The description box under your video is prime real estate for search engine optimization. You can make your videos appear higher in the search results by packing the description with keywords.
Your video description is also a great source of information for your viewers. Think of it as the weekly newsletter for your audience. The more information you include, the more they’ll be equipped to interact with your channel.
Start with teaser text for the video.
You video description should start with teaser text for the video itself. Oftentimes, viewers will click on a video then immediately head to the description to clarify what the video is about. Your teaser text could be the difference between a viewer watching til the end or clicking on a different channel altogether.
Think of this first paragraph as the description Netflix gives you for every show and movie. When you scroll through your list on Netflix, you can see the art for the show as well as a few sentences about the plot.
If your video is sponsored, then you should say so straight away. Open your description by saying, “This video was sponsored by…” to ensure that your audience knows you were paid to make the video.
Link to your social media accounts.
Next, list your social media handles or link to your other profiles. Encourage viewers to follow you anywhere they can, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
You should also include the handles for other accounts you run. For example, vlogger Gabi Demartino made an interior design Instagram account for her new house and a separate account for her web series. She lists both in her descriptions, which you can see under this video.
Also link to any merch or projects you’re promoting.
Your video description should also include a section for any merch you’re selling, projects you’re working on, etc. Give a brief description of the link before pasting it in. Even something as simple as “Check out my new merch!” can entice viewers to click.
Note that this is not the place to link any products you’re being paid to promote. Because of disclosure guidelines, you have to be careful about letting viewers know when you’re being paid to promote a product or service. In this section of your description, stick to things you’ve personally created, such as a new t-shirt design or an EP.
Include a disclaimer before any affiliate links.
Next, write a disclaimer about affiliate links. If viewers clicking a certain link makes you money, then those viewers should know.
For example, the video descriptions from DIY channel Maqaroon contain affiliate links to products viewers can use to recreate the depicted crafts at home. Therefore, the description ends with the disclaimer, “Contains affiliate links.”
Credit anyone who helped you with the video.
If your videos are a solo effort, then you can skip this part. However, if you’ve had help from a videographer, producer, editor, etc., then you should definitely credit them.
Along with the person’s name, you can also include their social media handles, like many vloggers do. If they have a YouTube channel, be sure to link it as well.
Add a brief explanation of your channel for SEO purposes.
Towards the end of your description, write a brief explanation of your channel that’s packed with keywords. It doesn’t have to be specifically related to the video.
Think of it as the description for a TV series rather than an individual episode. In a few sentences, how would you explain your channel to someone watching it for the first time?
Include an Easter egg to increase viewer engagement.
Finally, somewhere in your description, include an Easter egg to reward fans who read through the description. You can instruct them to comment something specific. Sometimes, vloggers have viewers who read the description leave a confusing comment so that others check the description to find out what’s going on.
In the description of this video, Natalie told her viewers to comment, “Yay I missed Beauty Busters!” if they saw the description.
To improve your video description, point your viewers towards all of the things you’re working on or promoting. Include plenty of keywords to help new viewers find your channel, too.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.