Do not overlook the power of podcast transcription for each of your podcast episodes.
Some podcast hosts are reluctant to transcribe podcast episodes, believing it be too time-consuming, too expensive, or will not add any value to their podcast. However, these are misconceptions that could be stunting podcast growth.
Podcast transcripts will help to make your podcast more accessible and inclusive to your listeners, which in turn helps to build your audience. It also contributes to your podcast SEO which is hugely important for your growth.
Podcast transcriptions are your podcast episodes in written form. They capture what you and your guests say during your podcast episode, and take it from an audio file into in a readable format.
There is a lot of value that can be added to your podcast brand by choosing to transcribe your podcast episodes.
1. Accessibility and Inclusion
According to the World Health Organisation, 5% of the world’s population has some form of hearing impairment. Podcasting is an audio-based form of content, which means that you cannot assume that everyone is able to enjoy your podcast show the way you intend. As a podcaster, there is no reason why you cannot make your podcast accessible to everybody, even those with hearing difficulties.
To welcome as many people into your listenership, you sometimes need to make a little extra effort to ensure your podcast show is accessible and enjoyable for all. Including your podcast transcript will allow people to either fully consume your content through text if a written format is their preference, or they can choose to supplement your podcast episode by following along to your transcript as they listen.
Podcast transcription is also a great way to improve your audience inclusion by providing non-native speakers with the ability to fully enjoy your podcast, regardless of their fluency levels in your language. They can also listen and follow your audio while using the available podcast transcript. You are not excluding anybody from your listenership, and you can help them improve their understanding and enjoyment of your show too so they can fully engage with your content.
2. Improve your SEO
As a podcast host, your show’s discoverability in search engines is one of the most important ways to grow your podcast. Including transcripts is an excellent way to boost your Search Engine Optimisation and show up in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) on Google and in podcast listening apps and hosting platforms.
SEO tends to favour written content over audio files. By their nature, transcripts are text-heavy with high word counts. They also tend to include your keywords in a relatively high density, making them great for Google to pick out your podcast for its SERPs. Podcast transcriptions will ultimately make it easier for new listeners to find your show and for you to grow your audience and your podcast’s success.
Check out our post on How to rank your podcast on search engines here.
3. Back-linking opportunities
Another important way to boost your authority on search engines and improve your SEO is to have back-links to your website. Your podcast transcript is an excellent opportunity for better back-linking opportunities, ultimately boosting your podcast website and the discoverability of your podcast show.
A podcast transcript tends to be far more appealing for others to link to. Other creators or websites may not want to link directly to your podcast’s audio. It requires a time commitment from their audience so they may prefer to link to your transcript where their audience can pick out the section they are most interested in.
4. Reusable and Adaptable Content
Your podcast transcript will do wonders when it comes to creating additional content for your podcast show. Having your episode available in text format has lots of value, making it far easier to write your show notes and get your timestamps for key points in the show. You will find yourself reusing the text from your podcast transcription to write a related blog post, pick out copy or key quotes for your social media posts and marketing campaigns, and to write your podcast newsletter for those on your email list.
5. Accurate quotes and referencing
If others are quoting your show, or referencing what you said in your podcast somewhere in their own content, having your transcript available makes this easier for them to do this. The easier it is for them, the more likely they are to do it.
It also means that you will be quoted accurately on what you said. You do not want a situation where you are misquoted anywhere which can lead to misunderstandings or mistakes.
When it comes to podcast transcriptions there are four main factors to consider:
Finding the balance between these is not easy and it will depend on which is the most important to you.
While you have many options available for podcast episode transcription, your choice will start with whether you want human transcription or Artificial Intelligence. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Good for: accuracy
If accuracy is your priority, human transcription, or manual transcription, will always come out on top. We can understand context, mispronunciations, nuances, punctuation, and tone in a way that technology cannot. We can use judgment to create far more accurate transcriptions.
However, the work is slow, and sometimes tedious. If you are not willing to do it yourself, outsourcing this work can be costly depending on the length of your episodes and your expected turnaround times.
Good for: ease and speed
A far more convenient option for the transcription process is to use a transcription software or AI-powered tool. With advancements in the technology, you simply upload your audio file and you can have downloadable transcripts in a text file format, in a matter of minutes depending on the length of your podcast audio file. The ease, convenience and speed far exceed that of human transcription.
While there has been great improvements in the accuracy of the outputs of podcast transcription software, there is always be a need for a “human editor”to go back to edit any mistakes or misunderstandings from the software generated transcription. In addition, the formatting will also need to be tidied up usually to have the podcast transcript to a suitable standard of quality for sharing to your listeners.
When it comes to the standard of readability, punctuation, and formatting of the downloadable transcripts, some tools and platforms are more capable than others. Some software options will generate an unpunctuated continuous stream of text, others will recognise multiple speakers, break up the text accordingly and make a decent attempt at getting the punctuation right. However, you should also put in some extra time to improve the formatting and readability of your transcripts, no matter how good of a job your software might do, will improve your audience’s reading experience and payoff in the long run.
If you are on a tightbudget, and are willing to sacrifice somewhat on quality, you can use options like the voice recognition feature or a voice typing tool on apps like Google Recorder, YouTube, or Zoom. Even in Google Docs you could use the Google Doc voice typing feature to transcribe your podcast.
If you are already using platforms such as Riverside.fm or Castos for producing your podcast, you can avail of their automatic transcription feature without needing another subscription to a podcast transcription tool.
When recording your podcasts, you should always have your podcast video and audio files to a high standard, but when you know you will be using a transcription service, this becomes even more important. Whatever option you choose to go with to transcribe your podcast audio, having a high-quality podcast audio recording and a clear speaking voice will help immensely in improving the accuracy of your transcripts.
Check out the Top 10 podcast recording platforms to get the best quality recordings for your podcast every time.
Now that you have your podcast episode transcript, where is the best place for it?
We believe this is the best place to share your podcast episode transcription. You can keep it below your show notes where it can be easily found by your podcast audience. It is also good for SEO purposes to direct people to the episode.
If you are unsure about how to write better show notes for your podcast, check out our post here!
An alternative option is to keep all of your podcast episode transcriptions together on a dedicated page for podcast transcripts on your website. This gives your listeners who want/need to use your transcripts regularly an easy and convenient place to find them all.
If you have a lot of episodes, this page on your website can include separate links to each episode. This is the better option to avoid too much text, or making it too difficult for your audience to find what they are looking for. While it may not be the most engaging podcast content you offer on your site, this dedicated page will do wonders for your accessibility and inclusion.
If you have an email list or a newsletter where you let your audience know when a new episode has been released, it can be a great place to provide your listeners with a link to your podcast episode transcriptions. It gives people who want to engage with your podcast content, but may not have the time or means to listen to the audio recordings of your podcast episode in that moment, an opportunity and means to do so.
Podcast transcriptions are certainly worth the additional effort and will pay off in the long run for growing your podcast, improving your success and giving your listeners the best experience possible.
You can always find a professional or a podcast production agency to manage all of this for you.