How AI-generated Subtitles Can Improve Your Video SEO
Video marketing
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min read

How AI-generated Subtitles Can Improve Your Video SEO

How AI-generated Subtitles Can Improve Your Video SEO
May 29, 2023

Video has become one of the most popular and engaging types of online content. As more businesses leverage video marketing, optimizing videos for search engines. It is known as video SEO and it is crucial for driving organic traffic and reach. One of the most effective video SEO strategies is to add AI-generated subtitles. Subtitles provide additional textual content that helps search engines understand, index, and rank videos more accurately. This article discusses how AI-generated subtitles can significantly improve video SEO by enhancing keyword optimization, discoverability, accessibility, and user experience. It can be achieved when the subtitles are accurate and of high quality. We will also cover best practices for using AI subtitles, potential challenges, and the future of this technology. Overall, AI-generated subtitles are poised to become an indispensable part of any comprehensive video SEO strategy.

Importance of Video SEO

Here are some reasons why video SEO is important:

  • Videos perform well organically- Search engines have become very good at ranking and surfacing high-quality, relevant videos in search results. This makes video SEO critical for visibility.
  • Users prefer visual content- People are increasingly visual learners who consume and engage with video content at higher rates. Video SEO can help target this large audience.
  • Video improves user experience- Videos make for a more engaging and memorable user experience, boosting viewer satisfaction and the likelihood of sharing or referring your content.
  • Video increases time on site- Viewers tend to spend more time watching videos compared to reading text-based content. This can help improve key ranking metrics like time on page and time on site.
  • Videos attract links- High-quality, optimized videos have a better chance of attracting links from other relevant websites, further boosting SEO and organic rankings.
  • Video content is harder to replicate- Original, well-produced video content can be tougher for competitors to copy. This provides some protection against content theft and plagiarism.
  • Video helps boost textual content- Videos can complement and reinforce textual blog posts and web pages, essentially doubling your content. This provides more opportunities for ranking.

SEO Benefits of AI-Generated Subtitles

Main SEO benefits of using AI-generated subtitles for your videos:

  1. Additional content: Subtitles provide extra text content that search engines can index, helping videos rank for relevant keywords. This essentially doubles the amount of content available to search engines.
  1. Improved discoverability: Subtitles make videos more discoverable to search engines and users searching by keyword. The subtitles help search engines understand what the video is about through the accompanying text.
  1. Better relevancy determination: The extra text from subtitles helps search engines better determine the relevancy of a video to certain search queries. It helps in increasing the chances of ranking for those keywords.
  1. Better user experience: Subtitles provide an improved experience for users who prefer to read along while watching or those who are deaf or hard of hearing. This better user experience can impact how search engines rank your video.
  1. Material for transcripts: Many platforms allow adding a machine-generated transcript along with the video. The AI subtitles serve as the starting point, providing even more text for search engines.
  1. Improved optimizations: Subtitles contain keywords that you can optimize to target long-tail, commercial intent, and branded keywords that may not be mentioned in your video's audio.

How AI-Generated Subtitles Enhance Keyword Optimization

The ways that AI-generated subtitles can enhance keyword optimization for videos:

  • Target long-tail keywords: Subtitles contain textual content that can be optimized to target long-tail, niche keywords that may not be mentioned in your video's audio. This can expand your videos' discoverability and relevance for search.
  • Include commercial keywords: Subtitles allow you to insert keywords targeting commercial intent that you were unable to fit naturally into your video's script. Users searching with commercial intent are high-value users.
  • Optimize for branded keywords: By adding your brand name and product names to the subtitles where they are not mentioned in the audio, you can improve rankings for relevant branded keywords.
  • Increase keyword density: With twice the amount of text content from subtitles, you have more space to optimally incorporate relevant keywords and phrases. It should be done without it seeming unnatural in the video's audio alone. This can boost relevancy signals.
  • Add synonyms and related keywords: Subtitles provide a space to include relevant keyword synonyms and related keywords. It expands the pool of search queries your video may match for and rank for.
  • Create variants for localization: If localizing your video for different regions and languages, the subtitles can be optimized with location-specific keywords and variants to target those local markets.
  • Improve keyword clustering: With subtitles, you have the opportunity to cluster relevant keywords and phrases closer together. It helps search engines better determine a video's aboutness and relevancy.

