Tim Lorang Blog

Optimizing your online Video title

Posted by Timothy Lorang on Thu, Jan 06, 2011 @ 09:17 AM

What's your title? SEO Your Title

While it is important to have a snappy, memorable title to your video it is just as important for your video title to contain a keyword for searches. I have been writing about keywords and search engine optimization lately, I have even published an E-book called Search Engine Optimization for YouTube Videos.

The thing to remember about search engines is they cannot search the content of a video so they use the information, or the metadata, attached to the video to decide what the video is about. This metadata is found in the title, the description and the attached keywords. I have always been surprised that people not only ignore using keywords, tags and descriptions but use nonsensical, silly or misleading titles for their videos. Actually I am not really surprised. The tendency to use ambiguous or nebulous titles lies in the video producer’s artistic temperament.

Books, poems, plays, songs, operas and movies have used titles as part of the artistic expression. “Grapes of Wrath” is a great book but anyone unfamiliar with the book will have no clue what the book is about from the title alone. It could be about grapes, a vengeful Merlot or if someone remembered it as a line in the Battle Hymn of the Republic they may associate it with the Civil War. But in fact it is John Steinbeck’s classic about Midwest farmers migrating to California during the Great Depression, although a search on YouTube also turns up a Canadian folk-rock band. After reading the book the meaning of title becomes evident but if you didn’t know about the story and the reference you would have no idea what the book was about. Yet video producers, perhaps thinking they are Steinbeck use obscure references, clever puns and artsy titles that have no relation to the video for the uninitiated.

Be Clear

If you have made a cooking video about Italian sauces don’t call it The Soul of Tuscany. Call it Making Pasta Sauce Like a Tuscan, or Cooking Spaghetti Sauce the Tuscan Way, or 5 Steps to making Tuscan Pasta Sauce. The keyword, the main subject, the thing the viewer of the video is searching for is how to make pasta sauce in the style of Tuscany. The sauce featured in the video may be the Soul of Tuscany but at this point the only two people who know that are the chef and the person who posted the video. The goal of the video is not to be artistic, it is to be found. Once it is found it can be artistic. If a word is in the title AND in the description AND in the Tag words the search engine will conclude that the program is about “spaghetti sauce” and not about Tuscan Soul Singers.

Don't be Wasteful

Also don’t waste all the words in a title with common phrases. For example, my pet peeve is naming anything Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About (fill in the blank) But Were Afraid to Ask. First thing, no one is afraid to ask anymore and the second thing is if you search for the first part of the title you will not only get programs about sex but you also get programs about Canada, Porn, Guitars, Windows 7, Glee, Alec Baldwin and on-and-on. The point is you have less than 90 words for your title. Anything after 90 characters gets cut off in most search engine displays. Don’t use words that are going to get the video dragged into useless searches and get in the way of the main topic. Find your main key word and put it up front or at least in the first few words.

For an easy to follow guide on how to edit the metadata for your YouTube video download the free E-Book: Search Engine Optimization for YouTube Videos.

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SEO for YouTube Videos

Topics: SEO, Video