How to Write the Effective YouTube Descriptions

Effective YouTube Descriptions

Good YouTube marketing begins with effective YouTube descriptions. There are two kinds of descriptions that every marketer should know:

  1. A YouTube channel description is the text on your channel’s “About” page. It makes viewers know what to expect from your brand.
  2. A YouTube video description is the text under each of your videos. It makes viewers discover your content and decide whether to see it.

Done right, YouTube descriptions could enhance SEO, subscriptions, view counts, and watch time. They could also support your videos rank in YouTube’s “suggested search” function.

So how do you craft descriptions that work? Here are some of our favorite methods to write effective YouTube descriptions.

20 tips for writing effective YouTube descriptions

1. Use particular keywords

Select 1-2 keywords that accurately describe your content to maximize search traffic to your video. Add them in your video’s description and title to raise its opportunities of ranking in potential viewers’ search outcomes.

The same goes for your channel description. YouTube’s algorithm places lots of importance on the keywords in your About page. Use them wisely.

Unsure what keywords to use? Tools like Google Adverts Keyword Planner and Google Trends might help you get began.

Simply type in the words that greatest describe what your channel or video is about and Google will suggest the closest related keywords.

2. Repeat your keywords

Repetition lets YouTube know a specific term is related to your video or channel. Use your keyword two to 3 times for greatest outcomes. Any more than three, and it could get flagged as keyword stuffing.

3. Find complementary keywords

Add related keywords in your descriptions. This gives viewers with extra info about your content. It additionally helps you rank for these terms in Google and YouTube searches.

youtube video description for Exploring Alternatives

For instance, this Exploring Alternatives description contains complementary keywords like “zero waste,” “reduce garbage,” and “low waste.” Even better, all of them match in the first sentence!

4. Tell viewers what to expect

When you misrepresent your videos, viewers will stop watching them partway through. It will damage your search rankings—as well as your reputation.

Keep away from clickbait titles and irrelevant keywords. They could assist you to rank at first, however, YouTube’s search algorithm will catch on sooner or later.

5. Write like a human

Know your audience! Use language that your audience could understand and relate to. Incorporate keywords in a natural method, not as a list.

Fortunately, you do not have to be a wordsmith to write a good YouTube description. There are a lot of writing resources to assist you to polish your skills.

youtube video description for NPR

NPR Music’s video descriptions are filled with personality. This one is pure poetry!

6. Front-load vital information

Always begin with a compelling summary of your video or channel. Mention your top keywords in the first two to three sentences of your description for greatest outcomes.

Why? For one, YouTube’s algorithm prioritizes the start of your description. Getting the first sentences right is vital for your SEO.

These sentences are additionally the first thing viewers see once they seek for content:

Effective YouTube Descriptions

Lastly, the start is the only part of your description that appears “above the fold” on the watch page. The rest of the text stays hidden unless somebody selects to “show more”:

Effective YouTube Descriptions

7. Add links and metadata below the fold

If a viewer does determine to “show more,” chances are they love your stuff.

Use this chance to promote your brand. Add a short channel description, your social media handles, and related product links.

You could also add metadata here to increase your SEO.

8. Optimize for CTR (click-through-rate)

The goal of clickable descriptions that solve real issues. 70 % of millennial YouTubers use videos to learn new things. Keep this in mind whenever you write copy.

youtube video descriptions for how to tie a tie

For instance, Math Meeting’s video description clearly addresses the viewer’s want. Howcast’s doesn’t, and it is much less compelling.

9. Offer value

Always add an obvious value proposition in your descriptions. Why should somebody subscribe to your channel? How will your video benefit them?

Attempt to reply at least one of these questions in easy terms (bonus if you could do both).

10. Include CTAs

Now you have got the viewer’s attention, use it!

The best calls-to-action are clear, urgent, and show an obvious benefit to the viewer. Done well, they could improve engagement, subscriptions, and more.

Add a call-to-action in both your video and channel description. Make viewers like, comment, subscribe or read more. Add links to relevant playlists to get them watching even more of your content.

