5 Nifty Tips to Optimize Your Video Title

Performance B

As any YouTube Creator would know, titles are one of the most important types of metadata (definition: metadata is the information that surrounds your video). It’s one of the first metrics that viewers use to decide whether or not to watch your video, so you want to make it compelling. Titles are also used by YouTube to index your content, therefore you want to make it rich with quality keywords as well.

We understand it is challenging to balance these two factors to please both people and search engines, so here are some tricks to make life a little easier. Consider this a summary cheat sheet of the YouTube Creator Playbook – Version 2 (see below) and the recent “Creator’s Tip #46” by ReelSEO.

1) Keep It Real

Titles should always accurately represent your video content. We understand you want to use the most-searched keywords in your title, but relevant keywords are much more important, because they lead to a higher “watch time”. Viewers might bounce from your video immediately after watching something they were not expecting – *Dislike*. This affects how YouTube measures the quality of your video and might impact the ranking or your video.

2) Change Up Your Titles After

One strategy you can use is to make a compelling title first, publish, and  experiment with different keywords after your video has been getting views from their YouTube feed, friends’ Facebook or Google Plus shares. YouTube recommends even re-purposing archived video titles for new search trends or current events.

3) Keywords First, Branding Second

This is a great way that YouTube recommends to strike a balance. If you check out UnculturedProject‘s channel, you’ll see that the specific video title keywords are before the “Project for Awesome”, such as this one.

TIP: Why do we always put an extra space before the colon or dash? You may have noticed that in all the videos on our VISO Games channel, for example, The Last Of Us : Bill’s Safehouse Trailer, the colon (:) or dash (-) is always given an extra cushy space before and after. That is because it makes the video easily found when people search the whole title “The Last Of Us” found through the search engine on our channel’s page.

4) Little Things Count

You can try drawing attention to your title through all the clutter by adding some CAPS in your titles, or symbols like stars (★) or arrows (►). This can be something you try on social media as well. As content curators, we know that people WANT help to key in on the best content (just make sure you deliver). Also, keep in mind that only the first 50 – 60 characters will be seen when people view video search results on Google. 55 characters is what they will see in a YouTube search. Cut-off titles don’t look that slick, but you can disagree with us.

5) Study the Pros

Magazine titles are the best. Those writers know how to catch people’s attention in a sea of information. Also check out VidStatX for successful channels.

Do you have your own tips you would like to share with the VISO community? Add to our comments below!

Now as promised, here is the YouTube Playbook if you want to read more.

By Priscilla Ho, Social Media and Marketing Specialist at BroadbandTV Corp.
Questions or Comments? Email socialmedia[at]broadbandtvcorp.com or tweet @VISO