Web accessibility tip: Caption videos in YouTube and Vimeo

Web accessibility graphic.Captions are essential for those who cannot hear or have difficulty hearing the audio. They also help non-native English speakers who may find reading easier to comprehend. Video search results with captions also rank higher than those without captions (auto-captions do not get indexed by Google and therefore do not help Search Engine Optimization).

YouTube’s auto-caption function is often riddled with mistakes, this can cause misrepresentation of your content. Be sure to either edit the captions or add your own captions.

Vimeo doesn't supply auto-captions, so you'll need to add captions to your video in Vimeo.

There are many benefits to your users and your website when videos are captioned.

  • Broaden audience segment: Captions added to video widen your audience segment because they make your video universally accessible.
  • Increased view times: Studies have shown that captions increase view times not only for persons with deafness or a hearing impediment or those for which English is a second language, but also for users who watch video in a sound sensitive environment (e.g. a workplace or library).
  • Improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Caption text is indexed by search engines, so it's important to consider keywords when producing the spoken content for your video(s). Note that auto-captions do not get indexed by Google and therefore do not help Search Engine Optimization.