How to Write the Best Titles for YouTube Shorts

There was a time when YouTube Shorts titles didn't matter, but that's slowly changing. Here's why you need them, plus a few tips for writing the best Shorts titles!

As a content creator, it's wise to approach long-form videos and YouTube Shorts differently — especially if the goal is to get more views. After all, viewers don't engage with these content types in the same manner. According to Creator Insider, Shorts are discovered, watched, and enjoyed at a different pace.

The biggest difference of all? Things like titles, thumbnails, and hashtags are crucial for longs but not as dire for Shorts. The Shorts player serves up videos in a never-ending carousel and doesn't ask you to choose anything based on "decorative" elements.

Does that mean you should not write good titles for your Shorts? Quite the opposite! There are plenty of reasons to optimize them, even when viewers are scrolling at lightning speed.

Read More: 4 Tips to Grow Your Channel with YouTube Shorts

Why Video Titles Still Matter for Shorts

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, look at the layout of the YouTube Shorts player. You'll notice a few things in the following order:

  • The video itself
  • Like and dislike buttons
  • A comment icon
  • A share icon
  • The channel's name and subscribe button
  • The video title

Admittedly, the title of the Short appears near the bottom. You might think, That's too buried for anyone to notice, but YouTube is drawing attention to this area with related links!

Related Links in Shorts Are Title-Based

With related links, a viewer can now watch your Short, spot a link at the bottom, click on it, and view additional content on your channel. That could be a live stream, long-form video, or even another Short! And, by the way, those links are text-based; YouTube pulls them from the title of the related video.

So, if you want additional views, you're going to need two things:

  1. An eye-catching title for your Short
  2. An even better title for the related video

For that reason alone, it makes sense to craft the best video titles for your Shorts!

Shorts Can Be Viewed as Regular Videos

Remember how we said Shorts are showing up in YouTube searches? This means shorter videos can also be viewed as regular YouTube content, complete with advertisements and a comment section.

That's right! Your title serves a dual purpose on YouTube. It gives context to related links in the Shorts player and helps your content rank higher on search pages — especially when using relevant keywords.

Crafting the Best Title for YouTube Shorts

So, how do you write a title that does justice to your Short? Here are some actionable tips:

1. Accurately Summarize the Video

Your title should give viewers a snapshot of what to expect. Misleading titles might get you clicks, but they won't win you fans.

2. Spark Curiosity

Make your audience wonder what's in the video. Pose a question, or use intriguing adjectives. The goal is to make them stop scrolling and start watching.

Read More: Analyzing Popular YouTube Shorts: What Makes Them Go Viral?

3. Use Relevant Keywords

Yes, we're talking about SEO (search engine optimization) for Shorts. Incorporate keywords that are both relevant to your content and what your audience is likely searching for. But remember, while keywords are important, they're not the end-all-be-all.

4. Keep it Short and Snappy

You have 40 characters to work with before YouTube truncates the rest of your title (when viewing Shorts in the app). So, be mindful of character limits. You want to make an impact, and that starts with a completely visible title.

The Algorithm's Perspective

While you might be tempted to stuff your title with hashtags and trending keywords, know this — the algorithm is smarter than that. Its primary focus is on how well your Short engages and satisfies the viewer. So, while a compelling title can boost your visibility, it's the content that ultimately reigns supreme. No amount of clever metadata, be it hashtags or titles, can make a Short more enjoyable or impactful.

Title Writing Is a Skill

Crafting the best title for YouTube Shorts isn't just about slapping a few catchy words together; it's a deliberate skill, and when done right, can boost your video's success.

So, aspiring YouTubers, take this knowledge and run with it. Your next viral Short could be one, well-crafted title away!