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How to Add Chapters to YouTube Videos

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Jun 02, 2021• Proven solutions

If you have seen chapter markers on YouTube of our official channel, you might be wondering how someone can create chapters on YouTube? What is the way to mark different parts of the videos, and how can you add markers to all the existing videos on YouTube? Don't worry; this article will discuss everything about YouTube chapters that you need to know. Keep reading to find all the details and learn the step-by-step instructions to add chapters to your YouTube videos for better engagement.

Part 1: What Are YouTube Chapters?

YouTube video chapters are an excellent way to optimize your YouTube content. When you have chapters for your YouTube video, each chapter will have an individual preview. Chapters will break your YouTube video into multiple parts allowing your audience to have better context and information.

YouTube video chpater

As per YouTube, chapters let the audience navigate better through videos. Chapters will let your audience watch different video parts, which will eventually lead to better engagement. If you want to organize your YouTube content, chapters are one of the best ways to go about it. By using labeled timestamps, your video will be divided into multiple sections. Your audience will be able to see the preview of the content and easily skip to the part they want to see within the video's progress bar.

Part 2: How to Add Chapter to YouTube Video Progress Bar?

If you are a YouTube creator and want to know how you can add chapters to your YouTube content, here's what you need to do. Follow these instructions carefully:

Step 1: First things first, please sign in to your YouTube account.

Step 2: Select the video that you want to edit and add chapters.

Step 3: Click on the edit video option. This option will be there under the video.

Step 4: On the add details page, you will see the description box. Here, you need to add the list of titles and timestamps.

add YouTube video chpater

Please keep in mind that you must add the first timestamp with "00:00". You will have to add a minimum of three timestamps with a minimum of 10 seconds for each chapter. Here is how it looks like in the description after published.

  Chapters in YouTube video description

Part 3: Why YouTubers Should Add Chapters to videos?

There are two primary advantages of adding chapters to your YouTube videos. Apart from making your YouTube video look organized and neat, chapters will let you provide a better user experience to everyone watching your video because they will find all the information about your video faster and easier within a video. And the second benefit is that your YouTube video will show up in search results. This is a way to optimize your content for more users to find your content.

YouTube chapters are beneficial for both creators and viewers. On the progress bar, these clickable chapters can be added. This will allow a viewer to skip and scrub through a video quickly and skip to parts they actually want to watch.

This feature is quite helpful for videos that are pretty long. Chapters will let you segment the videos into important chapters so that the viewer can rewatch already watched chapters or skip to other chapters in the video. YouTube chapters have been recently added to this platform for better navigation and engagement.

Better User Experience for Users

Just like Google wants browsers to find what they are looking for when they add a keyword, YouTube also wants to help viewers find what they are looking for. Chapters can be immensely beneficial for extended content. For example, if you are uploading a video of your convert video, let the users jump straight to their favorite songs.

Even in tutorial video content, viewers will now have a chance to get straight to the main part of the video. With chapters being added, viewers will have an opportunity to decide whether they want to watch the whole video or not. They won't have to keep skipping one part to another blindly. Chapters will allow them to find what they are looking for in an instant.

For Creators: Increased Visibility

If you know about the Google algorithm, you must be aware that it regularly changes its algorithm to let people find the information they are looking for easily. Adding chapters to your video will encourage Google to display them more often when someone searches for them, and this will include adding your videos to its featured snippets.

While adding chapters, you need to make sure that it is labeled with correct keywords, and it is clear and descriptive. YouTube videos are often showed as Google snippet when someone tries to find something on the search engine. Adding a chapter will let Google understand the content better, thereby letting your videos gain more search traffic.

Part 4: When should I add or not chapters on YouTube?

If you are wondering whether all videos on YouTube should have chapters, the answer to this is no. A two minutes long video won't require chapters because it won't make sense. Think about whether you would want your audience to have reduced watch time. Another thing to pay attention to is audience retention.

We mentioned earlier that adding chapters to long videos will be a good idea, but before you jump in and start adding chapters, you need to understand whether it will help you and should be done in your particular case?

If you are uploading a video on education, science and technology, how-to, news and politics, Q and A, and other similar videos, adding chapters will definitely help. In these kinds of videos, you will let your audience rewatch a section they liked the most over and over again.

However, if you are uploading music, entertainment, comedy, and film and animation videos, we will recommend not to add chapters because this will reduce the watch time.

Part 5: Do YouTube Video Chapters Decrease Channel Watch Time?

One of the most commonly asked questions regarding adding chapters to YouTube videos is whether it will reduce the watch time of a video. Video chapters are a pretty good feature and can enable your videos to engage with the viewers.

Since chapters allow your audience to skip through video content, they are not really watching the whole video, which can't be suitable for audience retention! Here's what we have to say to this: don't put your 100% focus on watch time right now. Your focus should be creating informative and engaging content, which will keep your audience hooked to their screens. Even if you add chapters, if your audience doesn't find it engaging, they will choose not to go on with the content.

Video chapters are a tiny part of the overall content. Chapters provide value to your audience, and you should try them. If you are uploading a concise video, animation video, funny video, and more, don't add chapters.

Even some of the most watched videos on YouTube have chapters. Learn from them. These video makers could have thought about numbers rather than giving value to their audience, but they did just the opposite, and here they are with over a million views!

Part 6: Tips for adding chapters to YouTube video

Each video on YouTube is different, and that's why there is no one-size-fits-all answer. There are some cases where you should not think about adding chapters at all. Whereas in other cases, you will have to experiment a bit before adding chapters.

Here are some tips that will help you.

Do Some Testing

Before adding chapters to a new video that you are thinking to upload, try adding chapters to an old video. See what happens to that video. Have the views increased? How about average view duration? Track these metrics first, and then try adding chapters to your upcoming videos to benefit from videos. Along with these metrics, you will also have to evaluate if adding chapters decreases or increases the watch time and number of views. 

Label Your Chapters Using Keywords

Another thing to do that will help you have better traction is using a good keyword strategy. Look at what people are using while searching for content, which is similar to yours? Using names based on keywords that have better search volume will help your videos to rank higher.

Part 7: Why Video Chapter is Not working? [Problem solved]

There are a few mandatory things that you need to do before adding chapters to your YouTube video. Here are some of the common reasons why the video chapter is not working. See if any one of them is true in your case, and rectify it right away.

  • Your video doesn't have the 00:00 timestamp.
  • Your video has less than three chapters.
  • You have added a chapter that is less than 10 seconds long.
  • You have not added the timestamps in chronological order.
  • Rather than using ":" you have entered "." for timecodes.
  • If your channel has active copyright strikes, video chapters won't work.
  • Your channel doesn't have more than 1k subscribers.
  • Your video chapters are not suitable for some viewers.
author avatar
Richard Bennett
Richard Bennett is a writer and a lover of all things video.