcribing its library of radio shows This American Life increased the number of unique visitors to its website by 4.18%. The number of unique visitors who discovered TAL through organic search results increased by 6.68%. The results showed that 7.23% of website visitors engaged with the transcripts. The results also showed that transcripts provide an effective way to increase authority through additional inbound links. In fact, 405 out of 10,826 external inbound links point to one of the transcript pages. This represents a 3.89% increase in inbound links directly attributable to the transcript pages.

How to Make Your Podcast Accessible

About the Study

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