Audio Transcription: An Underutilized SEO Trick For Content Producers

audio-transcription

Work Smarter Not Harder

Digital marketing is becoming more and more competitive every day. That’s why when it comes to SEO you can’t afford to miss any best practices.

Podcasts, videos, webinars… all some of the most engaging pieces of modern media, yet they all fall into the same SEO trap. As pointed out by Moz, if google can’t index your file, then it is essentially invisible to searchers.

This is a huge problem if your business relies on search engine marketing to generate traffic. After all, if you’re putting in the time to create that awesome content, doesn’t it deserve to get seen?

What’s the solution?

One of the most underutilized SEO tactics (that is just starting to catch on with the larger marketers) for these types of non-text media, is audio transcription.

  • Getting your podcast/video transcribed essentially takes that engaging media and makes sure that it will get the same SEO benefit as say a blog post. Essentially, it makes sure that all of your “SEO bases” are covered.
  • Transcriptions increase viewer engagement. Studies have shown that video transcriptions can increase the completion rate of videos significantly.

Think of audio transcription as a helpful SEO tactic that will help you get ahead of the competition — if they aren’t posting text transcriptions they are missing out on all of these benefits.

 Alternative Benefits

Ironically, there are many benefits to transcribing your audio or video content beyond SEO.

Let’s take a look:

  1. User Experience – Often, viewers won’t be able to listen to a video (maybe they’re at work, or without headphones in a library) so that entire piece of content will be unavailable without a text version.
  2. Searching – From a user’s point of view, text content is easily searchable using a browser’s built-in search function… whereas this is impossible with a podcast episode. Want to verify a specific spelling or detail from the video, just find that segment in the transcription — voila!

Tips And Tricks

Keep in mind there are a few areas where you can improve further on the benefits of audio transcription. First, make sure that the content is formatted well. Often, websites will hide (partially) the transcript in a small boxed area that can be expanded. This makes it so that the text is available but not taking up the entire page. A few minutes of video can turn into multiple pages of text, so this option offers a more user-friendly way to display both types of content.

If you are hosting your videos on Youtube, you can take this even further. Google utilizes the annotations in Youtube videos for SEO. That means keywords, content, and branded text or links that are placed onto videos affects rankings. Utilized correctly, there is a lot of room for improvement for video and overall SEO.

Audio transcription provides a very straightforward way to improve SEO, the user-experience, and the overall value of your content. Having multiple forms of the same content on your site ensures that your viewers can see the content how they want. This is an enormous piece of the digital marketing landscape that is only going to become more important in coming years. Stay ahead of the curve and keep your viewers happy with audio transcriptions.

Sorting, Advanced Search and More

We released a couple of changes to the UI that we had been working on recently and added a sidebar to the Call Record history page. This sidebar adds a table sorting, batch operations and advanced search functionality. Here’s an overview of these.

Sidebar:

The sidebar looks like the following on the ‘Call Record History’ page.

It has four widgets as of now: space usage monitor, batch operations sort table and advanced search. The space usage shows a graphical representation of the storage space used for your account, as the name suggests.

Batch Operations:

This widget allows you to select multiple call records and do things with them. Right now you can either share them with others or delete all the selected ones. We will add more options to this widget as we go along.

Sorting:

The call records view can be changed using this widget. Four options are available as of now: newest first, oldest first, ascending/descending order of duration and ascending/descending order of file sizes. Once you have sorted them you can use apply some batch file operations on them.

Advanced Search:

Advanced search can be used to filter the call records which match a specific criteria. The four filters available now are duration, filesize, recorded by and uploaded from. So if you want to list all the call records uploaded from a specific machine, then select the uploaded from filter and apply the name of the computer in the pattern part. That will list all the records uploaded from a specific machine. Similarly for recorded by. The patterns in the duration and filesize case can be something like ‘>10 MB’ or ’10 < seconds’ etc.

Once the results are displayed, you can apply either use batch operations or sort them using the sorting widget.

To illustrate the use of these widgets, suppose you want to list all the call records made to a certain person which are greater than 5 mins, oldest first. To do this, you first use simple search to list all the records with that persons name, then apply the the duration filter using the advanced search widget and finally apply the sort with oldest. The resulting page will have all files listed. Now if you want to share all of these at one shot, use the batch operations to select all of them and then select “Share All Selected” from the dropdown. Fill in the email address and call record will be shared!

New Storage Plans:

We also added four new plans: the 8 GB @ $5 p/m, 18 GB @ $10 pm and their yearly counterparts. The payment UI has also been changed and now you can check your status once you have subscribed to it, or cancel the subscription if you want to.

Transcription Rates:

The rates of our transcription service has also been changed to 50 cents per minutes instead of the per line. So for a call record of half an hour, the transcript price will be $15.

What’s Next:

As you would notice, the records table has become a bit cramped up because of the sidebar addition. So in the next iteration we are planning to change that. We are also planning to add a mail notification setting so that you can control how you receive mails from CG CRIMS. Watch this space for more.

Hope these changes are useful. Please do send us your feedback on it.

Recording And More..

So what after the recording. You are obviously recording the call with some purpose. Our web service, CRIMS which stands for Call Recording Indexing and Management, provides you with several options once you are done with the recording. I’ll briefly go over the things you can do with CRIMS in this article.

Registering:

You need to register for our web service to use it. Registration is free and straightforward. Provide your mail id to us and we’ll send you a link. Click on the link and we’ll ask you to fill out a form. And you are done.

Several of our users have reported that they are not getting the mails at all. It happens because a lot of mail clients (especially Hotmail) treats such mails as spam. Hence check your spam folder if you do not get the mail. You can always request for a new mail from the register page as well.

