If you thought writing great video titles on YouTube was technically optional, think again. Your approach to Write YouTube video titles could singlehandedly determine the success of your channel. Every 60 seconds, 500 hours of new content is uploaded on YouTube.
Over 122 million people use YouTube daily, consuming more than 1 billion hours of content every 24 hours. Figures that give you some idea of the kind of competition you’re up against. Writing catchy YouTube titles is a tough task. But it’s something you need to master in order to build a successful channel.
Subscribers, views, watch time hours, and engagement rates – all directly influenced by the way you title your videos, as is YouTube’s search engine, which uses video titles as the basis for its recommendations. All is well and good, but what exactly makes a YouTube title appealing and engaging?
How can you ensure that your titles will resonate with people and encourage them to click? The truth is, what makes a great YouTube title differs from one type of video to the next. Hence, the first thing you need to do is consider the type of content you are putting out.
Are you looking to inspire, entertain, or perhaps educate with your output? Do you focus on emotive (or even controversial) content, or are your videos more formal and business-like in nature? This alone can make it much easier to set yourself up with the basic framework for your video titles.
After which, it’s a case of following a tried, tested, and trusted approach to producing consistently excellent video titles. Titles that will bring you all the clicks and views you could ever need.
15 Best Tips to Write Titles for Your Youtube Videos
Engaging video titles can help you get more views on YouTube and subscribers on board, and generally build a more successful channel. As something of a beginners guide to high-impact video titles, this is what you need to do to drive views and engagement:
1. Write a Title that Matches Your Content
First up, the simplest (and most obvious) tip for getting more views is to make sure your titles match your content. To create a video and give it irrelevant or misleading titles is to do your channel a disservice. Even so, it’s what many do in a vain attempt to influence the YouTube search system.
More often than not, keeping things simple is the way to go. A straightforward, descriptive title that matches your content will always work in your favor. Oftentimes, the more elaborate and clever you get with your titles, the less effective they become. Keep things simple, and the views will roll in.
2. Provide What Your Audience Wants
The key to writing engaging video titles lies in putting yourself in the position of your target audience and considering exactly what it wants. Think about it – why are they on YouTube in the first place, and what are they looking for? What kinds of search terms are they entering, and what motivates them to click through to a video?
It is essential to get to know your target audience at the deepest possible level. In doing so, you will stand a much better chance of being able to give them something your competitors cannot. Bear in mind that whatever it is your audience wants, there are plenty of other creators competing for their views.
3. Mind the Length of Your Titles
The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect length for a YouTube title. But what has been learned over the years is that shorter is better. For maximum views, attempt to keep your video titles to around 60-70 characters. That said, you may, on occasion, need to get a little more descriptive.
If so, don’t be afraid to put out something with a longer title. It’s a case of getting your point across with as few characters as you can. Concise titles are easier to read and preferred by most, but the occasional exception to the rule won’t harm your channel.
4. Do Keyword Research
Practicing good video SEO is essential to appeal to the YouTube algorithm. For the most part, this begins and ends by embedding relevant keywords in your titles, your video descriptions, and your written copy in general. The important word here is “relevant” – avoid the temptation to hijack every trending keyword that comes along.
Conducting extensive keyword research is essential in order to determine what your target audience is looking for. Where possible, combine your primary target keyword with a mention of the date. For example, “The 10 Best Kept Ecommerce Secrets of Summer 2022”. More often than not, up-to-date video titles like these generate far more views.
5. Use Numbers (Listicle-Style)
For reasons unknown, people naturally gravitate towards listicles. That being, the content is presented primarily in the form of a numbered list. Their popularity also gives them prominence in the search results, translating to greater visibility for your listicle-style videos.
There’s really no shortage of ways to leverage the popularity of this type of content. “10 Ways to…” or “8 Things You Never Knew About…” or “Six Shocking Things I Found Out About…” and so on and so forth. There is something inexplicably engaging and appealing about list-type content, so it’s worth adding it to your channel.
6. Use Your Keyword at the Beginning of the Title
A quick point but important nonetheless – always use your main keyword at the beginning of your video title. If it’s not possible to use it as the first word, embed it as early on in the text as you can. This will give you the best possible chance of ranking prominently for this particular keyword.
Simplicity and straightforwardness hold the key to getting more views. If your video titles are concise, to-the-point, and based on your main keywords, they’ll get the job done. Just remember to also incorporate your keywords in the rest of your written copy – particularly your video and channel descriptions.
7. Use One Word in Uppercase
In truth, this is a technique that can be effective and annoying in equal measures. The use of all-caps titles (and sections thereof) as a marketing gimmick is as old as the hills. But even today, it’s highly effective in generating plenty of views. “I tried a crazy kitchen hack, and THIS happened!” or “I broke the whole game with ONE simple trick!”, for example.
That said, it’s a tactic that should never be overused. On occasion, including one word in uppercase in a video title gives the impression of something big. Something out of the ordinary and something worth checking out. If you use the same tactic time and time again, it just becomes a predictable part of your output. Hence, it is something to use in careful moderation.
8. Avoid Clickbait at All Costs
Under no circumstances is there ever an excuse for resorting to clickbait titles. Avoiding clickbait at all costs is the only way to preserve your credibility on YouTube. Clickbait is a proven technique for generating a quick (and strictly temporary) influx of views. After which, each and every person you deliberately misled will never (ever) bother with your channel again.
