With more than 2.2 billion users worldwide as of 2021, YouTube is one of the most popular social networks today. And the platform’s popularity is not slowing down. In the United States, 81% of adults have used YouTube, up from 73% in 2019.
And as the second-largest search engine behind Google, the online video platform is a powerful tool for marketers, creators, and entrepreneurs.
If you want to grow your YouTube channel, it’s essential to use click-worthy video titles. But coming up with titles that resonate with your audience can be time-consuming and feel daunting.
In this article, we’ll explore how to optimize your YouTube titles for views—and how AI YouTube title generators can help.
Why are YouTube titles important?
YouTube titles are the most critical metadata for video search engine optimization (SEO). With 500 hours of content uploaded onto YouTube every minute, standing out can be challenging. A title should convey what your video is about and capture your audience’s attention.
Effective video titles can also improve your click-through-rate (CTR). CTR is an important metric for the YouTube algorithm—if users read your title and scroll past your video, YouTube will deprioritize your videos in future searches.
How to optimize YouTube titles to drive more views
Developing video title ideas can be intimidating. How long should the title be? What kind of language should you include? How do you ensure your titles connect with the right audience?
Here are five ways to optimize your YouTube titles to attract more views:
1. Choose keywords specific to your audience
The first step to optimizing YouTube titles is to do keyword research. Researching keywords for YouTube is similar to selecting keywords for a blog. Start by exploring what your audience is looking for, and choose keywords that speak to their pain points and emotions.
Some places to do keyword research include:
For YouTube titles, long-tail keywords are best. These are longer, more specific phrases that get fewer searches and therefore have less competition.
For example, because “Cookie Recipes” is a popular search, it will have a high keyword difficulty—meaning it will be harder for your audience to discover your video. More specific keywords, such as “Three-Ingredient Nutella Cookies,” will help you rank higher in YouTube’s search results.
While titles should be specific, it is essential not to overuse technical language. The average YouTube user should understand the contents of your video from the title.
2. Write titles that catch the reader’s attention
Once you identify your keywords, it’s time to write a click-worthy title. Titles should be specific, resonate with your intended audience, and evoke emotion. You should also feature keywords as close to the start of the title as possible.
Here are a few tips for writing engaging titles that drive clicks:
Use action verbs
Titles that start with action verbs perform better because they are more concise and persuasive. For example, it’s more compelling to use the title "Getting My Home Office Together" instead of "How I Designed My Home Office.”
When scanning search results, your audience will likely feel overwhelmed by the quantity of videos. Using numbers helps your videos stand out since they break up lists of all-text titles. Also people tend to associate numbers with facts, which makes these videos more compelling.
Add brackets or parentheses
Similarly, brackets or parentheses are useful techniques to break up longer sections of text and catch your audience’s eye. They can also serve to add additional information or engage your audience in a more informal way.
Comparisons—such as “best and worst” or “before and after”—make persuasive video titles because they immediately convey a story and create anticipation.
Ask a question
Questions pique a user’s curiosity and may speak to your audience's pain points. Titles that include questions also provide the user with a clear understanding of the video’s topic.
Explain how to do something
How-to titles are clear and concise. Your audience knows exactly what they will learn by clicking on the video. They can also speak directly to your audience’s pain points.
Finally, users appreciate lists because they help break down information. Titles that promise lists give audiences a clear format and create a sense of expectation.
3. Adhere to character limit best practices
Although YouTube titles can include up to 100 characters (including spaces), it’s best to keep titles between 60 and 70 characters. Titles over 70 characters will appear shortened, requiring users to click on the video to learn what your content is about. Users will likely scroll past your video, negatively affecting your CTR.
4. Create cohesion between titles and thumbnails
Your title and thumbnail are the first two elements the audience will see. These must align to avoid any confusion. An audience should be able to immediately determine the video's topic and any featured speakers or guests.
A custom thumbnail is best. According to YouTube, 90% of top-performing videos have custom thumbnails. Your thumbnail should support your title and bring it to life.
5. Avoid clickbait
While it may be tempting to use sensationalized titles to attract more clicks, it is best to avoid clickbait. A title that does not match the video’s topic will disappoint users. Using clickbait will also negatively affect your watch time—or how long viewers spend watching your video.
Limit your use of all caps and emojis. And be sure to adhere to all community guidelines—especially around inappropriate language—to prevent the algorithm from hiding your video.
The benefits of AI when writing YouTube titles
If you are an entrepreneur, marketer, or creator, you are likely juggling many tasks. While writing captivating YouTube titles is essential, brainstorming these ideas can be time-consuming.
AI video title generators, like Jasper, speed up social media content creation and save you time. These tools act as an ally during the brainstorming process and help you overcome writer’s block. With Jasper, you can even set the tone of voice to ensure your titles appeal to your target audience.
Let’s examine four existing YouTube videos and use Jasper’s YouTube video title generator to make them more engaging.
Janji, a socially conscious running gear company, created a video titled “Layers for Every Run.”
Here are Jasper’s suggestions:
These video titles are strong alternatives for several reasons:
- They’re more specific about the video’s content. The titles speak to how the brand creates layers for all the elements.
- They speak to runners’ questions and pain points, such as how to stay dry and how to run during every season.
- They feel more personal (for instance, “Find out what layers work best in your weather”).
It’s important to note that ideas may not always fit with best practices around character limits. These ideas are a great place to start, but you should always review titles to ensure they fit your SEO goals.
La Colombe, a specialty coffee roaster, posted a video titled “Milk Frothing with the French Press.”
Here are Jasper’s suggestions:
Here’s what makes these suggestions strong alternatives:
- They speak to the audience’s pain points about frothing milk at home.
- They feel accessible and resonate with the audience (e.g., “Homemade Art Latte”). Those without barista experience will feel comfortable clicking on the video.
Tasty, a subsidiary of BuzzFeed, posted a video showing different recipes for meals in mugs. The title is “All You Need Is a Mug.”
Here are Jasper’s suggestions:
These video title ideas offer several advantages:
- They give the user more context about how mugs will be used in the video.
- They provide a breakdown of how many recipes the user will expect to see in the video.
- They feel accessible and speak to the audience’s pain points (e.g., “when you’re short on time”).
- They create a sense of urgency (e.g., “save your dinner tonight”).
Home decor and bedding brand Brooklinen posted a video titled “Homegrown: Plant Styling.”
Here are Jasper’s suggestions:
These suggestions improve on the original in several ways:
- They’re more specific about the content of the video. The video will be teaching home dwellers of all types how to style their spaces with plants.
- They feel more accessible to users who don’t have interior design experience.
- They resonate with users’ goals and needs, such as creating a relaxing home.
How to optimize your YouTube titles for more views with Jasper
Jasper is an all-in-one AI content platform that helps marketers, content creators, and entrepreneurs create click-worthy YouTube titles. With Jasper, video creators have a dedicated brainstorming partner to help reduce their workload.
All you need to do is enter a keyword, write a brief description, and specify a tone of voice, and you’ll be given title suggestions that resonate with your audience.
Sign up for Jasper today to see how its dedicated AI writing assistant helps you generate powerful YouTube titles that improve your click-through rates and increase watch times.