• Andrei Druta

How captions and subtitles help your YouTube channel grow!

Updated: Oct 4, 2020

Professional captions attached to YouTube content aren't usually the first thing content creators think about when uploading their videos. Still, this is a perfect example of when the devil is in the details and it is what we would like to delve into today.

1. Indexing

Just like everything else on the web, YouTube algorithm works solely with text. Unfortunately, we are still not in 2050 when I would assume video content will be readable by code and hence it is the text that you should concentrate on when trying to rank your content or channel higher and make it more discoverable.

This is why, your title, description and captions are the main pillars that teach the search algorithm what your content is all about. Think of it as teaching a robot how to make first steps. YouTube doesn't index auto-generated captions because they aren't precise, but it loves to index written captions, since they add to content richness. Resultantly, next time I go on YouTube and search for Captions and subtitles for Youtube, the algorithm will not only spit out relevant titles and descriptions but also check for captions text, which means that I will be provided not only with basic results to my query but an in-depth and diverse selection of other videos that actually discuss the topic throughout the content itself. More so, the captions rich videos will always come first, if the algorithm decides that your video answers my query in full.

Captions are usually added in form of srt file since it carries time code information of when each sub should be displayed.

2. User engagement

User engagement is extremely important to how your content is ranked within the Youtube platform. The main reason behind this is because the longer your content keeps users glued, the more ads Youtube can post. Apart from this, it means that your content is interesting and worth pushing to a greater audience. Historically, captions and subtitles improve user engagement by over 15%, which greatly adds to the user engagement rating within the Youtube platform.

Another way how you can improve this variable, is by prompting your viewers to answer questions that you add as a voting poll to the top right corner of the player.

3. Translated subtitles

Although this may not come as first thought when thinking of Youtube channel growth, translated subtitles not only include the above-mentioned benefits, but also vastly expand the reach of your content! In other you get to open your content to brand new audience that by default are excluded from the viewership of your content, both by language barriers and Youtube algorithm.

This, in turn, means that translated subtitles localize your content for hundreds of millions of new audience. Results, on the other hand, can be magical! Just like some singers at some point of their career figure out that their home turf is not where they are most praised and loved, your content may just have the same capabilities as at the end of the day...

it is all about opening the floodgates for new traffic.

Just like captions, subtitles are usually added in form of srt file since it carries time code information of when each subtitle should be displayed.

4. Accessibility

This is another important point to take into consideration. Over 15% of Youtube users in the US have hearing problems whilst this can be extrapolated to similar results in other countries. More so, deafness is not the only problem to which captions and subtitles come as a solution because many viewers find themselves in packed and loud places where listening to your content simply becomes impossible.

5. Other benefits

Youtube channel growth or any growth of content for that matter is all about getting noticed. It is the greatest milestone for any content creator, regardless whether the content is incredible or poor as a video shot on first ever camera phone. As I mentioned earlier, online presence is built upon words and since video as a file type is not translated into quantitative/qualitative content by the algorithms, it is words that work towards your discoverability.

Of course, this is where captions and subtitles for YouTube come in extremely handy as you populate the vastness of internet with words that surround your content. In other words, try to post your captions and subtitles on as many platforms as possible, but make sure you don't overdo the copy and pasting as it may quickly devalue all your efforts.

6. Contracting the right people

If you decide to add translated subtitles to your content, make sure you go with the right bunch of people. Problem within the industry is that most companies execute content via translation tools and that always kills the soul of what you communicate to your viewers. Resultantly, it is a make or break decision really, because it will either turn your new audience away from the content you put your heart in, or opposingly, will get them glued to your content and make them subscribe to your channel.

As for the team at SUBTLY.CC, we always strive to deliver the meaning first since we acknowledge that no two languages are similar. More so, each language dictates a different mentality and thinking, which is exactly why precise, word to word translation will never add anything positive to your Youtube channel growth.

We become your voice in another language

Please do not regard to this as self promotion, as we just think it is a very important factor that any Youtube content creator should keep in mind when evaluating next steps towards channel growth.


Words is what makes you discoverable and improving wording around your content creates a so called evergreen traffic funnel towards your Youtube channel. This is why captions and subtitles in their srt form added to your Youtube content are the perfect companion to a SEO and discoverability strategy.

For algorithms, your videos can't speak

Explore translating your content too, because it is exactly how you open it to hundreds of millions of new viewers and potential subscribers.

Do not forget about the benefits that it all adds to accessibility and imagine how much more value this would add to your channel!

Oh and keep in mind that the greater your user retention is, the more YouTube will push your content upwards, in turn saving you time on manual SEO improvement attempts. This really is key, because instead of walking, your content and channel can just take the fast train to the top, all thanks to captions and translated subtitles!

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