Writing Your Video Description

Writing Your Video Description

Your video description says a lot about your video to search algorithms. Technology is moving towards being able to analyze entire videos and determine their substance based on the resulting data, but there will always be a practical hurdle for technology to advance.

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Why Are Descriptions Valuable?

If a new technology does not solve any immediate problems, it may be forgotten or ignored for a number of years until it can be repurposed or adapted further.  

In this case, youtube and other sites’ algorithms aren’t as advanced as some of us might like, but the remaining takeaway is that it’s up to you to help educate these algorithms what and who your video is about.  Your description should contain as many characters as you require to tell a nice story about your video.  Your title should be in the description a minimum of 5 times.  It’s okay to write the title at the very top of your description since your first 100 characters are going to be the most important.  

Try to tell a story that incorporates your tags and title.  Think of tangentially related search terms that might be used in conjunction with other keywords.  If someone were to read your description, you want them to be able to read it as if it were a paragraph from a book.  Putting a word cloud or tag list in your description is against YouTube’s TOS so be careful to check with whatever site you’re uploading on that you’re within their guidelines for proper posting etiquette.

Write a Synopsis

For example: A gaming channel doing a tutorial for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt might find multiple ways to incorporate the main character Geralt’s name. Since most people looking for tutorials will probably be searching for character names and locations, it’s a good idea to incorporate those into your description.  You can write a nice synopsis of the game that you can save for all of your Witcher 3 uploads (or save it as an upload default if that’s your main game for a while) and simply add the new information as you progress through your tutorials at the top of your description.  

This is beneficial in a few ways.  You won’t have to write a summary for every chapter you encounter, and while some may still choose to do so, you’ll already have the keywords you want to rank prominently featured in your description.  Since these are likely to show up in your future titles, this lowers the amount of time each video takes for you to produce, which is a key consideration.  

The most important thing to remember when writing out a description for your content is to make it “DESCRIPTIVE.”  Absolutely use adjectives and adverbs to help tell your story, but stay away from generic words like “the” or “of” as they are largely ignored in search terms even when they are part of a proper name.  Ex: “The Great Bambino”  

An example for how you can write a great description for a non-gaming channel:  

Video Title: How I Conquered My Childhood Fear of Flying (Flight Phobia)

Description: How I Conquered My Childhood Fear of Flying (Flight Phobia) Flying has always been a big fear of mine since I was a small child. When I would think of flying, I used to get very anxious and nauseated. Flight Phobia is a very real component of flying that shouldn’t be ignored. One day it was told to me that flying was statistically safer than driving a car down the freeway. While I definitely didn’t disagree with this notion, it didn’t make it any easier for me to conquer my fear of flying, even though I had never driven or flown yet in my life!

In this video I explain the events that led up to my Flight Phobia during my childhood and how I worked to overcome that. You may think that it’s an impractical fear to have as a child, but I was at a very impressionable age and there were many factors that led to my phobia.

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  • We attempted to use all or part of our title multiple times while still creating a real paragraph.  
  • We added so many descriptive words to our description that we ended up adding something extra to our title (Flight Phobia)
  • Avoided over-usage of pronouns
  • First 100 characters contains the keyword Flying or Flight multiple times (try for 5) without sounding too repetitive
  • Introduction is capable of being read with no outside knowledge and the conclusion brings your attention back to the video
  • Your description has now generated plenty of tags for you to use instead of trying to figure out the tags first