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Optimizing YouTube Video Descriptions

Going Viral: Optimizing YouTube Video Descriptions

For many, going viral in the early days of YouTube was as simple as recording and uploading. But to go viral in the current, saturated state of the platform, your videos need to not only be original, creative, and entertaining –– but also optimized. Here are some tips on optimizing your video descriptions to elevate viewership, subscriber count, and digital reach.

Use Relevant Keywords

Keywords are the search terms that help to link your content with users who are searching for it. Pick one to two keywords that best represent your video and spread them a few times within your description. Two to three times per description is what you should aim for –– any more than that could end up harming your SEO ranking, while any less could make it hard for your video to rank in the first place. To maximize the benefits of your keywords, try to pop one or more in the title as well.

Add Enough Information

YouTube descriptions must be, as you might assume, descriptive. While you don’t have to go into extreme detail, your descriptions should be more than few-word summaries. For best practices, make sure the first two to three sentences of your recap lead viewers into your content, display your keywords, and entice them to click. These introductory sentences are the ones that YouTube displays when users are browsing through videos to watch. Furthermore, these sentences are the part of your descriptions that appear above the “show more” button when viewers are actually watching.

Stay Away From Clickbait  

Clickbait gets users to click through to your video. But after discovering that your video isn’t what they thought it was, they’ll just as quickly click out of your video. When users bounce from your upload without seeing it through to the end, your SEO rankings can take a hit. That’s why you need to write descriptions honest to your content and to your brand. Just as importantly, you’ll need to avoid language in your description that doesn’t align with your brand voice, as it can also cause users to prematurely exit your video.

Have an Actionable CTA

If you want your viewers to do something with your content, tell them to. For example, you can use your descriptions to encourage users to like, comment, and subscribe. Or, you can lead them to your other videos, playlists, or channels by linking URLs in the description or right on the video they’re watching. Regardless of what you want your users to do next, place your call-to-action near the end of your description so all of the value-providing content precedes it. 

Link to Social Accounts   

As part of your CTA, include links to your social media accounts, website, or other places you want users to find and follow you online. You can even direct users to your social links by mentioning in your video that you’ve placed them below. While they’re important to include in your description, remember to save your social links for last. By placing them anywhere in the forefront of your video summary, you jeopardize the success of your keywords, and you run the risk of sounding too promotional.

Your Guide to YouTube

You’ve put enough time and creative energy into creating content. Let someone else put their expertise and experience into optimizing it. At WSOA, we’ll do just that. Our team of SEO and social media professionals can enrich your YouTube descriptions so your audience clicks on and watches through your videos. To learn more about YouTube SEO and find out how we can use it to benefit your brand, contact us today.