Studies show that more than 90 percent of U.S. consumers watch online videos with the sound turned off on their mobile devices. And over 80 percent do the same on their computer.
Your audience watching your videos without sound is only one of several reasons you should add subtitles to videos. Let’s look at 6 reasons this is important.
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When you add text to videos, it improves your videos’ accessibility. Some of your viewers may not be able to hear the audio that plays along with your video. Adding subtitles lets them read the content they’re missing.
YouTube has a closed captioning tool that will transcribe your video but it’s notorious for making mistakes. Adding your own subtitles will ensure they’re correct.
Improve Viewers’ Comprehension
Some people learn better by listening, others by reading. By adding subtitles to your videos, you’ll meet the needs of both groups.
And even if your viewers don’t necessarily prefer reading, having the subtitles there makes it easier for them to understand what you’re saying. This is especially important for complex topics.
Helpful When Viewers Have No Audio
As we already mentioned, a large percentage of viewers using mobile devices watch videos with the sound turned off. They might be in a location where they can’t have the audio playing or they might just prefer to keep their phone muted.
Having subtitles lets them follow along even without the audio track. This will often grab their attention and get them to start over with the audio.
Better Viewer Engagement
Studies show that videos with subtitles keep viewers engaged better than audio-only. This keeps them watching so they get through more of your video, if not the whole thing, before clicking away.
This can help your videos rank higher on YouTube as engagement is a component of its algorithm.
Increase Your Video’s Social Reach
YouTube isn’t the only place better engagement will help you get more viewers. Facebook and other social networks consider this as part of their algorithm as well.
For example, if someone shares your video on Facebook and more of the viewers watch the whole thing, that tells Facebook the video is interesting and valuable. They’ll show it to more people as a result.
Add Subtitles to Video for Better SEO
Subtitles help with SEO (search engine optimization) as well as engagement. SEO is mostly focused on text so adding subtitles gives the search engines more content to work with.
The more content they have, the easier it is for them to determine what your video is about. Including relevant keywords and phrases in your subtitles will help your site rank higher in the results.
Make Subtitles Part of Your Video Production Process
The best time to add subtitles to videos is during the production process. Going back to add them after the fact is more work and you lose some of the leverage you get for SEO and social reach if they’re in place from the time your video goes live.
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