Skip to content
9 minute read
28 Mar 2024

How to Create and Use Subtitles for YouTube SEO

YouTube is a powerful platform for creating, sharing, and connecting with audiences around the world. In order to maximize your reach and engagement on YouTube, it’s important to understand how subtitling can help you make the most of your content creation efforts. By utilizing subtitles in both video uploads and pre-recorded clips, YouTube content creators can expand their viewership and increase the accessibility of their videos.

Table of Contents

I. Understanding YouTube Subtitling

What is YouTube Subtitling?

YouTube subtitling is simply the process of adding subtitles to your YouTube videos in order to make them more accessible and engaging for viewers who may not be native English speakers or have hearing impairments. 

Subtitles are a form of text that appear at the bottom of the video screen, displaying a transcript of the audio in the video. YouTube supports a variety of subtitle formats, including SRT, WebVTT, TTML, VTT and YouTube’s own proprietary format called YouTube Caption File (YCF). They also offer features that allow content creators to customize their subtitles with different font styles and colors.

Why Should You Use YouTube Subtitles?

Using subtitles on YouTube can help you reach a wider audience by making your video content accessible to those with hearing impairments or who speak different languages. Subtitles can also help YouTube videos appear more prominently in search engine results pages (SERPs). YouTube’s algorithms favor videos that have subtitles, so adding them will increase the likelihood of your video appearing near the top of YouTube search results.

Why Should You Use YouTube Subtitles?

But why should we add subtitles to our YouTube videos? Here are five reasons why subtitling your YouTube videos to help boost your SEO:

  1. Text-based content: Search engines are designed to crawl and index text-based content, which means that videos without this type of content are less likely to be discovered by search engines. Subtitles provide an easy way to add text-based content to your videos, making them more accessible to search engines. When you include subtitles in your videos, search engines can more accurately understand the content of your video and use that information to rank it more effectively in search results.
  2. Increased relevance: When you include relevant keywords and phrases in your subtitles, you can improve the relevance of your video to specific search queries. This can help your video to appear higher in search results when users search for those keywords or phrases. To optimize your subtitles for SEO, you should do keyword research to identify the most relevant keywords and phrases for your video, and then incorporate them into your subtitles in a natural way.
  3. Improved user experience: Subtitles can also improve the user experience of your videos, which can in turn improve your SEO. When users find your video helpful and engaging, they are more likely to watch it all the way through, like it, and share it with others. This can lead to more views, engagement, and higher search rankings. By providing subtitles, you can improve the user experience of your video and increase the likelihood that users will engage with it.
  4. Enhanced accessibility: Including subtitles in your videos can make them more accessible to a wider audience, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as those who speak different languages. This can lead to more views and engagement from people who might not otherwise have found your video. By making your video more accessible, you can improve its reach and increase its impact, which can lead to more views and higher search rankings.
  5. Multi-language support: Subtitles can also help your video to reach audiences in different languages. By including subtitles in multiple languages, you can make your video more appealing to viewers who speak those languages, which can lead to more views, engagement, and higher search rankings. If your video targets an international audience, or if you want to expand your reach into new markets, providing subtitles in multiple languages can be an effective way to achieve this goal.

Overall, subtitling your YouTube videos can help with SEO by providing text-based content that search engines can crawl and index, improving the relevance of your video to specific search queries, enhancing the user experience of your video, making it more accessible to a wider audience, and supporting multi-language audiences. By optimizing your subtitles for SEO, you can increase your visibility in search results and attract more views and engagement to your videos.

Types of subtitles

YouTube provides two types of subtitles — automated captions and manual captions. Automatic captions are generated using YouTube’s speech recognition technology, while manual captions are created manually by transcribing the audio in a YouTube video into text.

Automated captions can be useful for providing an approximate transcription of videos, but they often contain errors or inaccuracies due to differences in pronunciation between different speakers or environmental noise. Manual captioning is much more accurate, as it allows a human transcriber to ensure that every word and phrase is accurately represented in the text. Additionally, YouTube recommends manual captioning over automated captioning if you want to maximize your video’s reach and visibility on YouTube, as manual subtitles provide better search engine

How to Create YouTube Subtitles

Creating YouTube subtitles is a relatively straightforward process. YouTube provides an integrated caption editor where you can upload existing SRT files or create new ones from scratch. YouTube also offers a tool called YouTube Auto Sync that automatically transcribes uploaded videos and creates subtitle files for them. This feature helps save time for content creators who don’t want to manually type out subtitles for their videos.

Girl looking at her laptop screen.
A step-by-step guide

How to create subtitles

Learn more

Creating subtitles with Amberscript

Creating subtitles can be done in various ways, but Amberscript provides one of the simplest methods. Using Amberscript is not only easy but also effective for generating subtitles for different video formats. Amberscript offers three distinct approaches for creating subtitles:

Adding subtitles to video content is recommended for various reasons, including SEO compatibility, digital accessibility, and wider reach. However, creating subtitles can be a meticulous and time-consuming process. Fortunately, Amberscript offers expert subtitle services that make adding subtitles effortless. Our service includes both automated subtitle generation using AI and professional manual subtitling by experienced subtitlers. Here’s how our machine-made subtitle software works for creating subtitles.

Once you’ve finished creating your video, simply upload it to the Amberscript platform. You can upload it by dragging and dropping the file, sharing a link, or manually uploading it from your desktop. Next, select the language of your video’s audio and choose the automatic service option that’s available. The AI will then create a first draft of the subtitles within minutes. Sit back and let the platform work its magic!

2. Edit your subtitles in the intuitive online text editor

Modifications to the autogenerated subtitles can be easily made in the integrated online text editor. Initially, you can revise the transcript generated by the AI, and subsequently, adjust and format the subtitles in the editor. To get familiar with the online editor, watch the demo video and follow the instructions. To expedite the editing process, utilize the key combinations located in the bottom left corner.

