Sunday, February 3, 2013

Do Captions help in Search rankings?

What are captions?
Captions are the text version of the audio that is being spoken on any television screen. Usually captions are displayed at the bottom of the screen where it is lip synced with the people speaking during that particular frame. The sync is done within milliseconds of accuracy so that the viewers can connect to what the speaker is saying.  Captions are also called as subtitles.

Types of caption:
They are two types of caption. The fist type is called closed captions which is the most popular and commonly used among media and broadcasting companies. The second type of captions are called as closed captions. These were popular defacto format in the early days of cinemas, however it has been replaced by closed captioning.   The major technical difference between the two is that Open captions can be enable or disable using buttons on the TV remote. The benefit of this is that not all viewers would like to see the text being displayed at the bottom. With, closed caption, enable is disabling is not a choice as caption as always displayed. The flexibility of disabling does not exist. This system was popularly used in noisy and hard to hear environments such as trade shows, airports and even in areas where silence is required such as hospitals etc.  

What is Caption transcription?
The process of converting the audio into text is called as transcription. The process is completely done by hand. Assistance of transcription software’s such as Express Scribe is taken in order to process the digital audio file and reduce the speech rate such that it becomes comfortable for the transcriber to carry on with the typing process. An important part of audio video transcription is proofreading.  While proofreading, the person goes through a preliminary transcript and checks it for spelling mistakes, sentence structures, spacing, grammar etc. After this process is complete, the transcript is final and ready for delivery.

Do captions help in SEO? 
Captions greatly assist in SEO. Most digital marketers are unaware of this marketing method and hence it is not commonly used.  For quality video SEO, captions need to be added to a website containing the video and preferably on the same page. Search engine crawlers find it easier to index text. Hence, when captions are added as a transcript, act as a good indicator of what the video content is about. So during the keyword searches, videos with transcripts are more likely to show up with higher search rankings.

Apart from video, audio content also benefit from captions. Media such as podcast, seminars, conference calls and webinars can also be transcribed and the transcripts can be made publically available to the viewers.  Researchers also go this route and transcribe an interview so that the resultant text can be used in videos.

What Media can be subtitled? 

·         Podcast Captions: Subtitles can be embedded in both types of podcast i.e. audio and video podcast. However for best SEO results, it is necessary to include captions in a text format preferably on the same webpage containing the embedded media.  

·         Courses & Tutorials: Videos are a popular method for recording courses and training modules available online.  These videos can be transcribed and also translated. Translations are usefully for businesses which have an audience reach in multiple countries where English is not the primary language. Hence, translated videos can greatly assist in reaching worldwide customers.

·         Songs: Words sung by singer can also be transcribed and then synchronized frame by frame. Karaoke subtitles are a great example of this. Audiences can better connect to the song and enrich their listening experience. The main application lies in online music industry where producers and also radio stations can optimize their digital media such as songs, introduction music etc for better SEO.

6 benefits of captions:

  1. Helps in Podcast SEO.
  2. With translated captions, businesses can cater to customers from Non-English speaking countries.
  3. Better appeal factor to videos.
  4. Easy to understand technical jargons and words which otherwise could have been missed.
  5. Captions can be compiled into a word doc and then archived.
  6. Makes it easy to search text.
  7. Useful in Co-citation and referencing purpose.

Summary: Captions can greatly assist in SEO.  However, most marketers don’t know how to make use of captions and subtitles and incorporate it into their digital marketing strategy.

Reference:  Visit's Smashword profile page.

No comments:

Post a Comment