It caught us all by surprise, but it seems transcriptions are pretty important now. And I’m not talking just about court or interview transcriptions, oh no. You see, if you want to really up to your SEO game, get your audience and revenue all the way up, and more, you need the best transcription services around. Lucky for you, you’ve got me to give you some solid-A leads. With what you’re going to learn today, there’s no way you can go wrong.

But wait, really? I mean, you probably were just interested in making some captions for a social media video or something. Who knew that having quality transcriptions could be so important? Well, it turns out, not everyone. And that’s why a small crash course in the importance of transcription is necessary. Here’s what we’re going to take a look at:

  • What transcription is, as well as its most common uses.
  • The intersection between transcription, subtitling, and captioning.
  • How having a great transcription can work in your favor (accessibility is just one reason).
  • Where to get the best transcription services anywhere.

I’d also throw in how to look sharp in a suit, but I can’t tie a Windsor knot to save my life. So, what do you say we get started?

What is Transcription?

People love to jabber, don’t they? Whether it’s in a courthouse, on the street, or in internet videos, they go on and on all the time. The thing is, sometimes it’s important for someone to record these words verbatim.  Our very own Ignacio S. gives us a perfect definition in one of our Bunny Library articles:

There are different ways to present a transcription: via closed captions (time-coded to a video itself) or with a plain normal transcript of the text.

There are two main types of transcription too: verbatim and clean-read transcriptions. Verbatim basically means transcribing a text word by word. This includes, naturally, all that a speaker is saying, including words such as “um”, mistakes, slang words which are not easily understandable by a listener etc. A clean-read, on the other hand, is a transcription that excludes these errors and fillers.

Of course, the best transcription services will give you a choice between these two types. Now, let’s take a deeper look at the job of a transcriber.

A Day in the Life

As you can probably imagine, it takes a while to finish a transcription. It may take hours upon hours of listening and re-listening to lengthy passages. A good transcriber needs to have several professional competencies beyond just being a great listener, though. In fact, the more multiple skills the transcriber has, the greater the chance agencies and companies will give them a chance; while there’s no legal certification or regulation body, it doesn’t mean they can take their work lightly!

The best transcription services have pros who:

  1. Are excellent with grammar and spelling. This should go without saying, but no one can use a transcription that goes “jnny zed summin gud,” regardless of how fast the transcriber wrote it down. Sometimes transcribers also have to face industry-specific language or in-group words that need research. What’s more, they need to constantly proofread their work and correct any errors that may crop up.
  2. They need to be on it. They can’t lose focus at any time, or they risk losing — or worse, misunderstanding — important parts of the dialogue. This goes double for transcribers who need to perform live.
  3. They also have to be technologically literate. Above-average knowledge of word processors and having the right tools for the job is a necessity. We’re talking at least a pro-level headset and keyboard, to start with. And they’re certainly not doin’ it on no 1996 PCs either.

Transcription vs. Captioning vs. Subtitling

Transcription is the act of word-by-word conversion of speech to text; subtitles are captions that convey the dialogue in an audiovisual production; closed captions are often used interchangeably with subtitles, but often include information — like text explanations of sounds and music — for hearing-impaired people.

So, how are these terms so closely related? It’s a simple game of logical relationships, really. Subtitles and captions often entail transcription. The difference is that captions often require succinct, talented writers who can write great descriptions for hard-of-hearing viewers. The best transcription services often just use “transcription” as a cover-all, or umbrella term, because they often whatever the client needs. Whether it’s:

  • Transcription (in whatever language)
  • Subtitles (multi-language as well)
  • Closed Captions (you guessed it)

best transcription services

What Can The Best Transcription Services Do For You?

It’s no surprise that video marketing absolutely rules the internet right now. In fact, this time next year, video is going to make up around 82% of all total internet traffic. There’s nothing that beats the immediacy, in-your-face aspect of video, and marketers have finally wisened up to that fact.

What’s more, I think it’s our duty to tell you the many benefits that transcription has for your online presence. Whether you’re making videos, podcasts, or just trying to increase your follows on social media, there’s something for everyone.

There’s one place where the best transcription services will definitely make their impact felt, and that’s SEO. Perhaps you’ve heard the term being bandied about. SEO refers to Search Engine Optimization. Think about Google and your typical search; if it’s anything like mine, it goes like this:

  1. You search for your term of interest on Google or your chosen search engine. Which is probably Google.
  2. Then, you browse through the first few search results and you click on the one that catches your eye.
  3. Presto! You read the info, watch that video, or do whatever, and you quickly move on to the next thing in your life.

Notice what doesn’t happen? That’s right, it’s scrolling to page 25 of search results. Mostly, this is done through SEO, which in plain English means being easy to find on search engines. With people’s limited attention spans nowadays, if you’re low-ranking on Google, you lose.

So, here are some of the benefits of the best transcription services for SEO.

  • Transcriptions Mean More Traffic

What kind of dark magic is this, Harry? As I said in our article about Spanish Transcription:

Regardless of whether you’re hosting a hit podcast or creating videos for your brand, a text transcript is a big help. You see, Google indexes video and text separately. Regardless of the advances in technology, Google doesn’t create auto-transcripts for videos. That’s up to humans — at least for the time being. So, creating a transcript is an additional form of telling a search engine’s algorithm that your site has value. The result? Boom: you appear higher on searches, just like that, leading to increased traffic.

Search engines are audio and video-blind, at least for the time being. But what they can do is “read” text. Therefore, having a transcription serves as a de-facto replacement for Google watching your multimedia content. If you don’t have a transcript, all Google will do is index the title and byline of your video. Boo!

  • It Helps The Bottom Line

If you’re reading this, it’s very likely you’re running a business or trying to get a startup off the ground. Perhaps it’ll interest you to know that pages with transcriptions make an average of 16% more than their counterparts.

The best transcription services are cheap and efficient, considering the benefits you’ll reap from them. Keep that in mind anytime you’re reluctant to spend some money on them. Just sayin’.

  • Increased Engagement

Most people who use social media do so on mute. Why? Because everything’s competing for our attention all at once; we can’t listen to everything or watch every video all the way through. Or, sometimes we’re in an environment where we just can’t crank the volume all the way up. Transcriptions help users get a feel for what a video is about without them having to commit to watching or listening to it all the way. Moreover, they promote increased engagement because people don’t have to just listen in order to get all of the information. And, as an additional plus, they provide extra support for people who are hard of hearing.

Nobody’s fully agreed about how much transcriptions increase engagement, but the best research hovers between 8-12%. Make of that what you will, and ignore it at your peril.

The Best Transcription Services?

Ok, I assume I’ve sold you on the concept of transcription by now, or you wouldn’t be reading. But what do the best transcription services offer? How do you sort the wheat from the chaff? Instead of giving you the runaround, I’ll be as straightforward as can be, and then I’ll let you move on to the rest of your day (or night).

The best transcription services:

  • Offer vetted professionals with significant portfolios and back-catalogs of work. You don’t have to scour around the web trying to see whether the freelancer you’re trying to hire is actually going to be able to deliver. Only proven professionals may enter.
  • They put a premium on quality and turnaround at the same time. It’s very true that you’ll often have to choose between one of these two things, but not with the best transcription services. If you have a small project, the turnaround time should never be over 24 hours. What’s more, these services have significant QA teams that oversee the whole thing and make sure you never see sub-standard work.
  • No scams with fees. If you don’t like the final work, you shouldn’t have to pay for it and should get your money back.

The good thing? You’re just a click away from such a service already. You can thank me when you’re swimming in that increased SEO revenue.