A well written YouTube description can not only boost your video SEO allowing you to appear higher in search results but can also be used to guide your potential fans to your other sites such as your Facebook page and website.
In this post I will be talking about what you should and shouldn't be writing in your YouTube description and how you can use your description to increase your YouTube watch time.
A quick note before we begin, changing your description after your video is live may temporarily effect it's placement in search results. Therefore it is best to get your description right before the video is live.
The First Two Sentences
Search engines such as Google use the first two sentences of your description in their search results so it is a good idea to try to make them as compelling as possible. A good way to start is by using informational words such as 'learn, how to, history of' etc. to pique potential viewers interest.
Case in point, for function band Bounce's live promo video you could start with 'Find out what makes Bounce the must have party band for your event with this live video from Luxembourg'.
For SEO purposes it is also a good idea to include the keywords you have used in the video title in the first line of the description. For instance for the function band Vinyl Beats the video title could be 'London Based Rock Function Band: Vinyl Beats Promo'. The first line of the description could read 'Vinyl Beats are a London based function band who cover a variety of genres with their unique rock twist'.
Explain Your Channel/Band
By default YouTube will only display the first few lines of the description on the video page. To see more, the viewer will have to click the 'Show More' button. If they have clicked this button it usually means they are interested in more than just the one video and want to learn more about you, making this the perfect opportunity to tell them what you do.
This will differ depending on your YouTube channel. For example if you are an originals band you could tell the viewer what genre you classify the band as, who are some of your influences, what releases you have coming up etc.
For a function band you should try and sell what makes your band different from the others. You could also let the viewer know what area you specialise in (weddings, corporate events, parties) or even include an example set list. On a side note, if you specialise in more than one area I recommend having more than one promo video. Different clients will be looking for different things from function bands, if your promo video is focused on wedding clients then a corporate client may be less likely to hire you.
If you run a teaching/tutorial channel then this is the place to tell you viewers what they can expect on an ongoing basis on your channel. include information such as how often you post videos, what topics you cover, how they can get in touch to offer topic suggestions etc.
Links Links Links
This shouldn't need to be said but your YouTube description is the perfect place to add links to boost your SEO for not only your YouTube channel but also your presence on other websites. You should place these links in the order you believe is most important but here are a few ideas on links you could include.
- Social media - Facebook, Twitter etc.
- Your website
- Sound cloud
- Links to where to buy your music - iTunes, Amazon, Google Play Store
- Timestamps - If your video is a full gig you could include timestamp links to individual songs
- More of your videos (great for your watch time)
- A subscribe button
- Social media and website links for collaborators on the video (even if you paid someone to produce your video it is still nice to give thanks and point people in their direction)
A Few Don'ts
First and foremost don't simply copy the title of the video, add your website and leave it at that. After reading this post, I shouldn't have to to tell you that this isn't helpful to your viewers and it won't help you win more fans/clients.
Don't use misleading information. It's normally good to big yourself up and make your band/channel seem bigger than you are, but don't take it too far. Not only will viewers normally see through this but it is also against YouTube's terms and conditions and could lead to your video and channel being taken down.
Also against YouTube's T & Cs is filling your description with a big block of keywords. For a start you should only be using a small number of targeted keywords. It also gives the viewer the impression that you are lazy and couldn't be bothered to write an interesting description.
I hope I have shown you that writing an interesting video description isn't as hard as it seems. Just remember most of the creative writing is condensed into the first two sentences meaning it shouldn't take you long to write a great description. For such little time investment, a great description can lead to more watch time, more website views, more Facebook likes and Twitter followers and in the long run, more fans.
As always if there is a topic you would like me to cover in a future blog post you can leave a comment below or post on our Facebook page. Or if you would like to see how I can help bring your music to life with video get in touch through the contact page.