Secrets of the Best Video Title, Description and Tags
Wait! Do not upload your video on YouTube yet. If you simply upload your video and expect it to have a decent number of views, you may be disappointed. The viewers want to view excellent content but the search engines require detailed metadata as well. Deliberated and well-written metadata (Titles, description and tags) is critical for SEO of your content. This ensures a wider promotion of your video and increased viewership and growth of your business.
After going through this article you will not only be able to identify the weaknesses in your video’s metadata (Titles, description and tags) but will also be able to improve these critical aspects with the help of some best approaches, discussed in the succeeding paras.
How to compose a comprehensive video title
Start with your YouTube video’s title. Try to make the title, as compelling and exciting as possible. An attractive and interesting title is critical in SEO of your content. If the title grabs the attention of the viewers, they would like to see more of what is to follow, which means an increased CTR (Click-through-rate). Although there can be 100 characters in the title, only 70 out of these appear in the search results. So make those 70 characters as much attention-grabbing, as possible.
Following best approaches are also very helpful in making an appealing title:
Must Include Keywords in the Title
Help the search engine find your video. A title with all the important keywords is a big flashing signboard for the search engine, pointing straight to your content. Selection of relevant keywords after some serious deliberation and searching through good keyword generator tools is most crucial for SEO of your content. Spend some time and intellectual energy here and you have a promising start.
Should be attractive for clicks
The title must be exciting enough to attract clicks by the viewers. More clicks mean higher Click-through Rate (CTR). This reflects user interest in your content and is thus rewarded in the form of a higher ranking by the YouTube search.
The title must be an attention-grabber. Several approaches may be adopted to make the title appealing. Some of them might be to include a number (e.g. 10 Reasons….), a catchy word or phrase (e.g. The best solution to ….) or even something emotional phrase (Learn to take a stand……) etc.
Avoid Misleading, Exaggerated or Clickbait Titles
Use of any exaggerated or misleading terms like “Unbelievable, Life-changing or Jaw-dropping” etc in your video title must be avoided. You may grab the attention of some of the users by your clickbait titles but the YouTube will soon detect viewers leaving your video halfway. This will reflect negatively on your channel’s reputation in the long run. Keep the title realistic and relevant to the content that you have in your video.
Use Software Tools to Optimize Your Video Title
There are many good software tools like Sharethrough, CoSchedule or Sumo Kickass Headline Generator etc, which help you, evaluate your video title. These tools also provide feedback and suggestions to improve your video title or any other headlines that you may use in your content. Make good use of these tools not only to decide upon a good title but also to analyze and optimize your title to the fullest.
Refresh and Energize Your Old Video Titles
Take some time to audit the statistics of your old videos. Identify the videos that have not been able to draw a respectable number of viewers. Check and analyze the titles of these videos. Make some changes in the titles of the videos, making them more exciting, forceful and keyword-rich. A deliberated effort in this regards will give its dividends in the form of an enhanced number of views to the same video content.
Attractive and visually appealing thumbnails immediately grab the attention of the viewer. The thumbnail picture is also your video’s advertisement. Make sure that it is not only persuasive but also relevant to the content of your video. Avoid using pictures in your thumbnails that fall in the category of click baits. They might do more harm than good to your channel’s SEO rating.
Video description – Make it Unique
This is another important section, used by the YouTube search to find relevant videos against any user-generated query. You must write it after thorough deliberation. This section should describe your video and its content in detail but without any errors. A unique description is more helpful for the engine and thus for your video because this might fetch you a respectable number of YouTube subscribers as well. Make the best use of the space of 5000 characters to describe and promote your content.
The desired features of a good video description are discussed in succeeding paragraphs.
The Start Matters the Most
The first two to three lines of your description are of prime importance. After these, the “See more …” link appears which only those viewers press, who have been hooked by the content written in the first two to three lines. Make this part as compelling, attractive and relevant as possible. Use maximum keywords but refrain from stuffing.
Easy to Read and Understand
Reading in long-running paragraphs becomes cumbersome. Make it easier for the viewer to read. Format the description in short paragraphs. You may also include points in list and bullet point form.
The content in the description must amply explain your video. It should give details about the main topic, specific sub-topics and any other important information that the viewer can gain after watching your video. The language and sentence structure should be easy and coherent. Do remember that the first two to three lines should summarize it all.
Include as many keywords as possible but conversationally and casually.
