Only Google outranks YouTube as the world’s most popular search engine. The video-sharing platform has a monthly user base of over two billion and is the best platform for anyone looking to generate visibility for their brand.
However, only 9% of small businesses in the U.S. use YouTube to reach their audiences.
If you decide to jump into the world of YouTube video marketing, it pays to invest the time to use each of the tools it offers you to target your audience and maximize your efforts.
One way to get your videos noticed is by writing amazing YouTube descriptions. While descriptions are not mandatory on YouTube, you’d be wasting your time by not using them.
YouTube descriptions play a major role in your channel being successful. The copy that is written inside the YouTube description box (as well as the title, the tags, and the captions) helps YouTube determine how to rank your videos in the search results and related video recommendations.
If you use the YouTube descriptions correctly, you’ll get more views. If you’re selling or promoting products and/or services, you’ll make more money.
There Are Two Types Of YouTube Descriptions
Two types of YouTube descriptions exist. The first is for the channel and the second for the video itself. Most of what this article talks about apply to the video description but some tactics, like using the right keywords, are applicable to the channel description, too.
YouTube Channel Description
This is a brief outline of the content you publish on your channel. It helps viewers know what to expect from your brand. Keep it short and simple so that viewers know immediately what they’ll find on your channel, like this one below from Sunny Lenarduzzi:
YouTube Video Description
This is the text found below each video. It helps viewers find your content easily and decide if it’s worth watching or not. You can also include related links to increase your click-through rate to your website.
If done right, video descriptions can improve YouTube rankings, increase subscriptions, and boost watch time. All things that are required if you ever want to monetize your YouTube channel.
Here are four important things you should do when writing YouTube descriptions.
Tell Viewers What Your Video Is About
YouTube descriptions let YouTube know what your video is all about. The first thing you should do is write a description that’s easy to read. When writing your YouTube video descriptions, include keywords as this continues to improve your YouTube search rankings.
A YouTube description differs from the meta description of a web page. While a meta description has a limited number of characters, you can go in-depth with a YouTube description. You can explain in detail what your video is about and link to external resources. Something similar to what The Gear Bunker has done with one of their videos.
YouTube video descriptions allow for 5,000 characters, so make good use of them. Viewers will see the first three lines or first 200 characters before the “see more” break. The first line of the video description will show up under the video in search results, so get straight to the point. Use that first 200 characters as your elevator pitch to hook the viewer.
If you don’t have the time to write a description from scratch, you can summarize the key points from the video or simply paste the video’s transcription into the description box.
Use Relevant Keywords based on Keyword Research
Before you start writing the description, perform keyword research. Most people search for videos on YouTube using questions. Find out what people are searching for in your industry, then incorporate that phrase into the title of your video.
Include the keywords you’re targeting in the video description and in the title. This will ensure your video stands out because YouTube highlights any searched-for keywords in search results. While the best videos are those created for people and not algorithms, if you do keyword research the right way, you’ll enhance your content.
You can also use tools dedicated to YouTube Research, like TubeBuddy. Keywords Everywhere and the Ubersuggest chrome extension can also be of great help. They show you the keywords you should use in your video, the description, the title, and the tags. Just type in the words that accurately describe your channel or video and these tools will suggest the best keywords. The following screenshot is from keywords Everywhere when I searched YouTube for ‘writing youtube descriptions‘.
You should also use keywords in your channel description. YouTube’s algorithm closely examines the keywords in your About Page, so use them wisely. It’s okay to repeat keywords, but don’t do it more than three times. If you do, your video or possibly the entire channel could get flagged for keyword stuffing.
Write For Humans, Not The Algorithm
A YouTube description shouldn’t be boring. It should be entertaining yet professional and represent your brand’s voice accurately. When writing a video description, you can instill some humor and creativity into the content, similar to what you would write in social media captions.
Your YouTube descriptions should be candid and casual. Like you’re writing to a friend. Take time to know your viewers and demographics, then write content they will understand and relate to. When adding keywords, remember to add them naturally; they should not be forced.
You don’t have to be a wordsmith to write amazing YouTube descriptions. You can use tools such as Headline Studio and Grammarly to make sure every description you post is clear, readable, and engaging.
Always Provide a Call To Action
As with social media, always provide a call to action. Don’t post content to just post content. Whether it’s social media or Youtube videos, always provide a call to action even if it’s only to your homepage.
Calls to action boost subscriptions, views, and watch time. Over the years, YouTube has worked on CTAs and today they seamlessly blend into videos, providing a great user experience.
YouTube CTAs can help drive viewers to your site and social media pages, so it’s important to add them to your descriptions. You can provide additional resources that help viewers learn more about a topic or ask them to continue engaging with your channel.
For example, if your video talks about setting up an Instagram shopping cart, but you’re also an expert in Instagram marketing, you can link to your video that covers Instagram marketing.
You can also ask viewers to click on the notification bell, subscribe, and share your content. And don’t forget about embedding CTAs into your videos. They should be visible from the start of the video to the end to generate more clicks.
Remember to format your description so the most important information appears first. Remember, your viewers will only see the first 200 characters of the description. If you want your CTAs to be visible out of the gate, keep them above the fold.
Leverage The Power of YouTube Descriptions and Watch Your Brand Grow
Creating YouTube videos is no easy task. It’s time-consuming. You have to brainstorm, research, find the right keywords, take time to record the videos, then spend hours editing each one.
The YouTube description box is an underestimated tool in YouTube video marketing. Many brands, business channels, vloggers, and other content producers skip it. They think it’s not worth putting time into.
Start using the YouTube description box to optimize your videos for maximum effectiveness. You’ll get more followers, watch time and eventually be able to turn your YouTube channel into an autonomous revenue stream.
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