- Studies show that improving video SEO can be done with closed captions. Closed captions come from a text file that is integrated into your video. This text file can be indexed by search engine bots and are used to categorize your video content. Studies show that when searching for specific text that appears only in the closed captions of a video but nowhere else, such as the title, description or in the metadata, that video will regularly appear in search results for that specific text.
- Video transcripts have been shown to increase video SEO as well. In a study by web traffic analyzer LiveClicker, 37 web videos were analyzed for traffic before and after adding transcripts. Pages with transcripts were found to have earned an average of 16% more revenue than they did before they had transcripts. Why? The study concluded that the increase revenue was likely related to an increase in keyword searches resulting from matches in the transcripts. How does this work? Well, think of how the search engine works, by analyzing text. On many video sites, there is little, if any text, particularly in the video itself. By adding a transcript, you’re adding text that the search engines can analyze.
- Captions have been shown to increase the number of views and more significantly, the amount of time spent watching the video. Why? Many viewers don’t have access to audio when watching and often will skip through video that doesn’t immediately appeal to them. Videos with transcripts keep viewers engaged longer because they can follow along without the audio. This is backed up by research. Facebook found that video captions increased view time by 12% compared to uncaptioned videos.
These are just a few examples of how adding captions and translations to your YouTube, Facebook and other video content can help improve your video SEO return on your content. This doesn’t take in to account the millions of deaf or hard of hearing people who depend on captions every day. A small investment in captioning can make your content more accessible to more viewers, which is a win for everyone.