4 reasons for video transcripts

Vlogging is in, it seems nearly everybody in the blogosphere is an, at least occasional, vblogger. It is so much more direct and personal, adds a personal touch to the blog and puts a face, and voice!, to the bloggers name. But unfortunately very few bloggers that use videos, provide also a transcript of the content. Here 4 reasons why you should do that:

Some readers can’t hear (enough)
It might come as a surprise to you, but not everybody that uses the internet is able to hear (well). A video without transcript is useless for anybody with a hearing impairment and very difficult to understand for the ones whose hearing is not perfect (anymore).

Some readers are not native English speakers
For people that are not native English speakers, a video without transcript can be very hard to understand. Especially when the speaker uses a lot of slang, has an accent and / or if there is a lot of background noise in the recording.

Google can’t hear
Even if you put a nice keyword optimized blurb around the video that doesn’t replace a nice transcript that gives Google “fodder” to digest and index. Not to provide a transcript that Google can crawl is a serious SEO mistake.

Some people like to go back to articles
This is especially a problem with longer videos. It is tiring to navigate through them and to find a certain / point / argument / information again. If you want to get people back to your video -and blog!-, provide them with a transcript, so that they can find easier what they are looking for.


Looking at my own browser bookmarks, there are hardly any videos amongst them. Why? Because I fall in two groups: I am not a native English speaker and I have a slight hear impairment that makes it difficult for me to understand anything else then clearly pronounced speech without background noise. If you have a video on your web site or blog – I would love to read it 😉

What is your opinion? Do you use videos on your blog? Do you provide transcripts? What do you prefer as a reader? A video with transcript or doesn’t it bother you if there is none?

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10 comments to 4 reasons for video transcripts

  • Chuggin

    That is a fantastic point that it is a mistake not to provide a transcript or a text that Google can crawl. If you are optimizing for SEO keywords, then you can’t simply put them in a video blog, but you need to have them as text.

  • Dana

    Yeah, i love video with script because you know, I am one of many non native speaker English.
    .-= Dana

  • Anand

    I don’t use Videos myself, but yes, transcript makes a lot of sense. One another important thing when it comes to creating transcripts is that if you are going to upload your video on YouTube, a link to your own blog page where you have the full transcript would give an opportunity to gain that extra visitor..

  • I have a couple of friends who “vlog”, but at the moment my internet connection here in Iraq is so slow, I have no hope of watching any of their videos until I get back home. That being said, even when I had a faster connection, I still think I prefer to read a transcript. I have “Internet ADD”, and something has to be pretty darn good to get to me to stay on a page for longer than 15 minutes or so.
    .-= Todd Morris´s last blog ..Premium WordPress Theme Clubs – Where’s The Best Value? =-.

  • Mike Taylor

    Good tip about the transcipts. I think the fact that Google can’t hear might be the best reason. I have hear though that that are starting to be able to “hear” video.

  • I find vidoes painfully slow compared to skimming a post – and to create a video takes ages – so vblogging takes a whole lot more time on both sides!
    I can see videos are a powerful selling tool – but I dont’ think you will be seeing me on camera anytime soon -well except for dancing that’s different!
    .-= lissie@Passive Income´s last blog ..I joined the cloud – do me a favour and join too! =-.

  • It is not just google can search, but viewers too. Even if can understand everything, later it is much easier to find text you interested instead of rewinding video.
    .-= Vi @ Travel Tips´s last blog ..Whale watching Sydney: 2009 season whale sightings update =-.

  • milsom

    I had not put any video post till now at blog. So can’t say anything about this. I am thinks to do so I was looking for this info.

  • hospitalera

    @Chuggin
    Correct, and a transcript kills two birds with one stone 😉

    @Dana
    Little tip from one non native to the other: Niches that are too competitive in English are often easy to dominate in other languages 😉

    @Anand
    Excellent point!

    @Todd Morris
    Lol, I think I know at least one of the guys you mentioned and in his case I would advice against a transcript, Google might kick him out of the index because of his “creative” language, rofl.
    I wish I had your “Internet ADD”, you can stay on a site and read for 15min, that is great, I start to drift off after 2-3 min.

    @Mike Taylor
    Where have you heard that? Can you provide a link?

    @lissie
    Same here, no photo or video with my face in it 😉 Not even dancing! Not that I dance very well anyway. And can you imagine the success a video with a “strong German accent” would have? ROFL!

    @Vi
    Yeps, another important point!

    @milsom
    ??? What is the point then of your comment, just to state that you have noting to say?

    SY

  • Kathleen Woods

    How can Google hear video?