It may seem contradictory, but one of the best ways to boost online video content is with the addition of text.

Specifically, transcripts and closed captions.

Both are highly effective tools for anyone looking to hone their SEO strategy and increase engagement.  

Keep reading to learn all the ins and outs of video transcription.

We’ll cover everything from link-building to viewer accessibility and even walk you through auto-transcription with Pictory AI.

The SEO Benefits of Adding Transcriptions to Video Content

computer screen with a video transcription on with three people surrounding it

Search engine optimization is key for any business looking to stand out in online search results.

Though website content and social media captions are usually the focus of an SEO strategy, video transcripts provide an often-untapped frontier for achieving higher search rankings.

This is how adding transcripts can take your video SEO to the next level:

Make it Easier for Search Engines to Index Content

Ipad with a search engine on

Technology has gotten advanced significantly over the last few years.

Even with that, search engines still can’t crawl audio or visual files without written content to translate it.

A video transcript can act as that translation, describing the contents of the video so that Google and other search engines can index it based on search terms.

Think of your online videos like an unmarked tin in a grocery store.

Without a label describing what’s in it, there’s no way of knowing where it belongs on the shelf.

Sure, a video’s title helps, but it usually doesn’t provide enough space to give a video’s full context and value.

To get the best placement on the proverbial shelf, or the best indexing on Google searches, a full video transcript is needed.

It’s the context by which your video will be organized so that search engines can decide if it should be served to people as an answer to their queries.

More Opportunity for Keywords

a computer screen with keyword opportunity written

Video transcriptions tend to fall into two categories: captioning everything said in a video or adding additional descriptions about the visual content.

Either way, because video transcripts are used for search engine indexing, it also means that they’re a useful area in which to add keywords and further optimize video content.

Keywords are the hot topics that help determine the relevancy of online content.

This makes them a powerful way to reach more people on the internet.

That doesn’t mean you should go wild and resort to keyword stuffing as this will adversely affect your search engine ranking.

But video transcripts are certainly a great place to include key phrases and valuable keywords for both the video at hand and your brand.

Improve Your Rankings

a laptop with ranking performance rate on the screen

Search rankings operate by organizing online content against their perceived relevancy in answering a search query.

Relevant keywords are one of the most effective ways to get ranked higher in these instances and as we just touched on, are easy to add to a video transcription.

Keywords and ranking go hand-in-hand, and higher rankings and website traffic are similarly linked.

The better your video’s ranking, the more likely you are to see increased traffic on it as it will help push your video to the first page of the search results.

Increased traffic also further boosts ranking.

If that sounds like a never-ending cycle, that’s because it is.

It’s also why video transcripts are so crucial for effective SEO strategies.

They ensure that video content can maximize all the best parts of the SEO cycle.

This benefits not only the video itself but general website traffic and landing page clicks.

three screens with text all linking together

Adding to the SEO benefits of video transcriptions are the internal link-building opportunities they provide.

If you have other content that you’d like to connect viewers to or that complements the video, link to it.

It can help keep people on your site for longer and improve the optimization of the pages you’re linking to, all at once.

Why Video Transcripts Boost Engagement

a person next a phone with YouTube on and analytics surrounding it

Video transcriptions aren’t just an effective way to boost SEO and get you seen in more search results.

They also help with video engagement.

This is partly because transcripts help to improve search rankings and thereby make it far easier for people to search for and find the videos.

However, providing video transcription also fundamentally improves how engaging people find the content once they’ve already clicked on it.

In fact, internal tests from Facebook have shown that closed captions increase video view time by 12%.

Using video transcriptions, especially for content on social media platforms, removes communication barriers and boosts engagement as a result:

Better Accessibility

a person in a wheelchair with accesability icons

As important as audio content is for adding to the excitement of a video, there are many people who are excluded by material that relies on audio alone.

Approximately 15% of Americans over the age of 18 report having trouble with their hearing.

Also, according to the World Health Organization, by 2050, 1 in 10 people will struggle with disabling hearing loss.

For them, transcribing video content goes far beyond SEO purposes.

It’s what makes video content accessible.

That’s why any creators or businesses trying to reach a wider audience need to prioritize video transcriptions.

Captions and transcripts make content more inclusive and give people of all hearing abilities access.

