Writing a headline that will attract views on your blog or YouTube video can feel like the most important part of the creative process. That’s because it is! If your headline is boring, it won’t matter what the rest of your post entails. Most likely, you’ve already lost your reader. Having an attention-grabbing headline will get people in the door of your post. Whether they finish the video or article is another story, but getting them to view it in the first place relies solely on the title. Stringing a set of words together that not only encompasses your post but also makes people want to view it can be extremely difficult. Here are a few tips on finding the best headline.
Grammar is your best friend with any professional online content. Make sure that your title is free of any spelling errors, especially on easy-to-mix-up words. There are spelling and grammar check tools that are typically free of charge and easy to add to any platform whether that be YouTube or a blogging platform.
Use key topic words that showcase what your post is about. This has several benefits for your post.
- Keyword searches will pull up your article or video first. If someone is looking for a video about making meals with grilled chicken and your post is titled “Grilled Chicken Meal Prep”, it could pop up as a top search for that person.
- Do your research! Not every keyword will automatically jump to the top of the YouTube or Google search bar. Pages on both YouTube and Google are endless, so you have to be very particular when posting a title. You’ll want to research within your niche to see what keywords are more likely to push your post to the top of searches.
Having numbers can separate your article about grilled chicken from the next. If you title a recipe video “5 Best Grilled Chicken Recipes” and another one says “Best Grilled Chicken Recipe” the one with numbers will most likely automatically go towards the top. As you can guess, YouTube has an excess amount of videos. This means your video may not be the only one of its kind. Having an identifier, such as a number could help make your video stand out.
Know Your Audience
Specific content is catered toward a specific public. And if your audience is confused by your title, then it will be very difficult to drive traffic to your site or channel. So, finding the best headline isn’t just about the story. It’s about your audience too!
Leave vagueness out of your headline. Tell your audience exactly what you’re giving them. By being specific, you not only make your search engine optimization better by involving keywords, but you are taking the unsure feeling out of the question for your audience. If they have to think twice about whether to click into an article or open up a video, they already have one foot out the door. Once this happens, typically they won’t give the post much of a chance.
For YouTube specifically, you will have a character limit of 100. But your goal is to fit the entire title on the screen. To optimize the space given, you’ll want to max out around 60-70 characters. Another YouTube-specific task includes making sure your thumbnail and title are complementary to each other. You must be strategic when deciding which portion of the video will occupy the thumbnail as that is what the video will be until someone decides based on the title and thumbnail combined that they want to watch.
Your headline will be the shortest part of your post, but it will also be the most important. Take your time finding the best headline and developing a title that specifically reflects the story you are trying to tell.
Adeline is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she majored in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and Journalism. Currently living in Charlotte, she enjoys reading, volleyball, and strolling through her favorite farmers markets with her Goldendoodle Theo.