Should your YouTube videos have clickbait titles or be optimized for SEO instead?

One of my email subscribers left a very interesting comment on one of my videos this week.

Here it is:

“Yo Jay I got a quick question for you bro!

Is it better to make titles for videos more clickable and have a few key words in there on what the video is about, or is it better to optimise it to the max even tho it doesn’t look as nice to viewers but have more key words that are likely to rank the video?

I’ve been thinking about this for a few weeks and I can’t seem to figure out which one to go for…”

– MaxGamer7

Now, this is something I’ve thought about a lot…

Both for my own channel strategy and what would be best for creators starting out on YouTube.

The problem is that most people who are new to YouTube will be bad at writing titles…

They’ll try to copy the title styles of big YouTubers but they won’t understand the context of WHY the title is written that way.

This leads to a lot of bad titles that seem clickbaity AND don’t get seen by more than 100 people.

If you REALLY want to write great titles that make people curious…

You NEED to study copywriting.

It’s worth it, I promise…

I studied copywriting for a few months this year (and I’ll continue to study it further), now I’m using my new skills and knowledge to experiment with writing clickable titles that make people curious…but ALSO optimized for SEO, so it can rank highly on YouTube.

It’s a delicate balance…

I’ll probably share all the data from my experiments with you in about a year.

But for now, let me share my answer to the question above:

“Hey Max!

It reallyyyyy depends.

I can’t give you a straight answer with this one tbh.

I’m testing out the first option you’ve suggested now…but that’s after I’ve already grown my channel etc.

When I started out, I optimised to the MAX and that brought great results.

I’d generally suggest optimising as much as possible for someone starting out…

Because you NEED to rank as much as possible.

But…if you think you have a GREAT title (and you get your main key phrase in there) that’s clickable and makes people curious: do that.

The problem is…you NEED to learn copywriting etc to come up with good titles that work consistently.

It’s much easier to just make your title your 2 key phrases.

Making the videos clickable takes some practice.

So…if I were you:

I would make most of my videos SUPER optimised

And I would test out a few clickable titles now and again.

(I totally don’t think a super optimised title looks that great either…that’s a big reason why I’m switching over…but it defo does the job!)

I hope this helps!”

– Jay Cartere

So that’s that.

If you’re starting out on YouTube:

Focusing on optimizing your titles so you rank in search is generally the best, most consistent strategy – no matter your writing skills.

If your writing skills are pretty good and you have EXPERIENCE writing for consumers (NOT WRITING ESSAYS…BORING WRITING DOESN’T COUNT!) then you may find success experimenting with jucier titles.

Always make sure you get your key phrase in your title, regardless.

Getting your videos to rank will get more people to see your juicy title.

Anyways, do you want to use the same system I used to get hundreds of my videos to rank on YouTube?

In module 5 of my “YouTube For Noobs” course, you’ll discover my SECRET WEAPON…the EXACT step-by-step method I still use to rank my videos and get views, subscribers and sales in my sleep…

As well as much, much more…

Go here to learn more:

All the best,

Jay “Optimize Until You Can Write” Cartere

Jay Cartere

I’m Jay Cartere - a YouTube certified marketer, entrepreneur and author who teaches frustrated gamers how to grow on YouTube and turn their passions into a business. I went from poor AF to full-time online creator. Now I wake up and do what I love every day - and I want to help you do the same. When I’m not working I like to chill out with a good podcast, a good book or a good album.