4 Hacks To Write An Awesome YouTube Description

YouTube video descriptions are extremely important as they provide a detailed overview of what the video has to offer. In addition, YouTube descriptions have a significant SEO value. The text within the video description box is indexed by search engines and is used to rank the video in search results. Thus, YouTube description is an essential video marketing strategy as it allows YouTube to determine if your videos rank in search or related videos.

Below are four useful hacks to write an effective YouTube description:

1. Pay special attention to the first three lines of the description

Pay special attention to the first two to three lines of your description for two reasons. A) The first two lines of your description are displayed beside the video in search and social media and B) YouTube displays the first three lines of the description beneath your video and above the “show more” tab. Thus, the introductory lines have the power to influence viewers’ decision to watch a video.

The difference is shown in the images below.

Search results

Search results

Video landing page

Video landing page

Useful tips:

  • Choose if you want your description to be informational, navigational or transactional. Informational descriptions provide vital information to viewers. For instance, keywords such as  “how to”, “History of”, “learn how” or “what is/are” are used in informational descriptions. Navigational descriptions have a prominent focus on a URL. These descriptions are usually meant to direct viewers to another page. Transactional descriptions are usually action-related. Keywords such as “Subscribe now”, “Buy here” or “Sign up now” are predominantly used. Choose an appropriate description type that best suits your video content.
  • Include important information in the beginning of the description. Especially since the YouTube description box displays only the first three lines up front.
  • Stuff the main keywords in the beginning of the description.
  • Include other relevant keywords that viewers may use to find content similar to yours.
  • Write a compelling introduction. The first two lines of your description should compel viewers to click on your video in search results. Once on your video landing page, viewers must be compelled to read more of your description.
  • Use strong call-to-action phrases to get viewers to subscribe to your channel. Like the below video for example.

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2. Include HTML links to your website and social media accounts

Links in your description box are clickable on both desktop and mobile devices. Links help with lead generation by directing viewers to external websites, social media accounts and several e-commerce affiliate links. Thus, viewers can easily explore your products, services and other important content.

Useful Tips:

  • Use a full URL to make the link clickable.
  • Don’t spam your description box with links. Include links that are useful to the viewers.
  • Include Amazon affiliate links to products used in the video.
  • Provide links to your website, social media accounts and subscription page.
  • Include links to your collab partner’s YouTube channel and social media accounts if you make a collaborative video.
  • Follow a clear and well-spaced structure if you are using many links.

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3. Provide a detailed description

An optimized YouTube description allows search engines to rank your video in Google or Yahoo search results. This is because search engines can only crawl text and not video. YouTube allows a limit of 5000 characters for your description box.  Therefore, write a detailed description with important keywords related to your video content to optimise video search results.

Useful tips:

  • Write a brief summary of your video. Pack your video summary with keywords, related tags and target phrases.
  • Make your description at least 250-300 words long, to show Google that you have substantial content.
  • Place the focus keywords in the beginning of the description.
  • Transcribe your video in the description box. Thus, search engines will have more content to rank your video in the search results.

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4. Create templates with pre-written content in Upload Defaults

You don’t have to type the entire copy for your description box each time you upload a video. You can create upload defaults to automatically fill your description box with pre-written content. You can use Creator Studio to input template description box, title and tags. Thus, you will be able to maintain consistent branding in every description. 

Useful tips:

  • Create a template with links and other copy that you will use in every video upload to save time.
  • Don’t use the same description for every video. For instance, your video summary should be different for every upload. You can keep the rest of the elements such as links to website and social media accounts consistent for all descriptions.

Video descriptions play an integral role to engage viewers and boost search rankings. A compelling description provides viewers with a reason to watch a video. Therefore, give utmost thought and care while writing your video description. Follow the above useful hacks to write effective YouTube descriptions.

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Manasa Boggaram is a writer and has a strong passion for music, positive news and constructive journalism. When she is not researching story ideas or writing blog posts, she spends her time reading books, discovering new music and eating lots of street food.

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