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How To Write YouTube Descriptions Like a Pro

There are plenty of ways to make your brand stand out on YouTube, from paid advertising to eye-catching videos. However, one aspect of YouTube marketing that people often overlook is the power of YouTube descriptions.

YouTube descriptions? You mean those captions under videos? What’s so important about them?

YouTube descriptions are an important component of your digital strategy, and knowing how to write YouTube descriptions that engage and convert audiences can significantly impact your brand’s marketing performance. Keep reading to learn more about how to write YouTube descriptions, their benefits, and more:

Looking to expand your brand’s presence on YouTube? WebFX is home to video marketing experts who know how to get your brand noticed by your most important prospects. Learn more about our YouTube advertising services today!

Keep Exploring: YouTube Marketing for Beginners

What are YouTube descriptions?

YouTube descriptions are sections where a content creator displays additional information about their video content and channel, like:

  • Video descriptions
  • Channel descriptions
  • Social media links
  • Website links
  • Product links
  • Information about yourself or your business

YouTube descriptions are designed to help users and search engines understand the purpose of a video and its content.

Types of YouTube descriptions

There are two main types of YouTube descriptions your brand can focus on — channel and video descriptions.

YouTube channel descriptions

example of a youtube channel description

A YouTube channel description is likely one of the first things you’ll create when you first start a YouTube channel. In a nutshell, it’s your “About” page.

Here, you’ll describe what kind of content you post on your channel and optimize the description for keywords people search within your industry. Ultimately, the goal of your YouTube channel description is to entice visitors to subscribe to your channel.

YouTube video descriptions

example of a youtube video description

YouTube video descriptions are the captions you write with every video upload. Video descriptions give viewers an idea of what to expect in the video and tell YouTube’s search algorithm how to classify it. Video descriptions are often more helpful when it comes to ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs), as you can optimize them for specific questions and keywords people search for.

Why are YouTube descriptions important?

YouTube descriptions have two key purposes — informing viewers about your video content and demonstrating value to YouTube’s algorithm so it can properly index your video.

Better content engagement & discovery

All online content is posted with the intention of someone out there seeing it. If it’s not appealing, people won’t be interested enough to engage with it. This same sentiment goes for YouTube descriptions.

YouTube descriptions help aid content discovery by telling viewers what they can expect when they click on your channel or watch one of your videos. Additionally, they may include a call to action (CTA) to entice people to share the video, comment on it, or continue browsing related videos.

youtube video description formula example

Think of it this way — if you come across a movie trailer on YouTube, you’ll likely see some variation of the following formula in the video’s description: a catchy tagline, followed by a brief overview of the film’s premise, capped off by a CTA like, “Get Tickets Now,” or “Experience [film] in theaters this [release month].”

Improved YouTube SEO

youtube seo results page

To ensure your content gets to the average reader in the first place, YouTube’s algorithm must deem it valuable enough to rank it above similar videos. With a great YouTube description, you can explain the context of your video and make it easier for YouTube to index your video and rank it in search results. As a result, you’re improving your YouTube search engine optimization (SEO) while also increasing discoverability.

How to write engaging YouTube descriptions

Now that you know about the benefits of YouTube descriptions, it’s time to learn how to write them. Follow these tips to learn how to write YouTube descriptions that draw in viewers and inspire engagement.

  1. Research relevant keywords
  2. Hook your audience
  3. Integrate your keywords
  4. Be succinct…
  5. … but also detailed
  6. Finish with a strong CTA

1. Research relevant keywords

Google and YouTube are the largest search engines in the world. So when you’re deciding what keywords you want to rank for in your YouTube descriptions, it’s helpful to research keyword options in both places.

When researching YouTube keywords, keep your audience in mind. Try to target keywords that are likely to be used by searchers looking for content related to your videos. Gather a mix of short- and long-tail keywords to maximize your ranking ability and overall visibility on both YouTube and Google search results.

Explore: Keyword Research Tools You Can Use

2. Hook your audience

example of a hook in the beginning of a youtube video description

Your first ~100-150 characters of your YouTube descriptions are your most important. This part of your description is what people will see in the search results — it’s also the part that stays above the “…more” expander when people watch a video on YouTube.

It’s not guaranteed that people will click to see more of your description, so ensure you put your most important information in the first sentence (or 100-150 characters) of your YouTube description.

3. Integrate your target keywords

While going overboard and keyword stuffing can damage your ranking, including your target words more than once will make sure the algorithm picks up on them. The ideal amount for an average YouTube description is about two or three mentions. Make sure one of those uses is near the beginning, then space them throughout the rest of the copy.

Using related keywords can also help improve your odds. Related keywords aren’t exact matches to your target keywords, but essentially refer to the same information. 

4. Be succinct…

As we said earlier, you have a short window to hook your audience. 100 characters can go by very fast, but if someone does click the “…more” expander, you still have a limited amount of time to keep them on your channel.

To put it simply, don’t beat around the bush — give your audience the information they want in your YouTube descriptions, and make sure each sentence serves a purpose. Use words that specifically tell people (and search engines!) what your content is about, and avoid flowery language or long anecdotes that don’t relate to your video’s core purpose.

5. … but also detailed

example of chapters in a youtube video

Once you’ve outlined the most important information about your video, supplement it with additional info that entices viewers to continue interacting with your content.

For example, consider adding things like timestamps or chapters to your video. These tools allow you to organize your video content into sections, so viewers can easily jump to specific points in your video and get the information they want right away. Think of it as an interactive table of contents for your video!

6. Finish with a strong CTA

youtube video description with strong ctas at the end

Once you describe your video’s purpose, tell your readers where to go next. End with a CTA that encourages people to continue interacting with your brand, whether it’s through your YouTube channel, social media, or website. Include links to these places, so viewers can get there right away, or even suggest related videos on your channel that they may find interesting. 

Maximize your YouTube marketing results with WebFX

Now that you know how to write YouTube descriptions like a pro, it’s time to put it all into action in the form of a showstopping YouTube marketing campaign.

From video production to optimization, WebFX is your perfect partner for YouTube marketing. Don’t believe us? Check out our own YouTube channel, where we’ve amassed over 14.3K followers and subscribers.

Or, give us a call at 888-601-5359 or contact us online to learn more about our YouTube SEO, advertising, and video production services.

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