15 Tips for Writing Effective YouTube Descriptions

22 October 2021
9min
Common
15 Tips for Writing Effective YouTube Descriptions

YouTube is the largest video-based search engine with over 2 billion users across the globe. Typically, YouTube videos come with a piece of information explaining the content of the video. In the world of SEO, it is called metadata or meta description that helps rank your video on YouTube and other search engine sites.

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It’s not only needed for SEO purposes but also hooks your audience. An attention-grabbing description will prompt the visitor to click on the video and thus increase your viewership. Moreover, you can use the same text for video sharing on multiple platforms. Here we’ve curated an easy-to-follow guide creating a killer YouTube video description:

What is a Description on YouTube?

A video description is an SEO-based text that explains the content and context of your video to the viewers and the YouTube algorithm. These may be of two types:

YouTube Channel Description

Your YouTube Channel Description helps convey the genre of your YouTube channel, what topics you’ll be covering, your goals, and the need for creating the channel. To lure your audience, you might also highlight the benefits they may receive.

The main goal of writing a channel description is to convert a first-time clicker into a long-term subscriber.

YouTube Video Description

YouTube video descriptions are present below the video port and describe the content of the video.

They also help increase the chances of your video getting found by someone surfing a particular topic. You may also add relevant links to make it more informative or use them as click-baits.

6 Key Components of YouTube Channel Descriptions

Here’s an overview of what YouTube channel descriptions should look like:

1. Introduction

Tell your viewer what you talk about on your channel and what they will get by subscribing to you. Make sure you describe the key benefits in a concise, informative, and catchy manner.

2. Message Tone

When writing your channel’s description, consider how you will describe it to a friend, and then write a draft. Keep your tone friendly, conversational, and casual.

When viewers click on your “About” page, they want to learn more about you and your content, not read complex paragraphs stuffed with keywords.

3. Content-Length

Avoid writing lengthy paragraphs with a heavy load of information. Your viewers aren’t here to read an entire book on your niche. Keep the description short, compelling, and focused to drive traffic to your videos.

Oversimplifying or overcomplicating will take you nowhere when creating effective YouTube descriptions.

4. Personality

It’s easy to write wordy content for your channel description, but it may not attract and engage the audience. Personalize the same information to match your channel’s USP to concur with your specific audience.

A snappy description may engage your visitors, but not for long. So write keeping your audience in mind as it will help you set the tone and content of the description.

5. Helpful Resources

Include links to your website, your digital store, social media profiles, and other relevant resources. You may even link your channel trailer or your introductory content in your channel description.

6. Strong Call-to-Action

Figure out what step you want your reader to take next. Guide them by asking them to subscribe and turn on notifications, include links to your store, or direct them towards your best video.

The Best Tips to Writing Effective YouTube Descriptions

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Here, we share the top 15 tips you must remember when writing YouTube descriptions:

Explain What Your Video is About

Your YouTube video description is one of the main ways YouTube figures out the topic of your video. Make sure you add links, additional resources, and other playlists to explain the content and aim of your YouTube video. In addition, you must write easy-to-read content.

Explaining your YouTube video and adding keywords to it doesn’t simply boost your SEO rankings, but it also makes your video more accessible for people who are hard-of-hearing or deaf. For this reason, you must add closed captions to your video.

When writing a YouTube description, be explanatory yet concise. Put external links in your video description to build your credibility in the niche. YouTube provides you with 5,000 characters, so make sure you utilize it appropriately. A good idea is to write key points from your YouTube video or copy the transcription in the description box.

Grab Your Viewers’ Attention within The First 200 Characters

Writing a catchy description is vital as it helps hook the viewers. Since our attention span is relatively short, engaging the audience within the first 200 characters is essential. Moreover, only these 200 characters appear in the search results.

It is unlikely the visitor will click the see more button and read the entire content unless very engaging. Therefore, you should include the essential information in these first few lines; typically, it describes the content of your video.

Make It SEO Optimized

Choosing the right keywords is necessary for your YouTube channel, as well as video descriptions. Keywords aid YouTube’s algorithm in understanding, categorizing, and promoting your content. Thus, make sure you choose specific keywords.

In addition, you should add the primary keyword in the first line to help improve SEO ranking.

