YouTube is as big as it gets when it comes to making videos. But to make the most of it, you need to make sure that as many people as possible can watch and enjoy what you post.
In this day and age, not being able to understand the language, having trouble hearing, not having headphones, etc., shouldn’t make your video content less accessible.
So, adding captions and subtitles to YouTube videos can make a huge difference for people who watch them. There are many ways to do this, which is good news.
This post will tell you how to add captions to YouTube videos, why captions are important, how to download captions from YouTube, and what tools you can use to get the job done.
There are three ways to add subtitles or captions to videos you own on YouTube.
1. Use Auto-Captioning
YouTube uses speech recognition technology to make captions for videos that are uploaded to the site. But these captions are rarely correct, and they often don’t have the right punctuation, so you’ll have to fix some or all of the mistakes to make the text make sense.
Here’s how to use this method to add captions to a video:
- Log in to YouTube Studio through your browser.
- On the left side of your dashboard, click on Subtitles.
- Select the video to which you’d like to add captions.
- Click on Set Language, scroll through the options, and choose the language you want your video caption to be written in by default.
- You’ll be taken to a page with a list of subtitled videos. Click ADD and wait for your automatic captions to be made.
2. Make Original Captions
If you have time on your hands, you can also add subtitles to YouTube videos by doing it yourself. You can paste a transcript of your subtitles or captions into YouTube, or you can type them out by hand using these steps:
- Go to YouTube Studio and choose Subtitles from the menu on the left side of the Studio dashboard.
- Click on the video you want to add subtitles to, choose a language, and then click ADD.
- From the options menu, choose “Type by Hand.”
- Start the video playing and type in your captions and subtitles to match the sound. Make sure to add text like [knock] or [applause] so that people can understand what is going on in the video.
- When you’re done, click “Publish.”
3. Use A Service For Captioning
The third and most recommended option is to hire a third party that specializes in making accurate, high-quality captions, translations, and transcripts for your videos to do the captioning and subtitling for you.
There are a lot of free and paid tools from which you can choose. For this method, you’ll need to add a caption file to your YouTube video in SRT, TTML, WebVTT, or another format that can be read.
Even though the steps for adding a caption file can change often, this is usually how it goes:
- Sign in to YouTube, and from the drop-down menu, choose YouTube Studio.
- Choose Subtitles from the menu on the left side of the screen, choose the video you want to add the caption file to, and the language for the caption.
- Select Upload file after clicking ADD.
- Choose With timing or Without timing, then click Continue.
- Select the file you want to upload, then click Save.
Why are Youtube Subtitles Important?
You might be wondering what all the fuss is about with captioning videos, so let’s talk about why you should do this and what you stand to gain by adding subtitles to the videos you share on your YouTube channel.
1. Learn More and Keep Track of Time
Putting text on the screen can help people understand what the video is trying to say in a big way. People may find it hard to understand what a video is trying to say just by watching and listening to it. And sometimes it’s not easy to watch a video with the sound on.
Facebook says that adding captions to videos can make people watch them for 12% longer. Another study found that videos with subtitles get over 7% more views on average and that 80% more people watch videos all the way through when they have subtitles.
2. Expand Your Audience Base
More than 5% of the people in the world with “disabling” hearing loss need some kind of therapy or help. Add to that the number of people who don’t speak your language as their first language and the number of people who like to watch videos without sound, and you’ll be missing out on a huge audience.
The more people who can find, read, and share your content, the better.
3. Make the User’s Experience Better
Many people don’t want to or can’t watch your video with sound, so making sure your content can be understood without sound can help your channel. People can use your content whenever and however they want, instead of saving it and then never coming back to it.
4. Go to the Next Level With Your SEO
When you add subtitles to a video on your channel, YouTube and Google will index the text. This will help them understand the content of your video better, improve your SEO rankings, make it easier for people to find, watch, and interact with your videos, and strengthen your keyword targeting.
How to Get Captions from Youtube
Follow these steps to download subtitles from YouTube so you can edit them in another program or save them for later use:
- Check out YouTube Studio.
- Choose Subtitles from the menu on the left.
- Click the video for which you want to download the captions.
- Click EDIT next to the language you want to download in the Subtitles column.
- Click the more options button and choose “Download Subtitles.”
- Your browser will download a file that has the captions track in it.
There are many ways to add captions and subtitles to YouTube videos. There are also tools you can use to add your own captions or subtitles. There are a lot of free and paid tools from which you can choose.
The third and most recommended option is to hire a third party that specializes in high-quality captions, translations, and transcripts. Adding captions to videos can make people watch them for 12% longer.
A study found that videos with subtitles get over 7% more views on average and 80% more people watch videos all the way through when they have subtitles. Add subtitles to a video on your channel, and YouTube and Google will index the text. This will help them understand the content of your video better and improve your SEO rankings.