Best Practices for YouTube Tagging

01 Sep, 2022

YouTube tags are used to describe the content of your video and make it easier for people to find. The right tags will help YouTube algorithms suggest your videos to potential viewers who might be interested in what you're selling or promoting. In other words, using relevant tags can help increase your video's reach.

What is the difference between YouTube tags and Hashtags?

There is a difference between YouTube tags and hashtags. YouTube tags are the phrases and words used to briefly describe the topics covered in YouTube videos. These help people find the videos through search. They don’t include the hashtag symbol. Hashtags are used on social media sites like Twitter and Instagram to categorize messages or make them easily searchable.

Typical examples for both are:

  • Tags: Assuming your video is covering the topic "First time: How does airport transit work?" your tags could be "airport transit", "airport changing airplanes", etc.
  • Hashtags: following the same example the hashtags could be: #airport, #transit, etc.

What are the benefits of using YouTube tags?

The benefits are pretty straightforward: YouTube tags are common search terms that help viewers find your videos. With this, they increase your reach and exposure on YouTube as well as other search engines such as Google and Google Videos. Indirectly, they can also help you get more YouTube subscribers, brand awareness, website traffic, and ultimately conversions.

What are the best practices for successful YouTube tags?

Approaches to tagging vary by niche on YouTube, but some approaches are widely considered best practices. Here is our selection:

Always start with research

You should research what the competition is doing. Find the top-ranking YouTube videos that are similar to yours and find out which tags they're using. Start with a simple search for your main topics.

Keep it brief

While you could write lengthy tags, it isn't worth it. The average length of a tag should be about two to three words. Don't go for length, go for quality.

Don't spam

This is when you include a keyword in your tags that is not relevant to your video, just because you think it will make people more likely to watch it. But this can backfire, making YouTube's algorithm less likely to suggest your video, and could even get you banned from the site. So only include keywords that are relevant to what your video is about.

In the early days of YouTube SEO, creators would stuff their video descriptions with keywords in an attempt to rank higher on YouTube SERPs (search engine result pages). This process, called keyword stuffing, not only made for a poor user experience but was also penalized by Alphabet, the owner of both Google and YouTube. To avoid this penalty and create content that both ranks well and provides a good user experience, it's important to use keywords thoughtfully and sparingly throughout your website's content.

Most important first

It's important to list tags in order of importance, with your target keyword as the first tag.

Don't stuff YouTube tags

It's important to use tags that best describe your video. You don't need to use a lot of tags, just the right ones.

Don't forget yourself

It's important to promote your own business. After all, you are doing YouTube to promote yourself in one or the other form. Make sure to use hashtags that include your company name.

Pushing your videos further up in the YouTube search

Most people make their search, where tags can help, and then decide based on the video thumbnail to watch a video. Creating an engaging and informative video thumbnail is key to getting more views on your videos.