Use Tools to Find Right Keywords

Part of adding keywords to your YouTube video description is conducting research. It helps you pinpoint the right keywords that match your video. Plus, keywords assist viewers in finding your videos and channels quickly.

An excellent way to conduct keywords research is by using innovative tools like Google Ads, Google Trends, or Moz.

This way, you can identify whether your selected keyword is trending, if the keyword has a high search volume and other essential information.

Repeat The Ideal Keywords

It’s no secret: keywords are essential for SEO, as well as in YouTube video descriptions. No matter whether you’re writing a video description for an existing video or finding the best keywords for your channel, consider using Google’s keyword planner tool.

Once you identify the top keywords, use them throughout your video description to make it searchable.

Apart from that, add secondary keywords to your descriptions and channel. Complementary keywords are additional keywords and resemble your targeted keywords. For instance, if your main keyword is ‘eco-friendly,’ your complementary keywords may be ‘green,’ ‘zero waste,’ and more.

Write It for Google

In most cases, people find YouTube videos through Google searches rather than through YouTube. To maximize your video’s ranking, consider combining YouTube keyword research with Google search trends.

In addition, you can quickly identify the potential of a specific keyword by searching it on Google search results. If YouTube videos appear on the top of the search results page, add the keyword to your YouTube video description.

Include a Catchy CTA

YouTube descriptions offer you the perfect opportunity to ask your viewers to continue engaging with your content. YouTubers may even add other resources to help readers learn more about a specific topic.

For instance, if you create a YouTube video on ‘How to add Filters on Instagram’ and have a blog on ‘How to Market on Instagram,’ you may link your article in the description. Most viewers would be grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the topic by reading the blog.

On the flip side, you may ask your viewers to subscribe, share your videos with your friends and family, and turn on notifications. These are all incredible call-to-actions to encourage your viewers to take action.

In addition, you must format your description to add essential information in the beginning. Thus, to ensure your viewers see your CTA, keep it within the first 200 characters.

Personalize Your Content

When writing YouTube video descriptions, keep in mind, you’re not only writing for YouTube’s algorithm. Instead, you should personalize your video descriptions to show off your brand’s tone and personality.

Make sure your YouTube description isn’t dull; rather, it should be compelling and informative. Your video will likely get penalized if you stuff the description with keywords.

Use language that’s easy for your viewers to understand. An authentic and personalized brand voice will ensure user engagement.

Include Hashtags

In addition to keywords, hashtags help viewers find your video in search results. Your hashtags will appear above your video’s title, and you can add them anywhere in your video description. However, use them minimally to avoid turning off your audience.

You can use hashtags based on your keywords and current trends. When using hashtags within the paragraph, make sure you write them in the title case for improved visibility. It will also gain your viewers’ attention and inform them of the subject topic in minimum words.

Match Your Social Voice

To create a killer YouTube video description, you need to take your social media voice into account as well. Bland and boring descriptions won’t hook your audience and drive new traffic to your channel.

Instead, personify the content and writing style to create outstanding video descriptions. If you have similar videos, you may create templates to maintain consistency and solidify your brand image.

For instance, you can write ‘how-to’ video descriptions in a similar fashion:

  • two sentences describing the video
  • call-to-action
  • links to products/services
  • additional social media links

Consider creating description templates to make it easier for you to write descriptions.

Offer Value

Some users read your YouTube video descriptions to determine what benefit they’ll receive from watching the video.

For this reason, you must always add a value proposition within the description. Ask yourself: how will my viewer benefit from watching your video? Why should they subscribe to my channel? And so on.

Make fantastic videos matched descriptions that offer value. In case you reference other sources, make sure you add links to them.

Add Links in Your YouTube Description

Adding relevant links at the end of your YouTube video description encourages the viewers to take action. You can put in links to your website, social media profiles, or relevant resources. Adding links at the bottom of your YouTube description is the best way to avoid being salesy.

Linking is essential if you want to monetize your YouTube videos via affiliate links or want to sell high-quality digital products through your store.

Avoid Making Your Titles Clickbait-y

If you misrepresent or exaggerate your videos, your viewers will stop watching them. It can damage your search rankings, reputation, and brand.

Avoid adding irrelevant keywords and writing clickbait-y video titles. While such tactics help you rank high, it’s only a matter of time before YouTube’s algorithm catches you.

