Understanding Metadata for YouTube

Once you’ve uploaded a video onto YouTube, it’s important to ensure its metadata is optimized for discovery. This ensures that people who are searching for your content (or similar content) are able to find your brand and your marketing videos. After all, you don’t want to let all the hard work you put into creating your video go to waste. By optimizing your video’s metadata, you’re increasing the video’s chances for long-term success and discovery.

Optimize the Title

The title of your YouTube video is one of the most basic yet important elements of metadata. If there are any keywords that you want the video to rank for in Google or YouTube, then be sure to include it somewhere in the title. Furthermore, be sure to get really creative with your title. The more memorable and catchy it is, the more likely a user is to click on it. You’ll typically want to opt for a title that’s more creative and catchy than something that’s boring.

Choose the Perfect Thumbnail

While the title is one of the driving factors for clicks, the thumbnail is equally important. Remember, humans are visual creatures, so using an engaging thumbnail will really help you catch user attention and encourage clicks. If there isn’t a screenshot from the video that you like, then feel free to create your own custom thumbnail and upload it onto YouTube.

Describe Your Brand – and Provide Links Too!

If viewers like your video, chances are that they will try to learn more about you by reading the description of the video. Here’s your opportunity to issue CTA and drive traffic to your website. This is not the place to get lazy. Be sure to spend a lot of time really cultivating the description of the video to ensure that it is truly designed to drive traffic to your site. Again, feel free to include any relevant keywords, as the description will be used to help your video rank not only on YouTube, but on Google as well.

Tag Your Tags

Tags provide you the opportunity to list all of the relevant keywords for your video. The specific tags that you want to rank for should be front loaded, while all of the generic keywords should be towards the end. Feel free to include keywords that you’ve used in your title and description areas to really drive home the content of your video.

Regardless of which metadata aspect you’re working on, the number one rule is to “keep it compelling.” The YouTube and greater online audience are looking to be engaged, entertained, and ultimately informed. By getting specific and as detailed as you can, you’re ensuring that your metadata is interesting and useful. After all, when it comes to metadata, you truly have two audiences: the first is the viewer and the second is the search engines. Whether it’s the title or the description, strong keywords should come first with any branding efforts waiting until the very end. This will help viewers see your content as more useful and less promotion-based.

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Resources

Creating a video doesn't have to be complicated. Here are a few resources to help you along the way.

  • New to Video?

    A first timer's guide to
    producing video.

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  • How Much is
    a Video Worth?

    A complete guide to
    calculating the ROI of video.

    Get the Book
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