About a quarter of the human race is watching YouTube. Yes, that’s — give or take — 1.86 billion people watching videos every single day. And, if you’re trying to run a successful YouTube channel or video marketing campaign, they could be watching your content. All you need is a secret weapon, and, unexpectedly, YouTube transcripts are it.
But wait, what? Transcripts? As in, a text-to-speech conversion? How is that helping things whatsoever? As it is, you’re probably a kind enough person and you care about accessibility options and whatnot; nowadays it’s a matter of common decency to provide options for hard-of-hearing folk. Isn’t that the main incentive behind transcripts, subtitles, and closed captions?
Well, you see, accessibility is very important, yes. But it’s not the be-all and end-all behind the existence of transcripts on the internet; it turns out that there’s plenty more to the story than meets the eye. What if I tell you that, after you’re done with this article, you’ll know why YouTube transcripts:
- Make you appear more often and rank higher in searches.
- Help search engines index your content.
- Engage viewers way more — and not just those with hearing disabilities!
- And yes, finally: increase accessibility for those who need it most.
If it seems like a comparatively huge benefit for a small investment, it’s because it is. Sometimes life is all about the little surprises. And, what’s more, I’ll throw in where you can get YouTube transcripts done competently, for a change. But, more on that later. Let’s get this show on the road!
The ABCs of Transcripts
Maybe the only time you’ve heard about transcripts is someone taking meeting or interview minutes, or that rapid-fire courthouse transcription that movies love to showcase. But, there’s much more to transcription, which is simply the conversion of the spoken word into text. Of course, not all types of transcription are created equal.
Our Bunny Studio Library about Types of Transcription distinctly identifies three types:
- Verbatim transcription. This is for when you need to convey everything that was said word-per-word, warts and all. These include pauses, stutters, extraneous noises, I mean everything.
- Edited transcription. You can use this type when you have to convey the whole of a conversation, but need to keep out the extraneous bits. “A greatly edited transcription does not paraphrase the text since it may change the meaning. However, it also does not fully capture the way the speaker communicated the speech. Filler words and stammers, as well as other non-verbal communication, are left out since it does not add meaning to the transcription. Edited transcription does well at striking a balance between readability and the accuracy of the speech.”
- Intelligent transcription. Wait, are the other types stupid? No; this is for when professionals need to edit transcriptions to make them into readable texts. While this does not fully convey the reality of speech, it works well for text-only situations.
What’s the Ideal Type for YouTube Transcripts?
In YouTube, authenticity is the name of the game. You’re not running a print publication, or writing a blog. You’re probably going to be using verbatim transcription and edited transcription the most.
There’s also the question of captions, and subtitles — aren’t these interchangeable with transcriptions anyway? Well, even if they do belong to the same family and there’s a significant amount of interaction, not quite. You need to get these distinctions down pat, especially when it comes to dealing with YouTube transcripts.
I covered this point pretty succinctly in our article about the Best Transcription Services:
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, when it comes to YouTube, you’re going to need talented transcriptionists who can create subtitles/closed captions. This not only covers all of your bases, like allowing users much more accessibility but also has a range of hidden benefits, which I’ll get to below.
Benefits of YouTube Transcripts
Nowadays, it’s all about SEO, baby. What’s SEO? It stands for Search Engine Optimization. It basically means there are certain features, characteristics, and markers in multimedia content that makes it rank higher — or lower — in search engine queries. We all use Google and the YouTube search feature all of the time. When was the last time you went searching for the results that appear after the first page or two? In all likelihood, it was so far back that Sum 41 songs were probably still on the charts. Who says everything was better before?
Well, as it turns out, better SEO is one of the many benefits of YouTube transcripts. And it doesn’t quite end there, so let me blow your mind gently. Hold on to your jaw, because it’s going to drop a bit and I don’t want you getting whiplash.
