YouTube Description Best Practices (+Templates)

YouTube Description Best Practices (+Templates)

Considering the fact that YouTube descriptions help your videos appear in search results, it’s crucial to have well-written ones.

Besides, attractive and engaging descriptions can help to increase the number of your channel subscribers and views on your videos. The quality of your videos still counts.

So, here we need a perfect combination of catchy descriptions and quality content. If you’ve already created great videos, then let’s improve the quality of your descriptions.

Writing a good YouTube description demands some skills and training, it’s not impossible though. 

In this article, we’ll cover all that you need to know about the two YouTube descriptions: channel description and video descriptions, including best practices, examples, and free templates.

Let’s dive in!

  • YouTube Channel Description
  • Channel Description Best Practices
  • Channel Description Examples
  • Channel Description Templates
  • YouTube Video Description
  • Video Description Best Practices
  • Video Description Examples
  • Video Description Templates

 

YouTube branding with Renderforest

 

 

YouTube Channel Description

Every YouTube channel has an About page. It includes basic information about your channel and can play a part in the decision-making process of your visitors. 

This is why it’s recommended to update and optimize your About section. It gives you an opportunity to introduce yourself and attract more subscribers.

YouTube channel about section

Your About page consists of the following sections:

  • Description: a short introduction of your channel
  • Details: business email and location
  • Links: external links
  • Stats: date of channel creation and number of views

 

YouTube channel description usually includes information about you, your business, your channel, what kind of content you share, how often you post new content, links to your website or other external links.

It has a limit of 1,000 characters, so you need to keep it short but informative.

YouTube channel description

Another benefit of having a great channel description is that it appears in YouTube’s search results. Moreover, it also can show up in Google search results. 

So, you’ve already started optimizing your description? Read till the end to learn more about writing effective descriptions (examples + templates).

 

YouTube Channel Description Best Practices

The purpose of your channel description is to tell your audience what your content is about in a concise way. You should also consider adding your publishing frequency, the key topics of your content, the types of videos you create, etc. 

Now, we’ll discuss some of the best practices of creating YouTube channel descriptions.

  • Keep your description brief and specific. Consider your audience while writing it and only include the information you think will be helpful to them. 
  • Your channel description is part of your brand. Make sure to keep your brand consistent. Pay attention to your brand personality, voice, style, etc.
  • The first 120-130 characters of your description are displayed in YouTube’s search results, so make sure to make it catchy and informative at the same time. Try to put your main message at the beginning of your description.
  • Before your description appears in search results, you should first optimize it. Find and include the popular search terms your viewers use to find the information they are looking for. Besides, you can add those keywords as your channel tags.

YouTube channel tags

  • And last but no less important, add a call to action at the end of your description. Depending on your channel purpose, you can ask your viewers to visit your website, subscribe to your channel, download a guide, subscribe to your newsletter, visit your online shop, and more. 

 

Now that we know what an effective channel description looks like, let’s check some examples.

 

YouTube Channel Description Examples

Let’s take a look at Brian Dean’s (Backlinko) YouTube channel description.

Backlinko channel description

First, this description is super brief and specific to a certain group of people interested in SEO. If you are familiar with his blog, you can notice that his style and voice are consistent. 

The description is optimized with industry-specific terms and keywords. And finally, he has a call-to-action that asks viewers to subscribe. What if you want to get creative with your description? You can add creativity and your unique approach, but don’t get as creative as PewDiePie, the most subscribed YouTuber.

PewDiePie channel description

You can get overly creative once you establish a recognizable YouTube brand. But before that, turn to the tried and tested options.

 

YouTube Channel Description Templates

Knowing the best practices of writing YouTube channel descriptions is not enough. You should implement them while writing your description.

Here are some description templates that you can use as a starting point. Select the one that works best for your channel, edit, and personalize.

YouTube channel description templates

Download for Free

 

YouTube Video Description

Now that you know how to write your channel description, let’s discuss video descriptions.

When you want to publish a video, YouTube gives you an opportunity to explain the topic of your video in detail and add links, all within 5000 characters. Your job is to make the most out of it.

YouTube video description

Where do you see the description of YouTube videos? Your video description appears on your video watch page, YouTube search, and Google search results. 

On the watch page, only the first couple of sentences are shown. The viewers should click on “Show More” to read the full description. In search results, only the first 135-160 characters are shown.

On mobile devices, the description is hidden by default. 

Now, let’s discuss the best practices of writing your YouTube video descriptions.

 

YouTube Video Description Best Practices

How do you write a description on YouTube? Your description should be a brief introduction to your video that will help viewers understand what it is about.

YouTube gives you almost unlimited options for making attractive and effective descriptions. So, let’s see what you can include in it.

YouTube video description elements

 

Keywords

Your description is your main tool that will help your video appear in search results. This is why you should optimize it for search. 