Provide Timestamp Map
This usually applies to videos of longer duration or having multiple sub-topics. Marking and highlighting different sections of your video with timestamps makes it easier for the viewers to go directly to their section of interest. The purpose of this exercise is to facilitate the viewers while keeping their interest alive.
Intelligent use of hyperlinks to relevant pages, social media handles and even your products not only boosts traffic, viewership and subscribers but can also enhance sales. However, do not let these links break the flow and tempo of your description. The readers might lose interest due to any crude interruption.
Acknowledge, to be Acknowledged
There are instances where you might have to refer to some good work already done by others in the relevant field or topic. It is courteous to give them their due credit by including hyperlinks to their website or videos. This magnanimity is taken positively by the subscribers and helps your search engine ranking and credibility as well.
Call to Action
Lead and guide your viewers and subscribers. Your CTA must clearly define to your users what you want them to do. It can be any of these actions: sharing of your video, subscription, visiting a website, turning the notifications on or viewing and buying your latest products etc.
Highlight the Benefits
Always keep in mind that the viewer is watching your video to get some benefit. It may be entertainment, learning something new, improving upon some skill etc. Your description must highlight such benefits for the user. It should convey to the viewers convincingly, what they can gain if they watch your video.
Ensure Complete Visibility
Make sure that your description is fully visible on all kinds of devices like computer screens, phones or tablets. There should be no truncation or legibility problems on different devices because this might result in the loss of your important content or keywords. It is, therefore, better to check your description on different types of devices to ensure that it is showing as you intend it to be.
Video tags – Make them Relevant and Descriptive
YouTube video tags are nothing but certain phrases and words. They help describe your video to the viewer as well as to the search engine. This description helps them both understand the topic of the video and makes their search easier. Deliberated and well-thought tags thus help your video rank higher.
You can add as many tags as you like in the given limit of 500 characters. Of course, it does not imply that you must use all this space. Anything between 200-300 characters is generally recommended. Moreover, two to three-word phrases are considered the optimum length of each tag phrase.
This brings us to some specific best approaches in the selection and use of YouTube video tags.
Your Target keyword is Your Primary Tag
You may have included several tags in your video; however, YouTube algorithm considers first few tags to be the most important ones in ranking your video in their search result. It is thus highly recommended that your first tag must be your target keyword (EXACT spellings because every word counts). The other tags to follow should also be arranged in decreasing order of importance.
Use both General and Specific Type of Tags
YouTube search is facilitated if you use both types of tags. The general (or broad) type of tags gives the main topic whereas the specific (or focused) type of tags give the specific topic that the video covers.
For example, if you are making a video on “Tips to shoot from the half-court”, this can form part of specific tags, whereas the broad tag could include “Basketball”.
Do Not Lose Balance
Keep in mind that you are using the tags to help the YouTube search engine in reaching your video. Strike a balance between the maximum and the minimum number of tags you use. Too few tags may not serve the purpose of leading the engine to your video. On the other hand, too many tags may confuse the engine in deciding about the specific topic of your video. It is better to use 5 to 8 tags (both types) to achieve an optimum balance.
Recommended Words in Each Tag
The recommended number is two to three words per tag. Although it might not always be possible to stick to this number, still it is considered an optimum length. This number mostly gives enough information to YouTube about your video’s topic. Moreover, it is not very complex and confusing.
Tag Generation Tools
Try to make use of the available tag generator tools. Do take help from them but do not entirely depend upon these tools for your tags. Some of the popular tag generation tools might include Rapid Tags, Better Way to Web, Keyword Keg and SEO book etc.
Long Tail Tags
Some of your long-tail keywords may be used as tags. However, do study them closely so that your tag might not lose balance as discussed previously
Relevancy of Tags
Relevancy must always be maintained. Popular but irrelevant tags actually might lead the YouTube search, away from your video. In the worst case, the platform might take your video down. So, keep your tags relevant and with correct spellings and syntax.
Popular Video tags
A minimum number of tags from some popular but relevant videos may be used intelligently. This helps your video in showing in the recommended videos section of YouTube.
More clicks, more views, more likes and more YouTube subscribers. This is what everyone is aiming for. It is hoped that this article has made it amply clear that making an outstanding video, though, is a very good start but that is not all. You have to put in deliberate efforts to improve and refine your titles, descriptions and tags to remain relevant on the highly competitive platform of YouTube videos. Moreover, keep this exercise going on for your older videos as well.
The best approaches discussed in this article are by no mean exhaustive but they will give you the desired results. Best of luck!