In the name of accessibility, it’s considered good form to provide text versions of any audio or video recordings included on your website. In fact, depending on the nature of your business or organization, you may even be required to do so!
Transcriptions enable deaf and hearing-impaired visitors to take full advantage of your website. Even if someone cannot hear the information as originally conveyed, they should still be able to reasonably access it and use your site; if you want to have them as your customer, that is!
However, some may wonder: What benefit do audio transcriptions provide for hearing website visitors? If the vast majority of people visiting my website are not hearing impaired, are transcripts really necessary?
The truth is that transcriptions provide many uses for non-deaf website visitors. They’re far from a hindrance and can enhance the website experience for everyone who comes to learn more about your product or creation.
Photo by JD Mason
Audio and video transcription allows for immediate reference
A common complaint with online videos is that information about specific products used in the videos is not conveyed clearly. Say someone is flying a drone on YouTube, and the wind blows, just as they’re giving information about the drone. What’s a curious viewer to do?
If there were an audio description available for the video, the customer would still be able to obtain the drone’s model name and move down the sales funnel for that company. You may find you retain more customers if you’re able to provide information in multiple ways.
Transcripts enhance ease of use
How many times has this happened to you: You start to play an audio or video clip online, pause it for a second, and when you go back it’s started over, or a stray click jumps you to the wrong spot?
You have to backtrack all the way to the beginning, or skip through the recording searching for where you left off.
Transcriptions can help “anchor” recorded audio with time stamps and clearly defined sections within a clip. A tech failure or a random incorrect click shouldn’t cause someone to stop interacting with your content!
Photo by Bench Accounting
Hearing users may visit the site based on a single word or phrase mentioned in the transcript
As we’ve discussed in a previous post, transcriptions are an often overlooked SEO power tool. If Google is able to scan your website for information and keywords, you’ll rank higher in search results. Make sure your site is the prime pick, no matter who’s looking to visit!
Moreover, if there’s a small detail in your audio that may attract a niche search (a specific tool or brand name mentioned in a woodworking video, the name of a book or author mentioned in an interview, a particular medication mentioned in a medical context…), the transcript will highlight it and make it searchable. You are more likely to attract customers and visitors with needs related to your content.
So even if the vast majority of your website visitors don’t require transcripts for accessibility purposes, it’s still a good idea to enlist transcription services and offer the full text of all audio and video content on your website.
It means the world to people who need transcripts in order to fully use your site. For everyone else, it’s a helpful bonus!