29 ways to create great titles for YouTube Videos

by | Oct 10, 2023 | Production Points

Crafting compelling YouTube titles is both an art and a science. This guide covers audience understanding, content quality, SEO, character limits, keywords, numbers, calls to action, A/B testing, trending topics, mobile optimization, and avoiding clickbait. Whether you’re a cooking channel or in any other niche, this guide will help you create captivating YouTube titles for success on the platform.

#1 Understand Your Target Audience:

Creating a compelling YouTube video title starts with deeply understanding your target audience. Before you even think about crafting a great title, the first step is to grasp your viewers’ preferences, interests, and pain points. Some of the best ways are to dive into audience research to uncover what they are actively searching for on YouTube and how the content of your video resonates with them.

Case Study: Imagine you run a cooking channel. Understanding your target audience might reveal that they are passionate about quick and healthy meal options and often search for recipes to accommodate their busy lifestyles.

#2 Focus on High-Quality Video Content :

No matter how enticing your title is, viewers won’t stick around if your video doesn’t deliver value. So, content creators must focus on high-quality content is critical. Ensure that your video is not only informative but also engaging. Make it visually appealing and well-edited. Valuable content will attract viewers and encourage them to click on your video.

Case Study: If your cooking video promises a delicious 15-minute healthy recipe and delivers clear step-by-step instructions and appetizing visuals, viewers are more likely to engage with your content.

#3 Follow Best Practices:

Successful YouTube creators know that adhering to best practices is essential for the best results. It includes considerations like video length, quality, and format. Research and implement these best practices into your video creation process, as they can significantly impact your video’s performance.

Case Study: Studying successful cooking channels might reveal that concise, well-edited videos with clear explanations and an appealing presentation style tend to perform better.

#4 Crafting a Good Title :

With your audience in mind and high-quality content prepared, a good video title should be clear, concise, and accurately represent the specific topics of your videos. The title should grab viewers’ attention and convey the video’s topic.

Case Study: For a quick, healthy recipe video, a title like “15-Minute Mediterranean Quinoa Salad | Easy & Nutritious Recipe” clearly communicates the content.

#5 Adhere to the YouTube Title Character Limit

Even if you have the perfect YouTube title, when finalizing it, please ensure it falls within the appropriate character limit for YouTube. It’s common to become enamoured with your chosen words only to realize you’ve exceeded the allowance.

On YouTube, the maximum character limit for titles is set at 100 characters. However, even this length can be excessive. The most effective titles typically range between 60-70 characters, ensuring they are visible on most devices. Titles that exceed this limit will be truncated when displayed.

#6 Optimize for Search Engines :

YouTube is fundamentally a search engine, so optimizing your video for search is crucial. You incorporate related and relevant keywords and phrases into your title to help with video SEO and video ranking. It helps improve your video’s search engine optimization (SEO) and discoverability.

Case Study: If people search for a “quick quinoa salad recipe,” include that keyword phrase in your title.

#6 Incorporate Numbers When Appropriate

Including numbers in your headlines is a time-tested marketing strategy that continues to yield positive results. An eye-tracking study conducted in 2007 revealed that numbers hold a particular allure for readers. Jakob Nielsen, a researcher specializing in computer interaction, noted, “Among our findings, we observed that numerals frequently halt the wandering gaze and capture attention, even when they are nestled within a sea of text that users would otherwise overlook.”

The study elucidates that people have an affinity for numbers because they signify concrete facts. Therefore, consider incorporating numerals to boost click-through rates on your titles.

#7 Incorporate a Call to Action!

Remember to include a compelling call to action in your video description! Encourage viewers to subscribe, leave comments, show appreciation by liking, and explore more of your content. You can share links to social media profiles, affiliate links, additional videos, or even your website. Moreover, when your descriptions are clear and concise, your audience is more inclined to engage and take action.

#8 Analyzing YouTube Search Results:

To craft outstanding titles, analyze YouTube search results for similar topics and keywords. Identify trends in video titles and use this information to create titles that differentiate your content.

Case Study: You might discover that most quick recipe videos have straightforward titles by researching competitors. You can stand out by adding a unique twist or highlighting a particular ingredient.

​#9 Understanding the YouTube Algorithm:

Stay updated on YouTube’s algorithm changes and adapt your title strategy accordingly. Titles that align with the algorithm’s preferences tend to perform better. Stay informed about ranking factors such as watch time, engagement, and click-through rate (CTR).

Case Study: As YouTube’s algorithm prioritizes watch time, creating titles that encourage viewers to watch your entire video becomes critical for success.

#10 Use Power Words:

Incorporate power words in your titles to evoke emotions or curiosity. Power words can make your titles more engaging and clickable. These words often create a sense of urgency or excitement.

Case Study: Adding words like “delicious,” “life-changing,” or “must-try” to your cooking video titles can make them more compelling.

#11 Utilize “How-To” Titles

The prevalence of “how-to” searches on YouTube has surged by 70% year-over-year. According to Google, North American users have spent over 100 million hours watching “how-to” video content. If your video is a guide or tutorial, kickstart your YouTube title with “How to.”

#12 Harness the Power of Adjectives like “Amazing,” “Epic,” or “Best.”

