They’ve become commonplace. When you conduct a generic search based upon keywords, search engines will always present some YouTube videos. Here’s a simple example on “How to Write a good essay.”



It’s obvious that YouTube videos have become a large part of search responses.

But getting those videos on the front pages of these searches involves a great deal more than that picture you see, and they are not randomly selected. They are based upon the quality and popularity of the videos themselves, as determined by search engine algorithms, and the other “algorithms” that are a part of YouTube native searches on the site itself – those descriptions you write specifically for those native searches.

And just as generic searches on the big engines, you should fashion your YouTube description in much the same way – use of a few critical and most popular search keywords and honesty about the contents of the video. How these descriptions are actually composed, however, will determine whether a viewer actually clicks through.

How to Write Compelling YouTube Descriptions

 Your goal is to get viewers of your description to take a “bite of your apple” by clicking through to your video. This means the description must be clear, engaging, and creative.  Here are 10 tips to do just that.


1.     The Description Must Match the Title of the Video Itself  

Most video titles are about 75 characters, and they include the most important search terms/keywords. Your description should include these as well. These terms should be compelling enough to capture attention.    

2.   Think Like a Journalist

Look at the headlines of the news stories that compel you to read further. They grab your attention, pique your interest, and motivate you to read on. It is the same with the first part of your description. The first 100 words or so should be stunning and creative. Check this out to see how essay-type introductions and other articles introduce their topics in ways that engage readers from the very beginning.

3.   Explainer and “How-To” Video Teasers Must Be Included in the Descriptions When Appropriate.

Consumers search YouTube when they need important information about types of products to use and how to complete DIY projects. If you market products that lend themselves to either or both, the early part of your description must focus on this. While your product or service may not be as well-known as something like WD-40, you should take a look at its YouTube presence – literally over 100 videos that in some ways explain uses or “how to.” Smaller companies have learned to do the same thing and emulate the types of descriptions used by WD-40.

4.   Use Simple, Clear Language

No one wants to struggle to read sophisticated vocabulary or complicated sentences. Your descriptions must honestly and clearly state exactly what a viewer will be seeing but do so succinctly and with a reading level at about the 7th grade level. Sentences should be short and simple.

5.   Mobile Compatibility is a Must

The use of mobile devices has far surpassed desktop PC’s. When you compose your description (and your video too of course), be certain that you test its compatibility with all mobile devices. If it doesn’t load well, and quickly you will lose viewers, no matter how clever and compelling your description may be.

6.   Never Ignore Social

You want our video marketed everywhere possible. At the end of each of your descriptions, be certain that you make it easy for viewers to comment, share, and recommend it on all of your social platforms. Provide them with easy links to do so.

7.   Never Stop Researching Search Terms and Keywords

Popular search terms and keywords do change over time. If you are writing descriptions and YouTube video titles that you want to change, you can do this at any time. There are many tools to use to discover the most current and popular search terms in your business niche, and you should check them regularly. Having the most current terms is critical when YouTube searches are conducted.

8.   Know Your Audience

If you either write descriptions or create scripts for videos, you already know that you are using language, style, and tone that is a “match” for your target audience.

Consider this explainer video released when Dollar Shave Club launched its business in 2012. The initial target audience was millennial men, a group that had a special sense of humor and loved a somewhat irreverent style. Obviously, the video was a success – it went viral within hours.


As you write your descriptions, think about your audience. You would not use the same tone and style selling funeral plans as you would Red Bull.

9.   Use Hashtags

Hashtags are a few terms that will appear directly above your video. Choose them carefully, thinking about the main points your video is making and use only a few. If you sell adult nutritional products, for example, your hashtags might include such terms as “adult protein boost,” or “complete adult nutrition.”

10.   Add CTA’s and Links

You may have some blog posts that provide lots more than just your video, and can act as further promotion of the value of your product or service. Adding a CTA and a link to that piece could result in more conversions – another stone not left unturned.

These 10…

Here are 10 quickly actionable tips that can make your YouTube video descriptions engaging, compelling, and result in many more click-throughs. Find the resources you need that will create those stunning descriptions, keep abreast of those of your competitors, and revise them as often as you want.


Author Bio: Kristen Savage has been a prolific writer and editor, contributing to online copywriting services and numerous blogs focusing on creative marketing strategies. She is an avid supporter and volunteer for animal rescue organizations and can be found at the gym at least five days a week.