When searching for a video to watch online, usually the first thing people see is the title of the video. Either from a search result or a status update on a social network, the title of your video will affect whether or not a viewer chooses to watch it. Much like people judge a book by its cover, they will judge your video by the title that you choose.
A compelling title will speak to your audience and they will want to watch it and share it with their friends and family which will improve the ranking of your video.
Optimization is the key to work on when it comes to your titles. The goal is to be found on YouTube, or through Google search while making sure that your videos’ headlines are interesting enough that it will make people want to click on it when it shows up in social updates. It requires a careful balance of titling to make a video compelling for both search and social, to understand how to do that, here are a few tips for choosing a title for your video that increases your video search engine optimization (VSEO).
1. Honesty Matters: A little honesty goes a long way, and in the case of titling your video this couldn’t be truer. If you deceive your users, they’ll be more likely to down rate your video and bury it in the bowels of the internet. For example, a video that’s titled “How To Make a Video” but shows people baking a pie will be rejected by your users and will greatly decrease your video presence online.
2. Titles Can Change: A newly published video needs to be compelling, easily able to capture the attention of your viewers with a catchy title that stands out from the rest and promotes sharing it with their social networks. What this means is that your title isn’t going to be optimized for search engines right away though as your first response will be to elicit the response you want from your viewers. A keyword-laden title isn’t always the best for that.
However, the great thing about technology today is that you have the ability to go back after a few days and re-title your video to optimize it for search results. This supplies you with the search rankings that you’ll want after getting the response you want from your community. You have the freedom to experiment with your titles to find out what works best.
3. Current Events are your Friends: Around the holidays or subsequent other relevant days, viewers are always searching for videos that relate to what’s going on, Santa videos for Christmas time, How to cook turkey videos around Thanksgiving, etc. You can take advantage of this too and re-use older videos with a fresh new title that relate to a current event. This could provide you with more exposure for your videos while supplying new life for an older video.
4. Characters per Title: Here are some numbers for you:
- 100 characters per title in YouTube
- Only 50-60 of those characters show up in searches such as Google and Bing
- 50 characters when video result is shown in Google Universal Search
- 60 characters for a regular Google Search
- 55 Characters will show up in a YouTube search
The important thing to take away from this is that much like a news story, you’ll want to put all the important information up front in the first 50 characters. When it comes to VSEO you’ll want to keep your keywords/phrases within those first 50 characters to make sure the search engine recognizes them and ranks them accordingly.
5. Draw Attention to the Title: There are various ways to do this, you can put certain words (like your keywords) in all caps or you can put the entire title in caps. Symbols like stars (★) and arrows (►) can also draw attention to your title. These can increase the chances of the titles being clicked on and will draw traffic to your video. Certain words can also draw the eye such as ‘secrets’ ‘tricks’ ‘tips’ ‘How To’ etc. Honesty and relevance will always help out as well.
6. Study Other Sources: Let’s face it, you’re not the first person in the world to have to come up with a catchy title or headline for something. It’s important to check out older media sources such as magazines, newspapers, and even television. These media only have mere seconds to catch your attention before you move on to the next thing and they’ve been doing it for a lot longer than the internet has been around. Study and learn from those valuable sources and you’ll improve your titling skills.
7. Numbering: Another quick tip is numbering. Numbering has a big influence on what viewers decide to click on. There are many, many ‘Top 10’ lists on the Internet; they’ve been so overdone that your viewers might just glaze over another ‘Top 10’ video. Instead, try some different numbers like odd numbers and prime numbers. By switching it up, viewers might find those videos more believable and be more likely to click through to them.
Experiment with your titles, keep them relevant, and make sure to study other sources of headlines. By following these tips and tricks you can optimize your video titles for VSEO purposes as well as improving your exposure in social media.