YouTube Video Titles: 15 Best Practices To Boost Your Ranking

youtube video titles best practices

YouTube titles play the crucial role in success of your video, yet many creators still underestimate their importance.


Hi, I’m Mik and in this post I will give you some practical advice about YouTube titles and how to craft the best titles to help you rank your videos better.

Why video titles are important

Titling videos if often considered a formality by beginner creators. After all, a video must have some title. Don’t make this mistake!

The titles (along with video’s thumbnail, tags, and description) are important pieces of metadata that helps YouTube to properly index your video (and hence, helps the viewers to find it).

The titles are important for these two main reasons:

1. The proper title helps YouTube recommend your video to the right viewers.

2. The proper title will help your video stand out among other videos in the search results.

Good title can be the difference between someone watching your video or scrolling past it.

What is a maximum length of YouTube title?

YouTube requirements for titling videos are simple: You can create titles of up to 100 characters.

However, keep in mind that video titles are often shortened to 60 – 70 characters in the search results, suggested videos lists, and on small screens.

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15 practical tips to create good video titles

Here are some best practices for titling YouTube videos:

1. Include your topic (main keywords)

Include your main topic in the title to help people discover your video.

include main keyword in the title

For example, assume you’re making a cooking video about pizza. There are people out there searing for “how to make pizza”.

Do you want them to find your video? Then include “how to make pizza” in the title.

IMPORTANT: Put the most important keywords upfront (at the beginning of your video title).

2. Add a number

Using a number in your title can help to get more clicks.

For example, if your video is offering a number of helpful tips, mention in your title how many tips you’ll be talking about.

For example, “Make the best pizza in 5 easy steps”.

3. Include a power word (or two)

Include a power word to grab attention and to make your video stand out. It doesn’t have to be sensational or misleading but it better be eye-catching.

Emotional power words influence viewers to take a certain action. Note that happy and positive power words tend to drive more clicks and shares.

include power words

Here’s a handy list of 700 power words.

4. Keep it under 60 characters

Keep the title under 60 characters (5-7 words). This will help to make sure that people see your entire title in suggested videos, search results, and on mobile.

5. Don’t use clickbait or misleading titles

While often tempting, don’t use clickbait video titles. Don’t try to trick the viewer into clicking your video title by making unrealistic promises.

YouTube is smart enough to see the disconnect between the number of people clicking on your video and the number of people actually watching it to the end. If most people leave early on, you will see a drop in your audience retention and your video will fall down in the search results.

Here are some examples of click bait titles:

“How to make million dollars in one day”
“How to get healthy instantly and without exercise”

You get the idea.

According to YouTube, the videos with sensational and exaggerated titles are less likely to be recommended to new audiences, and may rank lower in recommendations and other areas of YouTube.

6. Be descriptive

Tell the viewers what your videos is about and how it can help them rather than simply saying it’s “must see”.

It’s best to create titles that accurately represent the content of your video. You can do this by sparking curiosity or by adding a question without revealing the answer.

7. Look for inspiration

If you can’t come up with good video title on the spot, spend some time looking for inspiration from successful videos in your niche.

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8. Align with the thumbnail

Make sure the title corresponds and does not contradict the thumbnail.

Titles and thumbnails work together advertising the content of your video to prospective viewers.

9. Mention another creator

Mention other creators in your title to highlight collaborations and broaden your potential audience.

10. Don’t start with branding unless it is your main keyword

Put branding, episode numbers, and other non-essential data at the end of the title.

However, if making a product review video, that would make sense to mention the brand in the beginning of the title.

11. Avoid vulgar language

Avoid inappropriate or vulgar language and make sure your video title does not violate YouTube’s community guidelines.

12. Appeal to wide audience

To maximize your reach avoid using words, symbols, or graphics that could turn away or offend some of your prospective viewers.

Unless this is your specific intention, don’t make the title sound that it is only relevant to a small niche group, be inclusive.

13. Make it advertiser-friendly

If you monetize your videos through YouTube Partner program, make sure your titles are advertiser-friendly.

Advertisers can opt-out of your videos (or entire channel) if your title does not align with their brands.

Avoid using profanity, controversial, or sexually suggestive titles (even if your video is benign or comic) to make sure the advertisers don’t exclude your video from their campaigns.

14. Use proper capitalization

Avoid EXCESSIVE CAPS, symbols, and dramatic punctuation !!!

15. Optimize old titles

Use YouTube analytics to check which keywords the viewers are using to find your video.

To run the report, select your video in YouTube studio, click on the Analytics icon, and then select “Reach” tab from the menu. Look for “Traffic Source: YouTube Search” section of the report.

youtube video analytics

If a good keyword is missing from your title, consider adding it to improve your video ranking in the search results.

More YouTube optimization resources

Free YouTube video title generator

Free YouTube tags generator

Free infographic: YouTube titles best practices

YouTube Titles Best Practices

I hope this post will help you to pick the best titles for your YouTube videos!

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