As video content continues to grow in popularity among internet users, more and more companies are investing in their own YouTube channels. And YouTube, in turn, has begun adding more features to reach demand.
One such feature that some businesses have started utilizing is auto-captioning. However, if you’re serious about enabling your video for not only the deaf and hard of hearing, but for viewers worldwide, you should invest in professional closed captions for any video you post.
The benefits of doing so are numerous and include improved search rankings, increased views, and greater user engagement.
Read on to see all the ways that your business’s YouTube channel can take advantage of professional closed captioning.
Better Search Ranking on Google
The most important ranking factor for Google is quality content written with the reader (and not the bots) in mind. Although numerous other factors now play a major role in determining a sites Google ranking, content is still king.
But when you’re content is in the form of a video, it can be difficult for spiders that crawl your site to determine that the information you are providing is indeed quality content. Here’s where closed captions come into play.
Outside of the title, meta description, and tags, closed captions allow you to feature crawlable content that in turn helps your search ranking. What’s more, since your video was created specifically with the user in mind, you probably already have natural, keyword specific (but not keyword stuffed) content that spiders crave.
More Views and Worldwide Reach
Getting views is all about appealing to your audience. The more people who can watch your videos, the bigger your reach will be. You probably already put this idea into practice when you created the video. But did you also account for your entire potential audience?
Many companies fail to adapt their video content for viewers with auditory disabilities. By adding professional closed captions to your YouTube videos, you’re ensuring that more internet users are able to access them. This in turn will increase the number of views you’re video receives.
What’s more, when your online video features closed captions, you’re also opening the door to ESL learners. This means your video could reach a more diverse, multilingual audience the world over. And if, after adding closed captions, you do notice a new audience in a particular country, you may have just discovered a new target market.
Lastly, closed captions allow users to access your videos anywhere, from quiet environments like libraries to noisy settings like restaurants. Without closed captions, viewers who do not want to disturb those around them or who cannot hear above the din, won’t be able to watch your video immediately. They may remember to go back to it later, but more likely they’ll forget and you just lost out on a potential customer.
Increased User Engagement
User engagement refers to the number of comments, likes and shares your online videos garner. And in general, studies have shown that user engagement goes up when videos feature closed captions.
This is mostly related to the fact that closed-captioned videos are accessible to more people and therefore get more views, so they’re bound to get more likes, shares and comments. Plus, people tend to watch closed-captioned videos longer than average, which also adds to user engagement.
Make Sure Your Closed Captions Are Accurate
If you’re serious about harnessing the power of closed captions on your YouTube channel, hire a professional for the job.
While it might seem easier (and cheaper) to just use the auto-captions feature that YouTube provides, remember the old saying. “you get what you pay for.”
YoutTube’s auto-caption uses speech recognition, which is not nearly as accurate as a professional transcribing speech. This results in inaccurate closed captions, which are detrimental for a number of reasons.
First, if your keywords are inaccurately transcribed, you won’t be ranking correctly or, depending on how bad the quality of the captions are, you may not be ranking at all. If the spiders can’t understand what your content is saying, they’re not likely to rank your site.
Second, inaccurate closed captions can actually damage your image among viewers. A seeming lack of professionalism or regard for viewers who require closed captions, may reflect directly on your brand image and turn potential customers into potential critics.
If you want to improve your search ranking, increase video views, and see greater user engagement, make sure you hire a professional to add closed captions to your YouTube videos.