Skip to Content

Video Q & A: Should My Online Video Have Captions?

Question: Should my online video have captions?


Now more than ever, it’s important to think about the usability or view-ability of your video when an audience can’t hear it.

Consider Your Audience

As we’ve discussed many times in past blog entries here on PEG Insider, video is being viewed more than ever on social media and websites. Many of these apps and sites have autoplay functionality built in, and while the video may play by default, a separate click is required to play the audio along with the piece. Now, think about your own viewing habits. Often times when you’re on social media, you’re at work, out in public, sitting on the couch with friends or family. In those cases, how many times to do you disrupt what is going on by making that extra click to play the audio? Probably not very often. Or maybe it is not about your habit, but about the habits of someone with a hearing impairment or someone who learns better by reading. Regardless of the reason, what matters is that captioning and on-screen bullet points or text are now more important than ever to ensure that the maximum number of viewers get your message and know what is happening in your video. After all, what’s the point of a video if the viewer can’t tell what is happening in it?

Improve Your SEO

Annotating videos on sites like YouTube also comes with some hidden benefits as well, in the way of improving your SEO. Google now has the ability to take those captions that are entered in and factor them in to your SEO in a similar way to how they rank your site based on the text written on your website or blog posts. Adding captions through the sites, like Facebook, YouTube, etc. has very little downside. So it's a no-brainer to go through the process of doing when uploading your video.

Multiple Versions for Multiple Uses

On-screen graphic callouts, however, can at times feel unnecessary on a piece that has will be being shown in a situation where the audio is guaranteed. In these case, it often makes sense to create two different versions of the same video. One, cleaner version to be played in presentations, at a big event, etc. and another version with the on-screen callouts to be uploaded to social media or for other uses where the viewer might be experiencing the piece without the audio turned on. These are always important things to think about in the beginning of a project, so that pieces can be created with each end-usage in mind. This helps streamline the creation process, plus helps define accurate deliverables and budgets from the beginning of a project.

Contact us to let our team guide you through this process, and make sure your next video project and effective one everywhere it’s viewed.  

Return to Blog