It’s tough to get attention on YouTube! With 500 hours of video uploaded every minute, the competition is fierce.
To get your YouTube content noticed, you have to understand how YouTube’s algorithm and human minds work. And you have to leverage that understanding in your video titles and descriptions. Here’s how to nail that part of your process in 2023.
In this post, we’ll provide examples and tips on how to write YouTube titles and descriptions that will help people find your content, stand out from the rest, and keep viewers engaged.
Why Optimizing YouTube Video Titles and Descriptions is Important
With YouTube, creativity is only half the story.
Successful YouTube videos come in many forms and can be defined by many criteria. But one thing is certain: success on YouTube starts with optimized titles and descriptions. To understand what makes a successful YouTube video, let’s take a look at how title and description optimization works.
Optimizing titles and descriptions involves using keywords, phrases, and other languages that accurately describe the video. This helps search engines index the video properly, increasing the chances of being seen by the right audience. Additionally, keywords can be used to make titles more clickable, catchy, and engaging, which can help to increase the number of views.
In terms of description optimization, it’s key to think of it as a sales pitch. The description should include all the necessary information about the video, such as the length, topic, and any relevant links. It should also include a call to action like asking viewers to subscribe or click on a link, as this can help to increase viewership.
As advised by YouTube, crafting eye-catching titles and concise, compelling descriptions will boost your visibility and views and get your videos discovered. It’s easy enough for anyone to do, and the impact could surely be worthwhile!
It helps grab the viewer’s attention
Again, you should put most of your creative effort into the content of your video. High-quality and engaging content keeps the viewers watching until the very end, make them come back for more, and eventually turns them into your channel’s subscribers.
But before that happens, you must somehow intrigue people enough to make them click and choose to watch your video out of so many other options on the platform. You need to stand out.
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To stand out on YouTube’s packed platform, you need an enticing title and description that spark viewers’ interest and encourages them to click on your video. These elements not only provide context for the video but also offer viewers something to look forward to.
As long as you succeed in putting together an inviting title and description, your video is in the spotlight and increases the chances of turning viewers into subscribers.
It makes your videos rank high on YouTube’s search results
The descriptions you write for your YouTube videos play a significant role in how well your videos rank in YouTube’s search engine. If you’re familiar with SEO, you can think of YouTube descriptions as similar to a webpage’s meta description — it summarizes the content to help Google understand what it is about. All these processes make the video description one of the most essential aspects that viewers consider when deciding whether or not to watch a video.
A good YouTube video title will let the audience know how relevant the video is to their search keywords or attract them while they are casually searching for something to watch. Your title does more than make your YouTube video stand out in the search result. It also helps YouTube recommend your content to the right audience.
What Makes a Great YouTube Video Title and Description
YouTube provides a range of features to help you organize, tag, and promote your video content, but it’s up to you to make sure you’re using them effectively. Put in the extra effort to ensure your videos reach the widest possible audience.
Here are some vital tips for creating the optimal YouTube video title and description:
- Keep it short and sweet
- Use relatable topics
- Be consistent with the thumbnail
- Avoid using clickbait
We’ll look at each of these in more detail below.
Keep it short and sweet
YouTube limits video titles to 100 characters, but even that is far too lengthy. The best titles are approximately 60–70 characters and appear in their entirety across most devices. Anything that is longer than that will be displayed as a shortened title.
It’s the same case for YouTube video descriptions. Both the descriptions of your videos and channels on YouTube are limited to a maximum of 5000 characters, which is approximately 800 words.
And again, your viewers, subscribers, or brands do not have the time to read lengthy descriptions. Concentrating key message content within the first 125 characters is best to grab your audience’s attention and create meaningful connections with them. Try using emojis, symbols, capital letters, or line breaks to make the header titles of each section stand out. In the remaining space, you can carefully mix in SEO keywords or embed URLs to drive more click-through rates. Short and sweet wins the race!
Use relatable topics
Knowing your audience’s interests, lifestyle, and problems is essential for making a lasting connection through your content. To make this connection, ask yourself what pain points or goals your viewers may have and how your content helps solve them.
Ask questions like “What is something your viewers might be working on, and does your content help them solve their problems?” or “What is a topic that most of your audience is paying attention to? Can you incorporate it into your video title?”
An easy way of doing this is using YouTube’s autocomplete search feature. When you put in a keyword, YouTube will suggest the top topics that actual viewers search for on the platform.
