How To Create YouTube Closed Captions

Hi, I’m John Maher, and today I’m going to talk about How To Create YouTube Closed Captions.

Creating custom closed captions in YouTube is important for a couple of reasons. First, YouTube by default creates closed captions by listening to the audio in your uploaded video and by applying speech recognition software to create the captions. The problem is, the automatic captions done in this way are usually terrible, and contain a lot of inaccuracies.

Second, because the automatic captions are so bad, Google doesn’t recognize them as being an accurate representation of your video, and won’t index that text for search. But if you add your own closed caption text, Google will index that content, and it will help your video to show up in Google and YouTube searches for words contained within your video.

It is very easy to do this. All you have to do is go into your creator studio, click “Edit” on your video, then click “Subtitles and CC,” which stands for closed captions.

Then you want to choose to add an English subtitle, or whatever language your video is in (or even a language it’s not in if you want a translation), and then select a method of uploading a transcript. You can either upload a file, which can be a timed captions file or just a simple text file, or if you don’t have a transcript already, just choose “Transcribe and set timings”.

When you choose that option, YouTube gives you an editor, with the video over on the left side, and a box for the transcript on the right side. You just play the video and start typing, and as you type, YouTube pauses the video, then keeps going automatically when you stop typing.

When you’re done, click on the button that says, “Set timings,” and Google will match the transcript to the audio and place the captions according to where it hears the audio that matches your transcript. You can then make any edits to the timings that you want, and then click on “Publish”, and it will add the closed caption to your video.

Finally, I recommend un-checking the “automatic” caption, and making sure that only your new caption is selected for the video.

When Google sees that your video has a custom closed caption associated with it, they will index that closed caption text and use it in the search results.

By the way, if you want to include your transcript along with your video on your website or blog, that’s fine. Google won’t give you any kind of penalty for “duplicate content” because the closed caption is in a different format, and serves a different purpose, than the text on your site.

So go add closed caption text to all of your YouTube videos. It’s quick, easy, and helps with the search engine optimization of your YouTube videos.

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