So you’ve decided to start a YouTube channel? Perhaps you’ve had one for a while and just never got around to writing a bio. Regardless of the reason you’re here right now, the important thing is that you are here.
The YouTube bio—or “about” page—is often overlooked, and not without good reason. Think about it; how often do you check out a YouTuber’s about page? It’s a few clicks off the beaten path, and the chances are you already know what you need to know about them from the video. And, of course, the fact that so many people neglect their YouTube bio is another reason why so many other people never bother to look at them.
A good YouTube bio about us page summarises in the first 170 characters the core premise of the channel. WHY they would watch your content, what value they will get from you. Do not lead with who you are, you can add that later in the bio. Your bio is there to hook people – make them curious.
These are perfectly valid reasons for thinking a YouTube bio is unnecessary. However, they are built on a flawed premised. You see, the YouTube bio isn’t for viewers.
Of course, it should be there if they want it, but the reason to have a well written bio has more to do with Google than it does the person clicking on your videos.
Why a YouTube Bio is Important
One word. Or, rather, one acronym; SEO. Search engine optimisation is the reason you should put some effort into your YouTube bio. And your video descriptions, for that matter, but that deserves a post of its own.
The YouTube recommendation algorithm is not the be-all and end-all of video discovery. Sure, getting favoured by the algorithm will see mountains of traffic flowing your way, but Google’s regular old search engine shouldn’t be neglected.
Many people come across YouTubers, not through searching YouTube itself, but through searching Google and having a few video recommendations thrown their way. But Google needs to know that the videos—and the YouTuber making them—are relevant to the search term in question, which is where you bio comes in.
How to Write a YouTube Bio
So, hopefully we’ve impressed upon you how important your bio is for comprehensive growth, but how do you go about making sure it is up to the task of bringing in those organic search results? Why, with our handy list of tips, that’s how!
Tell Viewers What to Expect From Your Channel
This one isn’t as important from an SEO point of view—though search engines are getting smarter all the time—but it is important for those few intrepid users who do find their way to your about page.
Remember, even if the only reason a page exists is for SEO purposes, you should always aim to write it so that it reads naturally and contains useful information. If for no other reason than search engines are always improving, and they could well come up with a way to detect whether your bio reads naturally before long. It’s better to write good content from the start than have to go back and change things because of a search engine update.
Put the Important Stuff First
Humans, sadly, have a remarkably short attention span. And its getting shorter all the time. If you have something important, something that you want viewers to know if they read your about page, put it at the top.
More than that, make it compelling. In an ideal world, someone reading your bio would take in the whole thing before moving on, but in the absence of that ideal world, you should aim to make sure they take in the vital stuff before they click away.
This is where we start getting into that SEO we talked about. You’re going to want to squeeze a few keywords in there. Again, your priority should be to write useful, natural-sounding copy, so you might need to put your thinking cap on for some of the more awkward keywords.
As for what those keywords are, this is where you’ll need to do a little research. There are many ways—both free and paid—to find keywords, including just using Google auto-suggest. The trick is to find keywords that are as underserved as possible while still being in demand enough to bring an audience. A plumbing company in Toronto would be foolish to try and target “plumbing” for their keyword because there would be far too much competition, but “emergency plumbers Toronto” would be a good fit with a smaller audience.
If you focus on a specific type of content, highlight that. If you primarily do Photoshop tutorials, don’t just target “image editing”, mention Photoshop.
Treat it Like a Business Page
This part is important because, SEO aside, a lot of people who seek out your about page will be looking to contact you for some reason or other. In the best cases, that reason will be something like a brand deal offer, or to talk about a collaboration.
Make sure your contact details are up-to-date. Google hides your contact details, so you don’t just get inundated with spam from bots scraping the page, but you want legitimate enquiries to be able to reach you. You can also take this opportunity to politely mention any kind of correspondence you are not interested in. For example, tutorial channels often get inundated with requests for direct help, which, for larger channels, is not feasible. In these cases, a little note asking people not to use these contact details for that reason might save you a lot of time in the long run.
In truth, your bio is not the most important thing you will craft for your YouTube channel. Organic Google search traffic is important, but, for most YouTubers, it is far from the largest source of traffic. And most of the organic search traffic ends up going directly to a video page.
Still, if you are looking to get noticed on YouTube, there is no denying that SEO is a factor, so there is no sense in neglecting your bio for the sake of half an hour’s work. Just remember to research keywords, put the important information up top, and give an accurate account of what your channel is for.
Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube
Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.
1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search
I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.
2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos
I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.
When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.
I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.
That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.
Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.
3. Rev.com helps people read my videos
You can’t always listen to a video.
Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.
This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.
Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.
A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.
4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube
I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.
I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.
That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.
Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).
5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways
I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.
And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.
I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.
I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.
They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.