Leveraging YouTube SEO Time Coded Transcriptions and Closed Captioning

Video Accessibility Options; How to Leverage Video Transcripts for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you are marketing with video there are a few common areas in your video definition you can use to leverage search engine optimization:

Leverage YouTube for SEO!

Leverage YouTube as your video platform

  • Include your keyword phrase in the video title
  • Include your website URL in the video description
  • Specify tags for our videos.

However, there is a way to let Google know precisely what is said in our video, as though it were simply a piece of text called a video transcription or closed caption subtitles.

Can Google Decipher Your Video Content?

Up till now Google did not have the capability to read voice and video. So much so that many marketers used just about any content, coupled by some search engine optimized fields and could basically “dupe” the search engines.

Now you need to understand how Google operates

Ultimately Google wants to provide their users with a “good experience”. In other words they want people using the Google search engine or YouTube (also owned by Google) to find what they want easily.

One of the next frontiers in terms of content is media – voice specifically. Voice recognition technology has been in the making for over a decade and is now seeing its way into different technological applications. One is to transcribe videos by machine transcription.

Google’s Machine Transcription Beta for YouTube Videos

Google machine transcription Options in YouTube

Google Will Transcribe Your Video For Free – BETA!

Recently Google has begun to test a machine automated voice recognition service. It is currently in beta and not officially launched. However in the future is not unreasonable to expect it to be a standard of video documentation.

The transcribed voice can be seen in the form of closed caption subtitles and interactive transcript. These beta features are currently available in You Tube and Google Video.

I have tried these services and found them to still be in their early development, meaning the results are all wrong. Since this feature is still in beta and at this time this service should be used with a grain of salt.

Keep in mind that in order for Google or any other search engine to know what your media content is about, it is in your best interest to supply the correct information.

In this video I will show you how to improve both the accessibility and search engine optimization of your video.

Getting Your Video Transcription Ready

You may be surprised to learn that the ability to upload a transcription to YouTube has been around for a few years, and is one of the most underutilized features. So much so, that recently Google integrated automatic voice recognition, their automated machine translation for videos aka Google transcription. Meaning – You can actually get this done for free.

There are many services online that will transcribe your video for very little cost. Transcription pricing runs by the minute so longer video presentations can be more expensive.

You can also easily transcribe short videos yourself. This is not a complicated task, though if you are a slow typist; it could take you a while.

Inserting Time Codes into your Video Transcription Files

Add accessibility to your YouTUbe videos for Free!

Once you have your script prepared, you will only need to transfer it into a suitable transcription file format.

This format contains the time codes associated to each line of text.

You can easily use free online tools to get this ready, or if you don’t want to deal with it, you can simply outsource the job.

There are many services online that will be happy to transcribe and even upload your videos and video transcriptions online.

How To Create a Time Coded YouTube Compatible Transcription File Yourself for Free

  1. View the video above where I walk you through this process!
  2. Simply go to www.Accessify.com
  3. Select Tools and Wizards
  4. Select the Easy YouTube Caption Creator
  5. Paste in your YouTube URL, your transcript and follow the wizard instructions to create your time coded transcript.
  6. Save Your file as a .sub and upload your transcription online!

Here is what your end result should look like before uploading the file to YouTube:

Example YouTube Closed Captioning File

Warning! Make sure your sentences are relatively short, otherwise when you upload your file as a video transcript some of the text may get cut out!

So Let’s Recap Leveraging YouTube SEO Time Coded Transcriptions and Closed Captioning

  • You should be uploading closed captioning and active transcripts to your YouTube and Google Videos.
  • This is a simple process, anyone can do it!
  • Think about using your keywords and mentioning your website URL in the video so that it is part of your transcript.
  • You can easily outsource transcribing videos and time coding transcripts to YouTube if you don’t have the time to do it yourself!

Take  action and have a great day,



Please share your questions and comments below!


  1. Michael says

    this is really helpful, thanks
    I didn’t know I can add time coded google transcriptions by myself :)

    • says

      Hey Michael,

      Yep – it’s that easy to add time coded transcriptions to your YouTube videos! Glad you liked it!
      Let me know how it goes :)

  2. Dudi J says

    Hi Shira. I didn’t realize how important the videos where in regards to seo. It seems quite underutilized and that this can be a great way to get your sites into the top rankings in google. Videos in general are a great way to market and its great that google realizes it and factors it into the rankings. The video transcription was completely new to me – I’ll get right on to transcribing my Youtube videos!
    It would be great to hear some more info on the topic!

    • says

      Hey Dudi,

      Nice to see you here!

      You hit the nail on the head, marketing with video is powerful stuff. Especially when you leverage the Google YouTube connection!
      The video transcriptions have double power since they provide both accessibility features to those who have difficulty watching regular videos as well as benefit for SEO!

      Let me know if you have any questions during your implementation,

      Take action and have a great day!
      Shira (Duru)

  3. says

    I updated to this post with some new info – pay attention to the length of your sentences in your video transcription file!

    Although the text will show up in the caption – the sentence will be long and make take up too much of your video real estate, also some of the text will then get cut out of the transcript view in YouTube.

    Of course you still get all the SEO benefits…

  4. Pat says

    Hi Duru,
    From the point of SEO, is the in video transcription better than transcribing the video and then placing it in the description?
    Than you.
    You’re a star :)

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