In this blog post, we are going to learn how to write the best YouTube video descriptions.
According to YouTube creator academy, YouTube video descriptions properly optimized for keywords help the audience to find your videos through search easily and rank your videos high on the YouTube search results.
Let’s explore YouTube video descriptions tips and best strategies to optimize videos and maximize the channel traffic.
Wondering how to write good YouTube descriptions?
I put up a list of 19 powerful proven tips for writing best YouTube descriptions. Try to implement as many tips on your channel.
There are two types of YouTube descriptions
1)YouTube channel description – It is the one that you see on the YouTube channel about page. It tells the audience what to expect from your channel.
2) YouTube video descriptions – It is a field that you need to fill every time you upload videos. It helps the audience to find your videos on the search and this is what we are going to dive deep in this post.
Let’s see the video descriptions tips and tricks to tap extra traffic to your channel.
YouTube Video descriptions plays a vital role in bringing traffic to individual videos.
Let’s see the video descriptions tips and tricks to tap extra traffic to your channel.
Table of Contents
1) Use Focus Keyword
Identify the seed or target keywords for your video with the help of the YouTube keyword research process. I use TubeBuddy keyword explorer to identify the focus keyword.
Use the focus keyword in the YouTube video title and tag for better optimization.
Include the focus keyword at the beginning of Youtube video descriptions.
Because only the first 150 characters are included in search results description snippets and increase the chance of video ranking in the SERP.
2) Repeat The Focus Keyword
You need to strongly convey the YouTube search engine that you’re targeting for certain keywords only by naturally sprinkle it a few times in the YouTube video descriptions.
You may ask, is there any formula to find the number of times I may use the focus keyword in YouTube video descriptions?
This is where keyword density comes into the picture.
Keyword Density = (No of times Focus Keyword Used / Total number of words) * 100
Make sure that your keyword density is less than 2%.
3) Use Related Keywords
It’s a good practice to target 2-3 related keywords or synonyms for a focus keyword. You can use TubeBuddy to find related keywords.
Naturally use the related keywords in the YouTube video descriptions.
4) Avoid Tagging And Keyword Stuffing
I’ve seen most YouTubers who deliberately add tags in the YouTube video descriptions and involve in the keyword stuffing.
It is a clear violation of YouTube policies and it comes under misleading representation of metadata.
5) Two Parts of YouTube Video Descriptions
When users click any video on YouTube, they only see the first 250 characters on the video page. It’s the first part of the video description.
In the first part,
- Add CTA (if any)
- Summarize the video shortly
- Make sure that the focus keyword is included at least once
The second part is what they see upon clicking the “Show more” button.
In the second part,
- Include a detailed summary
- Related links
- Add social media links
6) Add Timestamps To Improve SEO
Trust me the time you spend on adding a timestamp is not a waste of time.
Most of them underestimate the power of including timestamps in the YouTube video descriptions. Timestamps add more value if you cover a wide range of topics in your video.
It does take time but adds more value to video optimization.
YouTube recently rolled out a new feature for users to easily navigate on playback control based on the timestamp description.
Moreover, timestamp text is indexed by Google when it lists YouTube videos on the SERP.
Here’s an actual video with a timestamp.
When I search for “link building with google sheets” on my mobile, I’m getting below search results.
You can clearly notice that the keyword is a video keyword. This video gets high CTR with the timestamp feature compared to other videos on the search results that don’t have a timestamp.
7) Add Social Media Links At The End
Adding social media links help viewers to connect or follow you on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.,
But apart from that, it plays no role in video optimization.
So, group all your social media links and add them at the end of YouTube video descriptions.
8) Include Hashtags in YouTube Video Descriptions
YouTube recently added a hashtags feature to tag videos to multiple hashtags to enhance the user search experience.
I suggest using the channel name, channel niche and video niche as three primary hashtags. You can add up to 15 hashtags per video but don’t overdo and avoid hashtag stuffing.
Include hashtags at last in the YouTube video descriptions because it’s no matter where you add it.
YouTube picks the first 3 hashtags and sticks it above the video title.
When viewers click any of the tags, it lists all the videos associated with those tags.
9) Save Tons of Time With YouTube Upload Default
There are few sections in YouTube video descriptions which are not going to change. For e.g Social media link, subscription, disclaimer. You can add it in the Upload default section under settings to stop doing the repetitive work.
If you are making multiple niches videos then you may need to have more than one upload default section. You can use TubeBuddy to create multiple upload default sections.