It also indicates a sense of consideration that any viewer, no matter their hearing, can appreciate.

Those who are deaf and hard of hearing deserve to be included in media and any step toward accommodating them benefits all involved.

Most People Are Watching Without Sound

a person with their fingers in their ears

85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound and yet 76% of ads on the social media platform still require audio to be understood.

Clearly, providing transcripts doesn’t just improve the viewer experience for the hearing impaired.

Many people watch videos on mobile devices when they’re out and about and won’t necessarily have access to earphones or be able to play audio without bothering people nearby.

Without a video transcription, any videos watched like this are rendered useless for both the viewer and the brand or creator behind the content.

On the flip side, including captions ensures that no one has to choose between audio or video.

It ensures that no matter the context a person is in, they’re able to watch the video with or without sound, and still be able to access all the value points.

Like making the content more accessible to the hearing impaired, video transcription lowers the barrier to entry so that brands and creators can get viewership that isn’t hindered by external factors.

Reach Multi-Lingual Audiences

range of people saying hello in different languages

Another barrier to entry that video transcription lowers is language differences.

The beauty of the internet is that so many brands and video creators now have a global audience interested in what they’re doing.

The tricky part is trying to ensure that content can still reach people who use different languages.

Video transcriptions are highly useful for this as they’re easy to translate.

Using captions, even in the same language as the video, also helps people who may not be as fluent to follow along better.

Makes Video Content More Watchable

colorful graphics with phone tripod and fun emojis

Over 60% of online video viewing in the US is done on smartphones with most of us watching videos on the internet while we’re on the move, in between tasks, and waiting in checkout lines.

It’s not dedicated viewing the way sitting back to watch a game on a Friday night might be; it’s sporadic and rushed, which is why video transcriptions are so important.

If a user is sitting in a noisy café or just struggling to concentrate, captions make a video easier to follow and focus in on.

They also make videos more “skimmable”.

People are busy and being able to put a video on X1.5 speed and essentially skim-read the captions to absorb the content might not be ideal, but it’s the reality of how most video material is consumed on the internet.

That’s really where video transcription shines.

It’s not flashy and it won’t make your video content more visually appealing, but it will help eliminate some of the practical reasons that might keep people from watching an entire video from beginning to end.

So often, improving engagement is simply about making content easier to consume and ensuring that no matter the environment a user is in or their hearing access, they can still watch and benefit from your videos.

How to Create Video Transcripts and Captions with Pictory AI

If sitting down to transcribe audio seems like a mind-numbingly boring task, you are not alone.

Manual transcription can take ages to do and steal time away from tasks that need you more.

The answer?

Using video transcription services which, in the case of Pictory AI, means getting access to automated transcription that can be done in just minutes.

Here’s how you can use Pictory AI for your next video transcription:

1.     Upload your video file and select our auto-transcription feature.

the four main Pictory video editing features, Edit Videos Using Text highlighted

The Pictory AI engine will then transcribe the entire video for you.

2.     Our AI software will help remove filler words but you’re also still able to go in and correct any errors or remove sentences that aren’t necessary.

toggle to remove filler words and silences

This is also the point where you can add extra SEO words to assist your marketing strategy and online discoverability.

3.     There’s also the option to create auto highlights and summaries of your transcripts so that longer videos are more easily shareable on social media.

auto highlight percentage


With Pictory, adding high-quality transcripts to your video projects has never been easier.

We even have multiple languages to choose from and a full editing suite that can help you add everything from branded intros to AI voiceovers.

Other Ways to Use Video Transcription with Pictory

Automated transcription and captions have uses far beyond SEO or even video engagement.

Some of these include:

  • Turning video files into written text.

    This means a video can easily be turned into a blog post to further drive traffic to your website.

  • No need to worry about taking notes in Zoom meetings or webinars.

    Just use automated transcriptions instead.

  • From the other side of the coin, you’re also able to transcribe videos to give to clients as notes.

    It adds serious value and improves their experience with you.

Sign up for a FREE Pictory trial and start leveraging the full power of auto transcription for your video and website content.

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Instagram is still the home of image and video content for a wide variety of individuals and businesses.

There are many different types of content you can create to establish yourself on the platform.

Read our article on Building Your Business’ Brand On Instagram to learn how to make the most of this social media site.

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