How to Write a Perfect YouTube Video Description (Tutorial & Real Examples)

I reviewed 5000+ videos to make this guide to writing good YouTube video descriptions. It includes my best tips for writing to win search, improve SEO, and increase video views. What should you write in your video description box? This video has real data-backed pointers for what to include, and how to optimize them.

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0:00 The Data
0:39 Why do they Even Matter?
1:14 The Findings
2:17 2 Locations: Above the Fold
3:44 YouTube Descriptions and SEO
4:46 2 Locations: Below the Fold
5:57 Hashtags
6:46 How to Know if It’s Working

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#growonyoutube #youtubeseo

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there are videos out there about making

good youtube video descriptions and i

wanted to make a better one also i can’t

think of a better intro for this video

so let’s just get started howdy howdy

everyone nate here you know me i wanted

to best answer this question or as fully

as i possibly could therefore i

collected a lot of data so i have two

sample sets one is i ask you for your

top video you watching channel maker

subscribers i ask you in my community

tab uh for some of your top videos and

that data set accounts for a total of

433 videos as well as a total view count

across all those videos of almost 56

million views and then i also did some

digging into a variety of very popular

youtube channels of which the total

views comes out at just over 31 billion

views so the first big question here is

why do youtube descriptions even matter

okay so there’s a few factors one they

have the potential to show in search

results when someone searches on youtube

second they have the potential to affect

seo ranking or how well your video will

rank when someone searches for a topic

on youtube and third they are a factor

in the audience deciding whether they

will watch that video versus another

video so for the description of a video

youtube gives us about 5 000 characters

which is about 800 words but across all

of those videos all that data set that i

collected i did not see a single video

that maxed out that 5000 characters so

you want to know what i found well let

me show you so the first data set is

from you which by the way thank you so

much if you are not aware in my youtube

community here on channel makers in the

community tab i am asking questions all

the time where i can feature videos do a

video roast or ask questions like this

which it turned out are just so helpful

to help myself as well as you to just

get a better sense of how to be

successful on youtube so thank you so

much for doing that now the average word

count across this data set was a hundred

and thirty-two now if we look at the big

tubers data their average was about 110

words with the number average number of

links showing up in the description

being about seven and also remember with

the big tubers data we’re looking at

just under 5 000 videos worth of

descriptions oh yeah and also uh

something else funny was i asked for a

screenshot of this traffic source types

from a specific video that you shared

and it looks like from all of this about

half of you are using youtube in dark

mode just an interesting fact that uh

you you may or may not have wanted to

know all right and now the application

for your own descriptions you want to

know the best practices well let me give

it to you okay let me show you some

examples from channel makers this one

for example this one happened fairly

recently you’ve got two locations i want

you to think of your descriptions as two

locations you’ve got above the fold and

below the fold so above the fold is what

appears up here in the description of

the video here on desktop for example

before you click the show more button

right here now this above the fold is

important because the first 130 to 150

characters is what will show within a

search result page and therefore has the

most impact on what the audience does as

well as youtube has stated that it has

the most impact on youtube classifying

for seo purposes what that video is

about so with your first 150 characters

being very important i wanted to give

some pointers here first of all use as

simple as language as you possibly can

i’m one step above cave speak so you

want to describe your video in such a

way that you can get the gist of the

video within those 150 characters or

less i would aim at the lower end of

that about 130 characters but you’re

looking to give the gist of the video in

as few words and as simple of words as

possible but also in that above the fold

section you’re also looking to include

what that video is about from a search

term standpoint so if your video is

targeting a search on youtube for

example and it’s about the best water

bottle you would want to include in

natural language these are the seven

best water bottles i reviewed all of

them this is my pick you want to make

sure that the searcher can tell when

they look at your description aside from

the thumbnail and the title that this

video is going to go more in depth on

why i’m searching also in preparation

for this video i did send a message over

to nick nimmin a phenomenal youtube

expert if you have not yet checked out