Be consistent with the thumbnail
Now that you’re looking to draw in more viewers to your YouTube videos, you won’t get very far without creating eye-catching, attention-grabbing thumbnails. After all, having the perfect thumbnail and video title is the best way to grab the attention of potential viewers.
A consistent viewing experience will create a positive connection between a viewer and your channel when the title and thumbnail complement each other smoothly. Not only can it increase your view count, but it will also build on the viewer’s interest in your future content.
Here are four tips to help you design the perfect YouTube thumbnails:
- Use eye-catching colors and visuals that stand out and attract attention. This will help your thumbnail stand out from the other videos on the list.
- Use attractive images from people or the video itself. Frame it in a way that piques the interest of the viewer. Facial expressions that cause viewers to relate to the video – such as surprise, fear, or excitement – can be particularly captivating.
- Include the company logo or brand name to increase brand recognition.
- Include a Call to Action. Your thumbnail should have a clear call to action so potential viewers know what to do when they see your video. Include a phrase like “Watch Now” or “Learn More” in your thumbnail.
Avoid using clickbait
Don’t try to be sly and trick your viewers by using clickbait tactics to get them to watch your YouTube video. This includes titles that look exciting but don’t deliver. Not only does this tactic generate suspicion among your viewers, but it also has severe long-term consequences for your watch-time performance.
If viewers realize mid-way through that their expectations were not met, they’ll leave your video, resulting in a terrible watch time record and damaging your channel’s reputation. Don’t risk it — clickbait titles are rarely worth the cost. So if you want YouTube to send more viewers your way, give them great content first, then with the growing watch time, YouTube will send more viewers your way!
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How to Write an Engaging YouTube Video Title and Description
Conduct keyword research
The YouTube platform is like a mini Google search tool for video content. Make sure to add keywords to your YouTube channel and video descriptions.
To begin, research the category to learn the common words used by your competitors. When you’ve identified your target keywords, incorporate them into the title in a way that sounds natural. Ideally, keywords should be at the beginning of the video’s title. Some super helpful tools for keyword research on YouTube are Google’s Keyword Planner or Google Trends for relevant video topics.
- Why this video title works: The creator has subtly included many keywords relating to “Small room makeover” like “Tiny studio makeover” and “DIY setup.” These help the video show up first when viewers search for related terms.
Using the same words multiple times is important, as this will allow more people to find your channel in YouTube searches. You can also add the same keywords to your tags. There’s a high chance that potential viewers can come across your content while watching something similar.
Make sure it’s easy to read and attractive
Make your YouTube videos stand out with curiosity-sparking titles! Start by giving relevant background info, then add a hook in questions, adjectives, or other queries to pique viewers’ interest. If your content is educational, begin the title with ‘How,’ ‘Why,’ or ‘What.’ This will make your video more likely to appear in Google searches and draw more viewers.
For example, to write a catchy title, start by giving some background information, then include a “hook” in the middle of the sentence. This hook can be in the form of a list of questions, a series of adjectives, or another query.
- Why this video title works: It implies that there’s a story to be told in the video, making people curious. It uses simple words with intentional capitalizations and emojis that are inviting to potential viewers.
Another helpful tip is to start the video title with ‘How,’ ‘Why,’ or ‘What’ if your content is educational to your viewers. Doing so will help push your video to reach more people with Google search-related queries of people wanting to find the answer to a particular question or topic.
Use Call to Action!
Remember to always include a call to action in the description! Invite viewers to subscribe, comment, like, and read more of your content. You can also provide links to social media handles, affiliate links, other videos, or even your website.
Plus, when your descriptions are concise and easy to understand, your audience is more likely to click on them.
Mix up numbers and emotive words
Numbers are often associated with facts, and including them in your YouTube video titles can be beneficial. It helps increase click-through rates but can also help viewers subconsciously decide what they want to watch.
- Why this video title works: By focusing on one key message, the viewers know for sure the video talks about the topic they care about.
Leveraging emotions can also be effective. For instance, you can consider incorporating keywords like “helpful” for instructional content or “luxurious” for reviews of high-end products. This could help draw in an audience eager to connect with the content.
Writing YouTube titles and descriptions that engage your audience doesn’t have to be daunting. With the tips and examples in this post, you can create captivating titles and descriptions that will draw in more clicks and views, and stand out from the competition.
The ideal YouTube title and description should be informative, SEO-friendly, and straight to the point. This way, viewers know exactly what to expect and, most importantly, why they should click. Expertly crafted titles and descriptions give your video content maximum reach and the potential to accumulate more views long-term.
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