Image of a neon sign that symbolizes you should add Transcripts to your videosYouTube SEO

3 Ways to get a YouTube video transcript for SEO

Matt Phelps

If you want to get the best out of your YouTube videos and are serious about your SEO efforts for YouTube, you should consider adding Transcripts to your videos.

I have written a long guide from personal experience what has worked for me and I have been using Transcripts since the beginning of my YouTube channel journey.

Transcripts on YouTube have multiple purposes:

  • For the creator, they make it easier to rank in search and to gain a wider audience.
  • For the viewer they make it possible to watch the video without sound and if they are not a native speaker to understand them more easily.

Let's have a look together at three ways to transcribe a video on YouTube 👇

Copy the Transcript from YouTube directly

The cheapest way to do this, without using a service, is to just copy the automatically generated Transcript from YouTube directly.

This is a bit cumbersome, but it can be done, and we're gonna show you how.

1. Open the video you want to transcribe

Step one - Open your YouTube video

2. Press the "Three Dot" button underneath the video and open Transcript

Step two - Open the transcript by pressing the three dot button

3. Copy the Transcript from YouTube

Step three - Copy the transcript from the editor

4. Paste it onto a Google Doc

Step four - Paste it into google docs

5. Copy and paste time timestamps into YouTube studio

Step five - Copy and past transcript into YouTube studio


  • It's free
  • You can also do this it if the video is not yours


  • It takes a long time
  • You can only do it if YouTube already created an auto transcript for the video or the creator added subtitles themselves


  • This is the solution if you want to transcribe a video that is not yours and you don't want to use any service for it, if you're fine with using a service or it's your own video, you should use one of the methods laid out below 👇

Use a free service to get the Transcript

Some services offer you to get a free transcript, including our own service. We built this because we want you to be able to use Transcripts even if you don't have a budget for it.

They are a great start to upload and edit in YouTube Studio, so that you can combine the speed of a paid transcription with the cost of copying the Transcript from YouTube directly.

Feel free to check out our free Service to get YouTube Transcriptions and our in depth guide on how to add subtitles to your YouTube video.


  • It's free
  • It's faster than copying it from the video
  • It can also be used for videos from other people, as long as they are public or you have the link to them


  • You can only do it if YouTube already created an auto transcript for the video or the creator added subtitles themselves
  • Depending on the Transcription that the video has, it will be with or without punctuation
  • If you just want to look at the Transcription the file formats that come back here are not the most readable, they have been optimized to be uploaded to YouTube


  • You should do this if you want to have a transcript, and you don't want to spend any money on it.
  • If you want to get the best Transcripts for your YouTube SEO efforts you should consider a paid service, we have laid out two options for you below 👇

Use an SEO optimized service to get the YouTube subtitles

To get the best possible Transcripts for your videos, it makes sense to consider a paid service or to go with a Freelancer.

In general there are two types of services, ones that use AI to transcribe your video, the so-called automated transcripts and transcriptions that are being written by actual humans.

Automated Transcripts

This is what YouTube is doing when they add their Auto Transcripts, but as we outlined in another article they don't have the best quality because it's expensive to get really accurate results, and it would be too expensive for YouTube to add the most accurate transcriptions because of the sheer amount of content that is uploaded on a daily basis.

We have build our own service that transcribes videos on YouTube for you that you can check out if you like, but there are also others like, but they are not directly integrated with YouTube.

Our service for example uses your videos tags to make your Transcription more accurate and not butcher keywords that you want to rank for in YouTube search and more.


  • More accurate than YouTube Auto Transcripts
  • Add correct punctuation for easier reading and understanding
  • Faster than Human Transcripts, usually around 2-3 minutes for a 10-minute video
  • Cheaper than Human Transcripts, usually starting around $0.25 per minute of transcribed video


  • They are not free
  • They are not 100% accurate but very close

Human Transcription

This is what companies with a big budget use that don't want any mistakes that might occur during automated Transcription.

This is by far the highest accuracy, but that accuracy comes at a price. Usually this means that you will be paying anything between $1.25 to $5 per minute of transcribed video.

A good service for human transcription is, and they are trusted by a lot of big brands.

Another way to get videos transcribed by humans is to look on a marketplace like Fiverr


  • More accurate than automated transcripts
  • Can transcribe worse audio quality


  • They are more expensive than automated transcripts
  • Slower than automated transcripts and any of the other methods outlined in this article.


You can't really go wrong with either type of transcription service it comes down to:

  • How accurate your subtitles need to be
  • How price sensitive you are
  • How fast you want the result of the captioning

If you want to get cheap, automated transcripts you should give our service a try and if you need that extra 5-10% of accuracy or have bad audio quality you should opt for transcriptions created by humans.

SUMMARY: 3 Ways to add a Transcript to boost your SEO on YouTube

  • You can get a transcript by doing some manual work or using a service that can either be free or paid
  • Adding YouTube subtitles is good for SEO, User Experience and for reaching a wider audience. 👍
  • If you want to save time and money, get our fast, accurate and cheap YouTube transcripts. 🤑
  • If you want to have perfect transcriptions, let a human transcribe your video 💪


Thanks for reading my article on getting YouTube Transcriptions. If you liked it, please share it with someone else it may help =)

If you want to get the full scoop on how I managed to grow my channel, check out my article about how to grow your YouTube channel fast.

Matt Phelps

my channel

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