YouTube is the largest video sharing platform in the world and has over 2 billion monthly users. This is probably why so many brands, marketers, influencers, and individual creators are flocking to the platform.
Some use it as a marketing platform and to establish themselves as industry experts. Others simply want to create entertaining content and hope that it goes viral and they rise to fame.
No matter what you use the platform for, if you’re there, you want more views on your videos. That’s the whole point of creating content. And, that is why it is necessary to optimise your YouTube descriptions, titles, and other elements to rank higher for your targeted keywords.
This post specifically focuses on optimising video descriptions to rank for relevant search queries and get more views on your videos.
Here are the ten best ways to improve your YouTube video descriptions.
How to Write the Best YouTube Video Descriptions:
1. Use Long-Tail Keywords
Your YouTube video descriptions, if properly optimised for keywords, can help viewers find your videos. Using relevant keywords in your video descriptions is important as it directs the right audience to your videos. It’s not just the title where keywords should be added, but all other elements, including descriptions.
And, as users mostly search in natural, conversational language, it makes sense for you to include long-tail keywords and write descriptions in a similar language.
Here are some tips to help you optimise your video descriptions with keywords:
- Always use your primary keyword in the first sentence, as that is what’s visible at first glance.
- Use keywords as naturally as possible and write your descriptions in a conversational language, the way a user will search for similar content.
- You can use Google Trends and the Keyword Planner to search for popular keywords that you can target.
- Maintain proper keyword density, but don’t overdo it.
2. Make it Relevant
Your video descriptions should be totally on point when it comes to explaining what the video is about. A lot of times, viewers read the first line of description to decide whether the video is even relevant to them or not. Therefore, it is important to provide a crisp description of the video content in the first line itself.
Also, don’t crowd your video description with irrelevant info just to fill the space. If you’re adding any links, ensure that they are related to the video and are not totally irrelevant.
You can divide your video descriptions into two parts. The first part is what people see before they click on “show more” and the second is the detailed description.
The first few lines should only be about the video and what it covers. The rest can be used to provide extra information about the video or other helpful resources.
3. Generate Curiosity
As mentioned earlier, it is important to tell your viewers what the video is about in the first few lines. However, you should not disclose everything in the description and leave some things for them to discover when they watch the video.
Generating curiosity in users by alluding to the fact that there’s more to be found actually encourages people to watch your video. If you provide all the points in the description itself, there won’t be a need for them to watch the video.
4. Add CTAs
Just like any other type of content that you create, it is a good practice to include a CTA in your video descriptions as well. If your video is about a product, you can urge people to check out the product on your website and provide a link. If you’re reviewing other brand’s products, you can add their website links along with a strong CTA that encourages clicks.
Even if your videos are not product related, there must be some desired action that you would like your viewers to take. Think of that and add a strong and clear CTA urging people to take that action.
Your CTAs could also ask your viewers to follow you on other platforms. Here’s an example of how marketing guru, Shane Barker, adds links to his other social media handles in video descriptions.
5. Provide Time Stamps for Long Videos
Another useful thing that you can include in your video descriptions is time stamps. This is especially beneficial for long videos that cover many subtopics.
In such cases, your viewers might be interested in watching just a particular section and not the entire video. You can make it easier for them to find what they’re looking for by adding time stamps. This way, viewers can jump right to the section that they want to watch.
Using time stamps can increase the convenience for your viewers and also get you a higher number of views.
6. Promote Your Other Videos
YouTube’s description boxes have more than enough space to write everything about your video and then some. You can utilise this extra space to promote other relevant videos or other relevant resources to your viewers.
A lot of YouTubers use their video descriptions to share the link of other related videos or other useful resources. See this description of a video by Ahrefs, for example. They have added links for other relevant videos, encouraging viewers to check those out as well.
7. Utilise the Character Limit Wisely
YouTube allows you a lot of space to write video descriptions and you should use it to your advantage. Apart from writing about your video, you can add links, urge people to follow you elsewhere, promote other content, and a lot more.
For long videos, you can also create subheadings and provide a brief summary of all topics/sections covered in the video. You can also use this space to share your story and what your brand is all about.
There are so many things that you can add to your video descriptions that it would be a shame to waste the space and not use it. The worst thing that you can do as a creator is not write a video description or just write one or two lines. It just seems lazy and is waste of a good opportunity.
8. Use Hashtags
Just like for any other social media platform, hashtags are a great marketing tool that can be used for YouTube as well. Hashtags help the right people find your videos and also help highlight what your video is about.
Often people click on a hashtag and search for videos that used that hashtag. So, your videos can also be discovered this way if you use relevant hashtags in your descriptions. These should be clickable links that can direct viewers to all videos related to that hashtag.
You can use hashtags in between sentences to highlight key names, events, or other important details that you want to highlight. In Shane’s video description shown in previous sections, he has used hashtags in this manner.
When a viewer clicks on hashtags, they can find other resources related to that hashtag. This is useful both for your viewer but also for you as you can use a hashtag that leads to your other resources.
9. Make it Mobile-Friendly
A lot of people access YouTube using the app on their mobile devices or mobile browsers. The share of YouTube viewers who watch videos on mobile devices is significant enough that you need to care about it.
When you write video descriptions, you should keep mobile users in mind as well. This means that you should not write very long descriptions with huge blocks of unstructured text. People who are reading the description on a mobile device would be immediately discouraged by that.
Write short sentences and structure your descriptions in proper sections to make your description mobile-friendly.
10. Leverage YouTube Analytics
YouTube Analytics provides a lot of useful information that you can use to write better video descriptions. The section on “traffic source,” particularly the search keywords is the one that is most useful for you. There, you can find the top keywords that people use to find and view your videos.
Here’s an example of the kind of information that you can get.
This information not only tells you which keywords are working best for you but also what you can use in your future videos as well. If a particular search keyword is getting a lot of views, then you can create more videos on that topic and use that keyword in your descriptions.
These are some of the best tips to optimise your YouTube video descriptions to get the most out of them. Video descriptions can do a lot more than just share a summary of the video. If leveraged effectively, they can be used to generate leads, get conversions, increase followers on other social media platforms, and a lot more.
Use these tips to write effective YouTube video descriptions and see the results for yourself.