How AI-Generated Subtitles Improve Video Discoverability

Here are the main ways that AI-generated subtitles can improve the discoverability of your video content:

  • Provide additional text content: Simply by having the additional text from subtitles, search engines have more content to index from your video. This gives search engines a more complete understanding of what your video is about.
  • Match more relevant search queries: With the extra text from subtitles, your video has a higher chance of matching relevant keywords, phrases, and queries that users search for. This improves the chances of your video appearing in search results.
  • Help search engines determine relevancy: The subtitles give search engines additional content through which they can determine how relevant your video is to specific search queries. Text is still a better indicator of relevancy than audio alone.
  • Improve understanding of a video's meaning The text from subtitles provides important context that helps search engines more accurately determine what your video is actually about and the main topics it covers. This contextual understanding boosts discoverability.
  • Make video available for more searches: By providing the additional text found in subtitles, your video essentially becomes available to be returned as a relevant result. This is because it would have potential keyword searches and queries on a given topic.

How AI-Generated Subtitles Enhances Accessibility and User Experience?

Here are the main ways that AI-generated subtitles can enhance accessibility and the overall user experience for video viewers:

  • Help the hearing impaired: Subtitles make video content accessible to those who are deaf or have hearing loss by providing a textual representation of the audio. This helps include a wider audience.
  • Aid language learners: Subtitles can help those learning a new language by paired with the audio to reinforce meaning and pronunciation. Language learners often rely on subtitles.
  • Support dyslexic viewers: Viewers with dyslexia may find subtitles easier to read than trying to interpret audio in real time. The static text helps improve comprehension.
  • Accommodate multitaskers: Viewers who are busy multitasking while watching a video, like those on mobile, benefit from having subtitles as an additional resource to reference as needed.
  • Improve comprehension: Many viewers find subtitles useful for improved comprehension, especially for accented or fast-paced speech that is difficult to understand by audio alone.
  • Provide an alternate "audio channel": Subtitles offer viewers an alternative "audio channel" by converting the speech into written text. Some people just prefer to read along with video content.
  • Enhance memorability: Research shows content with both visual and textual representations is better processed and remembered by the human brain. Subtitles may aid memorability.
  • Allow for pausing/rerunning: In cases where parts of the audio need to be re-listened for clarity, subtitles allow viewers to easily pause and rerun specific segments.

Need for accuracy in AI-Generated Subtitles

Here are the reasons why accuracy is crucial for effective AI-generated subtitles:

Search Engine Ranking

Inaccurate or low-quality subtitles can negatively impact how search engines rank your video. Search engines prioritize relevancy, and inaccurate subtitles signal low relevancy.

User experience

Viewers rely on subtitles to understand video content. Inaccurate subtitles can significantly undermine the user experience by confusing or misleading viewers. This impacts virality and shareability.

ADA Compliance

If targeting the hearing impaired, inaccurate subtitles can create accessibility issues and risk non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Regulatory Compliance

In some industries, such as legal, healthcare, and education, inaccurate subtitles can create compliance risks if content needs to be verified and fact-checked.

Brand Reputation

Major inaccuracies in subtitles have the potential to damage a brand's reputation by spreading misinformation through video content. Accuracy is critical to protect brand trust.

Editorial Integrity

For publishers, bloggers, and influencers, inaccurate subtitles undermine editorial integrity and credibility, reducing the value of video content.


Subtitles are meant to enhance comprehension, but inaccurate text can confuse viewers and decrease understanding of the video's message or information.


Inaccurate machine translations in subtitles for globalized videos create issues for non-native speaker audiences. Translation quality strongly impacts user perception.

Best Practices for Using AI-Generated Subtitles in Video SEO

Some best practices for leveraging AI-generated subtitles for video SEO:

  1. Ensure high accuracy - Only use AI subtitle generators that produce highly accurate transcripts. Accuracy should be your top priority over speed.
  1. Review and edit - Thoroughly review all subtitles to catch and correct any inaccuracies before publishing the video. Edit as needed.
  1. Use confidence thresholds - Some tools allow setting a minimum confidence threshold so that only the most accurate transcribed parts are included as subtitles.
  1. Input keywords - If possible, input relevant keywords and key phrases you want to be included in the subtitles to optimize for SEO and search intent.
  1. Create variants - For global markets, generate subtitle variants with location-specific keywords for different regions. Localize subtitles for each target audience.
  1. Improve over time - Consider using AI to continuously improve the accuracy of subtitles over time as the model is exposed to more data.
  1. Implement cognitive checks - Implement checks where humans review and verify a sample of automatically generated subtitles to monitor accuracy over time.
  1. Always provide transcripts - Along with subtitles, provide full machine-generated or human-edited transcripts as search platforms require them.
  1. Utilize linked subtitles - Some platforms support linked subtitles that search engines can crawl separately for maximum SEO benefit.
  1. Use SEO & keyword tools - Analyze the generated subtitles using SEO and keyword research tools to identify any optimization opportunities for your video.
  1. Boost volume & speak slowly - When filming your video, speak slowly and at a slightly increased volume to aid the accuracy of auto-generated subtitles.

