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Covideo Blog - Video Email News

Why You Need to Add Captions to Your Videos Now

By: Olivia Slade-Silovic | April 15th, 2019

You’ve produced an awesome video that’s guaranteed to rake in tons of views and engagement. But how will people find your content? When they do find it, are you sure that everyone who wants to consume it will be able to? This is exactly where captions and transcripts come into play.

It’s already a well-known fact that you can use videos to improve your search engine rankings. However, when it comes to optimizing for search, many companies still have a long way to go. Search is the top driver of traffic to content sites. It even beats out social media by more than 300%. During those searches, most people never even go beyond the first page of results and 60% of clicks are on the top 3 results in Google.

These stats make it clear that search is crucial to the success of your business. Moreover, it is just as important to optimize the content of your videos as it is for your website!

If you want your content to show and make an impact, you need to become an expert on SEO for video, and we’re here to help you with that.

The best way to ensure that your videos are not lost in the black hole of internet content is to use captions and transcripts.

Below, we’ve listed the top 4 reasons why you need to add captions to your videos NOW.

Increase watch time

Watch time, or the amount of time someone spends watching your video, is important for two reasons. The first is for communicating your ideas or call to action, but the second is for search engines that are ranking your video. During this process, search engines view watch time in order to indicate quality video content. This means that the longer someone spends watching your video, the higher the quality must be.

YouTube and Google use the metric as the primary factor for ranking videos on the web. Google even patented this method of measurement, “Watch Time Based Ranking.” What this translates to is: the longer someone spends watching (and re-watching) your video, the more successful it is.

The key to improving watch time is by using captions and transcriptions. Research shows that 80% of consumers watch videos with captions to the end, compared to only 40% for videos without captions. Internal testing completed by Facebook also confirmed that adding captions to videos increases the average time viewed by 12%.

Since over 50% of web search traffic is for videos, a strong watch time is closely tied to a high search ranking.

Increased watch time means increased time spent on your site!
Many people watch videos in public places. Even 85% of Facebook video content is watched without sound, according to a number of publishers.

After all, when you’re on the subway after work, do you really want everyone around you to hear what you’re listening to? Adding subtitles allows viewers to watch your video even when the sound can’t be played. For example, at the office, late at night or on public transportation. Subtitles give people more options to view your content whenever they want.

Another important fact to note is that social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter auto-play videos without sound in the newsfeed. If you’re using subtitles, this should not make for a less-engaging experience for your viewers. Text allows them to understand your topic without having to turn the sound on and motivates them to watch the full video.

Captions are the key to keeping viewers’ attention when they can’t listen to audio. The benefit of captioning videos means that your website visitors will likely spend more time on your page. A visitor’s session length is also one of the components that Google takes into consideration when ranking landing pages in search results.

Provide greater accessibility

Adding captions to your videos allows you to provide service to a very large demographic of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. Since over 5% of the world’s population has an auditory processing disability, captioned videos give these viewers an equal opportunity to consume your content.

Videos with captions also help to attract foreign views. With subtitles, you can easily translate your video into different languages, allowing your viewers to choose which one is best for them.

With video subtitles, you’re making your content more competitive by expanding your video outreach to more locations.

Create more content from video transcripts

According to LinkedIn, 45% of marketers confirmed that posting content to their company’s blog on a regular basis is the most effective social media tactic. As social media evolves, it has become clear that Google favors sites that produce insightful content.

This puts extra pressure on marketers to make sure that the content they are producing is both consistent and quality.

Video transcripts provide the perfect base for creating future blog posts and content for social media too! This allows marketers to create effective content that will be rewarded by Google from an SEO perspective.

Get noticed by Google

Search engines aren’t able to watch a video or listen to audio, so this is where captions become extremely useful. Captions are indexed by YouTube and Google.

However, there’s a kick. It only works if you upload your own professional captions.

This means no auto-generated captions that YouTube provides.

These captions will not be indexed because the quality is typically very poor.

Also, having a transcript accompany the audio in your video on your website can also help search engines easily crawl your text. Some studies have even shown that webpages generate roughly 16% more revenue after adding transcripts.

Both captions and transcripts provide important video data to search engines. This allows them to crawl through your content for relevancy, index your video and rank it highly.

It would be even better if you could provide a time-stamped transcript of your video. This lets the search engine how relevant your video is and what is in your content, resulting in higher rankings.

Here’s some more insight into how video can help boost your SEO efforts.

There you have it!

Now that you know using subtitles in your videos can improve your marketing strategy, it’s time to start improving your video SEO to make your video content competitive. What are you waiting for? Start captioning your videos now!

 

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