One simple step to increase video view time

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Video content is an important tool for your business and it’s everywhere, whether it’s TikTok, Reels or longer form content on YouTube like tutorials, workshops as well as conferences and talks. So what’s the simple step to increase view time?

Man watching a video with captions

Adding captions can increase the view time of your videos

The use of captions has been shown to increase the amount of time that viewers spend watching a video. This is because captions provide additional information that can help viewers to better understand and engage with the content of the video.

For example, if a video includes dialogue or other spoken content, captions can provide a written transcript of the audio. They allow viewers to read along with the audio and follow along with the content of the video, even if they are unable to hear the audio due to noise or other factors. This can help to improve the overall comprehension and retention of the video’s content, leading to increased view time.

In addition, captions can also help to break up the visual content of a video, making it easier for viewers to engage with the content. This can help to keep people interested and invested in the video, leading to longer view times.

Captions & accessibility

One of the most significant reasons to use captions is accessibility. They allow individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired to access and understand the audio content of a video.

However captions also benefit individuals who may be in a noisy environment where it is difficult to hear the audio, as well as those who are learning a new language as it’s easier to follow along and improve comprehension and language skills.

In addition to increasing accessibility, the use of captions has been shown to improve overall viewer engagement and retention. Studies have shown that adding captions to videos can increase the amount of time that viewers spend watching the video, as well as their overall comprehension of the content.

In terms of accessibility laws, both Europe and Australia have regulations in place that require the provision of captions for online video content. In Europe, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 require that all public-facing websites and online content be accessible to individuals with disabilities. In the United States, for example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that all public websites and online content be accessible to individuals with disabilities. This includes providing captions for any video content that is posted online. (These regulations are region specific so check what laws apply in your country.)

Overall, the use of captions is crucial for increasing accessibility and improves the overall viewing experience for individuals of all abilities and backgrounds.

Captions benefit SEO

When it comes to SEO (search engine optimisation is the process of improving the visibility and ranking of a website or web page in search engine results.), one of the key factors that search engines use to determine the relevance of a web page is the presence of keywords. Adding captions to a video can help search engines to understand the content of the video and its relevance to a user’s search query. This can help to improve the visibility of the video in search engine results, which can lead to increased traffic and potential customers.

In addition to improving search engine visibility, the use of captions can also improve the overall user experience. When users are searching for a particular keyword or phrase, they are more likely to click on a video that has captions, as it provides them with a preview of the video’s content and ensures that it is relevant to their search. This can help to increase the number of views on a video and improve engagement.

Sources & Further Reading

digiday.com/media/silent-world-facebook-video

who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss

Why captions are good for SEO