Creating a video is a creative process which involves a lot of brainstorming, editing and producing. But the success of your video does not 100% rely on the quality or originality of that video.
Whether your video is going to be a success is determined by how many people will be able to find it and watch it.
Don’t underestimate the discoverability of your video. It may make or break your whole video marketing strategy performance.
One of the biggest channels that can drive findability of your video is search engine optimization, i.e. optimizing your video page for it to rank in search engines (mainly Google and Youtube search) for relevant keywords.
And one of the most important SEO elements of any page is its title.
What is a Youtube title?
“Title” is what you see on the browser tab when you open any Youtube page:
It is controlled by the “Title” field which is required when you upload your video to Youtube:
In the code of the page the title can be found within <title></title> tags.
On a Youtube video page, the title is also repeated underneath the video as the main heading making it also an on-page SEO element.
Youtube allows you to enter up to 100 characters to the title field and I recommend making the most of those 100 characters.
How can titles impact the findability of your video?
Page titles are key on-page SEO elements because they do both:
- Page titles are direct ranking factors (Google uses them to understand what the page is about)
- Page titles impact click-through by being the most visible parts of standard search snippets.
In that respect, Youtube SEO is not much different from any other types of SEO. The only slight difference is Youtube videos also get an additional section in organic results which you can target: Page titles are also included next to video thumbnails in video carousels:
Since titles are so important for your video findability and clickability, spend some extra time brainstorming effective video titles. Here are a few ideas:
How to create an effective Youtube title
1. Include your keyword
This is important in the context of this article. Keywords are still very important for SEO because they still help search engines understand the main topic of your page.
Keyword research is also a great way to estimate a demand for any topic (by looking at the search volume).
Identifying your main keyword and including it into the page title will help that video page rank for that keyword driving views for your video and generating additional brand visibility to your business. There are lots of tools and plugins allowing you to identify your target keywords.
It is a good idea to grab URLs of your competing videos and run them through this SEO Content Checker to identify their keyword usage and learn from that:
2. Make it sound interesting
I know it sounds obvious but there are too many boring video titles for me not to mention it.
Your video title needs to invite a click, so make sure it is interesting enough to invite one.
I realize it sounds easier than it really is and in many cases it is also highly subjective. But there’s a tool to help.
Using ChatGPT will help you find some ideas, in case you are stuck. Here’s what the tool was able to generate when I requested the following “Generate video title ideas that will include “Youtube marketing” keyword. Make those titles sound intriguing:”
There are quite a few pretty nice ones. If you don’t like what the tool suggested, keep asking it for more, changing your request just a bit to make it think harder.
This tool is great but make sure to pick a title that won’t over-promise. There’s a fine line between “intriguing” and “click-baiting.” Try and avoid the latter as it may reflect badly on your branding strategies.
3. Include numbers
Including a number in your page title has proven to be an effective way to get more people to click it. Click-through is likely to be an (indirect) ranking factor, so if more people click your title, there’s a good chance it will rank higher.
You cannot make each of your videos a listicle though, so you won’t be able to use this trick in each of your Youtube titles. But it is a good format to keep in mind and use from time to time.
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4. Mention a brand (if there’s one to mention)
Finally, if your video is about a well-known brand (for example, if that video is of you speaking at an event) or, more importantly, if you create it in collaboration with a well-known expert and/or influencer, include that name in your title.
Not only will it help your video rank for that searchable name, it will also increase its click-though thanks to people recognizing that name.
Youtube also allows you to tag that name in the title (much like tagging works on Twitter or Facebook). If you add @ and then start typing that name, Youtube will allow you to select that name from the drop-down (if that brand or person has a Youtube channel). This will notify them on the mention and urge them to engage with the video helping its visibility:
No need to include your brand name though (unless that video is all about you or your company). If you pick your Youtube name well, it will help you build your brand’s recognizability with every high-ranking video because the channel name is always included in search snippets.
Keep a close eye on your results
Finally, creating an effective title is something that you can never do perfectly. There’s always room for improvement and experimentation. Learn from other well-performing videos in your or outside your niche and never stop experimenting.
Monitor video carousels for your important keywords to get notified when a new video succeeds in getting there and not what may have brought them that success. There are SEO monitoring tools that can help you with that task:
Additionally, keep a close eye on your Youtube analytics to monitor keywords that generate views from Youtube search and learn from those results:
You spend hours creating your video. It deserves a good title which will help your video get found. Spend some time brainstorming an effective title, experiment with different formats and measure your success. Good luck!