Who doesn’t love table of contents. They let you skip the not so important bits and jump into the really awesome content at your choosing. That’s no different for YouTube. Long videos can sometimes be a bit hard to digest, especially if you share your “top 5” or “top 10” tips and the viewer might already be familiar with a few of them. Instead of forcing your viewer to simply sit through the entire video and risk that they’ll drop off, you can provide them with a table of contents in the descriptions section of your video.
If you’re thinking that this will decrease your watch time hours, you might be surprised. Would you rather have a viewer abandon your video early or select which bits and pieces of your video is of most interest to them and spend time watching those sections instead? The latter? I hoped you would say that…
So, let’s dive into how to set up a table of contents for your YouTube video(s).
Creating a Table of Contents for YouTube videos
Ever wondered how people have hyperlinked time stamps in the descriptions of their videos? It’s quite simple. All you need to do is head to the Creator Studio of your YouTube account click “edit” next to the video in question and edit your video description. Then you simply add 00:30 into the description of your video, if you’d like to jump to that point in the video and when you hit “save” YouTube will automatically hyperlink this time stamp. Easy, right?
But what if you’d like to share a link to your video that starts the playback at a particular time, for example, 2 minutes into your video? That’s called a deep linking and we’ll be looking at that one next.
Creating Deep Links for YouTube videos
Allowing viewers to start watching at a particular time within the video rather than sharing the video link itself can be a great opportunity, especially for instructional videos. Let’s look at how to create a deep link that allows you to do just that.
For example, in this 8 minutes long video the author is giving 12 tips for reducing waste. She drops her first tip 3:01 minutes into the video. To create a deep link that directs viewers to this spot, she could add #t=3m01s to the end of her URL. Let’s take this fragment apart, shall we?
# is the fragment identifier that combines the URL with the timestamp we’d like to add to the URL.
t= stands for “time”
3m stands for 3 minutes
01s stands for 01 seconds
So now you have it.