Enhancing Video Accessibility and SEO with Captioning

YouTube Closed Captioning features

By 2020, digital video will likely surpass television in popularity, predicted YouTube Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl earlier this year. While online video viewership grows, access for people with disabilities lags behind even television. 

Google, owner of YouTube, has video accessibility on its radar, enabling an easy platform that empowers users to upload captions in various formats and display them on YouTube players, according to 3PlayMedia.

Video Accessibility is Truly a Win-Win For All

Not only can people with disabilities consume more video content, but users who upload the videos also benefit from captioning. Captioning can help improve Google search rankings for a video.

The captioning text is indexed, helping more potential viewers find the video. Captioning also increases viewer engagement, including more video views and upticks in total time watched.

“One Google partner reported a four percent increase in traffic and watch time on YouTube,” said Brad Ellis, a YouTube product manager at Google. Ellis also suggested that making videos accessible in more languages could lead to further traffic increases.

Google is working on additional enhancements:

  • Making captions more accessible on mobile devices, overcoming the main challenge of positioning captions so they don’t obstruct the video on small screens.
  • Providing caption compatibility across different operating systems, applications and mobile web browsers.

Onix is also committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities and helping organizations create accessible web content. Its automated software Equidox makes PDF to HTML conversions and PDF Accessibility easy. Onix also recently launched PDF Conversion Services, empowering your organization to outsource the cumbersome task of converting inaccessible PDFs into WCAG 2.0 AA-compliant HTML and accessible PDF and EPUB 2 content to the Onix team of experts.


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Tammy Albee

Tammy Albee | Director of Marketing | Equidox Tammy joined Equidox after four years of experience working at the National Federation of the Blind. She firmly maintains that accessibility is about reaching everyone, regardless of ability, and boosting your market share in the process. "Nobody should be barred from accessing information. It's what drives our modern society."