How to Write a YouTube Description That Crushes It

Finding success on YouTube starts with great video content — but it doesn’t end there. In reality, there are several factors that go into leveraging this platform to its full potential. One such factor is the description — the space below the video where you get to write whatever you think of. Want to know how to write a YouTube description that’ll boost your engagement, reach, and traffic?

Get ready, because we’re about to give you five ultimate tips that will shift your YouTube descriptions from good to best.

By the way, to be clear, when we talk about the YouTube description, we mean this:

YouTube description

5 Tips for How to Write a YouTube Description Like a Pro

1. Choose the Right Keywords

Remember that YouTube is a search engine, like Google. In fact, it’s the second largest search engine in the world, owned by Google — the largest search engine in the world. This means that search engine optimization (SEO) matters.

Choosing the right keyword will help optimize your video and bring more traffic to it in search results. You need to do your research and be specific when it comes to which keywords you plan to use in your YouTube description. When you use the right keywords, it essentially makes it easier for Youtube’s algorithm to understand what your content is about and categorize it appropriately.

What should you look for in a keyword? You want something that (1) gets a lot of traffic but (2) is not very competitive. The use of keywords that are high-traffic and low-competition in your YouTube description will help increase the visibility of your video, thus bringing it more traffic. 

Use a tool like Keyword’s Everywhere to help you track down the right keywords. YouTube SEO is a must. Here's an example of what it's going to look like:

Keywords Everywhere in YouTube

Keywords Everywhere is telling us that "YouTube SEO" gets about 33,100 searches per month. The competition is 0.29 (on a scale of 0-1). Not bad!

2. Keep it Concise and Engaging

If you want to know how to write a YouTube description, you need to catch the attention of your audience in the first 200-250 words. This is because YouTube only shows viewers the very beginning of your description in search results before they have to click to expand it. This is what it looks like:

YouTube description in search results

In other words, you need to entice them from the word go.

Try asking a question or sharing an opinion. Don’t try to cram a summary of the whole video in the first sentence or two. This defeats the purpose and makes it so that viewers don’t have to expand the full description. That’s not what we want.

For the remainder of the YouTube description, focus on telling viewers only what they need to know and not a sentence more. Remember, we still want them to watch the whole video. Don’t give it all away in the description.

3. Make it Specific to Your Target Audience

Prior to making your video content, you should already have a goal in mind for what you’re trying to accomplish with that video. Don’t create the video for your own gain. Rather, create it with the intention of providing value to others. The “who” in video marketing is vital, and it’s going to drive what your content is about.

Don’t try to speak to everyone, because everyone isn’t your target audience. Instead, think about the exact people you’re trying to reach. What are their:

  • Goals?
  • Pain points?
  • Needs?

Your YouTube description should cater to them based on factors like these.

4. Include a Call-to-Action

Once you’ve caught the attention of your viewers, use this real estate to encourage them to like the video, comment on it, and/or subscribe to your channel. This is your call-to-action (CTA). You’re literally asking them to do something.

But you can get even more creative than this. Linking to your social media handles in the YouTube description box can help send traffic to those pages.

call-to-action in YouTube description

Apart from your social media handles, you may also include call-to-action links that send viewers to a lead magnet, a product, your services page, or something of the like. You can also link to related videos that the viewer might find helpful.

5. Monitor Your Metrics

The only way you can tell if your YouTube description is converting is to know your numbers.

In terms of your YouTube description, you should pay extra attention to your click-through rate (CTR). Here’s why. The first three things that people see when you show up in YouTube search results are your:

  1. Thumbnail.
  2. Video title.
  3. Video description.

These are the most important elements in determining your click-through rate.

So, if your CTR is low, it could mean that your description isn’t enticing enough. Aim for a CTR of at least 3%. (Side note: If your CTR is looking good, then you should test a new thumbnail or video title.)

You can also consider your conversion rate. If you link to a lead magnet in your description, but that lead magnet isn’t getting any sign-ups, then your description isn’t converting. This isn’t something you will find in YouTube analytics. Rather, you’d want to look at website traffic, email signups, etc.

Wrapping it All Up

An effective Youtube description tells your audience what the video is about, catches their attention, encourages them to watch the full video, and incorporates keywords to boost your rankings in YouTube search results.

This is important real estate that can make a significant difference in how well you perform on YouTube. Don’t forget, too, that YouTube videos can rank in Google search results. Bonus!

Need help managing your YouTube channel? LSM is ready to get you ranking in search results. Contact us today for a free strategy session.