Why You Need Closed Captions for Your YouTube Videos

watching youtube with captions

It’s not easy being a YouTube content creator. You have to publish creative or informative videos, make sure you have the proper equipment and props, or that you’re in the proper setting. On top of that, you have to think about your marketing strategies, your SEO, general online visibility, just to make sure your content is where it needs to be. What most YouTube content creators don’t realize, however, is that there is another way to ensure they have quality content and better influence: closed captions. 


What are closed captions?

Though closed captions are usually confused with subtitles, they’re slightly different and more elaborate. Closed captions are the texts you’ll find at the bottom of a video, indicating not only the dialogue and all the speech in the video, but also the background music, background noises, audio cues, and more. This is because closed captions assume that the audience cannot hear the audio, therefore, it also describes all the sounds included in the video footage.

Here are some examples: 

example of closed captions

example of closed captions

Now, that you know exactly what closed captions are, you need to start adding them to your YouTube videos.

Reasons why you need closed captions for your YouTube videos

It increases your views

Online videos with captions or subtitles were watched 91% to completion. According to Facebook, captioned video ads showed increased video view time by 12%. This also applies to YouTube. A study by Tubular Insights also shows that captioned YouTube videos lead to an immediate 13.48% increase in views. The lifetime views also increased by 7.32%. 

It widens your reach

More than 37 million American adults are either deaf or hard of hearing, and around 466 million worldwide have disabling hearing loss. Putting closed captions in your YouTube videos makes it easier for them to access your content, therefore widening your reach. 

You’ll also be able to cater to hearing people who regularly watch videos with closed captions. A study by Ofcom UK suggests that 80% of people in the UK use closed captions for reasons other than hearing loss. Some of their reasons include:

  • It’s easier to follow for those who have English as their second language
  • Closed captions help with the comprehension of the dialogue and clarity of details
  • It helps people with learning disabilities to concentrate

These just prove that closed captions for your YouTube videos will allow you to maximize your reach and even help different kinds of audiences. 

It boosts your SEO

Closed captions can help improve your rankings on search results. With closed captions included in your videos, you’ll have more indexable search terms and better keyword density. All of these things will be able to help you appear on the first page of search results or help your video show up as a suggested video. 

It lets your viewers watch anywhere

With closed captions, viewers can watch your YouTube videos anywhere, no matter the environment. Whether it be at the office on a break, in a library studying, or on a noisy bus or train on their way home, they’ll be able to watch and enjoy your YouTube content even on mute, by simply enabling the closed captions in your videos. 

How to put closed captions on your YouTube videos

YouTube usually has auto-generated subtitles and closed captions, but chances are, these will be inaccurate. For a better result, you can add the closed captions yourself. Transcribe your videos manually and upload the captions to your YouTube videos. Better yet, you can get closed captions from a free transcription service that can generate transcripts quickly to save time, effort, and money. You can even utilize any of the editing services they have so that your transcript is more polished and it contains helpful timestamps.


In conclusion, closed captions for YouTube videos is definitely a must. It can help you publish more accessible videos, help these content perform better, and above all, it can help you become a better YouTube content creator.