YouTube Optimization: Titles and Tags

Our friends at Trout Fishing in America came to us with a concern recently. They had invested in a new video for the title cut of their new release, Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers, and it was languishing on an inner page instead of showing up at the top of the results.

This screenshot shows how it looked. In a search for “Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers,” Trout Fishing’s song showed up — but as a phone-recorded video of a casual run-through of the song when the guys were just working it up, not their professionally-filmed video.

Normally, it would be unreasonable to expect to hit the front page in a couple of days, which was what Trout Fishing was expecting, but in this case… well, it’s their song. They should get top billing. And the results you see here are just about what they found when they searched for “Trout Fishing in America Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers,” too. Other people’s covers of the song came up ahead, and the result shown at #2 above was as #1.

You can’t expect to get top billing right away, but in this case, it is reasonable for Trout Fishing to want to show up well for a search of their own material. They’re very tolerant of other people’s postings of their performances and of covers of their songs, though we always write and ask for a link to their website, but their own video should get special treatment.

Fortunately, Google agrees. We went in and optimized the keywords and description and changed the title to “Trout Fishing in America’s Official Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers Video.” In the keywords and description, we made sure to communicate clearly with the search engines so they’d understand that the video — which Google spiders can’t exactly watch and listen to — is in fact the real, official one from the actual authors.

The next day, this is what we saw:



The homemade video is still #1. After all, it was posted five months ago. It has, from the point of view of the search engines, the same content as the official video, and it was there first — with “debut performance” in the description. Trout Fishing has never objected to it. It’s reasonable that it should take more than a day for the new video to displace it. But Trout Fishing’s video is next — readily visible and already getting far more views.

This is a good solution.

In this case, it was simply a matter of communicating well with the search engines — the primary goal of SEO. We said, “Hey, Google, you misunderstood the importance of this item,” and Google essentially said, “Oh, thanks. I’ll fix that.”

Another client, 8th & Walton, has been working on their video content for months. They named their videos “Saturday Morning Meeting” followed by the date and the team posted and shared them hither and yon.

We went in and named them things like “Saturday Morning Meeting: Tom Coughlin on Operational Excellence,” added useful tags and descriptions, and soon saw the views mount into the tens of thousands. While the people at 8th & Walton also do email marketing and work on promotion in various ways besides what we do, we’re confident that their videos wouldn’t have been referenced twice (so far) in Forbes if they hadn’t been properly tagged and titled.

So how do you do the tagging and titling? Click on “Edit” on one of your uploaded videos, and you’ll see this screen:

YouTube optimization


You’ll want to make sure that your title and description clearly communicate what your video is about. Your tags should not include every word in your title or every possible word — just the words that will be used to search by people who are looking for what you’re offering.

YouTube optimization

We have not seen that annotations make a big difference in search, but a link to your website, the names of speakers, and other added information can be helpful to viewers.

Titles and tags make the biggest difference to the findability of your videos.






One response to “YouTube Optimization: Titles and Tags”

  1. Apps Developers Australia Avatar

    Great Tips! Having Your website logo at top of your video screen is prominent way to brand visibility. Adding Website url before ending video and also with text increase chances for traffic.

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