Tuesday, December 4, 2012

SEO from a Podcast Transcriber’s perspective.


Hello, I am Melvin. I am an audio transcriber by profession with over 7 years of experience. Currently I am working as a Senior-typist at a reputed transcription firm based in NY,USA. Over the years I have transcribed estimated 2000 plus audio hours of Interviews, Business Meetings, Podcasts, Seminars and many other digital types of recordings. Coming to this article, I will be putting forward an idea which will is beneficial for the SEO marketers. The idea is – Many SEO’s still overlook Transcription companies. 

What is Audio Transcription?

In simple terms, it is the process of converting the spoken speech in a digital recording such as Mp3 file or Wavfile into text. Transcription or typing can be classified as an administrative work which has been an established and a competitive industry in its own means since a very long time. 

Alltranscript.com Transcribers
Online Typing - AllTranscript.com

What are the different types of transcriptions?

Transcription can be categorized into 3 types: General, Legal and Medical. General transcription can be further bifurcated into: Podcast transcription, seminar transcription, business meeting, conference calls, thesis, dissertation and university transcriptions. 

Under medical transcription, only HIPAA compliant transcription vendors can provides work. Some types of MT are radiology, dermatology, pediatrics, neurology etc.

Legal transcription is related to court related recording. Some types of LT are transcribing Interrogations,911 calls, Witness reports, Court hearings etc.

Typing legal-court audio services
Legal Typing Solutions

Alternation, transcription can also be classified according to the digital media i.e. Audio or Video. These can further be classified as according to the extension of the their digital formats i.e. DSS,MP3,WAV,WMA,AVI,MPEG,MP4,DAT etc.

Where does Transcription Fit in the SEO World?

Recently I was going through a website which features a Podcast interview every Friday. The site offers SEO related link building services and has a blog which contains some very well written and Google-Bing optimized articles. Their on-page page optimization is done very well to the point that I assume that the crawlers can read the codes easily and index it accordingly. However, there was one section of the site which lacked the on-page optimization charm as its blog. 

This was the Podcast section. The issue was- The audio podcast was devoid of an interview transcript.  As soon  I opened the page containing the new release podcast, I listened to It. The conversation was very information, relevant and interesting. Thumbs up. After my listening was over, I scrolled down the page only to be disappointed- The page contained nothing else, it was empty. There was no audio transcript, relevant text of any sort, any call to action. Though there was a Addthis.com button and a Commentluv ,but it added very little charm to that particular page as a whole.

The webpage did not have a transcript of the conversation. If you look from a crawlers perspective, search engines like Google and Bing when crawling at the podcast page will note down the meta info,description,podcast titles etc. This will give the search engine some decent idea about what the page is about and its relevance. However it misses on the huge opportunity of indexing the contents of the podcast itself.

Secondly, a lack of transcript means the website user has no choice but to listen the Podcast in full. There may be time constraints and the listener may drop midway leading to high drop-off rates. These two issues are understood in details below: 

So what does a Transcript offer in terms of Search Engine Crawlability?

There are 2 types of media that crawlers find difficult to interpret- Audio-Video and Flash contents. I can also add images to the list. Search engines (SE’s) cannot understand the content of conversation taking place. As a way round this, there are certain indicators which helps it understand about the nature of the content. The indicators are Title tags,meta descriptions,Podcast mp3 titles etc. These are only onpage indicators which the crawlers can use effectively. However to use to its maximum potentials, webmasters and marketers should do this – Include a complete audio transcript of the conversation or content in the page itself.

Google bing seo
Google-Bing Page 1 Ranking

If you look at SEOMoz Whiteboard Friday videos, you will find the complete transcript of the video just below the video. This is excellent in terms of readability and crawlability. Besides this, these guys have labeled the text as “Transcript”. I strongly believe that Google is somewhat tuned to understand the word “Transcript”. It is possible that the Google correlates the text and the presence of a video/audio file on the page and concludes that the transcript is probably of that particular digital media.

What does text offer to the website user?

Website users usually don’t have much time to spend on a page as they like to hover or move around several sets of pages and different website for fulfilling their purpose of internet surfing. A transcript gives the website user the power to bypass the audio listening process without spending the actual duration of the video or audio. Not only this there are other key benefits:

Audio transcript, Newmediadenver.com
Source: Newmediadenver.com

1.       Transcripts can be highlighted and copied easily.
2.       Transcripts are easy from a reference point of view.
3.       Researchers and University lecturers prefer Transcripts.
4.       Webmasters can add anchor texts.
5.       Reading is Way faster! Website users usually prefer reading.

A Twist of Tale with Video SEO.

For website that feature a podcast SEO along with a transcript on the same page, users might give prefer reading the transcript. However, this may not always be the case with Video Podcast or Youtube like videos. The reason being – Videos are more involving than a plain-simple audio. Hence it’s a safe bet to publish the video transcript on the same page as the video. 

Source: Pjmconsulting.co.uk
Source: Pjmconsulting.co.uk

We talked about the upsides. What are the downsides of Transcription?

There is only one really. Transcription costs. With the ample number of transcription vendors out in the online market, transcription charges which would run into hundreds of dollars for transcribing one hour of audio have now come down a low and affordable prices. However, not everyone can afford it. Let’s say you are one a limited budget and your website publishes a video tutorial once every week duration of which is around 30 minutes. Considering a tat of 24 hours to 3 days, transcription rates will vary from $37 to $75. Which means monthly investment of $225. If you frequent more podcasts, the costs would rise proportionately. 

My SEO Trend 2013 prediction: Podcast Transcript Inclusion.

Currently I serve clients who feature weekly or daily podcasts updates on their websites. Our clients send us the podcast in advance. Our team of transcribers work on it, transcribe it into text and submit the transcript to the clients in word documents. The text is then copied, formatted and put up on the podcast page. Many of these websites have unique visitors running in thousands every day. I strongly believe that one of the upcoming SEO trends for 2013 year will be more and more marketers will go in for Podcast transcriber services and will include a readable text version of the audio in their sites.

Nostradamus seo predictions
Nostradamus SEO Prediction for 2013

Author Box

Melvin Williams is a transcriptionist by profession with over 7 years of experience. His philosophy in life is – A healthy work life balance is a must for happy living.

About Alltranscript.com

An online transcription site which offers audio & video services at affordable rates. Visit website or reach us @Alltranscrip for more info on pricing.

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