Hootsuite youtube video description

Notice how we have included CTAs into our channel description? Hootsuite Plans and Hootsuite Academy both get some love!

11. Save time with default descriptions

Tired of adding social media links into your YouTube video descriptions?

Attempt utilizing default descriptions. This function automatically includes key channel info to every video you add.

12. ..but make your descriptions original

Unique descriptions generate better search outcomes than templates do. Plus, they are a lot more fascinating for your subscribers!

Default descriptions are a fast method to add contact information and basic metadata to your videos. However, be sure the rest of your description is fresh every time.

13. Use timestamps

Our attention spans are shorter than ever. Add timestamps to your descriptions to assist viewers to skip to the content they need.

Timestamps are particularly helpful in terms of long videos, like multi-part tutorials or music albums:

Chilled Cow Youtube video description

14. Use http:// or https://

Your video description is one of the few places YouTube permits you to link out. Use it! Keep in mind to add “http://” to all URLs to make them clickable.

15. Test descriptions on multiple devices

How does your description look on your phone? On your friend’s tablet?

70 % of YouTube views now come from mobile. Making sure your descriptions are visible and compelling on all screens is a must.

Preview your videos on the watch page and in search, utilizing as many devices and browsers as possible. Do any of your keywords get cut off?

Do the same with your channel description, and you are set.

16. Add (a few) hashtags

Hashtags are an easy method to assist viewers to discover your content—as long as you utilize them wisely.

Use up to 15 hashtags, or YouTube could ignore them altogether. As always, be sure they are related to your video. Misleading hashtags will only frustrate viewers.

Jessamyn Stanley Youtube video description

Body positive yogi Jessamyn Stanley provides a few hashtags to every video. It’s an easy method she connects with her community.

17. Copy your competitors

Metadata plays an important role in YouTube’s “Suggested Video” algorithm. Your video is most likely to appear as a suggested video for content that uses related keywords.

Like you write, browse prevalent popular videos on the same topic. Grab a few the top keywords from their descriptions and incorporate them into your own.

18. Add links to useful resources

Pointing to useful sources is an easy method to show your audience you are thinking of them.

Do you include any tools, blog posts, or services in your video? Link to them in your video descriptions so viewers could discover them easily.

YouTube video description of "How to Understand a Black Hole" by Veritasium

Veritasium’s popular black hole video does this really well. By linking to a related article, they provide added value to curious viewers.

19. Credit your sources

Did you utilize someone else’s pictures, music, or footage? List them under the fold in your video description, along with links to their social channels.

Crediting your sources is the fair thing to do. However, it’s also an effective way to build relationships and foster future collaborations.

20. Use Youtube Analytics

Is your description attracting the views you want?

Writing effective YouTube descriptions is as much a science as an art. So do not be afraid to experiment! Tweak your copy, track what occurs, then revise again.

YouTube Analytics is the best way to do that. It could assist you to know which keywords are generating the most traffic. It additionally permits you to discover any keywords you may have missed.

Examples of great YouTube descriptions

Need some inspiration before you get began? Here are some brands who’re doing it properly.

Global Cycling Network

Global Cycling Network’s videos take up all three top spots for a “how to fix your bike” search. How? Their video descriptions are clear, clickable, and embody a lot of keywords.

Effective YouTube Descriptions

Effective YouTube Descriptions


This Frida Kahlo video is a good example of how you can use the fold to your benefit.

TED-Ed begins things off with a brief, descriptive summary of the video. They provide more details about the content, their supporters, and their social channels under the fold.

youtube video description TED

Edgy Veg

Edgy Veg has mastered the art of the CTA. She additionally front-loads her keywords and gives a lot of links to useful resources.

youtube video description

MTV Decoded

The first sentences of this video description are highly effective. They pull in viewers with an essential question. Then, MTV Decoded seals the deal with a strong CTA.

youtube video description

Bright Side

Bright Side is good at incorporating hashtags, keywords, CTAs, timestamps, and more. Plus, their emojis are lovable!

youtube video description

Nailing your effective YouTube descriptions is hard. However, with these easy ideas on your side, you will be writing stellar copy very quickly!

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