Podcast transcripts are exactly what they sound like.
An episode of a podcast that’s been transcribed and formatted into written form.
Although there’s currently no easy way of including these as part of your podcast’s publication cycle, some of the newer apps are facilitating them.
Why do we need podcast transcripts?
We probably should be providing podcast transcripts because it is the right thing to do.
However, due to the current levels of consumption and the costs involved, many publishers are resisting creating them.
It’s seen as another one of those ‘nice to have’ aspects of content creation.
Like a video version of a podcast, or an accompanying website.
But like with many ‘nice to have’ aspects of business, there is a whole audience of ‘absolutely necessary, mate’ voices out there.
And this comes down to accessibility.
There's added pressure now too
Although there’s been resistance to providing podcast transcripts from some publishers – mostly indies – the choice might soon be taken out of our hands.
Providing a transcript adds another expense on to your creative workflow.
And when you consider that many podcasters are so reluctant to invest in their work that they’ll choose a free hosting account, it’s hardly surprising they’re not keen on adding more cost.
However, if a current test case goes against their favour, they might soon not have any option.
They’ll have to provide a transcript, or else!
Sirius XM have been accused by the plaintiffs of failing to provide the required accessibility through its Pandora and Stitcher apps.
Now if the National Association for the Deaf and the Disability Rights Advocates win this, watch out all podcasters!
There will be pressure on you to provide these text versions of your podcasts.
A transcript will not suddenly boost your SEO
Let me make one thing abundantly clear.
Podcast transcripts do not have a huge impact on your SEO.
That is, they don’t give you the magic boost on Google that many will claim they do.
These claims are usually made by people who operate transcription services.
My advice, to anyone who is approached by a business or individual who claims they can help your SEO, is to get them to show you a case study.
Ask to see examples of their customers’ page one ranking podcast transcripts.
They won’t be able to.
However, podcast transcripts can be used to help your SEO as part of your overall content strategy.
The correct way to use them for content enhancement
Let me reiterate.
Getting a document or PDF of the transcript of your podcast and uploading it somewhere on your site will not suddenly boost your Google ranking.
However, if you’re smart about how you use the podcast transcript, and turn it into useful content, such as a blog post or a social media post, then it can help with your wider messaging.
And Podknows Podcasting offers this as a part of the network’s higher value offerings.
The real reason you should be making an effort to provide a podcast transcript...
Honestly, you shouldn’t be using podcast transcripts purely for any ranking benefit.
You should be providing them because it’s a really good thing to do for a chunk of your audience.
And, it might just stop you getting sued!
Just because they’re not telling you they can’t easily listen, doesn’t mean it’s not a challenge.
More and more people are getting into podcasts as their source of entertainment.
And not all of them have perfect hearing.
Perhaps it’s time you considered them?