Before deliving into SEO benefits of sermon transcription, perhaps it is best to explain what SEO is first. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and affects how your website is ranked and seen on various internet search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.
A lot of religious institutions produce online sermons and podcasts now, and it’s the best way to reach new people.
Oftentimes though simply uploading your sermon audio on your website or blog is just half the work done. You’re not utilizing the full power of the internet and ecommerce by doing that.
However, by having a better understanding of how web search engines (especially Google) work, you can take advantage of the amazing possibilities that the internet offers.
So what are the SEO benefits of sermon transcription you ask? Let’s delve deeper.
1. People prefer to Read than Watch/Listen
I have a confession to make. I used to watch a ton of videos on mute while at work. Sorry ex-boss!
People are private. Especially today in the digital age where Facebook and Google probably have stored more information on you than you know.
If I’m on public transport, I always put my earphones in. Unless you’re one of those who like to blast their music on full volume and make everyone else on the bus uncomfortable, you probably do the same.
In fact, I prefer the readable version of any video or audio clip. You always consume content at a much faster rate when you’re reading as opposed to watching or listening.
This research from the American Press Institute shows that 85% of Facebook videos are watched on mute.
Imagine the kind of impact you could have on those people by simply adding subtitles to your sermon videos on Facebook. Make it easier for them to consume your content.
Instead of posting the full transcript, you could also post a summary, or divide the text into several chunks which can be used as social media posts, increasing your brand awareness tenfold!
What are the SEO benefits of sermon transcription here? People stay longer on your website to read your sermons. Search engines love that.
2. Search Engines LOVE New Content!
Internet search engines deploy what are called web crawlers.
Image above may not be an accurate representation
Now, if you’ve got arachnophobia, don’t worry, these crawlers won’t actually come to your house, or crawl on your laptop.
Instead, they crawl your website, sometimes daily, at times weekly, definitely once a month and report back to the search engines, which then determine where to rank your website. Depending on the algorithm a particular search engine is using, your results may differ.
However, the one thing that is consistent with all search engines is that they love new content. Fresher, original, and engaging content ranks higher, which means your target audience will find you more easily.
So, if you’re already uploading sermon audio/video once a week anyway, it’d be a good idea to take advantage of SEO benefits of sermon transcription and upload or paste the transcript along with it.
3. You can Help the Hearing Impaired
According to this report by the World Health Organization, “Close to 30 million people in the USA alone are either completely deaf or hard of hearing. And around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss.”
It is also estimated that by 2050 over 900 million people will have disabling hearing loss.
All religions talk about helping everyone. These numbers above are huge, and a large number of the population your sermons cannot reach because you don’t have sermon transcripts on your website or blog, or subtitles in your videos.
With a little bit of extra money spent, you’re helping the hearing impaired understand your message better and make sense in this crazy world.
4. Become an Online Resource
By simply putting more original, fresh content on your website, it can quickly become an online resource for your religion. Every sermon talks about specific verses from their holy book. Now, while there are tons of online resources for every religion online, yours can stand out by expanding on particular verses.
People can actually land on your website by searching for the exact section or verse from their holy book.
5. Tailor-Made Bitesize Pieces of Social Media Content
SEO benefits of sermon transcription extend to more than just search engines.
The more you post on your social media page, the better your brand awareness. You can copy paste entertaining, thought provoking quotes from your transcripts on your social media channels.
Sermon transcription, if done by a professional transcription service, are proofread and analyzed for quality and accuracy. Which means you can copy blocks of text from the transcripts with your eyes closed, and not worry about spelling or grammatical errors.
6. People Prefer Subtitles
If viewers are given a choice to watch a video with or without subtitles, almost 90% of them prefer to watch them with subtitles as shown in the study we shared earlier in this post.
I can understand different English accents just fine. But if I’m watching a movie on Netflix, I’ll keep the subtitles on most of the time, especially for fantasy series like The Witcher with a ton of new made-up words for places, monsters etc.
There are some that prefer no subtitles to avoid distraction, but many people still watch most shows and movies with subtitles.
Subtitles can oftentimes also be hilarious.
Non-native English speakers may struggle with comprehension and will keep subtitles on almost 100% of the time. Especially if you’re watching a movie where the narrative is very interesting and you don’t want to miss a thing. Or the actors are barely audible during an action scene where the sound effects take over.
No sound effects problem with sermons, but it’s still nice to give your viewers the option of subtitles or sermon transcripts.