Whether it be listening to a podcast or watching a video; it’s a daily activity for many people. Yet, in the Netherlands alone there are 1.3 million people who are hearing impaired, for whom these activities are not self-evident. This is why it’s important to offer a transcript for both podcasts and videos.

What is a video transcript?

A video transcript is the content of a video written out in great detail. In addition to the spoken text, a transcript contains all the information in the video, such as what can be seen and heard. This complete text is made available to the viewer, either directly underneath the video, or on a separate landing page, or as a download.

In the case of an interactive video, all the interactive elements and the actions associated with them must also be included in the transcript. If, for example, a viewer can click on a button to download content, then both the download action and the URL through which the download can be found must be included in the transcript.

A transcript ensures that media is accessible to everyone. It is also very valuable for video SEO. Whether it’s link building or keywords: with a video transcript, you ensure that your media is also accessible to algorithms.

Transcripts contain relevant keywords

Keywords are a very important element for optimizing a website for search engines. These are the words that you want to rank on in the search results and they often differ per webpage. When it’s been determined on which keyword a specific page should rank, you optimize the page for that particular keyword using the headers, alt texts, and the text on the page.

Optimizing content on a webpage doesn’t just apply to only text and images, but also to videos. Search engines recognize that there is a video element on a page, but its content is what’s more difficult to index. For this, a search engine needs text that gives the video meaning and context. As a first step, all the metadata of the video can be used for this, such as the title and the meta description.

Subtitles and a transcript give search engines an even clearer interpretation of the video, because the entire content of the video is captured in text. With a transcript, there’s more text available to include relevant keywords and thus a greater chance of ranking the page on the correct keywords. Search engines often even prefer pages with long texts of more than 2000 words and many video transcripts come close to that amount.

Transcripts attract and retain traffic

Adding a transcript to a video allows search engines to better understand the content. This contributes to a higher ranking in the search results, which ultimately leads to more traffic.

The podcast This American Life proves that transcripts lead to more traffic. They saw a 6.68% increase in search traffic by adding transcripts to episodes. Just as with a video, a search engine recognizes the podcast as an audio element, but the transcript helps the search engine to get a better understanding of the content.

Transcripts not only generate more traffic to webpages, but they also get people to spend more time on a page and they lower the bounce rate. With a transcript, you meet the needs of all visitors: the visitors that are hearing impaired, the visitors who still prefer to read the transcript and the visitors who like to follow the video closely using the transcript. For example, by immediately copying pieces of the transcript text to use at a later time.

Transcripts benefit your link building

Besides the fact that a video transcript offers room for keywords, it is also valuable for link building. Text allows you to link words that refer to other relevant content. This could be one of your own webpages or an external website.

You can also choose to offer the transcript on a separate landing page and link to it. This makes it easier for viewers to navigate between related topics, while also increasing the number of links and giving search engines more insight into the structure of your website.

Transcripts create content opportunities

In addition to clarifying the video and making it more accessible, the transcript also offers opportunities to create other content.

Transcripts form a good foundation that you can easily refine and adapt to create new content. Think, for example, of pieces of text that you can incorporate into a blog, a whitepaper, or an infographic. These extra forms of content give you more opportunities to rank on keywords and to create links on your website.

Video transcripts made easy

A video transcript is important for both accessibility and SEO. Not only does it make content more accessible to viewers, but it also gives algorithms a better understanding of the content, making it easier to index the video.

Transcribing used to take a lot of time and effort, because everything was written down manually. Nowadays, there is more and more software available that automatically generates high-quality transcripts. For example, by using Speech to Text software. If you’d like more information on video transcripts, you can contact us at hello@bluebillywig.com.