How To Optimise Your YouTube Tags, Thumbnails and Titles

You've put a lot of effort into making a great video, you want to make sure that people can find it. Use your tags, thumbnails and titles to maximise your chances of showing up in searches. Find tips on how to do exactly that below. 

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Lets Talk YouTube Tags

YouTube tags are basically keywords that describe your video and let YouTube know what your video is about. This is essential for how you appear in searches. There is a 500 character limit for tags so you'll want to use those wisely!

Tags should link back to your title - having popular keywords that differ greatly from your title won't help you find your audience. 

Have a mix of specific keywords and broader terms. Specific tags for a video about Fenty beauty are 'fenty makeup review' and 'trophy wife tutorial'. Broader terms are 'makeup' and 'tutorial'. 

Tag any products or services that feature in your video.  

Use a keyword tool like Google Keyword Planner which shows you high performing keywords. The planner is linked to Google Adwords so it operates under the assumption you want to place ads so it is a bit annoying to use. A good alternative is which actually has a keyword search that is specific to YouTube. 

Research popular YouTuber's tags. This is primarily to check if there are any popular tags that you have missed. Tags aren't visible to users but you can use browser extensions like vidIQ and TubeBuddy. These give you a whole bunch of data related to the video you are watching.

Create Eye Catching Thumbnails 

Your video thumbnail is the first introduction to your content so you want to make sure that first impression encourages viewers to click through. To create your thumbnail, make use of free image editing software - my personal favourite is Canva

The thumbnail should primarily convey the content of the video. Opting for a click bait thumbnail will just lead to a lot of viewers dropping off. Tie the thumbnail in with the title so it tells a story. 

Don't be afraid of colour. You want your thumbnail to stand out so try to integrate a bit of colour. Whichever colourway you choose implement it across all your videos, this will make your content recognisable and helps establish your brand. 

Put a text overlay on the image, this will help provide some context. This can be your title (if it's not too wordy) or keywords. Much like working with colour, aim to stick with the same font. 

Make sure your thumbnail is optimised for mobile viewing. This means opting for high res images which are clear and in focus. Keep text fairly large so they are clear on smaller screens.

Put Together The Perfect Title 

You want to put together a SEO friendly title that not only works well on YouTube searches but also on Google searches. 

Your title should tell viewers what to expect. Click bait titles that have zero relevance to your content will flag you up as spam and YouTube will penalise you. 

Aim for something that is catchy and descriptive of your content, include keywords where you can. You can use a keyword tool to find top ranking phrases. 

Try and build anticipation in your titles. For a classic haul vid, instead of 'ASOS Haul Video' why not try 'Will It Fit?! - ASOS Try On Haul Video'. You still have your necessary key words plus an incentive to click. 

If you are struggling, research successful YouTube titles to see what works. TubeBuddy can also help tweak titles for more views. 

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