Have you ever uploaded a video to YouTube and wondered why nobody was watching it? It could be that you aren’t getting any views because your video is just terrible, but odds are that the reason nobody is watching is because nobody is discovering your content. When it comes to people finding your videos on YouTube, metadata is a huge factor. Elements like titles, tags and descriptions are more important than you think. Read on to learn about how to write your metadata in YouTube to maximize your discoverability and start racking up video views.
A post on the YouTube blog sums up the importance of metadata on YouTube quite nicely. “YouTube is the second largest search engine, so don’t get lost in the mix, let people find you. Our algorithms are good, but they can only read, they can’t watch your videos. So in order to properly classify your video and index it for search, we need your help.” In the future, YouTube and other video sites may be able to use technology to search your actual video content. However, until that happens it is imperative that you get into the habit of titling, tagging and describing your videos effectively.
How Does YouTube Index Search Results?
Before you start writing your own metadata it is important to understand how YouTube indexes their search results. As a part of Google, YouTube uses Google search algorithms. When somebody searches for a keyword or phrase in YouTube, YouTube crawls all the titles, descriptions and keywords on each and every video on the site and returns the most relevant results to the viewer.
YouTube determines the relevance of a video to a search based on a huge number of factors, many of which aren’t even known to the general public. However, one this is for certain – if you don’t put a good title and description and relevant tags on your video then nobody will be able to find it! Now do you see why it’s so important to put some time into writing your metadata each time you upload a video to YouTube?
Your video titles are extremely important, and you’ll want to put a lot of thought in to your titles. Your title needs to not only be eye catching, but also needs to incorporate key words that will come up in a search.
For instance, if you have a video of your dog Chappy playing with a ball you may be inspired to title your video “Chappy Plays With Ball”. However, keep in mind that the YouTube community has no idea who Chappy is. He could be a dog, a cat, a child or even the nickname you gave to your vacuum cleaner! Calling it “Dog Plays With Ball” is much better for the discoverability of your clip. “Funny Dog Plays With Ball” may be even better, as “Funny” and “Dog” are both popular search terms on YouTube.
If you are having trouble coming up with good key words for your title you can use the YouTube Keyword Suggestion tool. By entering a single word that describes your keyword, the tool will generate tons of keyword suggestions for you and they also tell you the monthly search volume for each work. Try to use words in your title that have a high monthly search volume. 5.4 million YouTube users search for the keyword “dog” each month while there isn’t even enough data to tell us how many people searched for the term “Chappy”. For this reason, a video called “Funny Dog Plays With Ball” has a lot more potential for being discovered than a video called “Chappy Plays With Ball”.
When it comes to your description you also want to use as many keywords as you can that have a high monthly search volume. Keep in mind that the description can be up to 5,000 characters in length. You should try to use every single one of these characters to get in as much description and as many characters as you can.