When you’ve spent hours recording, editing and uploading your video, it’s often a stretch to invest more energy into creating a detailed YouTube description. But what if I told you you could streamline this process and save time every time you upload a new video? For this article, I have prepared a YouTube description template for you as well as explanations on how to use it.
Why YouTube Descriptions Matter
It’s important to know why video descriptions matter. You’ve probably seen plenty of big YouTubers leave their descriptions empty. That’s why many small YouTubers do the same and write little to nothing into theirs.
While this might be fine when you already have a big subscriber base and get plenty of views, an empty description is usually a wasted opportunity for small and medium-sized YouTubers. A good video description can help you and your viewers in quite a few ways:
1) Improve discoverability
The text in the description tells YouTube what your video is about. This helps YouTube to display your video in the right search queries - especially if you use your keywords right.
2) Connect with your audience
Even though YouTube is a great place to attract attention, it is not the best place to keep in touch with your fans. Instead, it’s a better idea to connect with your fans on other social media platforms. Your description can tell your viewers where they can find and follow you. Big YouTubers also often add a PO box address and an email address for business purposes or fan mail.
3) Inform and help
Sometimes it’s not easy to pack everything into one video. In those cases, you can add more content and information in the description. This can also come in handy if you made a mistake in your video that you want to correct. Another great idea is to link to sources, related videos and articles. The more helpful you are, the more likely your viewers are to remember you.
4) Let your viewers take action
If there’s any action you want your audience to take (for example to subscribe, sign up for your newsletter, visit your website, buy your book, etc.), the description box is the perfect place to let them know or to remind them.
Now, how do you pack all of that into one description box? Here’s how:
The YouTube Description Template
Line 1: Content description
Line 2-3: First call to action
Second call to action
List of social media profiles
Contact info (email, address, etc.)
The first line of your YouTube video description is the most important because this text will show up in the YouTube search as well as on social media. That’s why you have to get to the point really quickly here. If you’re good at writing clickbaity text, this is a great place to put it. If not, a simple, short video description will do. For SEO purposes, make sure you make use of your main keywords here.
Lines 2-3 are the most visible lines of your YouTube description. After writing a short descriptive text for line 1, use lines 2-3 to tell your viewers what to do next - whether that’s liking your video, subscribing to your channel or downloading your ebook.
Lines 2-3 are the most important part of your description and if you fill them out in a clever way, you’re already ahead of the game. Nevertheless, YouTube gives you space for 5,000 characters, which is around 800 words. So what do you do with the rest of your space?
This is where the rest of the template comes in.
Now, it’s time to add any additional helpful or relevant text to your description. Things you could include here are:
- A summary of the video content
- A transcript of your video
- Information about the making of the video
- Anything that didn’t fit into the video but is worth mentioning
- Corrections for mistakes you might have discovered after you published the video
Adding links can seem like a bad idea since YouTube’s algorithm doesn’t like it when people leave YouTube after watching a video. It prefers that your viewers keep watching YouTube videos for as long as possible. Nevertheless, I believe it’s a good idea to add relevant links - it’s simply a matter of providing additional value to your content.
Relevant links can be sources that you quoted or referred to, other YouTuber videos that talk about the same issue, or relevant articles or websites.
Second call to action
After filling your description with helpful and relevant information, it’s a good idea to remind your viewers of what you want them to do next. Since you have plenty of space here, you might even explain your call to action a little more. For example, if you want to make your viewers sign up for your mailing list on your website, make sure to mention what advantages they will receive for doing so.
You have added plenty of information, links and explanations to your description? Then it’s time to slowly wrap things up - but not before you share your social media profiles and other contact information. This can include your website, your email address and your PO box address (for your own safety, never use your home address).
While adding tons of social accounts might seem like a good idea, I find that it makes most sense to only link the accounts that you’re using regularly. Otherwise you might end up with a bunch of fans following you on social platform you don’t use.
Did you use any music or footage that you didn’t create yourself? If they’re not in the public domain, you will probably have to credit the creator. Where you want to add the credits in your description is your choice. If other creators played a big role in the creation of your work (for example, if they acted in your short film or if you made a remix of their music), I would add the credits at the top of your description (and even add the credits to your video). If the contributions of other creators are of minor importance, putting the credits at the end of your video is fine - in my opinion.
How to copy your description template
Admittedly, writing a new description for every video can be a lot of work. So what can you do to speed up the process? Lucikly, YouTube has already thought of this and has created a setting called Upload Defaults, which you can find by clicking on “Channel” in your Creator Studio.
In the Upload Defaults you’re able to create default settings for all of your uploads. Not only can you choose a default category, title and license for your videos, you can also add default tags and a default description.
Obviously, it makes no sense to use the same description every single time. However, you can at least add your description structure as well as any part that you want to appear in every description, like your social media and contact information.
Now, what if you have several types of videos you want to make that require a different type of description each? While YouTube doesn’t offer the option to save multiple description templates, you could create your own text document where you save your templates. Another option is to use TubeBuddy, which lets users save one additional upload default template in its free version and an unlimited amount of templates in the paid version.
Check out TubeBuddy here.
Any more questions?
Have any other questions about YouTube descriptions? Let me know in the comments!