"So easy, even I can do it...!"
by Elizabeth Blessing
The YouTube description field offers you an opportunity to describe your video to your audience and to YouTube's search engine. You'll need to write a good description in order for YouTube to understand what your content is about and how to accurately categorize it. This step is critical if you want people to be able to search for and find your video online.
Think about this... 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
Your video—and all the work you put into creating it—could easily get lost amidst the millions of videos already on the site.
The key to ensuring this doesn't happen to your video is to write a YouTube description that is optimized for your content.
YouTube relies upon "metadata"—bits of information about each uploaded video—to index the site's content.
In addition to the description field, there are other types of metadata you need to add to your video to optimize it for search:
YouTube uses this metadata to match up search requests with videos that include the content requested. It's up to you to add metadata to your videos. If you leave these fields blank, you're as good as relegating your videos to the dustbin of unwatched online content.
Fortunately, YouTube makes it easy to add metadata to your videos.
From your YouTube channel, go to Video Manager. Select the Edit box next to your video. This takes you to the Info and Settings tab for that video. Under Basic Info, you'll see fields for your video's title, description and tags.
Here's an example of one of our videos where we've completed the 3 metadata fields—title, description and tags:
Tip #1: Pay special attention to what appears in the first 2 or 3 lines of your description.
Only the first 2 or 3 lines of your YouTube description will appear in the search results and in the section right below your video. You need to include your video's keywords or phrases here along with a short summary of your video's content.
Don't fill this area with blocks of keywords in an attempt to rank higher in search. The search engines detect keyword stuffing and won't reward you with a higher ranking.
Instead, write two or three short, informative sentences describing your video's content. Remember, your goal is to be search engine friendly AND human friendly in your description. Give enough detail so that someone reading your description will have an accurate idea about what to expect from your video.
If you have a website, consider including your URL at the beginning of your description. This can be especially useful if you have related articles you'd like to share with your viewers and/or want to drive more traffic to your website.
Tip #2: Use the "show more" section to add more details about your video, relevant links and a call to action.
While YouTube only shows the first few description lines in its search results, you can actually write a much longer description. This information appears after people select "Show More."
Take advantage of this opportunity to add more details about your video. Write something that might pique someone's interest enough to hit the play button.
Continue to include your keywords to help YouTube understand what your video is about. Don't be heavy-handed about the keywords, though. Just write in a natural, informative fashion that will appeal to your audience.
Also, use this as a chance to describe your channel. Include your call to action to encourage viewers to check out your other videos and become subscribers. Add links to related videos, playlists, other YouTube channels, your external website or social media.
If you want the same links or text to appear on all your YouTube video descriptions, you can write a recurring boilerplate template for this. Go to Channel Settings > Upload Defaults. Add your recurring text in the Description field:
Tip #3: Add time-codes to help viewers locate the content that interests them
You can add time-code links to your YouTube description to help viewers go directly to specific points in your video. This can be especially useful for How To videos where you might want to direct viewers to a specific step in a multi-step process.
You add the time stamp directly to your YouTube description in a minutes and seconds format (00:00). For example, "05:25" will create a link that will take the viewer directly to 5 minutes, 25 seconds into the video.
This is a nice touch that shows you care about your viewer's time. If they're in a rush, they can go to a specific point in your video that interests them and skip the rest.
This is how the time stamp looks like in the description of one of our How To videos:
Notice how we've put the time stamp right next to the step describing what is covered in that portion of the video. This helps the viewer know exactly what point in the video the link will lead them to.
Tip #4: Categorize your video
How you categorize your video is a simple but sometimes overlooked part of your YouTube description. YouTube offers various categories for you to choose from. Some of them are: Education, Travel & Events, How To & Style, Comedy, Entertainment, Music.
Select the relevant category that most accurately reflects your video content and you'll help potential viewers find your video more easily.
Now that you've finished reading "How to Write a YouTube Description to Get More Views," check out these articles on YouTube marketing:
Also, check out the Groovy Videos' Home Page and Blog for info on how to use video marketing to help your business gain more customers and greater profits.
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