Have you ever tried to search for a podcast based on a quote from an episode you listened to? You type in the phrase exactly how you heard it, but you can’t find the episode. It’s frustrating that a searchable podcast doesn’t exist, and after a few more attempts, you give up and move onto something else.

Of course, if the podcast had been transcribed, this wouldn’t be a problem. You could easily find the exact episode and even what happens before or after the part you remembered. It’s just one of the benefits of making a podcast searchable via transcription and episode highlights. When podcast accessibility is enhanced, it increases the likelihood of people discovering it – and coming back for more.

Since Google bots cannot yet crawl audio, it’s up to the producer of a podcast to take the time to have a transcription of each episode created. In the grand scheme of podcasting, transcriptions are a minor piece of the production process, but the benefits are plentiful.

Here’s a look at five reasons why using transcriptions to create a searchable podcast is a must, it:

  1. Boosts SEO
  2. Provides accessibility to a wider audience
  3. Increases the likelihood of people sharing your content
  4. Builds thoughts leadership
  5. Gives your podcast proper credit
  6. Offers you more content to work with

In summary, transcription is an essential component of making podcasts (or any audio or video content for that matter) searchable. If you want your podcast to be found by more listeners (and who doesn’t?) then transcriptions should definitely be a part of your post-production strategy. Let’s dig a little bit deeper into each component of the benefits that come from making your podcast searchable.

Transcription Boosts Podcast SEO

Chances are your podcast is hosted on a website and features your name or that of your business. Your audience can spread in a number of ways, like word of mouth or through iTunes reviews. But part of your listenership will come from people searching for keywords or phrases that relate to your podcast. If your podcast is transcribed and searchable, it’s that much easier to gain those listeners.

If your podcast is transcribed and searchable, it’s that much easier to gain those listeners.

For example, Bloomberg’s Decrypted podcast recently featured ConsenSys’s Andrew Keys on an episode about cryptocurrencies. Keys said that the major credit card companies “all average about 30,000 transactions per second.”

Searching Google for a similar query including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express netted some (very) outdated results on the first page, including one as old as 2010. However, Bloomberg uploaded the podcast audio to Temi and added a transcript of the episode to the audio. The result? They “searched the text for transactions and bingo, it found that phrase” mentioned above. Had the podcast not been transcribed, Internet search engines would have never picked it up.

Podcast Transcriptions Provide Accessibility to a Wider Audience

Per the Hearing Loss Association of America, 20 percent of Americans 18 or older report some form of hearing loss. Your podcast may have stellar sound quality, but if you’re not offering transcription services, you’re missing out on a significant portion of people that might enjoy your content. Don’t limit your potential audience by not considering the various ways people might want to consume your podcast.

Don’t limit your potential audience by not considering the various ways people might want to consume your podcast.

Even if your audience isn’t hard of hearing, they may be consuming an episode in any number of bustling settings. A listener could be trying to tune in on a noisy subway train, while listening for their flight to board, or at a sporting event during a break in the action. Having the option to read the episode dialogue and key takeaways in addition to hearing the audio gives your podcast an advantage over podcasts that haven’t considered making their episodes searchable.

In today’s podcasting landscape, audience-minded details like transcription could be what sets you apart from your competition.

Transcription Increases the Likelihood People Will Share Your Podcast

Here’s a little secret: people want things to be easy. Transcribing your podcast is just one way you can make your listeners’ lives easier. Let’s say you have a fantastic, revolutionary thought in your latest episode – one that your audience will want to share with their network to show that they listen to smart, insightful podcasts. The only problem is that your monologue runs for about a minute.

Regina from Mean Girls throwing flyers

It’s highly unlikely anyone will take the time to transcribe word for word what you’ve said. If you remove that step for your listeners and include a transcription, it’s much simpler to copy and paste a quote while sharing the episode. By making it easy on your audience, you’re increasing the odds they’ll promote your podcast. You’re also arming your audience with loads of interesting tidbits to share beyond just a link to the audio file.

Podcast Transcriptions Build Thought Leadership

A major benefit of podcasting is establishing thought leadership in your particular area of focus. Listeners know they can tune into an episode about a topic they care about and walk away more informed, with a fresh perspective, and great conversation pieces. But what if someone wants to reference what you’ve said?

If each episode has a corresponding transcription that folks can search for, other thought leaders can quickly grab that content and disperse it to their network. A recommendation is even more impactful with a direct quote to back it up – when someone links to your podcast, they can share an example of the content listeners should expect. Your new potential audience doesn’t have to go skipping through an episode to find just the right insights; they’re laid out in the open thanks to the fact that you’ve taken the time to make your podcast searchable, accessible, and easy to share.

Transcriptions Give Your Podcast Proper Credit

In a time when information is widely circulated and ideas are easily regurgitated, you want to make sure your ideas are credited back to you. When a person repeats an idea they heard on your podcast without citing a source, it’s not always intentional. We’re constantly consuming information online, and it’s sometimes difficult to recall where you originally heard a statistic, idea, or quote.

woman in a hat behind a microphone asking am I losing my street cred

Providing a transcription of podcast episodes will help listeners cite you as an original source, and it will also prevent misquotes by helping them to recall exactly what you said in a particular episode.

Podcast Transcriptions Give You More Content to Work With

Think about the benefits a podcast creates: thought leadership; links back to your site; increased social engagement. Now, imagine those benefits multiplying. Transcribing your podcast and making it searchable is the jumping off point for additional content down the line.

Transcribing your podcast and making it searchable is the jumping off point for additional content down the line.

Maybe you’re writing a blog post, and need the perfect quote to drive your point home. Or perhaps you’re developing a white paper and your most recent guest just gave you some incredible statistics. You can even take some of your favorite highlights from the episode and turn them into snazzy social media graphics.

People speak much faster than they can type. That means that a 45-minute long podcast episode once transcribed could make for an equally compelling blog post. From a content perspective, that’s a win.

The Final Word on Podcast Transcriptions

Recording your episode is just the first step. You could potentially be missing out on thousands of listeners by not making your podcasts searchable. A transcription service, like Rev, can help you transcribe your podcasts get your content in front of even more ears.