How to Harness YouTube Key Moments to Promote Your Videos
Master the Algorithm to Grow Your Audience
Since Google first rolled them out in 2019, YouTube key moments have held an amazing potential for video creators to promote their content.
For many popular topics, videos take top spots in Google results. Consequently, they get a lot of traffic. You might have noticed that most of these videos have key moments – which helps them rank this high.
But how exactly do key moments work on YouTube and in Google? Are they generated automatically – or do you have to add them? And most importantly: How can you harness them to promote your own videos?
Here’s the stitch.
What Are YouTube Key Moments?
To start with, it’s easiest to think of key moments as the “highlights” of your video. They mark points in your timeline that deal with particular topics or respond to particular questions.
Typically, key moments show up as timestamps and a title assigned to describe that section in your video.
In 2019, Google first rolled them out in their mobile search results. Now, they’re also shown on desktops.
In addition, key moments from videos sometimes appear in its “people also ask” section. If you can answer a common question well, it can drive even more traffic to your channel.
On YouTube itself, key moments don’t appear in search results. However, they will show up in your video description, and, if you fulfill certain conditions, in your video’s progress bar.
How Do Key Moments Promote Your Video?
Key moments help your videos rank higher in search results, and thus drive traffic to your content. That’s because the extra info helps Google decide if your content is a good fit for certain searches.
Likewise, YouTube key moments also make life easier for your viewers. In an instant, they can see whether your video can give them what they’re looking for. If so, a single click takes them directly to that point in the video.
Because people know what they’re in for when they start watching your video, key moments make for better engagement scores. This means fewer downvotes, more shares, and a higher rank in YouTube’s own search.
How to Add Your Own Key Moments
But how does Google find those key moments?
Basically, there are two ways to getting those juicy timestamps.
The first is to kick the ball into Google’s court. The search engine will try to automatically detect relevant segments in your video so that it can display them to users.
The downside: While this algorithm is constantly improving, it might fail or simply not present your video segments in the way you want it to.
The second way is to manually set key moments. This tells Google exactly what the most important points in your video are.
How you do that is actually pretty simple. You just have to include timestamps and key moment labels in your video description, formatted in a certain way.
Give the timestamp as [hour]:[minute]:[second], and specify the label in the same line. Then, hyperlink the timestamp to the specified point in the video. Key moments need to be given in chronological order – and each in a separate line.
When choosing labels for your timestamps, keep the keywords you identified for YouTube SEO and your metadata in mind.
The Bottom Line
Overall, it’s worth taking the time and effort to add key moments to your videos.
For one, they’ll help you rank higher in Google results. For another, they’ll improve the viewer experience, give your video’s metrics a lift, and make your videos more visible on YouTube itself.