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YouTube Description Tips and Tricks to Gain More Traffic

We all know about them, but most of us ignore them. 

Video descriptions. Are they really necessary? How to write descriptions that do your videos justice?

Fair questions to ask since the main product people come for is your video, which actually contains all the information they are interested in. So, there’s seemingly no reason to invest too much time in writing sophisticated YouTube descriptions

But let’s consider this issue from a different perspective. Let’s say you are an online brand, which makes your video your product. When it comes to product descriptions, 87% of consumers confirm they play an important part in making final purchase decisions. 

Now, let’s say a consumer is looking for a video on a certain topic on Google. How do they know they are clicking on the right one? There is only a video description to guide them. 

But there is one more important point in favor of video descriptions. They are the only way for the YouTube and Google algorithms to determine what your video is about and to rank it in the search results.

Now that we determined the importance of video descriptions, you might be determined to invest more time and effort into them. And we’re here to help you. Here are 4 effective tips for writing a killer video description. 

Tip #1. Make a Diverse List of Keywords 

SEO optimization is responsible for half of the success of your video descriptions, and we already mentioned why. 

Thus, the first thing you should start with is creating a list of keywords that Google will crawl to then rank your video in the search results. 

However, Google’s algorithm and treatment of the keywords is not what it was before. There are plenty of new requirements that you should keep in mind when creating a list of keywords for your video description. 

Include long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are phrases that allow you to be very specific about what your video is about. These are usually low-competition keywords, which means that they help narrow down the search and allow Google to provide more accurate search results. 

So, let’s say you’ve created a video showing an evening makeup look. While this purpose of a video can already be a long-tail keyword, which you can use in your video description, you can also browse other keyword ideas and include them in your list. 

Here are a few keyword suggestions for the key-phrase ‘evening makeup’:

4 Effective Tips for Writing a Killer Video Description - keyword suggestions

In the SD (SEO difficulty) column, you can see that most of them are below 35, which is considered ‘easy’. Thus, you can use them in your video description. 

Research User Intent

While including long-tail keywords is a good strategy, it won’t work if you blindly stuff your video description with them and don’t consider search intent behind them. Search intent (or user intent) is the reason why a person is looking for something on Google. 

There are 4 basic types of search intent:

  • Informational – a user is looking for information. Examples: ‘what is a video description’, ‘YouTube algorithm’, ‘who is Jenna Marbles’, etc. 
  • Navigational – a person wants to visit a specific website or web page. Examples: ‘Shane Dawson channel’, ‘ services’, ‘beginner’s guide to YouTube videos’, etc. 
  • Transactional – a person wants to buy something. Examples: ‘purchase solutions’, ‘buy MacBook pro’, etc. 
  • Commercial investigation – a searcher wants to compare something similar before making the final purchase decision. Examples: ‘ editor reviews’, ‘top restaurant in New York City’, etc. 

You probably already see that not all these types of search intent can be applied to your specific video. Indeed, if you are posting a video about evening makeup, there’s hardly any reason to include commercial investigation or transactional keywords if you’re not helping sell some products, of course.

So, study the intent behind your video and which keywords your ideal viewers search for before you include them in your video description. 

Target LSI Keywords 

Another important thing to look out for is the semantics of the keywords that you will add to your video description. 

LSI keywords are words and phrases that are semantically related to a topic. Simply put, these are all keywords related to the topic of your video. Let’s illustrate this point with an example. 

You’ve created a video about making cold-brew coffee. To create a list of LSI keywords, think of all the words and phrases you use to describe this process. Here are a few suggestions we can give:

  • Video topic: How to make cold-brew coffee at home?
  • LSI keyword ideas: cup, ground coffee, coffee beans, coffee filter,  cold water, ice, French press, steeping time, overnight. 
  • Don’t be afraid to include adjectives like smooth, refreshing, cold, easy-to-make, affordable, ready-made, etc. 

Google algorithm can recognize synonyms and uses LSI keywords to make search results more accurate and narrow. So, make sure you include them in your video descriptions. 

Tip: don’t forget to use these keywords in tags to increase the visibility of your videos. 

Tip #2. Use a Clear Structure

A video description can be quite extensive. For instance, YouTube allows up to 5,000 characters in the descriptions, including spaces. 

It’s great news for those of us who want to win the SEO game with detailed and optimized video descriptions, but this also means that a really good video description should be well-structured. 

Now, we don’t mean that you should perceive your video description like a school essay. However, a certain structure can help you make it more organized. 

Give the most important information upfront

Although you can include 5,000 characters in your video description, only the first 150 characters will appear in Google search results. Google perceives the first 150 characters as meta description, and you should be careful about what you include in it. 

Here are a few tips:

  • Ask a question and give an answer. This is a great way to tease what your video is going to be about and engage potential viewers right away. Here’s how YouTubers Brooklyn and Bailey used this approach to start their video description:

4 Effective Tips for Writing a Killer Video Description - ask a question

  • Be straightforward. If the first way doesn’t suit the aesthetic of your video, you can be straightforward and describe what your video is about in a few words. Here’s a good example of a simple and easy meta description:

4 Effective Tips for Writing a Killer Video Description - be straightforward

  • Tag your collaborators to boost views. Another way to start your video description is by tagging people that worked on it with you, for instance, influencers involved in creating your video if appropriate. This way, people who follow these influencers will get your video in the search results as well. 

