How to Timestamp YouTube Comments (and Why You Need To) 2 Easy Ways

By: | May 20, 2022 | Tags: , , , , |
how to timestamp YouTube comments

Do you want to know how to timestamp YouTube comments?

These free, easy strategies will boost your Tube views. If you are trying to monetize YouTube, boosting your watch time to 4,000 hours is needed to make money.

YouTube is a powerful marketing channel. It combines the best of all three worlds.

YouTube is a content-creating network allowing businesses to host content for free, it is a social media network that integrates community-driven features like comments, reactions, and recommendations, and it is also the second-largest search engine in the world (after Google which owns it).

YouTube videos can also be embedded into your own web pages, so they can be an effective part of your on-site content strategy as well.

There’s really no excuse for not including YouTube in your marketing strategy. With various web-based and mobile apps that let you create great videos, YouTube content is also quite doable.

Yet, creating video content is not all it takes for your YouTube strategy to work. You need to promote your videos, engage with your audience, use social media tools (like YouTube posting), optimize your videos for Google search and use all kinds of other tricks to get your videos found and seen.

One of those tricks is creating YouTube timestamps.

By reading this guide, you discover how to timestamp YouTube comments and five creative places to put the link to the timestamp to boost interest in your video.

Let’s read on to discover how to timestamp YouTube comments and more benefits of YouTube timestamps.

What are YouTube Timestamps?

A timestamp is a clickable link to a certain moment in your video.

How to TimeStamp YouTube Comments

YouTube automatically creates timestamps when you post a comment in the time format like this hh:mm:ss. For instance, if you want to link to the beginning of your video in the YouTube comments, you would type 00:00:00.

As you can see, YouTube timestamps are deep links into the video.

Why Timestamp YouTube Comments?

There may be different ways to use YouTube timestamps in the comments.

In the marketing context, I suggest using it for two main purposes:

Generate “Deep” Views

A deep view is when your video is watched beyond the first 10 seconds. Deep views make a very important part of YouTube’s algorithm. They signal your audience engagement. If your video generates enough deep views, it is considered engaging by YouTube algorithm and it will be suggested more so it is watched.

Use a timestamp to point to a particular moment inside a video and encourage deep views. These comments always work on me: I am always tempted to click a timestamp when the comment is worded right.

One important note: Don’t give out too much. 

Create a Clickable Table of Contents

You can use timestamps to break your video into chapters. This works especially well when used for longer videos.

Here is an example of YouTube chapters:

This gives a brief outline of your video letting your viewers know what to expect.

This is another powerful idea that you can implement in both:

  • Your own comment on your video: Don’t forget to pin that comment for others to see
  • Your video description.

Apart from generating deep views, this trick has two almost unexpected benefits:

1. It adds visual “Video chapters” to your video description making it much more engaging. It is hard to resist the click to one of these chapters even when the topic is not really fascinating!

2. It helps Google generate “key moments” below your video whenever it ranks in Google’s video carousels. When clicked (or tapped when accessed from a mobile device), a “key moment” takes you to that exact part of the video.

In other words, “Key moments” generate more clicks from organic search as well as more deep views inside your video. Double win!

In all fairness, Google is often able to generate key moments without the help of timestamps, as Google is very good at understanding transcripts these days, but timestamps surely help, especially if you make them meaningful and SEO-driven.

Are you ready to learn how to timestamp YouTube comments?

How to Timestamp YouTube Comments

To create a timestamp:

  • Watch the video till the moment you want to link to
  • Take note of the time in the YouTube player
  • Put it exactly as you see it there in the comment (for example, 0:50 as you see in the screenshot below)
how to timestamp youtube comments

When you publish the comment, the timestamp will become a link.

If you want to add a timestamp inside the video description, you follow exactly the same steps as above.

If you’d like to share a link on social media, in your newsletter, or on a specific website, you can also link to a specific timestamp.

Getting Creative with YouTube Timestamps

Create engaging timestamps

Your goal with those timestamps is to drive people into your video, so you need to make them really engaging. Phrasing them as questions is a good idea, as people tend to respond well to questions: We have that inherent instinct to look for an answer whenever we see a question.

So those timestamps may invite more clicks. To find engaging questions, use Text Optimizer which has a handy “Content Ideas” section featuring popular questions on any topic.

Using Google’s People Also Ask boxes for your target query is another good source of question inspiration. Surveying your customers is yet another great way to come up with engaging questions:

Use quizzes or polls to let your readers and clients share the questions they’d like you to cover in your videos.

Use branded timestamps

Another creative use of timestamps for marketing is to optimize your brand-driven videos.

These may include:

  • Client reviews and testimonials. Curating positive reviews using video format is a great way to dominate your brand-driven video carousels
  • Product walkthroughs or demos. You will then be able to use that video on your product page as well.
  • Interviews with your company’s public reps.
  • Your live streams from events. Live streaming on YouTube can be saved for later viewing which is when you can make them much more user-friendly by adding timestamps.

Mind that when those videos start ranking for your brand-driven search, you will want Google to generate those key moments as well to better control the sentiment. Make sure to include your brand name when creating a video outline using timestamps.

Here’s an example of how branded timestamps can really enhance your video’s key moments in organic search results:

how to timestamp youtube comments

Conclusion: How to TimeStamp YouTube Comments

By reading this guide, you learned how to timestamp YouTube comments.

You also discovered where to put the YouTube timestamps:

  • In the comments section
  • In the video description
  • Social media
  • Your newsletter
  • Your blog post

You also received creative ideas for using timestamps once you know how to timestamp YouTube comments. These ideas will boost interest and increase your CTR (Clickthrough Rate).

These signals will boost YouTube’s algorithms resulting in more views for your video.

As you can see, YouTube timestamp is a great way to boost the visibility and engagement of your videos, especially if you use them strategically. As compared to video creation and optimization, it is a relatively low-effort task that can make a lot of difference, so don’t overlook this step when adding content to your newly uploaded or existing videos.

Readers, please share so YouTubers discover this easy, free trick for boosting YouTube video engagement.

I look forward to your views in the comments section. Do you know how to timestamp YouTube comments? What are the results?

Author Bio: Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is the founder of Smarty has been in internet marketing for seven years, she is the former editor-in-chief of Search Engine Journal and contributor to prominent search and social blogs including Small Biz Trends and Mashable. Smarty is also a frequent speaker at Pubcon and the host of regular Twitter chats.

  1. Lisa Sicard

    Thank you Ann and Janice for sharing this one on time stamps. I started using Chapters on some of my YouTube videos but never thought about time-stamping the comments. I’ll have to try it out! I’ve noticed a decrease in views over the past few months and wondered why. This could be a reason 🙂

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Lisa,
      I look forward to using chapters based on Ann’s strategies. From what you wrote, it sounds like timestamping the different parts in the videos in the form of chapters is effective.

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