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Choosing the right titles and descriptions

From: Video SEO Basics

Video: Choosing the right titles and descriptions

A video title is the name you give your video when you upload it to YouTube or (UNKNOWN) or whatever site you're using. If you want your video to rank for a specific search phrase, you need to include that phrase in your title. The title appears at the top of most hosting service pages in channels and playlists and in any news feeds. It also shows up as the title of any search result, as you can see here. A great title is going to have your key phrase in it but it's also going to entice folks to click through and play the video.

Choosing the right titles and descriptions

A video title is the name you give your video when you upload it to YouTube or (UNKNOWN) or whatever site you're using. If you want your video to rank for a specific search phrase, you need to include that phrase in your title. The title appears at the top of most hosting service pages in channels and playlists and in any news feeds. It also shows up as the title of any search result, as you can see here. A great title is going to have your key phrase in it but it's also going to entice folks to click through and play the video.

Remember video plays are a major ranking factor. So you want the clicks, it's not just about the getting your key phrase into the title of the video. You can enter the title when you first upload your video. But you can also go back and edit it later on. Which means you can test, and find the right balance between key phrase relevance and enticement. Think of the video title as the product name. It's what first sells the video, by making it clear what I'm going to see. These are the rules I try to follow when writing a video title. First, make sure your title is fully descriptive.

If you write it on a blank sheet of paper and show it to a complete stranger, they should understand what they would see if they watched that video. In this example, moonwalk doesn't really fully explain what I'm going to see. It explains that the video's about the moonwalk. It doesn't explain if it's the dance, and it doesn't explain if it's insturctional or just a video of someone doing it. Learn to do the Moonwalk is fully descriptive. Second, include your target phrase in the title, but write it well. It should make sense to any reader, and it should be an easy read for them.

Fourth, keep the title to 68 characters or less. Google will truncate anything longer, and it just won't look right. And fifth, try some of the classic action-headline formulas. You can pick up a book about marketing copyrighting or writing a great sales letter and learn some of these. But here's a couple of examples. How to, and then whatever it is that you're teaching is one example. And then also, what it is that you're explaining or teaching, like a famous person who does it really well. Its a tough balancing act. You want titles that are relevant and have your key phrase in them.

You also want titles that folks like to read and entice the user to click. It takes practice but here a few ways to write great titles that are still key phrase relevent. First, write for benefit. For example, you might write capturing sales with Google Analytics goal tracking, instead of setting up Google Analytics goal tracking. There's an obvious benefit there, capturing more sales. Second, write for action. For example, you might write cycling for pros, climbing like a crazed goat. It's easy to picture that action as opposed to Cycling for Pros, Tips for Bettery Climbing.

Third, write for humor. For example, you might write, Fix a Flat Tire Without Cursing. Remember you can modify titles later. If a title isn't getting enough rankings or clicks. Consider tweaking the title to see if you can get any better results. The description is a bit easier. You can write two or more sentences, I usually write two to four, so you have more room. My rules for video descriptions are, don't stuff your key phrase into the description. You can include your target phrase once. But don't keep putting it in there again, again, and again. It makes for lousy reading and search engines may see that as manipulative and they may actually push you down in the rankings.

Include a call to action, for an example, you might write "watch this video to learn" . And then what ever it is you are teaching or you might include something like "like this video give it a thumbs up!". Third, include a few takeaways. What will I learn when I watch this video? Now that you've seen this video, you understand. You can have a relevant title and description without being boring. Write for relevance and for user interest, and you'll rank higher.

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Video SEO Basics

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Ian Lurie
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