Combine descriptive words with keywords to supercharge your YouTube views. Words like “Amazing,” “Epic,” or “Best” ignite excitement and curiosity in viewers, compelling them to check out your video. Viral videos often commence with a sensational adjective.

Craft videos centred around trending topics to garner maximum online attention. Google Trends Search is a valuable tool for identifying these trends.

#14 Pose Questions: Why? What? When? Where? Who? How?

Questions stimulate viewer curiosity and critical thinking. Well-crafted questions drive click-through rates as they leave viewers eager for answers. Incorporate questions into your titles to pique interest and entice viewers to watch your video.

#15 Embrace Lists

List-based videos hold immense popularity on YouTube for several reasons:

  1. They arouse curiosity.
  2. Lists promise a quantified storyline upfront.
  3. Lists are inherently attention-grabbing.

List titles convey what viewers can expect from the video, simplifying their watching decision.

#16 Employ “Tips” or “DIY” Titles

Words like “tips” or “DIY” indicate that viewers will gain valuable insights or learn to complete a task. Pair “tips” or “DIY” with relevant keywords to inform viewers about your video’s content. It increases the chances viewers will click on your video for practical guidance.

#17 Optimizing for Watch Time :

Craft titles that promise valuable content and encourage viewers to watch your video until the end. A greater watch time can positively impact your video’s ranking, making it more likely to appear in search results and recommendations.

Case Study: A title promising “Pro Tips for Perfectly Fluffy Pancakes” may entice viewers to watch the entire video, increasing your watch time.

#18 Considering Mobile Devices:

Many viewers use smartphones to watch YouTube, so ensure that your titles are concise and easily readable on mobile devices. Mobile-friendly titles are essential for capturing the close attention of on-the-go viewers.

Case Study: Test your titles on various mobile devices to ensure they display well and remain clear and compelling.

#19 Appeal to Click-Through Rate (CTR):

Experiment with different title formats and structures to improve your video’s CTR. Titles that pique curiosity offer a solution, or ask a question often perform well in enticing viewers to click.

Case Study: Titles like “Unlock the Secret to Perfect Pancakes” or “How to Nail a Quick & Healthy Dinner” can boost CTR by creating intrigue.

#20 Test with A/B Testing :

Experiment with different titles for the same video using A/B testing. It helps you identify which titles resonate best with your audience and can improve your overall video performance.

Case Study: Run A/B tests by publishing the same video with slightly different titles and measuring which receives more views and engagement.

Stay attuned to trending topics in your niche and incorporate them into your titles when relevant. Trending topics can attract more viewers actively searching for the latest content.

Case Study: If a new health trend involves a particular ingredient, creating a video with that ingredient prominently featured in the title can capitalize on the trend.

#22 Using Keywords Effectively :

Have SEO strategies by using keywords in your titles, but avoid keyword stuffing. Place your primary keyword near the beginning of the title to improve SEO. Ensure that the keyword is highly relevant to your video’s content. And remember your YouTube video descriptions.

Case Study: If “quick and healthy breakfast recipes” is your target keyword, incorporate it naturally in your title while keeping it engaging.

#23 Analyze Clickbait Titles :

While you should avoid misleading clickbait titles, learn from elements of clickbait that work, such as creating curiosity or posing a question. Craft titles that genuinely deliver on the promise.

Case Study: Titles like “You Won’t Believe This Delicious 5-Minute Recipe” can create curiosity without misleading viewers.

#24 Leveraging Emotive Words :

Include emotive words in your titles to evoke emotions or curiosity in viewers. Emotive titles can make your videos more appealing and create a connection with your audience.

Case Study: Words like “mouthwatering,” “heartwarming,” or “mind-blowing” can add emotional depth to your video titles.

#25 Reviewing Your Video’s Content :

Ensure that your video content aligns with the title’s promise. Misleading titles can lead to lower viewer satisfaction and lower retention rates. Building trust with your audience is crucial.

Case Study: If your title promises a 15-minute recipe, ensure that your video provides clear instructions and achieves this timeframe.

#26 Engage with Social Media :

Promote your video on social media platforms or blog posts using intriguing titles and relevant hashtags to expand your video’s reach. Other social media platforms can drive traffic to your YouTube videos.

Case Study: Craft social media posts with catchy titles and visually appealing thumbnails to entice users to click and watch.

#27 Optimize Thumbnails :

Create a visually appealing video thumbnail that complements your titles. Thumbnails and titles should work together to entice viewers to click and watch your video.

Case Study: Design a YouTube thumbnail that features the main dish of your recipe, reinforcing the title’s message and making viewers hungry at first glance.

#28 Maintaining Consistency and Branding :

Maintain consistency in your video titles to build your brand identity. Consistent titles can help viewers recognize your content across various videos.

Case Study: If your cooking channel consistently uses titles like “Quick & Delicious,” viewers will associate your brand with speedy and tasty recipes.

#29 Monitor Analytics :

Regularly review video performance metrics and use this data to refine your title strategy. Identify what works and what doesn’t. Monitor metrics like views, watch time, CTR, and audience retention.

Case Study: If you notice that videos with specific types of titles have higher CTR or longer watch times, consider using similar titles in the future.

By meticulously applying these tips, backed by a solid understanding of your audience and the YouTube platform, you can craft YouTube titles that capture the interest of your target audience and propel your video content to greater heights of success on the platform.

Steven Hunt
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