Does Transcribing My Webinar Increase Organic Traffic?
March 6, 2017
So your company just hosted its latest webinar—and it went fantastically. Technology was on its best behavior. Your audience was engaged. You received so many compliments about the topic, your presentation, your ability to answer questions. You even remembered to record the whole thing! And now, you’ve uploaded the webinar recording to your website, gated it behind a landing page, and have tastefully promoted the heck out of it. You’re good to go … right?
After all, you didn’t say that you transcribed your recording before uploading it. Maybe you thought about transcribing, perhaps you even asked the rest of your team to see if it was worth the effort. But then you didn’t. After all, who would choose to read a transcription of a 20- to 60-minute video when they can just watch the video itself?
Boosting the User Experience
Approximately 15 percent (about 37 million) people in the United States alone experience hearing difficulties. And then there are people who consider themselves visual learners and would prefer to read rather than listen. And then there are people who are eager to digest your content but are not in situations conducive to listening. By simply transcribing your content, you are able to make the information that you provide much more accessible.
Whether you believe that people will choose to read the transcript or not, at least by including transcribed content you are presenting your visitors with options.
Transcribe to Increase Organic Traffic
Improving a visitor’s user experience isn’t the only reason you should transcribe your webinar—or any audio or video content for that matter. The No. 1 reason to transcribe your content is simple: It works wonders for organic search.
Making your content crawlable
Although Google’s search bots can do many things, its search bots cannot (yet) crawl audio or video files. Think of your standard blog optimization process: Not only do you want to be sure that your target keywords are in the copy itself, but you also want to be sure that the target keyword is in every other component that Google can crawl: your image’s alt-text, your URL, and your post’s meta description.
Putting your audio or video content into a readable, crawlable format achieves this goal—and chances are high that the transcribed copy is full of keywords you want to be ranking for.
Boosting search rankings for long-tail keywords
No matter how you transcribe your webinar content—whether you add closed captioning (as a text file, crawlable by Google), create a long-form style blog, or separate the one long piece into many separate posts—the written version allows you to do something that the spoken version does not: manipulate your content in a way that best allows you to rank.
Say you’re aiming to rank for “best software-as-a-service provider,” yet throughout the webinar you say the more natural alternative “SaaS provider.” Luckily, when you’re transcribing this content, you can write the longer form. You can include the natural variations of something that you’re saying in a way that, while still relevant, supports your search engine optimization strategy. And we know that doing this—including keywords that you want to rank for repetitively and in a natural, educational way—works.
Just look at the case of This American LIfe, a well-known radio show. After transcribing and adding its audio archive to its website, the program found that more than 6 percent of new organic visitors landed on a transcript page. As if that weren’t enough, This American Life also found that more than 7 percent of all website visitors viewed a transcript page at some point during their visit.
Increasing your link authority
Now that Google can crawl your content, new visitors can find you. And now that they can find you, they can quote you on their websites, and give the credit back to you. This American Life experienced a 4 percent increase in inbound links attributable to its transcripts. And though it’s great that the show was able to experience such positive results simply by transcribing episodes and posting them to the website, This American Life didn’t seem to manage the transcription strategically—but you can.
What to Do with Your Transcriptions
We have already touched on the various ways that you can leverage transcribed content on your site. You can add closed captions to your videos. You can post a long-form blog, essentially a new page on your site—and though that does get the relevant keywords into a crawlable format on your site, it only adds one page. Remember, Google loves to see that you continue to publish relevant information around the same topic. Try splitting your webinar into multiple blog posts and linking one to another—doing so will add multiple opportunities for internal links on your site, as well as give others the opportunity to link to multiple pages on your site. Whatever you do, be sure that your transcriptions are ungated so that both Google and new contacts can find your content.
About the author
Kristen Patel was formerly a CRO Strategist at SmartBug Media. She joined the team with years of inbound agency experience under her belt, and two Bachelors of Science in International Marketing. While technically based in Maryland, she's often on the move (2018 will bring her to Guatemala, Belize, Mexico... and that's only through February!). Read more articles by Kristen Patel.