Your YouTube descriptions suck!


here’s a very good chance that your video descriptions suck. Yep, I said it. We watch a ton of YouTube videos here at Fullscreen, and naturally, our eyes are drawn to SEO practices. Is the video properly titled? Is a custom thumbnail used? Does the description accurately describe the video? More often than not, the description is left behind – and it could be hurting your search ranking.

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Call of Duty headshot compilation.

CoD, headshots, Call of Duty, Xbox, 1337

–example of a typical description we see

What makes a solid description?

To ensure YouTube ranks your videos as accurately as possible, here’s a breakdown of an optimal description:

Describe the video

In this first section, you want to ensure that you utilize all 3 of the first lines (before “Show More”). Make sure you write at least 1 complete sentence that accurately describes what your viewers are going to be watching. Then include 1-2 links that have a CTA (“Call-to-Action”) such as: Subscribe for weekly videos!

Pimp your links

This is your opportunity to promote your other platforms and even relevant links that go along with the content.

Additional content info

To avoid overloading the beginning of your description, you can add additional information about the content here. This could be a detailed description of the game you’re playing, installation instructions for a mod, or anything else that’s relevant to the video.

Personal bio

Now that you’ve linked out to your other platforms, tell your viewers a bit more about yourself. This can be a few simple lines about your YouTube journey, or you could get deep and tell a summary of your life.

Do. Not. Spam!

I can’t stress this enough. Tag spam is not only annoying, but against YouTube’s terms of service – and they will take action against it! Tags are for the Tags section, not your description. If YouTube’s system notices anything like the [bolded] example below, it could trigger a community strike against you – potentially restricting features and monetization.

Check out my latest Call of Duty headshot compilation video. 23 in one match, whaaaaat?!

Call of Duty, CoD, headshots, Xbox, Let’s Play, gameplay, Infinite Warfare, Activision, Infinity Ward

Best practices

  • Aim for approximately 250 words or more
  • Start off with a sentence description of the content, followed by 1-2 social calls to action
  • Links should not be the first thing a viewers sees, unless it’s critical to the content
  • Do not list tags, irrelevant channels or misleading language in the description
  • Be sure to include appropriate credits at the base of description (such as music source, collaborators, etc)
  • Highly recommend including a consistent short form bio in the middle of each description, alongside a means for viewer to contact if needed. This helps a ton with brands who might want to connect with you.

Important disclaimer!

Tweaking metadata, titles or descriptions can cause YouTube to reindex the updated video, resulting in a potential drop in views for several weeks. If a video is performing well in search traffic (or in general), it may be best to leave it be.