Transcriptions Mean Indexing
Youtube transcripts and captions mean more overall traffic. The reason is that Google indexes video and text separately. However, Google really can’t know about the contents of a video or audio file. A transcript is a way to allow Google to know about your video’s content. Some creators even go as far as including full video transcripts in the video’s description, though you needn’t go that far.
In a way, a YouTube transcript is like having Google watch your video.
It’s All About Engagement
So, here’s the thing. Everybody is scrolling all day long, whether it’s on social media, YouTube, or other platforms. Videos are constantly appearing out of nowhere, challenging our already limited attention spans and tempting us to watch the whole thing. If you think about it for a minute, you’ll understand something very odd about that experience. Does sound factor into it as much as text? Probably not, unless you like your cellphone blaring a cacophony of different sounds every three seconds.
And you know why? Because most of us scroll through social media and streaming platforms on mute. We watch the previews and read the captions and transcriptions in order to decide whether we want to go the whole nine yards or not. Videos without transcripts aren’t as successful as the ones that do, because we’re lazy like that. In our article about Spanish Transcription, I wrote:
Not only that, but there’s the aforementioned benefit for hard-of-hearing folk, and those who can’t unmute videos do to, say, being on the bus. On average, transcribed/captioned videos tend to get an increase in views around 8%. Facebook did their own research on the matter, and they found a whopping 12% increase! I don’t want to put ideas into your head, but maybe you should get crackin’!
If those numbers don’t put the fear of Larry Page and Sergei Brin into your heart, I don’t know what will. But in the end, you don’t want just Google to like you, but potential viewers also.
Thought I was going to forget about this point? YouTube transcripts are the first part. A great transcript, though, is jumping point to a fantastic caption. And this doesn’t just promote overall engagement, as you read above, but actual access for people with hearing disabilities. While a closed caption is technically taking a transcript or subtitle further and including descriptions, they’re an integral part of making hard-of-hearing people feel included. While some conversational videos may not require this, storytelling and narrative videos often benefit from closed captions.
Regardless of whether you go the full caption route or not, YouTube transcripts are still going to be an important part of allowing more people to check out your content. And that can’t be a bad thing.
What Are The Ideal Qualities of a Good Transcriptionist?
You may think that you don’t really need a human being to create your transcripts, but you’d be dead wrong! Have you ever tried the auto-captions feature on YouTube? If you have, you’ll find that — while it’s a perfectly serviceable starting-off point — it doesn’t quite get the job done. Nuances, hard-to-hear expressions, and even clear ones are usually lost in the shuffle. What you get is an ineffective middle ground between OK captions with no context whatsoever and just plain gibberish.
Therefore, you’re going to need an actual pro to create your YouTube transcripts. And, they need to have:
- Amazing listening skills. This should be an absolute must. Regardless of their good intentions, they need to be extremely proficient at listening and getting everything down to perfection.
- Impeccable grammar and language skills. Sure, you don’t need them to get everything down perfectly on the first go. But you need the result to be flawless in the end. This also requires proofreading, dedication, focus, and commitment.
- Above-average knowledge of word processors, as well as access to professional hardware, like gaming or music-grade headsets.
- Extra skills. Now, if you’re looking for someone that’s good with YouTube transcripts, “just” being good at transcriptions will not do. Aside from “soft skills” like listening and communication, they also have to be pros at creating captions, which means being above-average writers too. And, if you’re thinking about making your transcripts multilingual, you’re entering into the realm of subtitles.
As you can see, there’s always more than meets the eye. Now, to the final thing, where?
The Ideal Place
If you’re thinking about hiring pros who can create the best YouTube transcripts, there’s no place like Bunny Studio. We do it fast (typically less than 24 hours), screen our pros, as well as provide extensive QA so you get exactly what you need every time, and if things don’t work out to your exact satisfaction we just give you your money back.
With so many places that like giving you the runaround, are you going to go through a lengthy interview process just to find somebody who might do the trick? Or are you going to let tried-and-true pros knock it out of the park like the legends that they are?
You do the math, buster. But don’t take too long — YouTube success waits for no one!