Wednesday, January 18, 2012

On YouTube, Titles Matter (Duh)

I often get asked about maximizing YouTube views.

What's the perfect duration? What are the best tags to use? Should my video have a splash or just cut to the chase?

In my limited experience, I've found that none of those things are as important as solid content aimed at the right audience. Except for one thing. The title.

Here's an example from my own channel that I recently noticed.

These are the view stats for the Rogers’ Rescues documentary, Until There Are None, a twenty minute video with a fairly specific but potentially large audience. It had been playing on my Vimeo channel and the Rogers’ Rescues homepage for about six months when YouTube lifted their duration limit and I decided to put it on my channel. I've never really done anything to promote views on the video.

At first, I titled the video with the name of the film, Until There Are None. Seemed logical. About six months later, having noticed that one my client's videos tended to get significantly more views when the title was descriptive of the content (e.g. the topic of a presentation vs the actual title or name of the speaker), I added the words "Dog Rescue Documentary" to the title.

Looking at the graph above, the results are pretty obvious. Titles matter.