Organize Your Video with Timestamps

Humans and algorithms alike enjoy videos containing timestamps. Timestamps are similar to the table of contents and help viewers navigate your content and skip to various video parts.

If your video is longer or covers various topics, you may add timestamps to make it easy for viewers to skip parts that don’t interest them.

Using timestamps makes your video user-friendly and helps boost watch times and video rankings. Plus, they are indexed for Google searches on mobile. Add keywords to describe your timestamps to help your video get surfaced in Google searches.

Test Descriptions Across Multiple Devices

According to YouTube stats, 70% of the total watch time is from mobile devices. Thus, when writing YouTube descriptions, make sure they are easy to read on tablets and smartphones.

At the same time, YouTube viewership statistics reveal that 34.4% of views were from TV. So, make sure your description gets its message across on TV screens.

Apart from that, see how descriptions appear on watch pages and search results.

Avoid These Mistakes

Luckily, YouTube offers** a clear set of rules** on what you should avoid when writing a YouTube video description:

  • Avoid using special characters like <> since YouTube doesn’t want creators to add HTML codes in the video description
  • Copyright infringement that can cause a stroke or a channel ban
  • Hashtags that go against the YouTube Community Guidelines
  • Anything that violates YouTube’s Community Guidelines

Why Is Writing Your YouTube Description Important?

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Your YouTube description alongside your video title and tags help viewers understand your video content. The purpose of your YouTube description is to entice users to click on your video, watch it, and subscribe to your channel.

Typically, YouTube descriptions help you achieve the following:

Captures a Viewer’s Attention

If a viewer doesn’t find your thumbnail enticing enough, they may read your description and find it intriguing. It encourages them to click on your video.

Introduces Your Video

Your YouTube video description provides you the perfect opportunity to add a detailed explanation about your video. This way, you can encourage first-timer viewers to check out your video and channel.

Becomes a Wealthy Source of Information

Apart from describing your content, you can use the description box to add links to items or services mentioned in the video.

For instance, if you get sponsored or want to share a third-party product/service, you can include their link in your video description.

In addition to this, you can add links to your social media channels and blogs.

Builds Brand Repute

You may engage with your viewers in the comment section, other social media platforms, or email. A great way to encourage them to reach out to you is by adding information and links in the description.

Drives Traffic Throughout The Sales Funnel

Include a link to your online shop, website, landing page, or third-party sites to encourage your users to visit other relevant content.

In fact, you can promote your blog, service, or blog by adding them to your video description.

Tips to Keep in Mind when Writing YouTube Video Titles

Here are the top, easy tips to remember when writing YouTube video titles:

  • Capitalize the first letter of each word
  • Include three leading hashtags at the end of your YouTube video description
  • Make sure your title is up to 70 characters or less
  • Sprinkle hashtags within your video description
  • Use your primary keyword at the beginning
  • Use a headline analyzer tool to analyze your final title
  • Add numbers and symbols to draw the attention of a viewer
  • Don’t forget to include a CTA

What are The Steps to Adding a Description to Your YouTube Channel?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to adding a description to YouTube channel:

  1. Visit YouTube.com
  2. Sign in to your YouTube account
  3. Click on your thumb image located at the top right corner
  4. Select the Creator Studio button
  5. Click on ‘View Channel’
  6. Venture on the ‘About’ section present on your YouTube channel
  7. Choose ‘Add Channel Description’
  8. Tell your users what content you add to your channel
  9. Once you’ve written a killer description, click on ‘done.’
  10. Select ‘view as public’ to test how your description appears

Use Socialays Up Your YouTube Game

Use Socialays to attract new viewers while maintaining the old ones on your YouTube channel. Here’s how Socialays is a helpful tool for you and your viewers:

  • The tool analyzes your content and categorizes them into nine emotions likes sadness, happiness, and much more
  • Detects comments including ad content, your preferences, or questions
  • Get notified when your page receives hate or profanities
  • Engage with your viewers by getting notified whenever someone posts a comment

Bottom Line

Create a fantastic YouTube video description by writing one that’s short, concise, and interesting. Make sure you add relevant keywords, give credit where it is due, and add links to other resources.

If your video tackles various topics, you may even include timestamps. Create consistent video descriptions by creating your video template.

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