Internet Legal Compliance Issues
Way With Words Group
To comply with Web Content Accessibility Laws, all non-text content must have equivalent text content.
Video is fast becoming one of the most important content tools to convert web users into clients. If a picture is worth a thousand words and video is 30 pictures per second … well, do the math and you will see why creativity and cameras are fast becoming the savviest marketing tools around. But even so, don’t neglect yet another angle of marketing – transcribing those video clips! Here are three important reasons to transcribe your web site videos:
Provide additional resources to your company, community, clients, and prospective clients. Transcribing web site video and audio content and posting the transcripts will increase your Web presence and accessibility. Increasing your relevant content with transcribed text improves your site by making it easier to find your site through search engines. Written text still trumps video for basic search-engine friendliness as search engines are not able to index the content of a video. So by providing a transcript, search engines can index based on the full context rather than a handful of provided keywords. And good SEO equals increased web site traffic. More traffic equals more clients.
Make yourself even more appealing. While you may have heard that online reading is dead, in all actuality, it’s possibly in a healthier state than it’s ever been. While videos can be catchy or zany or amusing or informative, many people still simply prefer reading an article to watching a video. Often this is for practical reasons: you can’t always watch a video at work or in a public office. Or it might take too long to download. Or some people may not have the right technology to watch and listen online. It’s easy to assume that all web users have top-of-the-line computers, updated software and high-speed internet access, and while this may be true for many of your web visitors, there are still a large percentage of visitors not equipped to view videos.
Even more practically, written content is easier to scan and easier to stop and start and navigate through than video. If you are presenting an instructional video, for example, the need for a transcript increases greatly as a transcript would allow viewers to preview the content, review the content, or even follow along during the presentation.
As the internet becomes increasingly important in our lives and as more information and services become available exclusively on the Web, it becomes more and more imperative to make web sites equally accessible to all. Countless businesses exist primarily in cyberspace. We rely on the Web to make our lives easier – buy travel tickets; grocery shop; pay our bills; communicate with friends – all from the comfort of our personal computer. But unfortunately, many services available today on the internet are not available to all.
Web Content Accessibility laws require web site owners to make their sites accessible to ALL, and this law applies to internet services just as it does to bricks and mortar businesses. By default, video content is not accessible to users with disabilities. To comply with Web Content Accessibility Laws, all non-text content must have equivalent text content. So while some companies are busy constructing wheelchair ramps, virtual companies should be busy transcribing audio into text.
According to the UK’s Disabilities Discrimination Act (1995), you must take reasonable steps to ensure that your web site is accessible to disabled users. The Act actually mentions “access to and use of means of communication” as something that must be provided equally. Similar laws exist in the United States, Australia, Canada, and most other Western territories. Granted, you can’t transcribe everything, like wordless animation for example, but you certainly can transcribe videos that offer special promotions, industry information, or new products and services.