The thumbnail and title are the very first things people see when they check out videos on YouTube. It is therefore understandable for you to make sure each of your videos has a catchy title and an attractive thumbnail. But these two components aren’t the only ones people check when they view YouTube videos. A good percentage of viewers also check a video’s description before deciding whether to play it or not. Therefore, you should also make sure each video you publish comes with an enticing description.
If you don’t know it already, the video description is the text you see right below the video. YouTube allows you to type a maximum of 5000 characters into the description box, so you have to make the most of the space you’re given. If your title and thumbnail aren’t enough to convince a viewer to watch your video, this section can really make or break it for you. Read on to find out how you can come up with killer video descriptions.
Make sure the first 180 characters of your video description are interesting enough to catch the interest of a random viewer. Naturally, you also have to make sure the rest of the description is not only interesting, but accurate as well. Descriptions that don’t really describe what a video contains can annoy viewers to an extent where they will skip all videos you post in the future regardless of what the title and/or description says.
You should also make sure your video description is clear and specific. Try to distinguish it from other videos by using keywords that are very specific to its content. It also helps to use complete sentences, as they are normally deemed more appealing by viewers. Of course, you’d also want to optimize your videos for search engine bots. Towards this end, it pays to ensure correct categorization. Placing a video in the right category also increases the likelihood of people watching it more frequently and giving it higher ratings.
Other than the basic tips provided above, you’d also do well to bear in mind the best practices for creating video descriptions. These practices should serve as your guide as you start crafting well thought-out descriptions for your videos. They will help ensure that the videos you upload will get the attention of the right audience and achieve the purpose for which they were made.
- Linking – If you want your video to generate more traffic to your website, then you may want to add a link high up in the video description. But if you want to grow your viewership on YouTube at the same time, it may be better to place the link below the fold. Remember to always use http:// before the URL in order to make the link clickable.
Always remember to use http:// before your chosen URL to make sure your links are all clickable. Flickr.com photo by Takashi(aes256)
- Description Structure and Style – What should your description contain? What should it do for your audience? Simply put, your description should tell viewers what the video is all about, what to expect from it, and why they should watch it in full. As a general rule, your description should not go below 200 words in order for it to be comprehensive enough to deliver the desired results.
- Strong Calls to Action – Think very carefully about what you want a viewer to do after watching your video and use the description to encourage them to take the desired action. Depending on what the video is about and why you’ve chosen to create it, you could encourage your viewers to click through to your website, join a competition, watch another video, subscribe to your YouTube channel, or connect with you on social media.
- “Subscribe Here” Link – Even if your video is simply meant to provide information and you’re not really using it to generate website traffic or increase revenue, you should never forget to include a “Subscribe Here” link in the description. This link can and should be placed in the annotation, of course, but it wouldn’t hurt to also include it in the video description.
- Social Media Link – If you are active on key social sites (as you should be), don’t forget to point your viewers to the right direction. Even if you have already included this information in your YouTube “About” page, it will still be helpful to include it in the description. Not everyone bothers to check the About page; it pays to use every tool you have.
Now you know why it’s important to create well-crafted descriptions for each video you upload on YouTube and you have a fairly good idea on how to go about creating killer descriptions. If you have already posted YouTube videos in the past, it may be a good idea to revisit their descriptions. If you are just starting your YouTube campaign, then congratulations! You are on the right track.