How to Make a Good Title for YouTube

As I covered in my SEO for YouTube tutorial, there are a lot of factors which go into how YouTube ranks videos. But just like in Google itself, click-through rate is huge in demonstrating to Google (or in this case YouTube) which videos should be ranking well. I did an entire overview on how to improve CTR in Google search because of it.

The two main factors which affect click-through rate of a video on YouTube are its title and thumbnail image. We’re focusing on the former today, so let’s talk about how to make a good title for YouTube.

How to Make a Good Title for YouTube

Include Your Keyword

YouTube is a search engine, just like Google. It serves up results based on a keyword or keyword phrase.

So a big part of how to make a good title for YouTube is doing keyword research to find a great keyword for your topic, then including that keyword in the title to help you rank for it in YouTube.

How to Make a Good Title for YouTube

I use KeySearch (see my KeySearch review) for my keyword research in part because it has a YouTube specific keyword tool, but I’ve covered a lot of free tools in my free keyword tool comparison.

Once you have a good keyword, work it into the title.

It’s important not only because it further establishes the link between your video and that keyword for YouTube, it does the same thing for people searching for it.

If they see their keyword they searched for in the title of your video, they’ll know it’s relevant to what they’re looking for.

That’s just a start, however.

Clickbait For the Win

click on a mouse

Clickbait is the cornerstone of how to make a good title.

A lot of the biggest YouTubers making content rely almost exclusively on clickbaity titles.

Making a wild claim is a great way to earn more clicks. Making an unbelievable claim which someone has to see to believe essentially demands that the person click on it.

Of course if you can’t back up that claim in your video, your up to down vote ratio will reflect this. This will communicate to YouTube that you’ve got bad content, meaning it will quickly lose its visibility.

This is the Best Tip

I’m going to continue from that last point, but titles with superlatives also garner a lot of clicks.

By titling your video “This is the Best/Fastest/Cheapest Way to…”, you’ll essentially be communicating to anyone who sees it that you have the de facto best video on your topic.

This piques curiosity from your viewers and can lead to a lot of clicks.

And while this is still subjective, meaning your opinion on the subject, make sure you’re backing up the content of the actual video to meet the expectations of the viewer.

Make Em’ Laugh


Another good way to capture someone’s attention is to make them laugh with your title.

It’s somewhat of another continuation on the clickbait point because you’re essentially subverting someone’s expectations on a topic to catch them off guard, pique their interest, and entertain them before they’ve even clicked on your video.

This needs to pair nicely with a comical thumbnail to reinforce the joke, but it can be an effective way to convey your personality again before they’ve even seen a frame of the video itself.

Learn From the Pros

Wikipedia has a list of the most-subscribed to YouTubers. While you won’t learn much from the pop-stars on that list, there’s still plenty of be gleaned from the biggest original content creators.

There’s the valid argument that these YouTubers get tons of views just from their name at this point. That’s true. But they’re still masters of titles and thumbnails which get people to click through every time.

Going back to the earliest videos these YouTubers uploaded is a masterclass in how to grow a channel through great titles.

List Videos


When in doubt, stick to the classics. I call these evergreen titles because they never go out of style and always garner clicks.

Number/countdown style videos are one such example which always encourage clicks because they again create curiosity.

Everyone always wants to know what’s going to rank number 1.

More than that, they want to know if their opinions will coincide at all with the author behind the video’s.

Virtually every niche lends itself to seemingly limitless topics to make list videos out of.

How To Videos

Another oldie but a goodie in how to make a good title for YouTube is the “How To” format.

Everyone wants to learn a new skill, this post itself is a prime example!

Beginning your title with “How To” establishes the expectation of your potential viewer.

This effectively communicates to them that if they click through to your video, they’ll learn whatever skill the title promises.

That’s a good reminder to end on: The last thing you want is for someone to be unclear on the focus or even value of one of your videos after seeing your title and thumbnail.

Anytime you can create an expectation for someone without them even having to click, even if that means piquing their curiosity, your click-through rate will be healthy.

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