YouTube Marketing Strategies: How To Write Effective Video Descriptions

Learn how to optimize your YouTube video descriptions to get more views and increase traffic to your business

You can’t just passively wait for people to find your product or website if you want to remain competitive in today’s market. Even if you utilize tools like video marketing and post videos on YouTube through your Google account to attract users to your website, your videos likely won’t receive much attention or traffic until you optimize them.

As more and more users turn to Google and websites like YouTube to find content and seek out new products and services, you want your videos to appear high in relevant results whenever someone searches for a topic related to your video. One of the keys to achieving this is optimizing metadata like video descriptions on all video content in your playlist.

What Is a YouTube video description?

A YouTube video description is the text that appears below a video and plays a large factor in YouTube SEO. This description appears on YouTube’s search result pages to help users quickly scan for videos related to a search term or topic. The YouTube video description is key to your YouTube marketing strategy and more vital than the thumbnail itself. Your video title and YouTube description should contain keywords from your keyword research that your target audience may be searching for.

Why it’s important to write a strong YouTube video description

A good video description should provide context and information about your video—including keywords—so that people searching for a topic related to your video can find it. It also helps YouTube and websites like Google understand what your video is about since videos don’t typically contain written text that can be scanned like websites and blogs. If your video is straight-to-the-point and has a short watch time, that’s important for your target audience to see when they are scrolling through results of a specific YouTube search.

Well-written video descriptions can ultimately:

  • Help your video rank higher in searches and get your brand noticed
  • Increase the number of people who view your videos and reach a broader audience
  • Drive more traffic to your YouTube channel and website through strong calls-to-action (cta)

How to write an effective YouTube video description

Now that we’ve established the importance of a quality YouTube description, you’ll want to know how to optimize yours to get the best results. Below are some tips for writing an effective video description.

Use keywords

If your videos are buried on the 2nd page of results, they’re just not going to get the views they deserve. You can help change this by ensuring that relevant keywords are included in the description.

Make sure you include the main keyword you want to use and a few other related keywords, ideally no more than 3. Your target keywords should appear toward the beginning of your description (within the first couple of sentences), but never force them.

Utilizing keywords will bring organic traffic to your YouTube channel rather than paid avenues such as influencer marketing or YouTube ads.

Use a human voice

Write your descriptions for humans and not just search engines. Don’t assume that simply stuffing a bunch of keywords into your description will trick YouTube’s algorithm into giving your video a higher ranking—because it won’t.

In fact, YouTube and Google’s algorithms have gotten quite adept at detecting these tricks and will penalize users for stuffing keywords into their descriptions. Instead, choose only the most relevant keywords for your types of videos and weave them into your description using your natural voice.

Include links

Linking to your other videos, social media pages or website in your description is a great way to promote continued engagement and brand awareness and ultimately increase your ranking and sales.

Include timestamps

Both users and YouTube’s algorithm love timestamps. Timestamps serve as a kind of table of contents in your video description. They allow users to easily navigate your video and skip over parts that aren’t relevant to them, which keeps them engaged longer and also boosts your video’s ranking.

Don’t falsely entice users

If users don’t think your videos are relevant or if they make false promises, they won’t stick around. Don’t use keywords or promises in your video description if you can’t deliver on them. Users will stop watching your video part way through, and your video will end up with a lower overall search ranking.

The video description and YouTube thumbnail are two of the first things that users see on the results page of their YouTube search. Be sure to include relevant video thumbnails or channel art that accurately displays the content that your channel features.

Use a call-to-action

Get more people to engage with your videos by asking them what they thought of them. Also, ask viewers to subscribe if they’d like to see more related content to your video, and encourage them to share your video with their friends and family.

Additionally, if you want people to subscribe, tell them why they should. Explain that you’ll post more videos on the topic if they subscribe, and let them know your channel is a community where they can connect with other viewers with similar interests.

Even include calls-to-action as part of your content strategy in your channel description as active users may go back to your homepage or channel to find more information.

Research what other videos your audience is watching

Take advantage of YouTube analytics to find out what related videos your audience is watching. Then go and check out the video descriptions in those most watched videos. You can use similar language in your descriptions to help users find your videos and get them to appear in their suggested videos too. YouTube is the United States’ second-largest search engine behind Google, so take advantage of the platform through a variety of high-quality YouTube content. In combination with a larger marketing campaign, including social media marketing, quality content on YouTube can lead to desirable outcomes and metrics to help drive future marketing decisions.

How a professional marketing agency can help

By understanding how YouTube videos rank, you can maximize the number of views and subscribers for your videos, which can ultimately drive traffic to your business, create new audiences and increase sales. If you want help building or growing a YouTube presence by optimizing or creating engaging videos for your YouTube channel or website, or if you’re interested in other marketing or design services to grow your business, the professionals at Brown Bag are here to help.

A great web design and marketing company should be dedicated to ensuring your products and website stand out among the crowd. Brown Bag is a full-service digital marketing agency that is passionate about helping companies achieve their goals and reach that next level of success. Contact us today to see how we can help your business grow.