3. Export your subtitles

After completing the editing process, you can download your subtitle file, which is a quick and straightforward procedure. It is important to determine the most appropriate file format for the specific use case of your subtitles. The SRT format is widely used for subtitles, but other formats such as VTT and EBU-STL are also available. Select the desired format and download it to your laptop or computer for future access.

How to create subtitles with Amberscript

Translating Subtitles for YouTube

Why is translating subtitles is important?

Adding YouTube subtitles in different languages can help your video reach a wider audience and increase engagement. YouTube allows you to upload multiple subtitle files with the same video, making it easy for viewers from around the world to watch your content. YouTube’s subtitling feature also helps search engine optimization (SEO) and makes the video more accessible. With YouTube’s Auto Sync feature, you can quickly upload or create new subtitles in different languages to make your videos available to viewers from all over the world.

Best practices for translating subtitles

When translating YouTube subtitles into different languages, it is important to consider a few best practices. Firstly, ensure that you select an appropriate subtitle language for your target audience. For example, if you’re targeting Spanish-speaking viewers in Latin America, use Spanish as the subtitle language rather than Castilian Spanish. Additionally, when translating YouTube captions into multiple languages, accurately transcribe the audio and keep the context of the original text intact. Finally, pay attention to cultural details and regional differences within the same language and ensure that all translations are accurate, culturally sensitive, and appropriate for different audiences.

Importance of maintaining accuracy and cultural sensitivity

Accuracy is key when translating YouTube subtitles into multiple languages. YouTube allows viewers to adjust the playback speed and accurately timed captions help ensure smooth playback. Additionally, YouTube’s machine learning algorithms use subtitles to better understand the content of your video, making it more likely to appear in relevant searches by international users. Furthermore, cultural sensitivity should be taken into account when creating YouTube subtitles in different languages. Avoid terms or expressions that could be misinterpreted or offensive to certain audiences. By keeping these points in mind while creating YouTube subtitles, you can provide a high-quality viewing experience for wider audiences.

Leveraging YouTube SEO with Subtitled Videos

Improving Accessibility Through YouTube Captions

Adding subtitles to YouTube videos is an effective way to improve accessibility for viewers who may not be native English speakers or have hearing impairments. In addition, YouTube’s algorithms favor videos that have subtitles, so adding them will increase the likelihood of your video appearing near the top of YouTube search results.

Optimizing Search Rankings With YouTube Keywords

Subtitles can also help YouTube videos appear more prominently in SERPs by optimizing them for specific keywords and phrases. YouTube allows creators to add timestamps and keywords directly into their subtitle files, which helps YouTube’s algorithms understand the content of the video and potentially rank it higher. This can help draw more viewers to your YouTube channel, increasing engagement and viewership.

Increasing Engagement Through Targeted Audiences

Subtitles can also be used to target specific audiences by providing text-based translations for YouTube videos. YouTube’s caption editors allow you to create multiple versions of subtitles in different languages, which can help you reach a wider audience and increase engagement from viewers who may not have otherwise seen your content.

Why use Amberscript when creating translated subtitles?

Using Amberscript to create translated subtitles is also incredibly easy and efficient. The platform uses advanced speech-to-text technology to accurately transcribe spoken language, which can then be translated into multiple languages with just a few clicks. This can save content creators a significant amount of time and effort, while still producing high-quality subtitles.

Furthermore, the Amberscript platform is user-friendly and affordable, making it accessible to a wide range of users. Whether you are a content creator, educator, or business owner, you can benefit from using Amberscript to create translated subtitles.

In summary, creating translated subtitles with Amberscript can help to increase the reach and accessibility of content, while also being easy, efficient, and affordable.

Conclusion: The Benefits of Using YouTube Subtitles for SEO

YouTube subtitling is an important tool that YouTube content creators should take advantage of in order to maximize their reach and engagement on the platform. YouTube subtitles can improve the accessibility of YouTube videos for viewers who may not be native English speakers or have hearing impairments, optimize YouTube search rankings by adding targeted keywords and phrases, and increase engagement from targeted audiences through multi-language subtitles. YouTube subtitling is an effective way to reach a wider audience and ultimately boost YouTube SEO performance. 

Frequently asked questions

  • How do I add subtitles to a YouTube video?

    To add subtitles to your Youtube video, simply add the file you have created using Amberscript to your video in the Youtube Studio. Click on “subtitles”, then “add” and finally “upload file” and select the SRT file.

  • How do I add subtitles to a video on Vimeo?

    To add subtitles to your Vimeo video, simply add the file you have created using Amberscript to your video in the editing window on Vimeo. Click on “distribution”, then “subtitles” and finally click on the + symbol to upload the SRT file.

  • How do I order translated subtitles?

    To order translated subtitles, you can upload your file like you would normally do. You can then select manual subtitling. Once you have selected this, an option will appear where you will be able to select the language the subtitles need to be translated to. If the language that you want is not one of the options you can contact us through our contact form.

  • To which languages can you translate subtitles?

    For our human-made subtitling services we work with a network of language experts in 15 different languages. Find out which here. If the language you want is not on the list, please contact us through our contact form.

  • What subtitle file formats are supported?

    Our software allows you to export the transcript from the video or audio file as an SRT, EBU-STL or VTT file.

  • Can I burn the subtitles directly onto my video?

    If you have exported the transcript as a SRT, EBU-STL or VTT file, you can easily burn them onto your video using video-editing software.

  • How do I generate subtitles?

    You can generate subtitles automatically using Amberscript. Our software allows you to convert your video file to text and then export the transcripts as SRT, EBU-STL or VTT files, which can easily be inserted into a video-editor.

Interesting topics