The Importance of Thumbnails, Titles, Descriptions and Tags

The Importance of Thumbnails, Titles, Descriptions and Tags

I’m going to tell you just how important thumbnails, titles, descriptions and tags are to the success of your videos, as well as providing tips to help you get it right.

Izak Jackson

4 min read

You’ve created your video and it’s time to publish, but before you do, you need to carefully consider your video thumbnail, title, description and tags. These four things are vital if you want to reach your target audience and get them to watch your video

I’m going to tell you just how important thumbnails, titles, descriptions and tags are to the success of your videos, as well as providing tips to help you get it right.


Thumbnails are one of the most neglected parts of a video.  I often see people using the default thumbnail which usually consists of a snapshot taken from the video that is a little out of focus or shows a person mid-blink.

A video thumbnail is your viewer's first impression of your video and could be the difference between thousands of views or just a handful.

So how can you make your thumbnail more clickable?

I would recommend uploading a high-quality image that clearly conveys your video’s subject.  When possible, show the face of the person speaking in a fun and inviting way, after all, people like people. To make the image stand out, try playing around with colour saturation or contrast.

You could even add bold, colourful text to that image to help catch the eye of the viewer and encourage them to click play. If you add text or any digital graphics to your video’s thumbnail, make sure they are on-brand and clear to read but refrain from using clickbait. Clickbait will hurt for videos performance in the long run.


When it comes to creating and uploading videos, you can get everything else right but if your title isn’t up to scratch, you’re going to have a hard time getting views.

Video titles not only help the audience to understand what the subject of your video is about, but it helps the search engines too. When writing a title, think about keywords. Once you have identified what your keywords are, start to expand from there.

If you are working on a how-to or educational video that provides information or answers to a question, consider putting this question in the video title. This not only tells the viewer what to expect but you’re more likely to rank in search results as your title is mimicking the question a viewer is likely to search for.

Try and keep your video title short and sweet. Ask yourself, can I get rid of a word or two without the title losing its punch or meaning? If the answer is yes, go for it. Short and catchy video titles are more memorable and are more likely to be clicked on.


Along with video titles, viewers use the video description to understand the content and context of your video.

You should be including at least two lines of text as a minimum in our video description.

When writing your copy, remember to include keywords and phrases to increase your ranking and the videos searchability. Don’t just copy and paste your video title into the description, that isn’t going to cut it.

A well-optimized description can boost your video’s rankings, especially on sites like YouTube so take the time to craft a well-written paragraph or two of text.

Don’t forget to add a strong call to action at the end of your description. Directing viewers to your website, blog or contact information will help convert viewers into paying customers!


The majority of platforms now use tags or hashtags so it’s important to utilise them to your advantage.

The social media platform YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, so optimising your videos with keywords is just as important as optimising your website.

One of the best ways to keyword-optimise your videos for YouTube is by using tags. Tags help YouTube to grasp your video’s content and context. This way, YouTube can understand your video’s topic and category, and associate it with similar content, which can amplify your video’s reach.

Even if you’re not uploading your video to Youtube, you should be taking advantage of tags on all platforms as they are one of the ways your videos will be found.

I would recommend using between 3-5 hashtags on your video when uploading to social media, or at the bottom of your YouTube description. Then in the YouTube tags section, make sure to fill up as much of the tag character allowance as you can.

Make sure you always do your research as this will vary from platform to platform, and can be updated regularly.

When deciding on which tags to include, always think about keywords or phrases that viewers are likely to search for.

If you're struggling with your video thumbnails, titles, descriptions and tags, check out the Volta Media Youtube Channel and take inspiration from some of my videos.

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