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Why add closed captions to YouTube video

Why should I add closed captions to YouTube videos?

Simply put, adding captions can increase your potential audience, improve your audiences’ comprehension and studies show it even encourages sharing. If that’s enough to convince you, then check out our detailed guide on how to add captions to your YouTube videos.

If that very brief synopsis hasn’t helped, we’re going to discuss in detail why you should be adding closed captions to YouTube videos.

What are closed captions?

Closed captions are a written depiction of what audio is happening on screen, including dialogue and occasionally descriptive text for background noises, music and sometimes the inflection of dialogue. Closed captions are usually displayed as lines of text across the bottom of video footage, in sync with the footage on screen.

Closed captions were developed and first introduced in 1971; however, it wouldn’t be until 1972’s The French Chef in the USA where a fully closed-captioned series would air. The BBC were the first station to introduce widespread captions in 1979 with their Teletext framework, paving the way with accessibility.  

Over time, closed captions have become mainstays across different types of media, from TV & VHS tapes in the 80s and 90s, to DVDs, Blu-Rays and online content in the current day.  You’ve probably seen the [CC] logo in numerous places such as YouTube.

Why should you add closed captions to YouTube videos?

Creating accessible and optimised quality content ensures that people can access and enjoy your content.  

The benefits of adding closed captions to YouTube videos include:

  •  Accessibility.
  • Search engine optimisation.
  • User experience.
  • Improving watch time.
Accessibility

Closed captions are beneficial to people who are deaf (over 466 million worldwide) and are also extremely useful for people in an environment where hearing audio can be problematic or people who process written information better than audio.

Those who are watching your content may not speak English as their native language, in fact over 60% of YouTube views come from a non-English speaking background, therefore having captions may help improve understanding.

Search engine optimisation

Content with text can be read and indexed by search engines such as Google and use keywords within the caption file to improve its chance of receiving a front page hit within both video platform engines and on search engines. Providing wider-reaching content like this will give you that edge against competitors within the same sphere of influence as well as also genuinely providing a better experience for your following.

Using YouTube’s automatic closed captions seems like a good option; however, these captions do not get indexed and therefore provide no benefit toward SEO, along with the fact that their accuracy is as low as 50%.

User experience

Did you know that up to 80% of people who use video captions don’t have any form of hearing deficit, according to Ofcom.  A study published in Science Daily suggests that students watching educational videos improved comprehension and subsequent tests taken compared to those who didn’t receive captioned videos.

Therefore, it would stand to reason that by providing captions to your audience, their comprehension of your subject matter and retention of your subject matter will increase.

Improving watch time

Captioned videos increase view time by more than 12% according to Facebook data and videos are watched, on average, 91% to completion.  Videos without captions; however, are only watched 66% to completion.

How to add closed captions to YouTube videos

The process of adding closed captions to YouTube videos can be as simple as using YouTube’s automatic captions; however as discussed earlier, this may not be preferred due to the lack of SEO benefits and also the lack of accuracy.

Accuro’s YouTube captioning service boasts a team of experienced transcribers who will always produce a more accurate output than a speech recognition engine. You will see an uplift in accessibility, view time and search engine optimisation of your content.  Our pay-as-you-go charging structure makes the service affordable with no upfront costs or hidden fees.

These captions can be provided in either. vtt or .srt format and Accuro also has a detailed guide on how to add closed captions to your YouTube videos.

To find out more, contact captionme by clicking the button below. 

This blog was originally posted on our parent company Accuro‘s website, to find the original post click here.

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