The Best YouTube Video Descriptions for SEO

Written by: Jason Bayless | January 18, 2016

Sometimes, even those of us who consider ourselves adept at search engine optimization fail to use SEO techniques to our full advantage. While it’s obvious that your blog posts should be SEO and keyword optimized, some aspects of our online efforts are less obvious as opportunities for optimization.

An example of this would be YouTube video descriptions. At first glance, they seem fairly unimportant; indeed, they can seem like “filler” text that has no real bearing on the success of the video. In reality, however, YouTube video descriptions are an untapped well of opportunity to optimize our brands and improve our search engine results.

To help you use all aspects of your company’s YouTube channel to their full advantages, here are some of the best techniques for optimizing your video descriptions.

Create A Quality Description

If you write out a video description that’s nothing but junk, such as a mishmash of keywords meant to “spam” Google, your video will subsequently suffer. YouTube’s search algorithm doesn’t respond well to intentional attempts to game the system. Furthermore, this really turns off viewers. You don’t want to give people an incentive to dislike your video before they’ve even watched it.

The truth is that you should be creating video descriptions that have the same quality as a good blog post. Instead of just inputting a few words to fill space, put some thought into the description. It’s fine to embed keywords, but make sure that they appear in the text effortlessly. As with any text you put online, keywords shouldn’t be noticeable to the untrained eye.

Link, Link, Link

The description section is the best place to put outgoing links in a YouTube video. Contrary to popular belief, video annotation links – as in, links that pop up as a little box on top of the actual video – aren’t effective for multiple reasons. First and foremost, they are typically viewed as an annoyance by viewers. Second, they do nothing to improve your search engine rankings.

Your YouTube description should contain links to your website, your Twitter, your Facebook and anywhere else where you would like the viewer to click after watching your video. If you are doing a vlog, there’s nothing wrong with actually saying to your audience, “check my description box to find links to my social media pages.” Even the most successful YouTube stars typically end their videos with a call to action.

Follow FCC Requirements

Should you ever create a video where you promote a product or embed an affiliate link, it is imperative that you disclose, either in your dialogue or in the description box, that you are being compensated for this promotion. The FCC is incredibly strict that YouTube vloggers and content creators disclose any scenarios where they are being compensated. Failure to do this can result in fines.

Use YouTube To Your Advantage

YouTube is a platform that many online marketers fail to really use to their full advantage. While there are many who will spam YouTube with junky PowerPoint presentations or cheaply made text presentations, few really put effort into creating quality content. However, should you put effort into your video, you’ll find that you can actually enjoy great success by using YouTube to market your business or brand.

Just as you ought to put effort into your actual video, the description text is no different. Create well-written content with embedded keywords and always include links to your website or social media pages. End your videos with a call to action and ensure that your viewers know where to click next. If you combine quality videos with quality description text, you can enjoy great success on YouTube.