YouTube descriptions are not mandatory. Many YouTubers actually leave them blank.
That said, there’s an incredible power in them.
Use them correctly and you will increase your video views, get more followers and make way more money (if you monetize your channel.)
Today I’ll briefly describe some core principles that you should keep in mind when writing them and give you some examples/ YouTube description templates that will get you started.
Tell Viewers About You with Channel Descriptions
Your YouTube channel description should tell viewers everything they need to know about you, your channel, and your videos, without giving too much away.
It should make them want to subscribe and watch some of your videos to get to know you better. It is also a good place to answer questions they may have about your channel and content.
Here is how to write the perfect YouTube channel description:
- Describe your channel. This might be the most obvious thing to do, but it’s where most people get hung up. The goal of this description is to tell your viewers what will happen if they subscribe and watch your videos. What kind of content will they see? How frequently will they see it? Will they learn anything? Make sure they know the benefits of subscribing such as your amazing sense of humor or your easy to understand tutorials.
- Include links to your website, social media, and online store (If you have one). You want to make sure viewers know where to find you, so link to everything you want people to find. If you have a channel trailer or introductory video, this would be a good place to link to it, as well.
- Include a call to action to whatever you want your new followers to do. Do you want them to subscribe? Turn on notifications? Share your content? Or maybe sign up to receive newsletters? Whatever you want them to do, ask them to do it! Word it in a way they won’t be able to resist and put the CTA at the end of your channel description.
- Write it like you are talking to a friend. You don’t want to make your channel description too formal. It should be easy to read, or even skim, with short sentences and paragraphs and maybe even bullet point, if that is applicable to your content. If you are having trouble with your channel description, try actually describing it to a friend and use the same language and terminology you use to talk with them!
- Make it brief. Don’t go overboard and give them to much information. Leave them wanting to know even more beyond your channel basics because that will make them want to watch your videos or visit your website. A short channel description that gets straight to the point is best.
- Add your personality. Anyone can write a plain-jane channel description, but only you can write one with your style and tone of voice. Don’t be afraid to crack a joke or use slang words, as long as that is something you do anyway. Always be true to yourself on your YouTube channel. You want viewers to get to know the real you!
Channel Description Template
Look at the channel description for TheSorryGirls.
Their channel description only takes up one paragraph, but readers immediately know what kind of videos will be on their channel. From there, they list everywhere else they want future subscribers to find them.
Now check out the channel description for Nikki Tutorials.
Nikki’s description is loaded with personality and tells subscribers when to expect new videos. Her description does a wonderful job of getting to the point but is still loaded with information.
Both channel descriptions are different, yet still have the same effect. There are several different ways to write cool YouTube channel descriptions without giving too much info. To get you started writing your perfect channel description, check out our YouTube channel description template below:
Get Found in Search with Video Descriptions
When writing descriptions for your YouTube videos, there are several things you need to keep in mind. First, it is important to do keyword research so you know what your ideal audience is searching for. Placing keywords in your video description is important for getting found in search and can also help with choosing the best video tags.
Second, you have 5000 characters to work with- make the most of them! It may take several different attempts at writing video descriptions to find what works best for you and your channel, so don’t be afraid to mix it up!
Here is what you need to do to write the perfect YouTube video description:
Pay close attention to the first three lines.
For starters, the first three lines of your video description are what viewers will see before the “see more” break. You want to captivate their attention in these three lines so they will click the link to see more. The first line of your video description is also what appears under your video in search results, so you want to get straight to the point if you want people to click on it. Not to mention, these lines are where your keyword research will come into play. Since the first line is what appears in search results, you’ll want to place long-tail keywords and other search terms users are searching for here. Be careful not to stuff it with keywords. Still keep it conversational, but make sure it is phrased in a way people would search.
2. Be clear about what the video is about.
Much like the last tip, you want to be clear so people know to click on your video in search and click on the “see more” link. You also want to be clear so people aren’t confused by anything. After the first three lines, if you feel the need to go into more detail about the video topic, do so! It’s ok to have a long video description as long as it provides relevant and important information and is easy to read. Consider using short paragraphs, bullet points, or characters like asteriks to break up text.
3. Add timestamps if your video is long or covers a wide range of topics.
If you have several different points in the video where you have important advice or information, link to each one in the description. While having viewers who watch the whole video is a good thing, not everyone who wants to hear what you have to say will have the time to watch the entire thing, especially if your video is over 10 minutes. Some people are looking things up with a limited amount of time to learn it, so help them out with timestamps. Your helpfulness might just be what makes them subscribe and look to your channel for more information in the future.
4. Link to anything you talk about.
Whatever you mention in your video, whether it be another YouTuber, an article, a tool, or even a product, link to it! You never know when that will help a viewer out. This is especially important if you are trying to monetize your YouTube channel through affiliate links or selling digital products in your own online store. In the example below YouTuber Peter Mckinnon links to his own product that he’s talking about in the video.
5. Give credit where credit is due.
Did you use someone else’s music? Quote someone else’s written words? Talk about someone’s services or teachings? You may have credited them in the video, but it is also important to credit them in the video description, as well. Not only is it the right thing to do, but viewers will trust you more when they know you are respectful of other creators.
6. Don’t forget your call to action.
Most anything you create online should have a CTA to link all of your work together and grow your audience, and the same goes for your YouTube description. Whatever you want viewers to do next, ask them to do it, whether it be subscribe, turn on notifications, or share your video. You could even mention an opt-in opportunity you want them to sign up for on your website.
Video Description Template
Let’s take at Chris Ramsay’s video description for his video on solving a brain teaser puzzle.
Right away, he takes the first three lines to tell you what you’ll be watching and then dives immediately into where you can buy one, similar videos of his you can watch, and where you can go for more information on him. He uses great, searchable keywords and doesn’t beat around the bush.
Now, let’s look at Sorelle Amore’s video description discussing presets for photography.
She takes the first line to repeat the title of the video (which already has plenty of keywords) and then lists products of hers related to the video before going into more detail below.
Both of these techniques work well for each YouTuber and both follow the guidelines as mentioned above. As you can see, there are so many ways you could apply these writing tips and the possibilities are endless!
To get you started, here is our template for the perfect YouTube video description. This copy paste YouTube description can easily added to your YouTube channel by going to the Creator Studio, then channel, and save it to Upload Defaults. That way, you always have the proper YouTube description formatting ready to go!
Practice Makes Perfect
Writing the perfect YouTube description isn’t always easy. But with our tips and templates, you are a few steps closer to getting it right! Just remember, practice makes perfect, even with YouTube descriptions. Don’t be afraid to try different descriptions on different videos until you see one performing better than the rest. Once you find that perfect description, trust us, you will know!
Ritvars is the marketing lead at Sellfy.