Clear Steps to Add Timestamps to YouTube

With billions of monthly logged-in users, YouTube is one of the largest search engines.

Everyone from corporate marketers to independent video creators depends on the platform to deliver content in front of audiences. But none of this has any point if users can’t find your videos or the content you’re selling.

Therefore, a YouTube video timestamp in the description helps the audience instantly get to their required information without watching the full video. Let’s learn how to add timestamps to your YouTube video and yield SEO benefits and improved user experience.

What Are YouTube Timestamps?

YouTube timestamps, also known as video chapters, divide videos into segments and offer a unique preview for each one. YouTube’s timestamps are particularly suitable and helpful for longer videos.

When users click on a specific timestamp, they are immediately directed to the point in the video to which the timestamp is linked. Users can skim videos quickly and easily for the information they’re looking for without having to watch the entire video.

Importance of YouTube Video Timestamp in the Description

Users will often bounce from a video if the content is not relevant to what they are looking for. YouTube timestamps point viewers to a particular section of your video. Timestamps not only enhance the viewing experience but also improves the SEO aspects of your video content.

YouTube’s videos are ranked based on audience watch time and retention. When a user hits your timestamp, YouTube records two views.

The first is for the user’s original click on the video. And the second is for the user’s click on the particular timestamped portion of the video. It helps your video rank higher in search results over time.

Similarly, Google also supports timestamps. When a timestamped video is searched with Google, this will appear in the SERP results. And users will be directed to the specific section of the video. This increases the value you offer users and makes it easier for visitors to access the information they need.

A black laptop computer turned on in a dark room.
Photo by Leon Bublitz on Unsplash

How to Timestamp YouTube Videos

Adding a timestamp to a YouTube video is a simple process. There are primarily three ways to add timestamps to YouTube videos.

Manually Added to a URL

To use this method for a particular video time, simply add the timestamp code at the end of your video URL. For YouTube video URLs containing a question mark, you must use &t= to denote the timestamp. You must use a question mark and use ?t= to denote the timestamp for URLs that do not already contain one. Time is marked in seconds, minutes, and hours.

For instance, the markup for 2 hours, 3 minutes, and 20 seconds would be &t=2hr3m20s or ?t=2hr3m20s

Utilize the YouTube Share Feature

You may also add a timestamp using the embedded sharing feature on YouTube. Open your video and simply go to the exact point you want visitors to start watching at.

Then stop the video and click the share button in the toolbar. Click the “start at” box in the share pop-up option to adjust the time. After that, copy the new URL to share the timestamped video with your chosen platform.

Add Timestamps in the Video Description

Adding timestamps in the video description is the simplest and the easiest method. Simply type in the timestamps into the video description. Find the specific moment in your video that you want people to skip. Then open your video and note that time in the description with an explanation.

This is an excellent method for including chapters in your video and assisting viewers in finding the sections they are most interested in.

Wrapping Up

Timestamps in YouTube videos may not seem like a big deal, but these can play a significant role in your marketing plan. The YouTube video timestamp in the descriptionallows the audience to skip to the relevant segment of the video without watching the entire video.

There are different ways to include timestamps in YouTube videos which are mentioned in this article. Adding timestamps to your video improves search engine rankings, drives traffic to your content, and enhances the viewer’s experience.

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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