Why You Should Add Captions To Your YouTube Videos

You might not know it but captions are a lot more important than you might imagine.  They can improve the results of your video in several ways. First, they will make your video more accessible to people who have hearing problems. Secondly, they communicate your message to viewers who are viewing on mobile devices with the sound turned off.  Thirdly, captions will automatically increase your video SEO by making them bot-friendly.


Video captions will make videos easier to search
How Do I Add Video Captions?
How Can I Add Captions To My YouTube Video?

Adding captions to your YouTube and social media video is not just a good idea but can be a critical part of your video content strategy.

If you don’t know, search engines love video captions, social media feeds, viewers demanding video captions, especially for mobile viewers.  Adding video captions will increase your reach and improve SEO value for a very small investment.

Our video caption guide will explain how captions have an impact on SEO and will give you two easy ways to add them to your video.


Video Captions Will Make Videos Easier To Search

If you are looking for ways to get your video to rank among the leading Google search results, you must have captions. The reason is, bots can only read a text they cannot read or recognize images.  If you do not have captions, bots can only guess what your video is about, based on the surrounding text.  Instead, if you have captions, your entire video script will be searchable.

Video SEO is about optimizing your video for Google’s search algorithm.  You can also add metadata, keywords, and surrounding text, but to get the greatest benefits from SEO from your video.  The bottom line, you must have captions.

Almost all users, as well as Google, welcome having algorithms that can recognize and categorize images. That said, at this time, this is a technology that is very difficult to develop. For the present, the only option you have is search engines that are built to read the text.


How Do I Add Video Captions?

You have 2 options, you can hire someone to add the cations for your video or choose to go down the road of DIY.  Paying a service will be more expensive than DIY but will probably offer higher accuracy.  You can expect to pay between $1 to $5 a minute depending on the difficulty of your video and the service you decide to work with.

If you want to go with DIY, we highly recommend you choose a service that has been doing this for some time.  In most cases just sign up for free and choose your subtitle for free.  Keep in mind, on some of these sites, your free options are not private.  Others on the site can see what you are working on.  If you are not ready to share your video information, we would recommend you chose the paid options.

Most sites required the same steps:

Take the video URL and paste it into the captioning service.

Watch and transcribe the video. This is the hard work but the tools will make it easier to transcribe and sync the captions to the video.

Download the caption text file which is your transcript for your blog post or website. It’s usually available in a text file format.

The amount of time this will take depends on the length of your video and how accurately you type.  When you are done, you can use the “txt file” to increase your SEO by cutting and pasting the entire transcript of your video onto the blog post or video page.


How Can I Add Captions To My YouTube Video?

YouTube will automatically add same-language captions to your uploaded video unless you tell it not to.  If you prefer to add your own captions you can upload the text file when you post your video.

If you prefer to edit YouTube’s automatically generated captions, you need to hover over the listings for:

  • Go to the YouTube Studio
  • From the left menu, select “subtitles”
  • Choose your video to subtitle
  • Hover over the English section and look for the 3-dot menu
  • After clicking the menu, go to edit on classic studio
  • Click “edit”
  • Type your changes
  • Click “publish edits”
  • You will have to wait for YouTube to sync and update your captions&nbsp

For all the extra work, you will get a broader reach, better SEO, and increased play-through. The benefits are so impressive, we think a video cannot be complete without the captions.

Antony Inovsky

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