How to Optimize Your YouTube Video Title

How to create catchy YouTube video titles that attract views

Your video title is one of the most important ranking factors when it comes to YouTube SEO.

Together with your video thumbnail image, it determines how many people click on one of your videos.

Without clicks, you don’t get any views. Without views, there is no watch time. Without watch time, no channel growth.

In this article, I show you exactly how to optimize each and every aspect of your YouTube video title from A-Z.

We explore the purpose of video titles. Talk about YouTube SEO and how to find relevant keywords. How to craft titles for small YouTube channels and what’s he ideal length of a YouTube title. If you should include your name in the title and if ALL-CAPS gets you more views. And much much more!

Check out the table of contents:

If you want to learn more about how to optimize your YouTube channel, join my email list and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

YouTube video title

What’s the purpose of your YouTube title

Your title has three primary purposes.

It allows potential viewers to identify if a specific video is for them. When they search for a specific target keyword, will your title indicate to them, that your video contains the answer that they are looking for?

A good YouTube title also helps YouTube and other search engines such as Google or Bing to understand what your video is all about, so it can show display video within relevant search results.

Your YouTube title is also the headline of your video – just like how email subject lines work for digital newsletters, how an intriguing book title gets someone to pick your book up, how your blog title gets click-throughs to your articles and how perfecting your LinkedIn profile headline gets people to check out your profile to learn more.

You get what I mean.

The headline creates the first impression of your video and frames the rest of the viewing experience.

It’s the headline’s job to entice your viewers, engage them and capture their attention so that they ignore all other distractions to click to find out more.

In fact, your video title is one of the key decision-making entry points for a YouTube viewer.

To click or not to click?

YouTube videos in Google search results

Include relevant keywords for video search engine optimization

Including relevant keywords in your title is one of the best ways to optimize your YouTube videos to show up in YouTube search results.

I recommend using a tool called TubeBuddy which allows you to identify ideal keywords for your YouTube title.

Within TubeBuddy’s Keyword Explorer tool, you can search for any keyword or search phrase. Tubebuddy takes your requests, sends it to the YouTube database and returns four success scores to you:

  • The search volume for your search phrase
  • The total number of search results returned from YouTube for this keyword
  • How good this keyword is to target based on search volume and competition. Either unweighted or based on your specific channel’s performance, search volume, competition, relevancy and how you compare to others currently ranking in search.
  • The total number of search results returned from YouTube for this keyword

It will also give you an overall score based on these four factors.

You will notice that most short and generic search terms have a low success score on average. This is due to the fact that most broad and generic topics have already been covered by some of the more established channels.

I recommend focusing on long-tail keywords instead.

TubeBuddy Keyword Explorer


How to write better YouTube titles

Everything starts with the creation of good video content for your YouTube channel. Identifying the right topics that really resonate with your target audience is one of the most important success factors when it comes to YouTube growth.

It’s not enough to include as many relevant keyword phrases in your YouTube title as possible.

Your YouTube title also has to be able to quickly and efficiently communicates to your ideal audience, that this video is for them.

If they sense that your video provides tremendous value to them, they will click on it.

You can do this by creating curiosity and anticipation, so your audience has to watch your videos to satisfy their curiosity.

Or you can tease a solution to one of your audience’s challenges or problems.

Yet another way is to provide entertainment for your audience and brightening up their day by bringing sunshine to an otherwise gray and cloudy day.

Start by identifying the main value proposition of your YouTube video and then create an attention-grabbing headline with a big promise.

It’s very important that you back up each and every word and deliver exactly what you promised in your YouTube title.

Don’t ever create false clickbait titles!

You might be able to fool someone once by promising something big but then never deliver on it.

But the moment your viewers realize that they have been tricked into watching a worthless video, they’ll unsubscribe and never click on any of your future YouTube videos again.

If you want to learn how to find better video ideas with comprehensive keyword research and how to craft compelling video titles that have a high likelihood of ranking for high-search volume low-competition keywords for your YouTube channel, make sure that you also check out my latest article that teaches you how to write catchy YouTube video titles that attract views.

