Annette Shaff /

How to ensure that viewers can find your video online

There is no point in making a video then uploading it onto YouTube if nobody watches it. Tags on your video are key words that enable people searching online for information to find your video. If your video is properly tagged then anyone interested in that topic should be able to find your video easily by entering key words on a search engine such as Google.

There are three elements to tag your video: Title, Description and Keywords.

Title of video

The title must be enticing and keyword rich. Look at your video and determine the main subject or topic matter in the recording. The word or short phrase that you decide on should be included in the title.  This is because the search engines weight anything in the title very highly.  Remember to keep your title to 70 characters or less. eg if you are promoting your local maternity unit which has just been modernised, make sure that the words “maternity unit” are the first words in the title. Make it descriptive so rather than just “maternity unit “ your title could say “Maternity Unit offers modern facilities in London”

Video description

Creating a persuasive description and putting it in sentence form is important to make a compelling reason for users browsing on the internet to actually click and watch your video. Try to use no more than 155 characters for your description and make it interesting to attract your target audience. Always include your website address in the description so that people can find further information on your website.

So, for our maternity unit example, you might want to attract private patients so could use the following description:

A modern maternity unit in Kensington, London, features recently decorated, spacious single rooms, en-suite facilities and professional, friendly midwives ensuring a first class delivery. www.nhsmaternityunit.

Keywords or phrases

Select some keywords to be featured as tags. Your keyword or keyword phrase should mirror the main topic of your video and should be included in your title. eg “modern maternity unit” “London” “professional midwives”. Use about 5-10 key words or phrases.


This is one of the most useful features on YouTube for driving traffic through to other videos and your website but also one of the most underused features.Annotations allow you to create clickable links within videos that can link to playlists, channels, videos or to subscribe. It’s super easy to use and can also be built in to the story line of the video itself.

Equality and diversity

Videos on YouTube may help to attract hard to reach people with certain protected characteristics such as young mums, single mums, travellers, non-English speaking pregnant women, etc. Captions on your videos can be used as subtitle for people who are hard of hearing. Translations can also be done into other languages.

Using YouTube for your videos offers many benefits including:

  • Disseminate patient health information in an accurate and consistent way
  • Save on staff resources by recommending certain videos
  • Increase visitor numbers to your website
  • Give out clear patient information so that patients are better informed about their condition
  • Possibly increase the number of patients by attracting them to a particular service
  • Equality and diversity – reach people with protected characteristics
  • Reach a worldwide audience
  • Patient Engagement: Let patients tell their own stories: a very powerful tool for Board meetings.

Article by Hilary Belshaw October 2012

Hilary has produced patient information for the NHS for four and a half years and also has produced patient information videos. website: