How To Add Chapters To YouTube Videos? [in 2022]

Written by: Emily Anderson
Last updated:

If you want to make your videos more useful and improve the SEO ranking of your YouTube video then you should add chapters to YouTube videos.

In this YouTube video tutorial, we are going to explain what YouTube video chapters are and how they work and also going to show you how to add chapters to your YouTube videos.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

What are YouTube video chapters?

YouTube video chapters enable YouTube creators to break up their videos into sections and allow the video viewers to navigate between different parts of the video.

There are certainly useful for the viewers as they can get a quick overview of what the YouTube video is all about and they can quickly jump to a certain part of the video they are really interested in by clicking on the timestamps in the YouTube video description.

They can be also useful for the YouTube creator and this is definitely a YouTube SEO  best practice you should follow. (more details on this at the end of this tutorial.)

There are two ways to add chapters to a YouTube video:

  • add chapters manually to
  • add automatic chapters when you upload the video

How to add chapters to YouTube videos manually?

Here is how to add chapters to YouTube videos:

  1. Log in to YouTube Studio
  2. From the left sidebar menu, click on ‘Content’
  3. Search for the video, you would like to add chapters to. Then click on it.
  4. Head over to the video description.
  5. Here you can add the YouTube video chapters.
  6. All you have to do is add the timestamp and the name of the chapter. For instance:
    • 00:00 Intro
    • 00:30 What are YouTube video chapters
    • 00:59 How to add video chapters to a YouTube video
    • 02:12 How to add automatic chapters to a YouTube videohow to add chapters to YouTube video
  7. Click on ‘Save’

If you now open the video, the video chapters should be added to the YouTube video.

Of course, you can add the chapters when you are upload the YouTube video and you haven’t published it yet.

How to add automatic chapters to YouTube videos?

If you don’t have time, you can also add automatic chapters to your videos in which case, YouTube AI will try to create video chapters for your video.

Here is how to add automatic chapters to YouTube videos:

  1. Log in to YouTube Studio
  2. From the left sidebar menu, click on ‘Content’
  3. Search for the video, you would like add chapters to. Then click on it.
  4. Click on ‘SHOW MORE’
  5. Under ‘Automatic Chapters’ turn on ‘Allow automatic chapters (when available and eligible)’
  6. Click on ‘Save’

By default, when you upload a new YouTube video, this automatic video chapter setting is turned on.

When you add video chapters manually to a YouTube video, they overwrite the automatic chapters YouTube has added previously.

YouTube video chapters not working

Here are the main reasons why YouTube video chapters might not be working on your video.

  1. The first timestamp you add to the video should always be 00:00. If it is not or not in this format, YouTube will not recognize that this section in the video description is a YouTube video chapter. So make sure to
  2. The YouTube video has to have at least three chapters listed in ascending orders. If you have less than three video chapters, YouTube will not convert it to chapters.
  3. A video chapter has to have a length of at least 10 seconds. If it is shorter than that, the YouTube video chapters will not work.

Why should add chapters to YouTube videos?

There are three main reasons why you should add chapters to YouTube videos if they make sense.

First, especially if you have a longer video they are likely to increase your video retention as the viewer can jump to the section of the video he is really interested in, so it is less likely that he will get bored and leave the video prematurely.

Secondly, when you add chapters to the YouTube video, you can improve your YouTube search ranking for certain keywords you try to target with the videos.

Last but not least, it also helps the YouTube video to rank in Google search results where you can also get a nice amount of video traffic.

When you add chapters to YouTube videos, and your videos will show up in Google search, these moments will show up under the video.

YouTube video chapters in Google Search results

It increases SERP real estate and you are more likely to get a click from the Google search result pages.

Can’t add YouTube chapters to my YouTube video

If you can’t add chapters to a YouTube video, check out the section in the article ‘YouTube video chapters not working’ and make sure you comply with these YouTube video chapter rules.

Also, if you add chapters to a video after you have published it on YouTube, make sure to click on the ‘Save’ button before you would leave the page.

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