How to Add a YouTube Transcript File to Your Video

You Tube Closed Captions
YouTube has an automated caption/transcript generator that uses Google’s speech to text algorithm. Its primary purpose is for accessibility, to assist those with hearing disabilities, or who speak another language, to find out what your video is about. It is also used for indexing by the search engines and so can help with your SEO.

Unfortunately the ability of the software to generate a meaningful transcript automatically from a video soundtrack leaves a little to be desired! You can view the transcript it generates for your video, and you will see what I mean! In a video I posted about creating websites, the automatically generated transcript was talking about mining and Texas! Neither of these terms were mentioned in my video! If you want to optimize your video effectively, the best thing to do is create a YouTube transcript file yourself, and tailor it for the correct keywords you want the search engines to use for indexing your video. This helps everybody concerned. Fortunately this is fairly easy to do, and does not require any expensive software.

If you have not already done so, upload your video to YouTube, and put your keywords in the tags field, and give it a meaningful description in the usual way. Include a link back to your website in the description field.

Step 1 – Keyword Research
As with any search engine optimization technique, you need to start with some keyword research around the topic of your video. Identify a main keyword that you are targeting, and two or three secondary keywords.

Step 2 – Create a Transcript File
YouTube will allow you to import a simple text document as a transcript file, so you don’t need any complicated software to create it. Just use notepad or similar to create a simple.txt document, and write a transcript for your video. Ensure your transcript uses the keywords you identified in Step 1. If your video includes speech, try to include this script as accurately as you can, which will give the software the best chance of synchronizing the timings with your video.

For good measure, name the file after your main keyword.

Step 3 – Locate Your YouTube Video

  1. Sign into YouTube
  2. Expand your channel. In the top right hand corner, select the My Video’s option. This will show you a list of all your videos, including the one you want to upload the transcript for
  3. Select your uploaded video that you want to optimize, and click on Edit Info
  4. Select the captions and subtitles tab

Step 4 – Upload the YouTube Transcript File

  1. Select the edit captions/subtitles from the top menu in the middle
  2. Under Add A Caption Track on right, click on Add New Captions or Transcript button
  3. Use the Browse button to find your txt file on your computer, that you created in Step 2
  4. Select the radio button option marked Transcript File. This is the one which allows you to upload a text file rather than a specialist transcript format
  5. Click Upload File and give it a name so that you’ll recognize it

    Google and the other search engines will now be able to index your video sensibly, using the keywords in your transcript file. It will also make a lot more sense for your hard of hearing and foreign language viewers!

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