Potential Challenges and Considerations

Potential challenges and considerations when using AI-generated subtitles:

Accuracy issues  

As discussed, inaccurate subtitles can negatively impact SEO, user experience, and compliance. Accuracy remains a challenge for most AI tools.

No context

AI lacks the full context needed to accurately interpret certain elements of speech like jokes, sarcasm, and wordplay. Nuance is often lost in the AI-generated subtitles.

Omissions and mistakes  

AI can often omit parts of speech or make other small mistakes that accumulate and reduce overall subtitle accuracy.

Training data bias

If an AI model was trained on biased data, it can replicate and amplify those biases through inaccuracies in the subtitles it generates.

Cost and resources

Producing highly accurate subtitles generally requires human review and editing, which takes additional time, cost, and resources.

Limited customization

The ability to customize and correct for inaccuracies is often limited with most AI subtitle generators. Accuracy improvements are gradual over time.

Technology constraints

Limitations in speech recognition and natural language processing technology continue to impact the accuracy of AI-generated captions and subtitles.

Need for balancing

Balancing the speed, cost, and efficiency benefits of AI with the need for accuracy remains a challenge for many organizations.

Regulatory scrutiny

Some industries facing strict regulatory oversight remain hesitant to fully trust or rely on automatically generated content due to compliance risks.

Lack of standards

Currently, there are no widely accepted standards for measuring or comparing the accuracy and quality of AI-generated subtitles.

Future Trends in AI-Generated Subtitles

Here are some likely future trends for AI-generated subtitles:

  • Improved accuracy - With more training data and continued algorithm advancements, the raw accuracy of AI subtitles will likely continue to improve over time.
  • Contextual understanding - Future AI models will be better able to interpret context, nuance, and emotion in a speech to produce more accurate and comprehensive subtitles.
  • Faster turnaround - As AI capabilities improve, the time taken to automatically generate accurate subtitles for long-form videos will likely decrease significantly.
  • Real-time captioning - We will start to see AI models that can generate subtitles with near real-time accuracy as a video is being recorded or streamed live.
  • Personalized content - Advanced AI may enable the automatic generation of personalized subtitles optimized for different regions, languages, and profiles.
  • Dynamic optimization - AI tools may gain the ability to dynamically optimize subtitles based on various factors like viewer location, search trends, and shared links.
  • Translation integration - AI subtitle generators will increasingly integrate with machine translation models to provide translated subtitles for globalizing video content.
  • Applied AI - Advancements in applied AI, involving narrow AI capabilities for specific tasks, will drive continued improvements in computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing - benefiting AI subtitles.
  • Regulatory conformance - As AI subtitle accuracy improves, regulators in certain industries may become more comfortable relying on automatically generated content that conforms to compliance standards.
  • Consolidation - The AI subtitle generation market is immature and fragmented currently. We may see increased consolidation among providers as technology matures.

ioMoVo’s Tool for Generating AI-Subtitles

ioMoVo offers an AI-based tool for automatically generating highly accurate subtitles for videos with minimal human input. The tool uses an advanced algorithm to achieve high accuracy. Subtitles are generated as soon as a video is uploaded, providing a fast yet accurate transcription.

The tool allows users to optimize subtitles for search by adding relevant keywords, synonyms, and key phrases during generation. Users can also set custom time offsets and minimum confidence thresholds to filter out less accurate auto-generated text and refine subtitles according to their needs.

The subtitles generator supports over 30 languages, allowing users to localize videos for a global audience. Auto-generated subtitles can also be translated into over 100 languages using ioMoVo's neural machine translation models. The high subtitle accuracy helps meet various accessibility and regulatory standards like ADA compliance.


AI-generated subtitles have massive potential to improve the SEO, discoverability, and accessibility of video content when done correctly. However, high levels of accuracy are critical for AI subtitles to truly maximize their benefits for both search ranking and user experience. While challenges remain around accuracy, consistency, and oversight, the future of AI subtitles looks promising as the technology continues to improve. For businesses, the key is leveraging tools that produce accurate, optimized subtitles while also instituting necessary checks and processes to ensure quality. Following best practices and considering potential challenges early on can help set you up for success.  

Ultimately, when properly implemented, AI-generated subtitles can become an indispensable part of a comprehensive video SEO strategy for businesses. It will help enrich video content and amplify its reach and value for years to come. Tools like ioMoVo's affordable yet accurate AI subtitles generator aim to help businesses reap these benefits today by automating much of the subtitling process while still delivering high-quality results. As video continues its rise as a vital marketing medium, the ability to automatically enrich video content with optimized, error-free subtitles could emerge as a key differentiator and growth driver for forward-thinking businesses.

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