Top Tips for Writing an Effective YouTube Description

Top Tips to Write an Effective YouTube Description

The world of YouTube can be an overwhelming and daunting place, there are so many elements that go into creating one single video that it is easy to find yourself struggling to focus on the parts that are going to grab viewers’ attention. One sure-fire way to stand out is to focus on crafting an effective description, whilst an eye-catching thumbnail and/or title will draw in traffic, a description will help to keep their focus and give them a brief overview of what they can expect from you. It’s worth noting that your video still needs to be a worthwhile watch, not even the most perfect YouTube description can cover for having a video of poor-quality content. 

Man browsing YouTube on laptop

Know your audience and keywords

Like owning your own business, when creating content on YouTube you need to understand your target audience, there’s no point in creating a well-crafted, coherent description that perfectly fits your video when you have completely missed the type of audience you were originally aiming at. So, for example, if you posted a clip called ‘How to Grow you Business’, your ideal audience would be business owners or those just starting out in business, therefore you would choose words such as ‘business growth’ or ‘start-up’ when creating your description, this entails that your consumer knows what to expect and sets the tone for your video. 

The best way to find apt keywords for your content is to search YouTube for videos that are similar to yours in style and thematic, this way you can find what words are trending and can link your channel from videos created by popular YouTubers in the same market as you.

Keep it concise 

When creating a conductive video description, always keep an eye on your word count. YouTube allows up to 5000 characters for your description, but you do not need to use all of your allowance, it would be too wordy, and most people will not read it to the end, which can have a negative knock-on effect whether people will be interested in your video or YouTube Channel. 

The first 200 characters are paramount, so it’s important to make them count. These are what is known as “above the fold”, so they appear above the ‘show more’ button. This is your opportunity to really grab the viewer’s attention and keep them on board using that first sentence. It’s best at this point to focus on your most important keywords and try to mirror your title, as these two factors go hand-in-hand in attention-grabbing when done correctly.

Keep it simple

Nobody likes to read a description that requires the use of a dictionary to translate half of the words used. This will make the reader feel inferior and will instantly discourage them from consuming more of what you have to offer. On the other hand, using terms and phrases that are too basic can make you come across as simplistic, with little to offer. Finding balance is key, and the best way to accomplish this is to speak to your audience as if you were having a conversation with them face to face. This helps to avoid writing stiffly, robotically, and repeating yourself – which can be very frustrating to read.

Mobile readability

The internet has never been more accessible than it is now. The ability to access it from our mobile devices means that when it comes to formatting the elements that go into YouTube videos, you need to take into account how things will look on a mobile phone. Mobile friendliness has grown in priority drastically over the last few years when it comes to SEO. It is now it is reported that around 70% of YouTube consumers now watch on their mobile devices, as opposed to a desktop. This means that if you write your description on a desktop and it sits perfectly, the same might not be said for mobile devices, or vice versa. 

The way to overcome any issues in formatting is to check your description on multiple devices, i.e., mobile, tablet, and desktop. Leading on from this, always check your description on YouTube watch pages and search results to make sure they sit correctly.


According to YouTube, hashtags make your videos more discoverable. They do this by leading viewers from another video to yours, and people use hashtags as keyword searches, which will bring in more consumers. So, with these benefits in mind, it makes sense to have as many hashtags as possible to maximise your video traffic, however, it’s best not to overdo it as using too many can make your description look messy, unorganised, and careless. 

It makes your description look as though little thought has gone behind choosing your keywords, which is why you should always select them with care, checking what are the most popular trending hashtags in videos that are similar to yours in content. The maximum number of hashtags that you should be using is 15.

YouTube replaced Facebook as the #1 platform that affects consumer behaviour and is the #1 purchase-driver on social. Therefore, if you are looking to generate more sales, it is important to get your descriptions right. The main points to take away are:

  • Always take into consideration its readability
  • Do your research on the themes of your video to best gauge what keywords you should be using

Once you have a system in place and some practice, YouTube description writing will become second nature and will help to generate more traffic and subscribers to your channel. 

Whilst we’re on the topic of YouTube – You can visit our founder and Forbes Coaches Council Member, Adam Stott’s channel for more business content and tips by clicking here. We also have our own BBE YouTube channel which you can view here.

For More tips and tricks from Big Business Events, click here.

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