To determine your video topic, you should analyze the topics your audience is interested in and find the most searched keywords. Then, use those keywords in your description. You can also use your keywords as tags.

use your keywords as tags

Pay attention to the first few lines, as they appear on SERPs. Make sure to include your main keyword.

 

Call to Action

After catching the attention of your viewers with a strong introduction, don’t forget to add a call to action. Considering the purpose of your video, you can select any kind of call to action.

Ask them to subscribe, visit your website, download your guide, or any other action depending on your goals.

call to action in YouTube description

If you want to add a subscription link, add this to your channel URL, after your channel ID:

?sub_confirmation=1

It will look like this:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHI9rRi4fAXdWlA7iy7SJjg?sub_confirmation=1

Experiment with them to find those that work best for you. Here are some characteristics of effective calls to action: 

  • Fear of missing out
  • Urgency
  • Reverse Psychology
  • Motivation
  • Exclusivity
  • Emotions
  • Personalization

 

Timestamp

If your video is long and can be broken into several points, add timestamps to enhance the viewer experience. How to do it?

  • Prepare the key points of your video and their time.
  • Upload your video, or edit a published one.
  • In the description field, write the specific time – minutes:seconds or hours:minutes:seconds if it’s a long video, and add keyword-optimized topics for each one.
  • Save and refresh.

Timestamps in YouTube description

 

Social Media Links

Cross-promotion of your social media accounts can be an effective tool for connecting with your audience. On YouTube, you can do it by adding your social accounts to your description. 

Why should you do that? Easy. By adding other social channels, you give your viewers an opportunity to find you on the platforms they use more often. 

Let’s admit that all of us have our favorite social media channels and we spend most of our time there. This is why you should give them the option to choose.

One thing you should consider is – don’t add channels you’re not active on. For example, if you post on Twitter once a month, or never, it’s better not to share that account with your audience. Instead, you can share your Instagram or LinkedIn page, where you’re active almost on a daily basis.

social links in YouTube description

 

Related Videos and Playlists

How to keep your interested viewers’ attention? By giving them more and more related content, of course. 

When users search for the topics they are interested in, they want to learn more about them. And, when they watch one video, they will look for other related videos. This is when your video and playlist recommendations will work their magic and add more views to your channel.

YouTube gives you an opportunity to add recommended content not only through end screens and cards but also by adding them to your video description. All you need to do is add your topic or video/playlist title and the link.

recommended videos in YouTube description

 

Links to Your Website or Affiliate Links

If you’re trying to monetize your YouTube channel, then you should also include some links in your description.

Add a link to your website, if you’re selling directly from your site. Or, if you’re introducing some products, add your affiliate links. If it’s a paid sponsorship, add the link to your sponsor’s website.

affiliate links in YouTube description

 

Emojis

Emojis can be an engaging addition to your title and description. Yes, people use emojis in titles too. But it’s fully optional. 

Like any other element in a description, emojis should be tested too. Even though millennials use them to express their certain emotions or activities, it’s not a fact that emojis will have a positive impact on your video.

emojis in YouTube description

In case you want to try emojis, make sure not to overuse them and keep them relevant to your content.

 

Hashtags

On YouTube, hashtags can be used both in the title and description. They help viewers easily find videos related to specific topics. You can use your keywords as hashtags, or add branded hashtags for your content and make it a part of your channel brand. 

Remember that hashtags have special formatting: if there are two or more words in your hashtag, don’t add space between them.

Don’t add too many hashtags (60+), especially if they are misleading and not directly connected to your video. A couple of related hashtags is enough.

hashtags in YouTube description

 

YouTube Video Description Examples

As an example of the above-mentioned best practices, we’ll analyze the following YouTube video description of Ahrefs.

So, what do we have here? A strong opening, additional resources (video, playlist), the description of their video, timestamps, hashtags, a call to action (subscribe), and social media links.

YouTube video description examples

As you can see, they have a fully optimized description with all the key elements. And, one more example from Renderforest. Check the description of this video about Instagram Reels.

Renderforest YouTube video description example

Here you can see a strong opening that describes what you’ll get by watching the video, links to important pages, a call to action, and a couple emojis. Then, we also have timestamps, website and social media links, and hashtags. 

Pay attention to the key elements of descriptions and start writing yours. We’ll help you by providing several video description templates below.

 

YouTube Video Description Templates

Before writing a description, make sure that you already have your video ready. Don’t write your description before creating your video, because your description should be based on it.

Now, download these free video description templates, pick the one that you like, and customize it.

YouTube video description templates

Download for Free

 

Conclusion

YouTube description is part of your channel branding, so you should be mindful of the quality and content of your channel and video descriptions. 

In this article, we’ve discussed all the best practices of writing effective YouTube descriptions, with examples. The free downloadable YouTube description templates will help you get started. Optimize, test, and update your descriptions to find the perfect combination of words and elements!

Learn more about YouTube channel branding.

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Read all posts by Emma Bojukyan
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