How to Write the Best Descriptions on YouTube for SEO

YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world — second only to its parent company, Google.

Eight out of 10 video search results are YouTube videos. What’s more, is that the platform is constantly growing, with over 500 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute.

How do you avoid getting lost in the sea of videos? Your best bet is to optimize great videos for search using video SEO best practices.

That’s why, we created this guide for the best practices on SEO for YouTube video descriptions! Sounds exciting? Well then, dig in and read until the end!

What Is SEO and Why Does It Matter for YouTube?

a samsung phone that shows the youtube application open on its screen
Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

The dynamic process of creating web content to appear higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) is known as search engine optimization (SEO). To draw traffic and expand your audience, you must optimize your content for search, which is frequently the entry point to your website.

YouTube SEO entails improving your channel, playlists, metadata, descriptions, and videos, unlike Google, which evaluates rank based on backlinks and other factors. Your videos can be made search-engine-friendly both inside and outside of YouTube.

You might be familiar with the fundamentals of SEO for YouTube videos, such as using keywords in the channel name, meta description, and tags. You can improve YouTube SEO even further by making videos more accessible.

Because they cannot view videos, search engine bots must rely on the accompanying text information to properly index them. Utilizing the text in your video in the form of transcripts, closed captions, and subtitles is a crucial part of a YouTube SEO strategy. Why? Because it can positively impact user experience, engagement, watch time, viewership, and SEO.

Writing the Best Descriptions on YouTube for SEO

The maximum number of characters you can use to describe a YouTube video is 1,000, as stated by Google. Avoid occupying that space because your audience most likely came here to watch a video rather than read an essay.

If you choose to write a longer description, YouTube only shows the first two or three lines of text. Viewers must click “show more” to view the entire report afterward. We advise placing the most crucial information, such as CTAs or important links, at the beginning of the description.

Regarding the video’s optimization, adding a transcript wouldn’t hurt, especially for viewers who have to watch it without sound. 

The summary of your video is crucial.

The context of your video is better understood by YouTube and Google, thanks to your video description. Additionally, the more thoroughly they comprehend your video, the higher your rank (and the more frequently you appear in the Suggested Video sidebar).

The fundamental guidelines for the description are as follows:

  • Your keyword should appear in the first 25 words.
  • Make the summary at least 250 words long.
  • Put your keyword in there 2-4 times.

This non-spammy SEO-optimized description helps explain what your video is about to Google and YouTube.


We tend to forget that YouTube, like Google, is a search engine. A big one, at that. It is the second largest after Google, after all! That’s why, making great video content on YouTube is not enough to success.

To get good ranking and show up on people’s recommendations you have to make sure you practice good SEO on your YouTube channel. If you want your YouTube channel to be included at the top of the lists, you’ll want to play the game!

That’s why you have to employ great SEO for YouTube video descriptions. This is the way to succeed and show up in people’s relevant search results on YouTube.

If you are still struggling to find the right words for your video descriptions, there is another way! Try using a description generator like the one we have at INK! These incredible tools do the research for you to write the best description and come up with the best titles!

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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