How to Write a Perfect Video Title

PunchyThe title of your video is important. It’s important for searchers and search engines.

Along with your thumbnail it is one of the only things a person on YouTube will use to decide whether to watch your video.

And before YouTube has any information from users it uses your title among other things to decide when to show your video in search results.

So it’s clear that you need a title that is both catchy for users and descriptive for YouTube.


How Do You Make a Perfect Video Title?

A lot of the time you’ll know what your customers / viewers will need to see in a video even if they think they’re looking for something else.

This leads to the need for a compromise – you need to have a title that is accurate and honest enough the people don’t feel cheated by the video they watch, while also being true enough to what the viewers want to see that they will click it in the first place.


Keyword research

To make sure your video shows up when users are searching for a video, you need to do some keyword research.

Preferably you should have done this before you even started the video, however, if not then now is the next best time to do it.

Keyword researchKeyword research is how you check for the popularity of certain searches, i.e. the number of times that certain things are searched for.

Check out the first point of this post for a quick overview of keyword research.

Google’s keyword planner tool is great for keyword research, however, the terms people use when searching for videos are sometimes different to when they are searching the web.

I would tell you to use YouTube’s free keyword planner tool to find what videos people are searching for, however, YouTube have recently retired this.

A good thing to do would be to use a combination of the Autosuggest on YouTube’s search bar and the AdWords keyword planner.

Once you have found the keywords you want, make sure you use them in your title.


Title Length

Your title should not be long. This is for 2 main reasons.

  1. People skim through the titles of search results, if it is too long, it won’t be read properly.
  2. In Google searches long titles will be cut off meaning people won’t be able to read them even if they wanted to.

A good title length to go by is between 50 and 60 characters long, preferably 50 rather than 60.


Include the Episode Number

If your video is part of a series then make sure you put an episode number in the title e.g. part 1, or episode 3. This helps YouTube recommend your videos better and it also helps users know which video they want to watch next.

So now you know the do’s and don’ts of writing your video title the next bit is much more subjective.


Making Your Title Catchy

Putting keywords in your title makes sure they turn up in the search results, but once they’re there you’re still going to be competing with a load of other videos for a person’s click.

This is where you’ll need an attractive title, check out the tips below for some ideas on how to make your title catchy.


Catchy, get it?

Use Expressive Language

No one wants to watch a video titled “These 3 Tips Are Quite Useful”. You need to create a title that gives a bit of an emotional reaction. Like “3 Fantastic Tips For Video Marketing Success”.

It’s up to you whether you want to take it as far as some clickbait titles – “You’ll Never Believe How Simple These 3 Amazing Tips Are”.

Personally I think those titles are cheesy and people will stop watching when they realise that they can believe how simple the tips are.


number-70828_1280Use Numbers

4 Things You Won’t Believe Footballers Have Bought

7 Ways To Optimise Your Video

10  Mindblowing Facts About Video Marketing


You’ll have seen titles like this a lot, and there’s a reason, they work. If you’ve created a video that can be formatted as steps or a number of facts then you should write your title like that.

People respond well to these sort of titles because they give clarity on what the video is about and what they can expect.


Try Alliteration

There’s a reason we like “fun facts”, that “sticks and stones” can break your bones and that people can be “dead as a doornail”. It’s because we like alliteration.

Once you have your keywords brainstorm words you can use to alliterate with them. But don’t go crazy or it will sound weird.

That’s why I didn’t call this post “Ten Top Tips for Terrific Titles”.


Do you have any other suggestions for crafting great titles? If you do then leave them in the comments below.

Image Credit:By Keith Allison (Flickr: Brett Gardner) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


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