5 Tips For Effective YouTube Video Descriptions

After much filming and editing, your YouTube video is ready to share with the world. Now here’s the hard part: what should you put in the description for your video? A video without a compelling description deprives viewers of context or a reason why they should watch it in the first place. Descriptions help give an overview of what your video’s about, lets viewers know where to find your other work and drives important traffic from search engines. Here are five pointers when creating a description for your video.

1. Concise Descriptions Always Work


Even though YouTube has a 5,000 character limit for descriptions, you don’t need to write a whole essay in order to explain your video. In fact, the video should explain itself. What you can do is give a brief summary about your video no more than a couple of paragraphs long. The more concise and compelling you make your description, the more people will want to watch your video.

2. It Has To Be Searchable


Besides keeping your video’s description short and compelling, the description must be searchable. For example, if your video is a rant about Facebook’s new hashtag feature, the keywords “Facebook” and “hashtag” should be prominent in your video’s description. If you need help with finding the right keywords for your description, use Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool. These keywords will help search engines index your video properly.

3. Use Links Extensively


Links are especially important for your description as it should be a way to promote your other videos and drive traffic to your other social media networks. If your video is part of a series, make sure you direct viewers to the other videos by providing links to them.

4. Timestamps Can Be Your Trusty Friend


This feature is especially useful for longer step-by-step videos or if you have a special announcement at a certain part of the video. For example, if you’re trying to redirect your viewers to step 5 on the 12:00 mark, just type the timestamp 12:00 into the description. It will automatically link to that place in the video.

5. Give Credit Where Credit’s Due


If it’s not already in your video because of time constraints or other reasons, you should definitely give a shout out to the people you’ve collaborated with or helped with your video (e.g. director, cinematographer, makeup, etc.). If they have a YouTube channel or a website, definitely share your collaborators’ links.

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