How To Add Chapters To Youtube Video? Easiest way 2024

How To Add Chapters To Youtube Video? Easiest way 2024

We all know the feeling – you’re watching a YouTube tutorial, trying to figure out how to do that one pesky thing in Excel. But the video creator takes 10 minutes talking about their channel and journey before actually getting into the meat of the tutorial. By then, you’ve moved onto another video hoping this one will actually teach you what you came to learn.

Losing viewer attention spans is a constant battle for YouTube creators hoping to make helpful tutorial and how-to videos. Luckily YouTube recognizes this issue and in 2020 introduced Video Chapters – a way for creators to add timestamped links that allow viewers to easily jump to different sections.

If you’re a YouTube creator hoping to keep viewers watching by letting them navigate directly to the relevant parts of your longer videos, this post will walk you through everything you need to know.

How to add chapters to a YouTube video?

There are two different ways to add chapters automatically and manually:

#1. Enabling Automatic YouTube Chapters

YouTube Studio offers an easy option to automatically generate chapters by detecting key moments in your videos. Here’s how to enable this:

1. In Studio, open your video details

Open Youtube Studio Open your Youtube video details

2. Scroll down and check the box for “Allow automatic chapters

Allow automatic chapters

3. Save the changes

Save the changes Allow automatic chapters

YouTube’s AI will now insert chapters with autogenerated titles at the key timestamps. This works for both existing and new videos.

To enable automatic chapters by default for future uploads:

1. Go to Settings > Upload defaults

Go to Youtube Settings Select Upload defaults

3. Select Advanced settings

Select Advanced settings

3. Check the box for “Allow automatic chapters”

Allow automatic chapters and key moments

4. Save your changes

Now all your future video uploads will automatically have chapters added without you having to do anything!

#2. Manually Adding Custom YouTube Chapters

For more control over your video chapters, you can manually add custom timestamps and titles, you have to know three important points:

  • Make sure that the first timestamp you list starts with 00:00.
  • Your video should have at least three timestamps listed in ascending order.
  • The minimum length for video chapters is 10 seconds.

Source: Google Help

To add custom chapters:

1. In Video details, Add timestamps to your Youtube video like this picture

Add timestamps to your Youtube video

2. Save changes

Manually adding chapters takes more effort, but allows you to customize the viewer experience by highlighting the key moments you want featured.

Some best practices are to break longer videos into short 3-5 minute segments and tease what each chapter covers in the title. Curated chapters tailored to your audience help keep viewers engaged.

Having issues with nonworking YouTube chapters? Our “YouTube Chapters Not Working” article offers 5 simple fixes to common chapter problems.

Boosting Viewer Retention with Chapters

Adding chapters to your YouTube videos keeps viewers watching longer through:

  • Enhanced Viewer Control: Chapters allow viewers to jump to the sections most useful to them. For example, in a baking tutorial, someone could skip ahead to the frosting instructions. This prevents abandonment from those unable to quickly find what they need.
  • Structured Content: Dividing your video into logical chapters makes the content appear more organized at a glance. This subtly signals quality and encourages viewers to stick around.
  • Focused Sections: Chapters break videos into shorter segments, which seem more approachable. Viewers commit to watching just a 3-5 minute section rather than feeling overwhelmed by a 30 minute video.

Ultimately, chapters empower viewers to tailor your content to their needs. This results in greater satisfaction and improved retention rates. Players can efficiently access the relevant information they want.

Compare two 30-minute videos:

  • Video A has no chapters Video B has 5 chapters of 6 minutes each
  • Viewers are much more likely to fully watch Video B by jumping between focused chapters. They’d likely abandon the lengthy, unstructured Video A out of frustration from inability to scan ahead.

Chapters allow you to guide viewers through your content for optimized engagement. Break up and label sections to boost transparency around what your video offers.

Tips for Using Chapters Effectively

Now that you know the value of adding chapters, let’s cover some best practices to utilize them effectively:

  • ️️Chunk Long Videos into Short Segments: Divide longer videos into 5-7 minute chapters. Short segments feel more approachable and easier to navigate.
  • Label Chapters Clearly: Write descriptive and engaging chapter titles so viewers know what each section covers and are enticed to click in.
  • Put Key Information First: Structure your chapters so the most critical information viewers are seeking is right up front in your first 1-2 chapters.
  • Pace Chapters Logically: Move through information in a sequential way that builds on previous chapters so viewers best understand your content.
  • Check Analytics: Use YouTube Analytics to see which chapters get the most clicks and engagement. Double down on what resonates.
  • Revise Based on Feedback: Pay attention to comments asking for more detail on certain topics. Enhance your chapters over time to better meet viewer needs.

Chapters empower viewers to consume videos how they want but require planning so you amplify this capability. Determining the right pacing and labels for chapters takes work but pays off through better viewer experiences.

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