What Are the Advantages of Adding Timestamps to YouTube Videos?

What Are the Advantages of Adding Timestamps to YouTube Videos?
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


With over 30 million daily active users, YouTube is undoubtedly the world’s second-largest search engine and second most visited site after Google.

YouTube is the most popular platform among marketers and creators. Each creator vies to attract more eyeballs to deliver the message.

The uploaded videos on YouTube are now longer than before, and keeping audiences engaged at all times can be difficult. This is where timestamps become essential.

YouTube Timestamps

In this fast-paced world where users have limited time at hand, YouTube timestamps are extremely helpful. 
The ‘key moments’ feature of Google uses YouTube timestamps to link to video segments found in the description beneath a video.

The timestamps allow you to put a link to a specific moment in your YouTube video.

These YouTube timestamps improve user experience by making it easy to view the parts you are interested in. Viewers can quickly find and click on the content they are searching for.

Additionally, you can even provide a reference in minutes and hours where necessary. The timestamps act as a guide that directs viewers to the part of the video, which is most relevant to them.

Advantages of Timestamps

SEO Benefits

If you generally add timestamps to your YouTube videos, then you are going in the right direction. When you add timestamps, Google puts them underneath the video results.

This will help your viewers easily search for and find any video portion they need. Your video becomes discoverable on YouTube and also becomes easily discoverable via Google Search.

Both Google and YouTube will reward you for the same video, thereby giving multiple opportunities to top search engine results pages (SERPs) – the more the views, the higher it ranks in search results.


The ‘key moments’ feature makes searching for relevant content in the video simpler and faster.

Looking for a specific video section was time-consuming, but you can skip what is unnecessary and get straight to the point with timestamps. Timestamps have truly enhanced the viewer experience.

Ways to Add Timestamps to YouTube Videos

1. Manually Attach Timestamps to the URL

In this method, manually add the timestamp code to the end of your video’s URL. If your video URL contains a question mark (?), you need to use &t= to indicate the timestamp.

If your video’s URL does not contain a question mark (?), you need to use ?t= to indicate the timestamp.
Here, it is essential to remember that you specify the time in Hours, Minutes, and Seconds.

Twenty seconds into a video would be marked &t=20s or ?t=20s
Three minutes and 20 seconds would be marked &t=3m20s or ?t=3m20s
One hour, three minutes and 20 seconds would be marked &t=1hr3m20s or ?t=1hr3m20s

2. Use the YouTube Embed Tool

If you do not want to spend too much time creating URLs, you can use YouTube’s embedded share tool. In this method, you can open your video and go to the frame from where you want your viewer to start.

Pause the video and click on the ‘share’ icon on the toolbar. In the pop-up window, tick the ‘Start at’ option and adjust the time as needed.

The next step is to copy the updated URL or directly share the timestamped video with your chosen platform or contact.

3. Add a Timestamp to the Video Description

This is a simplified method where you write your timestamps into the video description. You can write down the specific parts, along with their corresponding timestamps and short descriptions.

This is an excellent practice to add chapters to your video and help viewers get to the desired video section. Make sure that you separate the hours, minutes, and seconds with a colon.

Adding timestamps to your YouTube video increases your viewer retention and watch time. Timestamps effectively maximize SEO opportunities, as well as enhance user experience.

Another way to increase SEO and improve the accessibility of your YouTube videos is to transcribe them.

Timestamps on a video transcription can sync with the timecode in a video file. It enables viewers to identify the preferred content.

Accurate timestamps, paired with transcriptions, can significantly enhance your video quality and make it SEO-friendly.

Get your videos transcribed by professional transcription services like GMR Transcription to get high-quality transcriptions with quick turnaround times.

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.