Transcription SEO: How Video Transcripts and Captions Can Help With Visibility

Everything is online these days. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a government agency, media personality, or business that doesn’t have a website. And like any type of advertising, visibility is a prime goal for businesses online. This can be achieved in a few ways, with SEO or Search Engine Optimization being one of the best. However, many businesses underutilize SEO tools and practices, leading to lost potential. For example, a video transcription service can help businesses and companies looking for higher visibility on search engines like Google. So, let’s talk about how transcription can boost SEO content scores and help make your business appear more on Google Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). 

How Does Google Search Engine Look For Optimized Content?

Google’s search engine works by using a variety of factors to rank websites, including the content of the website, the number and quality of backlinks to the website, and the user’s search history. Google’s search engine algorithms help map out the entirety of the surface web and present users with the best results for their searches.. All of those algorithms converge into one website,, which — I’m sure we’re all aware — is the most visited website in the world. 

The goal of any company wanting more visibility for their online presence is to appear on the first page of a Google Search. This is the online equivalent of building a store in the busiest part of the city, where many people can see your website and services. To do this, you can employ SEO strategies and best practices — one of which is publishing quality content. 

By publishing new content, businesses attract the attention of Google’s search engine crawlers – sometimes called “spiders” by search engine experts. These crawlers search online sites for new content and pick up on keywords within the text to help guide their search results. So if a carpet cleaning company in Denver records a seminar they present on the newest environmentally-friendly carpet cleaning process, and posts a transcribed copy of the presentation, Google could show the content in search results for terms like “Denver carpet cleaning” or “environmentally friendly carpet cleaning.”

Although exact Search Engine Visibility (SEO) techniques are a little more in-depth, it is beneficial both for new and established businesses to create unique content and post online — after all, if your content isn’t saying anything helpful to searchers, Google will not give your website any love. 

Furthermore, new content also helps build brand credibility with your targeted consumers, as they will see you providing relevant and helpful information and, in turn, associate your company or brand with being the “expert” in a particular field. All these concepts fall under Google’s E-E-A-T Guidelines. This is another extensive topic that might require a different article, but let’s leave it for now. 

Video Content, Search Results, Keywords, and The User Experience

One of the best ways to hook potential customers is to publish videos and audio content online. Engagement for these types of content is higher than in blogs and other long-form content — you only need to look at the popularity of Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts for proof. Unlike typical written content, though, video SEO is a bit different. Since most of the content is audio or video, you have limited content for Google to crawl.  

For example, consider a typical YouTube upload menu field. Titles are limited to 100 characters, descriptions to 5000, and tags to 500 characters (but crucially do not help with increasing your video’s chances of appearing in search results). 

youtube title
youtube tags

Then, there are the Category Sections, which can help viewers quickly find your content. However, these are pre-populated data points that content creators have little control over. 

video category

So, even if you utilize all available fields, you only get 800 – 1000 words out of them on average to squeeze in your relevant keywords. The limited space may tempt others to repeat the keywords as often as possible, which may sound like an excellent idea to the uninitiated. After all, Google looks for keywords to find relevant content, so having more can only be beneficial, right?

Wrong. Google calls this keyword stuffing — padding content with relevant keywords while offering little to no value to the readers. This practice was more prevalent in the early days of search engines when algorithms were less sophisticated and relied heavily on keyword density as a ranking factor. Google is wise to this and is continuously improving its Search algorithms, targeting spammy, irrelevant content and kicking them down the priority list for search results or, in some cases, completely blocking them from appearing in SERPs.

So, let’s summarize what we know so far.

  • Google prefers quality, helpful content that gets your pages and posts indexed.
  • Videos are great for audience retention.
  • Search crawlers only analyze text, not audio.
  • Videos have limited metadata real estate for texts and keywords.

Where does that leave you?

SEO Benefits of Caption And Video Transcription

Transcribing videos increases your chances of getting found by search engines by allowing you to increase and diversify your keywords without resorting to keyword stuffing. Companies uploading video content without taking advantage of this opportunity are not maximizing their potential reach. 

YouTube has an automated transcription service, but it’s not accurate. With automated transcription, the audio is transcribed as the AI hears it. Heavy accents, background noise, multiple speakers, and the like will hurt accuracy regardless if the audio quality is perfect. At best, AI transcription is, 87% accurate. Having inaccurate transcripts for your video content may do more harm than good. Essential keywords may be lost. Or all the other words might be wrong, making your transcript look like keyword stuffing. Remember, nonsensical content stuffed with keywords can be tagged as spam by Google. 

Uploading a custom transcript for your YouTube videos ensures that search engines will index everything said in the video. 

Additionally, human-generated transcripts are cleaner and more polished. One thing you’ll notice with auto-generated closed captions and transcripts is that they don’t have any punctuation marks. A human reading that ceaseless flow of text might be put off. A search engine crawler might see just a wall of text and mark it as low-quality or irrelevant. 

Also, as a viewer, you’ll know if the caption or transcript is custom or auto-generated when you click on the CC button on the player. 


And while on the topic of humans and automated transcription, it’s better to have humans transcribe or at least edit your transcripts rather than leave it all up to AI. 

Another great thing about transcribing your videos is that it can help enhance your user experience while giving accessibility options for people who are hard of hearing. By making your content more accessible, you are widening your potential audience base. So that’s killing two birds with one stone: transcription for SEO purposes and enhancing user experience.

Where Do You Get Video Transcripts?

So, we’ve established that transcripts can help your video’s chances of being noticed by Google. So, how do you go about transcribing your videos? 

Businesses can record anything they want to post – annual meetings, conferences, conference calls, PowerPoint presentations, speeches – and anything that can be recorded (audio exclusively or audio and video) can be transcribed. As long as the content is helpful to other people, it has a chance to boost your SEO. 

You can do the manual transcription yourself. However, imagine doing a 2-hour podcast transcription after you’ve edited the content. SEO efforts are great, and transcripts help, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your time and effort that are better devoted to making quality content. 

You can get AI transcription software, as we’ve said before, it’s not ideal for such a delicate task. It might do in a pinch, the time it would take to watch and correct the mistakes will be the same as having transcribed it yourself. Video transcripts for SEO need to be accurate to be effective, and AI and other automated transcription tools are far from accurate. 

The third option is getting a transcription service provider. Most transcription companies accept digital submissions through an online server or email. Saving the recording to a CD or flash drive is another way to deliver the material to a transcription company. Once a transcription company has the file, they simply transcribe and return the document in whatever form you wish – electronically or otherwise. The material is then ready to be published – in a newsletter, a company website, a blog, social media pages, or anywhere you want.

The Best Ways to Transcribe Your Videos And Boost Your Video Content’s SEO

Now that we’ve established that transcripts improve SEO and make content accessible let’s talk about the best way to transcribe your videos. 

Find a reputable transcription company that caters to general content and businesses. Look at online reviews, ask for price quotes, and ask for references. In our experience, native English speakers are the best at transcribing longer recordings with free-flowing, natural conversation. Their early initiation in the language makes it easy to transcribe what they hear or predict what the speaker would likely say next. 

And again, audio-to-text transcription is better done by humans. It’s a lot more accurate that way. We guarantee 99% accurate transcripts and captions, AI can’t come close to that. 

So be sure to explore your choices. That way, you can maximize your resources, rank higher in SEO, and make your content more attractive to your viewers. 

Ditto Transcripts is a Denver, Colorado-based transcription company that provides fast, accurate, and affordable transcription services for individuals and companies of all sizes. Call (720) 287-3710 today for a free quote, and ask about our free five-day trial.

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