Collecting YouTube keyword ideas

YouTube title ideas for new YouTube channels with no subscribers

I wrote an entire article on how to title your YouTube videos to get more views.

In the beginning, when you have less than 1,000 subscribers focus heavily on answering questions in your video that nobody else has covered yet.

Start with the Five W’s and How. Each forms the beginning of a burning question in your audience’s mind.

  • Who?
  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • Why?
  • How?

Look at this article right here. How did I name it? How to Optimize Your YouTube Video Title.

Many people, just like you, clicked on it, because you were looking for an answer on how to create better titles for your YouTube videos.

How could I spice up the title?

By adding powerful adjectives such as amazing, epic, top, great, or best.

How to Optimize Your YouTube Videos with Epic Video Titles

You can also create numbered lists.

  • X secrets
  • Y tips
  • Z strategies

3 Epic Secrets How to Optimize Your YouTube Videos

When using numbers, stick to odd numbers such as 3, 5, 7 and multiples of 10.

Even numbers are symmetrical and we tend to ignore them. But when we perceive odd numbers, we lose the ability to group them automatically.

This leads to the so-called “odd effect” where viewers spend, on average, 20% more time looking at something. This dramatically increases the likelihood of someone clicking onto your video, instead of scrolling through their feed.

YouTube keyword research for better titles

What’s the ideal length of your YouTube title?

Your YouTube title can be anywhere between 1 to 100 characters long.

What you should take into consideration is, that only part of your YouTube title will show up in different placements across the YouTube platform.

The actual number of characters of your video title that are displayed varies by device and placement.

On desktop computers, the between 50-70 characters will be displayed on your YouTube homepage.

On mobile devices, the max number of characters is slightly longer with 80-90 characters.

My recommendation is to use the maximum YouTube title length, between 90 to 100 characters.

This allows you to include the highest number of potential keywords that people might search for on YouTube.

I recommend using the most important keywords within the first 50 characters of your title.

This ensures that all viewers, independent of their device, will be able to read your YouTube title and know if a video is relevant to them.

Use the odd numbers effect to maximize your click-through rate for your videos

Branding your YouTube title

Should you include your YouTube channel name in your video title?

The biggest benefit of adding your channel name to your title is, that all of your videos will show up in the YouTube search when someone is searching for your name or brand name.

My advice is, add your YouTube channel name in the tags section.

For your YouTube title, focus more on useful keywords relating to your video.

If your title is significantly shorter than 100 characters, include your brand name in the title.

It should go last and be separated by a divider such as | or –.

Example: “How to Optimize Your YouTube Video Title | Tim Queen”

Another way for branding your videos is to include the name of a specific video series in combination with a sequential number.

This helps YouTube to understand your content better and allow it to suggest the next sequential video from your series as the next recommended video.

YouTube video title with branding

Optimize your video title with #Hashtags

Hashtags are a great feature for finding videos about popular topics.

You can add hashtags in your video title or in the video description. If there are no hashtags in the title, the first three hashtags in the description will show above the video title.

There are two ways of finding videos using hashtags:

  • Search YouTube for a hashtag.
  • Or click on a hashtag in the video title, above the video title or in the video description.

You’ll see a results page that shows videos with the hashtag.

If a video has more than 15 hashtags, YouTube will ignore all hashtags. Over-tagging may result in the removal of your YouTube video from your uploads or it may be hidden in searches.

I recommend using hashtags very sparingly. Use only one hashtag in your YouTube title, and no more than three in your description.

YouTube video title with hashtags

What’s the best capitalization for titles

A recent myth-busting episode of Youtube’s show Creator Insider tried to answer the question: ARE ALL CAPS BETTER?

According to YouTube, the majority of videos that used ALL CAPS underperformed in comparison to regular caps. The reason? Many users perceive ALL CAPS as screaming and don’t click on these videos as frequently as on regular videos.

Now, here is the important part. YouTube always focuses on user-behavior data over meta-data.

