Optimizing Your YouTube Videos for Impact: Titles and Descriptions

Everyone is on YouTube these days, right? Type anything you could possibly think of in the search box, and I guarantee a video addressing that topic or something similar will pop up. Go ahead try it. I’ll wait here.

That was a weird thing to search for, but I won’t judge.

Amid the sea of how-to videos, FAQs, kittens, and your aunt in a pie eating contest last year, how do you get your videos noticed? How do you get them to stand out?

The answer is actually pretty straightforward: optimization. YouTube offers plenty of ways to give your video a chance among the crowd to gain more views and hopefully direct people back to your website to generate more leads or sales.

Let’s assume you already have great video content because you are working with us: you’ve got a well-produced video, it has a stellar storyline, and you may also be incredibly good looking. Despite all this, you aren’t getting the views you know you deserve. What are some of the things you can do to improve your views and click rate?


Oh, my goodness, you called your video about adorable kittens playing with yarn “The Kitten,” and 9000 videos of adorable kittens pop up before yours when it’s typed into search? Of course they do. The title of your video is pretty important, friends. It’s going to contribute not only how many people find your video, but where it will rank as far as search engine optimization (SEO) is concerned.

Your title should be descriptive, natural, succinct, and accurate. Nothing makes someone angrier than finding out that an “adorable kitten” video is actually a video of your nephew dressed like an adorable kitten during the school play.

The words closest to the beginning of your video title are especially important. If you want your video to rank in search results for “kittens” and “yarn,” you should include those words closest to the beginning of your title.

So “Kittens Playing with Yarn” or “Cute Kittens with Yarn” might be good options to consider. “Kittens vs. Yarn” could be the best option, however. It uses the keywords, describes your video, and provides some intrigue for the viewer: “Who wins? The kitten? The yarn? I must find out!”

The maximum title length for a YouTube video is 100 characters, so in your quest to be descriptive, keep that in mind. “Three Cute Kittens Playing with a Red Ball of Yarn in My Living Room in My House in Sarasota Florida in the United States” is probably a bit much.


This is often the biggest fail in regards to video optimization. People have the tendency to think that the title is enough and that a video just speaks for itself, so they’ll often leave this area blank. Well, it might not matter to the viewer, but it does matter to YouTube and your search rank!

YouTube utilizes your description to help determine where your video ranks in search and pulls keywords from it to further specify what your video is about. Remember the importance of your keywords, folks, and good things will happen, but don’t go overboard. You’re writing for actual humans. So “Kittens playing with yarn; kittens are baby cats, and yarn is like thread. They play. Kittens” Is almost certainly overkill.

Your description should be keyword rich, specific, and targeted to your ideal clientele or consumer. Be unique and creative! You need to sell the video if you want to get viewers, right? Your title only says so much, so the description is the space to give it your all. Why should people watch this particular video? What is it actually about? Figure out your viewer, and make them want to click on your video.

“See adorable kittens tackle the mighty ball of yarn! Who will win? Find out!”

It’s also important to add links in your description. Link to your website, adorablekittens.com. Link to the home page of your YouTube Channel: More Adorable Kittens. You can even link to your AdorableKittens Facebook page, Twitter page, and more! This is important because it will ultimately drive traffic to your website, where you can sell someone an Adorable Kitten t-shirt or coffee mug or get people to sign up for your adorable kitten newsletter. Links also help direct internet traffic to other relevant channels that can also lead to more sales and leads in the future.

You have approximately 980 words to describe your video. Use them, but remember you only see so many lines on the search page. Make your first sentence or two count, and if you just have so many awesome things to say and too many links to add, don’t forget about link shorteners like bit.ly to save you some space.


Creating and broadcasting great video content is a wonderful lead generation tool, and it can bolster your online presence in many other ways. These are just a few tips and tricks to make sure you are getting the most out of the videos you create. Our next post will discuss why it is important to add cards to your YouTube videos – stay tuned!