Can Adding Chapters Help You Rank Higher on YouTube?

Looking for the latest SEO hack to increase your YouTube video ranking? Feeling like your videos should be reaching more people and wondering how to make that happen?

Maybe you’ve seen people breaking their videos up into chapters and have asked, “Do YouTube chapters increase SEO?” You’re in the right place!

We’re going to walk you through all the reasons adding chapters to your YouTube videos can help you level up your SEO strategy. Because the last thing you want is to leave money on the table when it comes to growing your business and YouTube channel.

Let’s dive into the exciting world of YouTube chapters.

What are YouTube chapters?

Chapters aren’t just for books anymore! It’s the Internet age and YouTube chapters are all the rage. Okay, maybe YouTube chapters aren’t technically “all the rage.” But they are being used more and more by companies and creators to grow their YouTube channels, build up a brand and create easier-to-digest content for users.

Google introduced the chapters feature in early 2020 and some believe it’s one of the best features within YouTube. Chapters allow creators to split up their videos into individual sections or chapters. Each chapter represents a certain topic within the video, making it easier for viewers to navigate and find relevant content inside longer videos.

Chapters show up in YouTube videos as timestamps in the video’s progress bar. This way you can jump right to a particular section. These timestamps usually have titles that describe the content of each chapter. You’ve probably noticed this before, but when you hover over the progress bar, the chapter titles appear as pop-up cards with a quick preview of the section.

YouTube chapters are created by the video creators themselves. So they’re not something YouTube automatically does. You have to manually set the timestamps and titles for each chapter when you upload your videos. But this isn’t hard to do.

Why are YouTube chapters helpful?

Chapters just make the whole YouTube user experience that much better by organizing the content in a more searchable way.

For example, maybe you’re watching a YouTube video tutorial on how to change your car’s oil. Maybe you already know how to do most of it except for the part about changing the oil filter.

You pull up YouTube on your phone, find a how-to oil change video and start watching. Without chapters, you would have to watch the whole video until you got to the oil filters part. Super annoying and inconvenient. But with chapters, you can skip ahead to the chapter timestamp and go directly to the part you need. Bingo! You saved time and the YouTube channel got a video view. A win-win.

Just like the Table of Contents in books, these chapter breaks are great for longer videos like tutorials, lectures or podcast episodes, where viewers might only be interested in specific sections instead of the entire video. They’re also great for finding a specific song in a longer set list from your favorite musician. You can jump right to that song instead of wondering where it is.

How YouTube chapters can help boost your SEO

Adding YouTube chapters to your videos can improve your video’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Here are a couple ways to use your YouTube chapters for better SEO:

  • Identify key sections—Look at your video content and find the main sections or topics. Break down your video into logical segments that you think viewers would want to be able to skip to. It’s kind of like when you used to write high school or college essays. Just like breaking separate ideas into paragraphs, you’ll divide different parts of your video into chapters.
  • Write descriptive titles—Make sure your chapter titles are clear and descriptive. They should be totally accurate so users don’t get confused jumping around to places that don’t match the description. Use words that accurately reflect the content of each section. This not only helps viewers but also helps the search engines understand what the video is about.
  • Use relevant timestamps—Set accurate timestamps for each chapter. Make sure the timestamps are exact and match the beginning of each section.
  • Encourage engagement—Adding chapters can increase engagement on your videos. This is because viewers will be able to see what’s coming up next and might be more likely to keep watching. The longer people watch your videos, the better ranking YouTube’s search algorithms will give you.
  • Increase watch time—Chapters also help increase watch time by allowing viewers to find the sections they’re most interested in. And again, when viewers spend more time watching your video, it sends positive signals to YouTube, telling them your content is engaging and valuable to people.
  • Optimize video metadata—Besides adding chapters, you should also optimize other metadata elements such as the video title, description, tags and thumbnail. This overall optimization enhances the visibility and discoverability of your video.

These are just a few of the ways adding YouTube chapters can help you grow your channel. Keep in mind that YouTube’s search algorithm involves a ton of different factors when it comes to rankings and recommendations. While chapters can improve user experience and engagement, they’re just one piece of the larger SEO puzzle. (To learn more about overall SEO strategy for your YouTube channel, check out our ultimate guide to Youtube SEO optimization.)

If you start adding chapters to your YouTube channel, your viewers will thank you for it. And you’ll almost certainly start seeing more traffic to your videos, leading to more sales and brand awareness.

Let’s do this!

We’re here to help. You’ve got the industry expertise, and we’ve got the YouTube expertise. A perfect match! We can partner with you to provide a longterm evergreen content strategy that grows your brand awareness and drives automated traffic to your websites and sales funnels.

Book a free call to learn how we can help with your YouTube strategy and take your business to the next level.

With billions of organic views for our clients, Raffiti has a proven track record of strong business results. Our expertise is knowing how to impact an audience with organic video content for all the major social platforms. Also check out our free Blueprint which gives you 70 pages of proven strategies to succeed on YouTube.

Schedule a free one-on-one session today!

Can Adding Chapters Help You Rank Higher on YouTube?