All of us know that the most popular search engine in the world is Google. What few of us know is that the second largest search engine is not Bing or Yahoo. It is YouTube.
Given the fact that Google owns YouTube, they pretty much have the monopoly on search.
Currently, YouTube has approximately 2 billion logged in users a month and is the third most visited site in the world.
YouTube is the internet’s leading source of video content, at 83%, with Facebook second, at 67%. Its popularity is still on the rise, and with more people watching video online than ever before, and ever more becoming YouTube creators every day, this trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future.
When it comes to getting noticed online, video is the way forward, and video captions and subtitles are a little known way of making your videos and website get more traffic and conversions. Here are 5 reasons I think you should add subtitles to your videos.
1: Maximum accessibility
A major reason and probably the first one is because a large number of videos are watched without sound. Research shows that 85% of Facebook videos are watched on mute. Adding subtitles means more people can enjoy and understand your videos, even if they are in a noisy place like a train station where you can’t hear the volume, or a quiet place, like a library where you are not allowed to turn it up.
Another factor is that for hearing impaired people, having good quality captions is key to their comprehension and enjoyment of your video content.
2: SEO (Search Engine optimisation)
Because subtitles are text, and text is what search engines read, your videos will rank on search engines like Google far higher. I say search engines LIKE Google, but we all know that there is no competitor to Google who currently dominate the market with 92.92% of users choosing them. Subtitles make your videos search engine friendly. The end result is that you get more traffic to your website this makes your videos rank higher on Google. Captioning your YouTube videos is a little known secret that will give you a competitive edge when it comes to improving your organic search rankings.
3: Reach a wider audience
The whole world does not speak English. In fact, you can navigate YouTube in 80 different languages that cover 95% of the Internet population. There are plenty of viewers who might be interested in your content who would benefit from subtitles in Spanish, French and other popular languages.
Services like Rev offer a really low-cost translation service. This will increase your viewing figures and help you connect with a wider audience that you would have otherwise not had. As well as getting your subtitles automatically uploaded, you can also edit them easily yourself on the website.
4: Drive traffic to your website.
YouTubers are now creating quality content, achieving relative fame, and some making real money from the platform.
The fact is that, with just 3% of channels getting 90% of all views, competition for viewers is tough, and making even moderate returns from advertising revenue based on views requires millions of views every month.
Personally, I use the platform for a different and more achievable reason. Attracting traffic to my websites and landing pages. For example, I have created a very niche product, (filmed lesson observations for teacher development) and offer five minutes extracts from these on YouTube. This channel has attracted over 2 million views to date and is the main source of traffic to our e-commerce website, without us having to pay a penny for advertising. In fact, we even make ad revenue from this, not much, but we are making the real money from when visitors click through to our website and make a purchase.
Companies that have a good content strategy and produce regular videos related to their field of expertise, benefit from people recognising and trusting their brands. As marketers know, the first step in the customer journey is building trust. Video is the best way to do this. As subtitles are text search engines can read, your videos will be found and drive traffic to your site. All you need then is a great landing page.
5: Quality control
If you do not add your own subtitles, Google will generate its own in order to index your video. As these are machine translated, they are often of poor quality, and will ultimately reflect badly on you and the video you produce.
Fortunately, there is an easy fix to this. Where previously it was expensive to have a video subtitled, there are now services like REV that will add captions to your video with a real human being for just one dollar a minute!
They even revise your files if they get it wrong, and you can edit the files yourself on the site, then export them to any of the most popular subtitle formats to use in your video editor, or add directly to YouTube. This gives you full control over the quality of the titles. Additionally, you get a full transcript of the video which you can reuse as a blog post or download, saving lots of time and adding to your content library.
Using subtitles is a good idea in all respects. It is now very easy and cheap to have captions and foreign language subtitles produced, or create your own in most video editing software, or even in free online software.
Here are a couple of links that may be useful:
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