If YouTube videos are an active part of your content marketing strategy, you probably know the basics for video optimization: good headlines and descriptions, added links, tags and keywords. But did you know that adding YouTube captions to your video can help facilitate increased interaction with your content and improve ranking in search results?
Yes, indeed! If you’ve ever wondered whether or not to add captions and transcripts to your YouTube videos, read on to learn more about the benefits they bring to your content.
Appeal to a Larger Audience
The main purpose of closed captions is to provide video accessibility to those who are hearing impaired. But did you know it’s also a great way to make your videos available to non-English speakers? YouTube can support captions in a variety of languages and by captioning your video in Spanish, French and German, for example, you could potentially double or even triple the reach of your content.
Boost Your SEO
It’s true—adding captions and transcripts can help improve your video’s search ranking in Google and YouTube. They do so by giving the search engines more text to crawl through and index.
Take a look at the results Discovery Digital Networks found when they tested captioning on their videos. After just 14 days, they saw a 13.44% increase in YouTube viewership and an overall increase of 7.32%. But remember, headlines and description copy still weigh heavily in indexing search results, so be sure you’re optimizing your copy wherever possible for maximum efficiency.
Tips for Creating and Uploading Text
Ready to make your own captions and transcripts? YouTube has an automated captioning feature, but we don’t recommend using it. While it can be helpful in a pinch, the automated feature can also result in unfortunate typos (e.g. captions that read: a sickening foam, when your narrator actually said: a slick new phone).
You’re better served by creating the YouTube captions yourself. To do so, log in to your account, navigate to the Video Manager and choose Subtitles and CC in the drop-down menu next to the “Edit” button on your video. Alternatively, consider using a professional transcription service and then follow YouTube’s instructions for how to upload a transcript file.
Take a look at this video by YouTube marketing expert Derral Eves for a step-by-step guide to adding captions to your videos: