Get More Subscribers by Writing Better YouTube Video Descriptions
Give Your Viewers More Reasons to Subscribe
Google is the only search engine that outranks YouTube, and they own it, so the competition is slim to none. YouTube’s monthly user base exceeds two billion because it is currently the best platform for anyone looking to make themselves or their brand more visible on the Internet. Despite this huge opportunity for engagement, only 9% of American small businesses use YouTube to reach their customers.
If you want to start using YouTube as a part of your marketing, you should invest your time into all the available tools it offers, so you can more accurately target your audience and get the best results. Although most people think of clickbait titles and crazy thumbnails when it comes to YouTube, writing better YouTube video descriptions can make a huge difference in your exposure.
Descriptions are not mandatory on YouTube, but you will miss out on views and subscribers if you do not use them to your advantage. The content, titles, tags, and captions written in the YouTube video description box help YouTube decide how to rank your videos in the search results and video recommendations. When you get it right, you will see more viewers flooding in, so you can promote your products, services, or even just yourself more effectively.
YouTube uses two different types of descriptions: channel descriptions and video descriptions. This article will cover basic tips on how to write better video descriptions on both fronts as well as keyword usage. While your video descriptions will ultimately get you more returns, these tips also apply to channel descriptions.
Your Channel’s Description
Your YouTube channel’s description should contain an outline of your channel and the type of content you create. This will give viewers a better understanding of what your channel is all about. It is best to keep this short and concise, so viewers immediately know what they are getting into. Check out this example from Sunny Lenarduzzi:
Your Video Descriptions
You can find the video description in the dropdown below each video. This can give viewers an outline of the video’s content and even insight on parts they may have missed. This description can also include relevant links to increase the click-through rate to your website or your other videos.
When done right, video descriptions will greatly improve YouTube rankings, bring in more subscriptions, and boost average watch time. If you ever want to monetize your YouTube channel, these should be your top priority.
Here are 4 things you should be doing when writing your YouTube video descriptions.
Tell Viewers What Your Video Is About
First and foremost, your video description needs to let the viewer know what it is about. It should be easy to read, so your viewer does not spend more time trying to understand your writing than watching the video itself. This does not mean you have to keep it short. Unlike web page meta descriptions, YouTube video descriptions allow you to write up to 5,000 characters and allow you to link out to your other videos, websites, or various external resources.
The limit for video descriptions is 5,000 characters, which is roughly 700-1200 words. This should be more than enough to give a detailed description, and most videos will not even approach this length. The first 200 characters will appear above the “see more” option, and the first line will show up in the search results. Use these first 200 characters to pitch your content to potential viewers and hook them in.
Use Relevant Keywords to Boost Your Rankings
If you really want to get the most out of your descriptions, do some keyword research before writing them. Most people use either questions or short phrases to search for what they need. You need to find out what people in your industry are searching for and put these words into your titles and descriptions.
You might not feel super familiar with keywords, and that is okay. There are plenty of tools out there to help you get started on your research. TubeBuddy, Ubersuggest, and Keywords Everywhere are all Chrome or Firefox extensions you can install directly into your browser. They will give you suggestions on what keywords and phrases to use for your video titles, descriptions, and tags. All you need to do is type in some words that describe your channel, and these apps will automatically generate keyword suggestions.
You should also include keywords in your channel’s description. The YouTube algorithm analyzes the keywords in every channel’s About Page, so it can have a significant impact on your rankings and viewership. Repeating high-level keywords is okay as well, but do not use them more than 3 times in a single description. This is called “keyword stuff,” and it will result in YouTube flagging your video or even your entire channel.
Write Like a Person, Not a Robot
A YouTube video description needs to be more than just keywords. Your descriptions should be entertaining and engaging with a voice that properly represents your brand. The writing should feel candid and casual, as if you were describing something to a friend. Get to know your audience and their demographics to write more relatable content, and do not be afraid to use some humor and creativity.
When you implement your keywords, make sure they do not feel forced. If you want to use a certain keyword that doesn’t feel natural in your writing, try putting it in your video tags instead. This will allow you to benefit from the keyword without making your video description sound awkward.
Not feeling confident in your writing? You can still write effective descriptions with the help of apps like Headline Studio and Grammarly. These extensions will ensure you write better headlines and descriptions with proper spelling and grammar.
Get Viewers More Involved with a Call to Action
When creating your videos, making quality content should always be your top priority. However, content alone will not draw in viewers and subscribers. YouTube is similar to social media in that you always want to have a call-to-action or CTA.
Everyone who watches YouTube videos runs into the phrase “Like, Favorite, and Subscribe” at some point. This is the tried and true CTA for most YouTube creators. Many even go so far as to put graphics of the subscribe button and bell icon to give viewers a more direct visual reminder.
CTAs have been proven to boost views and subscriptions. You can also use them to encourage people to watch your other videos or visit your websites, social media accounts, and other resources. If you want to get the most from your CTAs, put them in both the content of the video on the video description. This will make it impossible for viewers to ignore them, and it will significantly increase your number of engagements.
But CTAs do not stop with your YouTube channel! You should be using CTAs on everything you have to market yourself more effectively. Check out these call to action examples to learn more about including CTAs in your marketing strategy.
Harness the Power of YouTube Video Descriptions for Your Brand
Building a successful YouTube channel is far from a walk in the part. It is incredibly time-consuming, and it requires you to constantly be brainstorming ideas and researching keywords while you are recording and editing new content on a regular basis.
YouTube video descriptions are just one of the many tools you can use to improve your marketing, and they are surprisingly underrated in their effectiveness. In fact, many brands, vloggers, and other YouTubers ignore their descriptions without realizing how much they could gain from them.
If you want to optimize your videos for the YouTube algorithm, start putting more time into your descriptions. You will see yourself gain more viewers and followers in no time, so your channel begins to transform into a consistent stream of revenue.
There are also tools like batching YouTube videos that can make content generation slightly easier. Work smarter not harder and always be looking for new tools to streamline your marketing strategies.