his youtube channel you definitely

should about youtube descriptions i

wanted to ask him what was his

experience with it and he sent back

something very interesting i wanted to

share with you so early on he says when

seo was the main thing i was after i did

a test of different things around search

for descriptions it didn’t really seem

to matter if a keyword phrase was in it

or not i ended up defaulting to always

putting one there based on general best

practices the title however that makes a

difference it goes on to say i’ve had

the most success with myself and others

by adding the title or keyword phrase to

the title but get this here is why this

is so important here he says with that

said i have a theory about it youtube’s

default sorting and search is by

relevance so the more relevant you can

make the title to the query and i will

add here the first 150 characters of

your description the more likely it will

get tested for that term or phrase so

youtube descriptions are a factor in

determining how well your video performs

in search as well as audience behavior

and also if this video is being helpful

to you thus far i would love if you

would boop the like button so it can

spread to more people i appreciate that

thank you so we’ve got above the fold

what about below the fold the rest of

your description i myself go for a

simpler approach to this and that is

backed by all the data i looked at with

the average being about 110 words in the

description i don’t go for everything in

the kitchen sink approach and it seems

to be doing just fine in my videos but

let me show you what i do so first of

all the above the fold is up here and

then the very next thing i put is the

next thing that i think is most

important for my audience and in this

case it’s my youtube program project 24.

the second thing i do is something

relevant to that most important thing so

right here this is on youtube my

thumbnail guide includes why i made the

program on what’s in it so this is an

actual youtube video describing a bit

more of what’s in project 24 as well as

why i made it if they’re not convinced

to go to an external location i want to

keep them on youtube and watching more

videos so that’s very helpful then i

have other relevant links like in this

case it’s i use vidiq on my channel and

this is why i use vidiq and then from

there i keep it very very simple it’s

bare bones i’ve got chapters here and

then this link here is if you as an

audience find something very interesting

to share with me feedback like if you

don’t like my videos or if there’s

something really interesting you found

on youtube i have a link here where you

can share that and then i’ve got two

hashtags and then i’m covering my legal

bases here at the bottom now a quick

note on hashtags here is hashtags are

treated as a classification factor on

youtube so for example if i click on

this hashtag grow on youtube i can see

all of the videos which there’s a lot of

them that are mine on here that have

that same hashtag so it’s a way for your

videos to get found youtube said they

were going to do a lot more with

hashtags they haven’t done very much

with it thus far but as a general best

practice i would include two to three

hashtags in your description just as a

way to add relevance and classify what

your video is about a thing to avoid

with hashtags is including 15 or more

hashtags at that point all of them will

be demoted to non-hashtag status and

youtube will not classify them as such

but they are especially useful for

trending style of content if you want to

catch on to a trend that’s happening on

youtube and there’s a certain hashtag

that’s attached with that trend then

definitely use that hashtag so you’ve

got your formula of how to write an

awesome youtube description now how can

you tell if it’s actually working or not

this is the most important question

that’s often overlooked here is where

you should look to tell if it’s working

on this video for example if i hit

analytics i’m going to go up at the top

here i’m just using simple analytics on

desktop as an example i’m going to go up

here to reach and the most relevant

thing aside from impressions and

click-through rate and views is if you

scroll down here to youtube search and

you can see the exact queries that your

audience is finding your video with i

think if we’re honest here in the grand

scheme of things youtube descriptions

are one of the less important things i

don’t mean to downplay you just watch

this entire video on how to get good

youtube descriptions in most cases it’s

another skill to add to your tool belt

it’s not a primary focus in most cases

if you can’t produce a good video for

example if you don’t understand the

algorithm or you don’t know how to make

good thumbnails or titles do those

things first and then really nail

descriptions you weren’t expecting me to

say that in the description video now

were you i’ve got something big coming

next week i’m going to share with you

here on channel makers exactly what i

would do if i were to start a brand new

youtube channel


i rearranged my publishing schedule and

the video i started talking about here

is actually already published right here

it’s dang good so go watch it next

and thank you by the way for being okay

with my janky video editing