Not just this, but YouTube itself does not take kindly to this sort of deception. If you’re found to be using clickbait titles, you run the risk of being suspended from the platform, after which rebuilding your credibility and prior position will be completely out of the question.
9. Add Strong and Emotive Words
The use of strong and emotive words is basically high-impact marketing 101. Emotive words are those that instantly invoke some kind of response from the reader due to their power and impact. Typical examples of which include Amazing, Appalling, Wonderful, Heavenly, Extraordinary, Unbelievable, Tragic, Magical, Shocking, devastating, and so on.
For example, a video entitled “Devastatingly Delicious Brownies in Three Super-Simple Steps” will always earn more views than “A Three-Step Recipe for Great Brownies .”It’s about taking the content of your video and presenting it in an impactful and engaging way. Just don’t get carried away if your content doesn’t exactly justify an emotive title!
10. Use Proper Hashtags in Titles
Hashtags play a role of pivotal importance on YouTube. They effectively categorize your content, telling the YouTube algorithm what your videos are about. If your goal is to grow your channel, you need to focus on visibility on your video. I.e., how easy it is for people to find and view your content.
But it’s not enough to use hashtags on YouTube in some random way. They need to be of genuine relevance to your content and as engaging as possible. Finding creative ways to use hashtags in your video titles can be doubly effective.
Not so often as for the whole thing to become predictable, but on occasion, when publishing something special. The use of proper hashtags can and will improve your view count over time.
11. Make Your Thumbnails and Titles Work Together
This should technically go without saying, but nonetheless, warrants are emphasized. The combination of your thumbnails and titles will determine whether anybody clicks through to your videos. It’s basically where that all-important first impression begins and ends.
That is precisely why you need to ensure that your thumbnails and titles are perfectly paired. Each thumbnail should be an accurate representation of the video title and vice-versa. The thumbnail should give an eye-catching and engaging depiction of what they can expect if they click through.
It can be a frame taken from the video itself or anything else you can come up with. Though in all instances, your thumbnails need to be 100% unique and authentic.
12. Use a Good Call to Action
Contrary to popular belief, CTAs need not be reserved exclusively for things like End Screens, Cards, or video descriptions. You can also embed them directly into your YouTube video titles, inviting your target audience to take action (i.e., view your content).
For example, some of the most popular CTAs to include in YouTube titles include “Check this out,” “Learn more,” “Watch this,” “Discover,” and so on. Rather than presenting them with a video in the normal way, you’re effectively telling them to do something with your titles. Something that can be surprisingly effective and translate to more views.
13. Use Words in Brackets
This is another phenomenon for which there’s no clear explanation. Nevertheless, placing some of the words in your titles in brackets can work wonders. So many successful YouTubers have reported how using words in brackets has significantly increased their click-through rates – some as much as 38%.
“How to Crush the Competition on YouTube (10 New Tips)” or “The Best Cookie Recipe (Just Four Ingredients) are examples of this technique in practice. Why it works is something of a mystery, but it does, as proven in an extensive case study by HubSpot, indicating a huge increase in clicks for those who use words in brackets.
14. Use More “How To” Titles
If you publish educational or instructional content of any kind, always start with “How To…” Two reasons for this – the first of which is to tell people it’s educational content. When a video starts with “How To…”, they know immediately it is going to teach them something. If it’s something they want to learn, they’ll click through.
Secondly, “How To…” titles also tell YouTube what kind of content you’re creating. YouTube is essentially a massive search engine, where millions of people enter “How To…XXX” in the search box daily. If you want them to find and view your educational content, make it as search friendly as possible.
15. Research Your Competitors
Taking a peek at what your competitors are doing isn’t cheating. At least, not if you don’t subsequently rip off their ideas wholesale. Competitor research is about seeing how they approach their publishing and marketing activities on YouTube.
It’s also about looking at what they do to keep their subscribers happy and stack up views consistently. Take note of how they title videos that are similar to yours. See if there’s any kind of pattern with their most popular videos and how their thumbnails compare to yours.
Have a close look at their ten most popular videos to date, and figure out why they are so popular. At all times, look for ways to improve on what they do for the benefit of your view count.
Rounding things off, a brief bonus tip that’s just as (if not more) important than most of the above:
Keep a close eye on your channel’s performance at all times. Each of the tips and guidelines above will help you create more engaging video titles.
But it is all for nothing if you don’t subsequently monitor the performance of your videos and strive for continuous improvement. Just a few of the essential metrics you need to be keeping an eye on are as follows:
Average Watch Time: The length of time people spend watching your content.
Watch Time by Video: Which of your videos and generating the most watch time?
Subscribers Gained vs. Lost: Whether your audience is increasing or decreasing in size.
Number of Likes, Comments, and Shares: How your audience is engaging with your content.
Pinpoint your best-performing videos, and work out why they proved so popular. Going forwards, use these videos (complete with titles, descriptions, and so on) as a blueprint for your future output.
There’s a degree of trial and error involved, and it takes time. Still, monitoring video performance will make it much easier for you to work out what great titles, thumbnails, and descriptions are all about.