4 Effective Tips for Writing a Killer Video Description - tag collaborators

Remember: the meta description, or the beginning of your video description, should contain the primary keywords that your video title uses to help you rank higher in search results. 

Briefly tell what your video is about

In the next part of your video description’s structure, you can give a few details that explain what your video is about. 

For instance, if you have created a video with a recipe for an apple pie, you can use this part of your video description to include all the ingredients and measurements:

4 Effective Tips for Writing a Killer Video Description - descrive what the video is about

If relevant, you can list the products you’ve used in this video as well:

4 Effective Tips for Writing a Killer Video Description - list the products

Finally, in this part, you can also include the timeline of your video to help viewers navigate through your video easier:

4 Effective Tips for Writing a Killer Video Description - timeline

If you want to make your video description more creative, you can dedicate this part of the description to telling a story behind creating this video and what inspired you to make it.

You can do it yourself or collaborate with the best copywriting services to make it concise but engaging enough to attract the attention of the viewers. Collaborating with others may help you find a more creative way to approach your video description. 

Add credit

A good way to finish the body of your video description is by adding credit, whether it’s for the music you used or the person who inspired you to create your video. 

For instance, James Charles used this section to credit the team that helped him create his video:

4 Effective Tips for Writing a Killer Video Description - add credit

By doing so, you add more credibility to your content and show that you give credit where credit is due, which makes you a respected creator. 

At the end of your video description, you can also add a CTA. Although your video may already include the main call-to-action, for SEO purposes, you should also add one to your video description. 

4 Effective Tips for Writing a Killer Video Description - add CTA

Your CTA can come in different forms, from an invitation to subscribe to promoting your products and services. However, when adding a CTA to your video description, make sure that it is contextually relevant and fits the purpose of your video. 

Tip #3. Add Hashtags

One of your main priorities is to write a video description that makes your content more visible. While you can do SEO optimization of your video description for better search results, you can also help people find your video via hashtags

Not so long ago, YouTube started showing hashtags above the title of the video:

4 Effective Tips for Writing a Killer Video Description - hashtags

But you also still can add them to your description as well for the SEO purposes:

4 Effective Tips for Writing a Killer Video Description - add hashtags

But with such an abundance of hashtags, how do you choose the right one?

Hashtags collect social data from internet users. The more a user clicks on a hashtag, the better performance it has. You can check this performance with specific tools, like Hashtagify, which also allows monitoring trending hashtags.

For instance, you have two similar hashtags to choose from for your video description, #sale and #discount. Let’s check the performance of each of these hashtags:


4 Effective Tips for Writing a Killer Video Description - hashtag performance #Sale


4 Effective Tips for Writing a Killer Video Description - hashtag performance #discount

As you can see, both hashtags are performing quite well, but #discount is losing in its monthly trend index, meaning there is a chance it may lose its popularity a bit in the upcoming month. 

Such an analysis can help you find and track the most recent trends and make your video a part of them by including trending hashtags in your video description. 

Online, you can also find a list of trending hashtags on YouTube or other social media platforms, to which you may want to upload your video. These lists include brief information on hashtag performance as well, so you can choose the best-performing ones to use in your video description. 

Tip #4. Try Video Description Generators

If you’re out of ideas about what to put in your video description, you can get inspired by using video description generators online. To generate a video description, some sources allow adding your primary keywords and creating a description automatically. Or, you can add a link to your video right away, and, based on the title and your previous video descriptions, you will get a new one. Here’s how it worked for one of our previous videos:

4 Effective Tips for Writing a Killer Video Description - description generator

You can add or delete parts of the generated video description, add hashtags and CTAs, which, in your opinion, would work better. However, you should be aware of a few downsides. 

One of them is the lack of proofreading and structure. This means that when you generate a video description, you cannot post it as it is. You will have to rework it to make it look structured and informative.  

Apart from that, a generated video description will not be optimized for SEO. You still need to create a list of keywords and rework your generated video description to include them for Google and YouTube to crawl. 

Don’t Overlook the Potential of Video Descriptions

A good video description is informative and provides essential details about the contents of the video. But it’s not enough for a killer video description. Creating a killer video description requires a deeper analysis and thorough preparation. 

Start with creating a detailed list of keywords based on the intent that are contextually relevant to the topic of your video.

Then, while writing your YouTube description, follow a certain structure to make it more organized. Pay special attention to the first 150 characters of your video description, which will appear in search engines, when a searcher comes across your video. 

Lastly, to boost your video’s performance, include hashtags in your video description, but check their performance and relevance to the topic of your video. 

And, if you’re out of ideas, you can use online video description generators. But keep in mind that they only produce raw descriptions, which require editing, including for SEO optimization. 

Author’s bio: Daniela McVicker is a passionate digital marketer. Daniela is interested in everything related to SEO and blogging. She collaborates with FreeEssayWriter and other websites where she shares her experience and helps marketers make their names in the online world.

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