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The Impact of Transcripts and Captions on SEM

by Jay Durgan  23 December 2015

Do captions and transcripts actually help to improve your overall marketing success? Studies say yes. In general, video content that includes transcripts and/or captions sees more audience engagement than content that doesn’t. And in fact, companies that added captions to their existing video content saw an immediate increase in engagement for that content, by over 13% in just two weeks, and more than a 7% all time increase.

And as more people engage with your content, it also boosts sales in general, increasing revenue. A study of web content both with and without transcripts found that the adding of transcripts led to revenue increases of around 16%.

 Captions and transcripts can improve your marketing in other, less obvious ways as well. One of the things that helps to boost your content’s search engine rankings is internal links. There are a number of ways to do this with video, but it doesn’t lend itself to linking as much as text content. However, if you have a transcript of, say, a webinar, you can place it on a separate page of your site, and link to that from the video’s page—and vice versa. Having a transcript page that’s separate from the page that the video itself is on increases the number of opportunities that viewers have to engage with your website.

The more pages of content you have, the more traffic you’ll be able to drive to your website, and the more leads you’ll be able to generate. Therefore, each transcript should have its own page, with its own keywords and overall SEO strategy, just like each video does. And an additional page which catalogs and links to each of your transcripts can be helpful as well, just like a playlist of your videos can.

You can also use written transcripts to repurpose your content. Because of this connection between the amount of content your website has and the amount of traffic you get, it’s important to your marketing strategy that you create new content regularly. This means not just videos, but all types of content, from blogs and articles to white papers and eBooks, and more.

Constantly coming up with new content ideas can be draining, which is why repurposing one kind of content into another can be a great way to add to your existing content and increase audience engagement more easily. For example, take several blogs and turn them into a white paper, or take a white paper and break it down into several blog posts.

If you have a full transcript of each of your videos, repurposing them into blogs, articles, white papers, or other content becomes much easier. Add a few headlines, a couple of graphs or other images, and some bullet points, and you’ve got brand new content, hot off the presses, with minimal effort.

If you’re going to do this, it’s generally better to do it for older videos, that haven’t seen as much engagement lately, rather than a new one that’s still gaining views. Older content won’t be as fresh in your audience’s memories and seem more like new content, rather than a rehash. You can, however (and in fact should), still include a link to the original content, with a note saying, “Originally adapted from this video.” This will increase your internal links and gain even more overall engagement for your content.


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