You can also use the upload default for tag and title as well. Here’s the detailed guide on upload defaults.
To access go to YouTube Studio > Settings > Upload Default.
10) Don't Forget To Include HTTP or HTTPS
Always ensure that you added either http or https before any link to make it clickable. If you don’t use http or https in the YouTube video descriptions, your link will be treated as plain text.
You tend to lose a lot of traffic if you miss this prefix in your call to action URLs.
11) Include Related Playlists Link
Add related playlist increases in the YouTube video descriptions increase the channel watchtime if users click and watch your playlist. You can create popular playlists and add it to the upload default to get extra traffic.
If you don’t have playlists on your channel you must create a few playlists.
12) Exclude Non-advertiser Friendly Keywords
YouTube places ads on your videos based on the metadata information such as title, description, tags and transcript. If you rely on YouTube Partner Program for making money then make sure that you exclude non-advertise friendly keywords.
Anything that is offensive, profane, controversial, se***lly abusive are come under non-advertiser friendly keywords.
13) Extra Optimization After Published Videos
You may target a focus keyword on a video but after you publish the video ,it brings more traffic for other keywords which you may not even have thought of.
When you add those keywords in a natural language on YouTube video descriptions, you can easily tap some extra traffic.
How to find those keywords ?
Go to YouTube Studio > Videos.Select the video that you want to optimize.
Go to Analytics > Reach tab> Traffic sources. You can find the list of keywords that bring traffic to videos. Add those keywords to the description.
14) Use Original Content
According to YouTube, original and unique YouTube video descriptions help to rank videos better on the SERP. So, keep it 100% unique and free from plagiarism except the upload default text.
If your old videos don’t have a unique description you can update those videos and give new life to old videos.
15) Add Disclaimer(if applicable)
If your video has a disclaimer put it at last. If you are making videos like “How to make $5000/day in 30 days” then you must include a disclaimer stating that you’re not responsible for your viewers earnings.
When you add affiliate links on YouTube video descriptions, make sure that you’re adding a disclaimer that you’re making a small commission at no extra cost to viewers as per your affiliate agreement.
16) Give Credits
When you add royalty free music or audio from external websites,make sure that you have given them the credit for the work. You need to add such credits in the YouTube video descriptions.
The same will be applicable for images, content and video clips from someone else’s work.
Here’s one such sample from free license audio website.
If your videos are captioned in different languages then you should add credits for captioned authors.
17) Use Emojis
Recently YouTube started supporting Emojis on the metadata fields such as YouTube video title, descriptions and tags.
Usage of Emojis enhances the reading experience of viewers.
Here are the few use cases of Emoji
You can easily insert emoji from the description box if you have TubeBuddy installed on your browser.
18) Add Subscription Link
There are viewers who read your complete YouTube video descriptions and take action to your calls. So it’s a good practice to add a subscription link somewhere at the footer of your description.
Tip: How to add YouTube subscribe button on videos
Make sure that upon clicking the subscription link viewers should be prompted with a pop up to subscribe to your channel.
Wondering how to make a YouTube video subscription link? It’s simple just add ?sub_confirmation=1 to the end of your channel URL.
There are two types of channel URLs. Custom channel URL and random channel URLs. This works on both!
For e.g if your channel URL is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnPPisCAtxUvW_kSlt9mf9g then add ?sub_confirmation=1 at the end.
So, it should be https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnPPisCAtxUvW_kSlt9mf9g/?sub_confirmation=1
Shorten that using bitly. When viewers click on it, they’ll be prompted with below pop up.
19) Write Lengthy YouTube Video Descriptions
You can write description upto 5000 characters. It comes around 900+ words, almost a blog post.
It’s not necessary that you should always write 5000 characters video description. Keep it at least 400-500 words and make sure that it looks natural. Make sure that description summarizes your video content. That’s suffice for indexing your video.
Frequently Asked Questions
Using http or https in the links prefix make the links clickable.
Go to YouTube Studio > Videos> Click Edit icon to edit YouTube video descriptions.
All links added to the video descriptions are no-follow links. Even Though it is no-follow, you can still get traffic from those links.
YouTube recommends to use not more than 15 hashtags but using 4-7 tags per video is more than enough
Yes you can use affiliate links in descriptions as long as you meet the terms and conditions of the product that you’re promoting.
I hope you learnt how to write the best YouTube video descriptions.
Please do let me know if you have any questions.
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