A compelling video description is vital for success on YouTube. It not only helps your videos to be found easily, but can have a multitude of positive effects like more subscribers, more clicks on other videos, more clicks on your website, longer view durations and so on. Your description should have two main goals, to target both the YouTube algorithm and the viewer.


The Algorithm – This will give YouTube an idea of what the video is about and present the video to the right demographic of people. Later on, YouTube will use click rate and watch time, as well as some other factors, but in the beginning, the title, thumbnail and video description to understand what people want to watch and present them with your videos.


The Viewer – This allows you to give the viewer additional information and to perform actions. If you are not a YouTube partner you cannot link your website through info cards, but you could always do it through the description.


When writing your video description, think about these points:


  • If viewing on a computer you can only see the first two lines of the description before having to click “Show More”, and on a mobile or tablet, you cannot see it at all. Therefore, we need to make the first two lines impactful for those who can see it.

  • Include a standard section that is always the same on your videos.

  • Think about important links, do they need to be in the first two lines so they can be seen?

  • Keep the description accurate.

  • Don’t use spam tags, and use full words and sentences.

  • Use focussed keywords in the first sentence and again later on if possible.

  • Aim to write around 250 characters.

  • Ensure you include any links you use or discuss in the video.

  • Think about time codes for different topics within the video.

  • Make sure you describe your overall channel.

  • Include a call to action, asking people to like and subscribe.

  • Enter relevant links like your website or social media.

  • Make sure you separate each section with parting lines, such as “Timeline”, “About”, “More Videos”, “Social Media” and “Channel Details”.

  •  Use a URL shortener to track number of clicks on links.