Meaning, that if your audience clicks on your title or thumbnails, watches your videos and engages with them in form of likes, comments, and shares, this is more important than the capitalization of your title.

It really comes down to your audience and what they prefer.

Here is my recommendation.

Set up an AB Test within Tubebuddy for some of your most popular videos and run the following comparison: regular caps vs ALL CAPS. Select a fixed testing period such as 14 days, or wait until the data is statistically significant (95% certainty).

If your ALL CAPS videos perform better than regular caps video, expand your title AB testing to more videos.

And then decide what works best for your channel and your audience.

I recommend the Capitalize My Title tool to always capitalize your YouTube titles consistently.

Capitalize my title tool

Analyze your YouTube video title to enhance it further

If you have shortlisted a couple of good videos, consider asking some of your friends for feedback. Which of the following titles would they most likely click? Ideally, ask friends who are familiar with your topic.

You can also use a headline analyzer tool to test the quality of your YouTube title.

EMV Headline Analyzer

The EMV Headline Analyzer is a free tool that will analyze your headline’s Emotional Marketing Value based on three categories: intellectual, empathetic and spiritual.

Intellectual focused on words that are especially effective when offering products and services and require reasoning and careful evaluation.

The empathetic score focuses on words that bring out profound and strong positive emotional reactions.

Spiritual words often appeal to people at a very deep emotional level and core believes.

EMV Headline Analyzer

Capitalize My Title Headline Analyzer

The headline analyzer tool by Capitalize My Title gives you insight in three categories.

Readability. High readability means that your title is most likely to appeal to a broader audience and will require less brainpower for people to understand it. This will increase the click-through rate for your videos.

SEO: This score tells you how well your title is most likely to rank in Google search rankings.

Sentiment: Titles with strong emotional connections, positive or negative, tend to get higher click-through rates than titles without. Using more positive and negative words in your title will probably generate more clicks for your videos.

Capitalize My Title Headline Analyzer

AB testing YouTube video titles

If you want to know which title would work best for your audience, use the TubeBuddy AB Testing tool.

Create a new AB Test for a specific video and select the Metadata Test on the right side.

TubeBuddy AB Test Type

Select how long your AB test should run. You can either select a fixed duration or until the test results are statistical significant.

TubeBuddy AB Test Duration

Skip the video thumbnail and tags section by clicking next.

Insert your alternative video title and start your test.

TubeBuddy AB Test for Video Titles

Now you can sit down and relax until your results are in.

TubeBuddy will show each version of your AB test for 24 hours each and then alternate until either the required number of days has passed or until your results are statistically significant.

Open your results and explore how each variation is affecting the overall performance of your video in terms of click-through rate, views and watch time.

What are good dividers for your YouTube video title?

If your video title contains a lot of keyword phrases it can sometimes feel overwhelming to someone who is reading it.

Including dividers can increase readability and overall click-through rates.

Here are some of my favorite characters to divider your YouTube video titles:

  • Regular dash –
  • The longer en dash –
  • Vertical dash |
  • Star *
  • Bullet •
  • Fast forward »
  • Various Emoji ♦️

Should you use Emoji in your YouTube title?

You might ask yourself: Does adding Emojis in the title get you more views?

Not many video creators are using Emoji in their YouTube titles. Adding Emoji to your video title will help you to stand out from other videos.

Ordinarily, adding Emoji to your title can be a bit tricky. You can use a website such as Get Emoji, to simply copy and paste Emoji of your choice into your YouTube video.

I recommend to install TubeBuddy Chrome extension and use the built-in Emoji Picker.

TubeBuddy Emoji Picker

Align your YouTube title with your YouTube thumbnail

I recommend having a three to five word summary of your YouTube title as text-overlay on your video thumbnail.

Perfecting your YouTube video titles

A powerful YouTube video title is able to demand attention and draw viewers into watching your video. It’s one of the key elements to focus on especially when you are starting and growing your channel.

Check out my latest article and learn how to write YouTube video titles to get more views.

If you want to learn more about how to optimize your YouTube channel, join my email list and subscribe to my YouTube channel.