Setting up the Account:

This web service works with our Skype call recorder only. So before you can do anything with it, you need to associate and verify your client installation. If you haven’t already installed the client, then its the right time to do so. Get it from here.

On your computer, right click on the Call Graph task bar icon, choose ‘Configuration’, go to the ‘Association’ page and enter your username and password that you used to create your account. Click on the ‘Associate’ button. You should get a notification saying that your machine has been added and it needs to be approved before calls can be uploaded. The approval has to be done from the Machines page.

If you want all your calls records to be automatically uploaded to your account then make sure that ‘Automatically upload a copy to my account’ option on the associations page. The upload happens independently of call recording in the background. So you can carry on with your work and record more calls if you want.

Uploading:

Now that your account is set up, you can start uploading calls. Start a call with ‘echo123’ and record it. If you have opted to upload calls manually, open the Call Graph history dialog (right click on the CG Task bar icon and choose ‘History’) and click on the upload link below the file name. Otherwise the upload starts as soon as the call recording completes.

The client will notify you when the upload finishes. After that login to your account. You should see something like this.

Call Recording History:

This is your call record history page. This is the first page you are shown when you log in to your account and is the starting point if you want to do something with your record. There are two parts to this page: the left hand menu and the history table. The menu lists down the other pages that you can go to. We’ll get to that in a short while.

In the call record history there are two main parts: the details column and the management column. The details column displays the details of your call record. When was it recorded, by whom, when was it uploaded, was it shared with someone and so on.  It also has an embedded flash player. Click on the play button and you should be able to listen to your record.

The management column gives you a set of actions that you can do with your record. Few of them are self explanatory. You can rename the file, edit the tags or delete it in the same way you can do in the client. You can also download it back if you want. Helpful if you are recording calls from several machines.

Note that when you delete the file its completely removed for our system. There is no way to get it back. You can do a ‘reupload’ if you still have it in your client though.

As with the client, this page also displays your call records in reverse chronological order, the latest one first.

Sharing:

If you want to share it with someone, maybe the person you recorded the call with, click on the share link. It will ask you for the email id and instructions of how to access the record will be sent to your contact.

Once you share a record, a new field will start appearing your your details column stating with whom was the record shared with. There will be a new option in the management column as well to unshare the call record. If you mistakenly shared your record, click on unshare and all the shares will be revoked.

Note that the contact you have shared your call with can only play it back. Since you are the owner of this record, only you have can delete, share, transcribe etc.

Transcribe:

If you want a text transcript for your call then click on the transcribe link. We provide transcripts for calls which pass our quality checks. The parameters for quality check include voice quality, your language setting (must be American English for now) and duration (> 5 minutes).

Once the screening is passed you will be notified of it. You can click on the transcribe link and place an order for the transcript from there.

As we go along we will add support for many more languages and accents. This post has a some details of our transcription process if you are interested to know more.

Search:

One of the most interesting feature of our web service is Search. We can do contextual searches. When your call records are being screened we generate a list of keywords which can be used to identify your call record. These keywords added to the tag list of your call record. So now you can actually search for a call with a word which might have occurred during the call itself.

A search bar is present at the top of the history page. Type in your search term and press enter. It should take you to a the ‘Search Results’ page where all records matching your search terms will be listed.

As with the client, we also add the your contact’s name by default to the tag list. So if you want to list all the call records with a particular contact of yours, just search for it and it will display the timeline.

The search is also very basic currently since we lack good language and grammar databases. But as we keep on improving the system, it should start getting more and more useful.

What Else:

You can add more machines to your account if you want from the machines page. As many as you want!

You can also mail us directly from the support page if you want to ask us something.

You can also change your password, or your language setting or delete your account from the settings page. if you click on delete, we delete all the records and personal data you have provided us with. We retain nothing!

Note that if you do not want your call records to be screened then you can set your language setting to ‘Other’.

What’s Next:

As you would have noticed, the UI is very simple and basic. Very Web 1.0’ish. But we are working on a major upgrade to it and things will be much better soon. So keep tuned.

If you haven’t signed up already then please do it now. Click here. We are offering all these services for free in the beta phase. So give it a try and let us know what you think of it!

Call Graph Web Service Introduction

The Call Graph web service is now open for everyone. Here’s a short introduction.

The purpose: it gives you storage, sharing, search and transcription services for your Skype calls recorded with our Call Graph Skype call recorder. Here’s how it works. You first sign up for the service, then download our Skype call recording client, associate the client with the your account on CRIMS and magically all your Skype calls will start appearing on the site. You can do various things with it after that, the most useful being search and generate transcripts.

The search is done through our keyword mining technology. We process the call record and generate a list of keywords for the call. The call is then indexed with these keywords. So if you used the word “Call Graph” several times during a call then both call and graph would become a keywords for it. Few months down the line if you want to locate this particular call, you just search for graph and you’ll get it back.

The transcripts are a bit more tricky thing though. The first pass is through a Automatic Speech Recognition engine. It processes the call and generates an output. Then we manually proof read the transcripts and correct all the errors. Right now the manual effort required is very high but we are hoping that as we improve the system we will be able to gradually reduce this manual effort.

Its important to note that we do try and protect the confidentiality of the call records. Even though its being heard by a person, we ensure that a single person does not go through the whole call. We use various methods to ensure that. Also, till you order the transcripts the call record is machine processed. So you have a control on which call records can be heard and which one’s cannot be.

Apart from these, you can also choose to just archive your call records and keep them for posterity. Or share them with anyone else without having to attach in your mail or upload it to some file sharing website.

We provide these services for free for the time being. Read up on our FAQ to know more. So please sign up and let us know what you think of it.