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How to Tag Your YouTube Videos

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One of the most important ranking factors on YouTube is video tags. Relevant tags will help your target audience find your work so that you can begin to grow an active fanbase that will watch you for years to come. YouTube tags are a very important aspect of YouTube SEO and should be used by every content creator.

YouTube tags in your video description will make it more likely that your video will show up in the YouTube auto-suggest features on the right side of the screen. While you shouldn’t have excessive tags, add your target keyword as your first tag as well as a few related tags to help your content show up in more search results.

YouTubers use tags to help other users find their content through searches. In addition to your channel description and YouTube video title, tags are a very important part of your metadata when it comes to how it is discovered. You will want to use strong tags with descriptive keywords to help people find your videos and watch them. 

This post will cover how to tag your YouTube videos on both new and published videos, as well as a little insight on how you should be tagging them.

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How to Add YouTube Video Tags to New Videos

Adding YouTube video tags to your video description when you first upload videos will allow it to start ranking faster, aiding to the video’s discovery, than if you have to redo it later on. While you can definitely edit a video’s tags in the future, making sure you have descriptive tags covering the content of your video off the bat every time you make one of your own videos will help your channel grow over time.

You can add YouTube tags when you upload a YouTube video to skip a few steps later on. To do this, complete the following: 

  1. Step 1

    Login to your YouTube account, then visit your YouTube Studio and click the “Create” button on the top right-hand side of the screen.

  2. Step 2

    Find the video content you want to upload and begin uploading it.

  3. Step 3

    Scroll to the bottom of the next page and click the “More Options” option.

  4. Step 4

    Input all your tags in the appropriate box. It is a good idea to do your keyword research ahead of time, especially if you are publishing on a tight deadline. Not only can you look at similar YouTube videos for inspiration, but you can also use keyword tags you find through video SEO tools (we list a few below).

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How to Add Tags to Existing YouTube Videos

Whether you have uploaded videos without tags in the past, are guilty of tag stuffing, or you have learned that your videos don’t show up as results when someone uses the YouTube Search bar, you can go back and add tags relating to your video’s topic.

It may take a little while for the YouTube algorithm to spot the changes and reorganize content so that it shows up in search results, but adding YouTube tags to existing videos late is better than not adding them at all.

You can also add tags to an existing YouTube video by completing the following: 

  1. Step 1

    From your YouTube Studio, select “Videos” from the left-hand menu. 

  2. Step 2

    Scroll through your videos and select the one you want to tag. 

  3. Step 3

    At the top of the screen, click “Edit” on the bar that appears and choose tags from the available options in the dropdown menu.

  4. Step 4

    Input the tags you wish into the appropriate box. Again, it is a good idea to research which tags play a big part in your specific niche on the platform. Not only should you use your target keyword, but you will also want to use long-tail keywords that relate to your content.

    Use some single-word tags and some phrases. While the number of tags may fluctuate from video to video, it is important to know what will work to help your video show up in both the YouTubve search results and through the Google search engine.

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What Tags You Should Add to YouTube Videos

Knowing how to add YouTube tags is only half the battle. You also need to determine the best tags to add to your videos. Not only will this practice help you show up in YouTube auto-suggest, but it will also help your videos rank in YouTube search results.

Use the following strategies when adding YouTube tags to your videos:

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    Primary Keyword

    Your first tag should be the target keyword that you want your video to rank for. Ideally, this keyword will have a lot of search volume and relatively low competition. Find the best word to describe your video’s content to help viewers find the information they need and add it as your first tag.

    These main tags will often be related to your video’s title and description in that they should be targeting the same keywords. As with posts on all social media platforms, the intent is key, and for people to find your engaging videos, you need specific tags that will attract the right audience.

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    Additional Keywords

    After your first keyword, add other relevant keywords that relate to your video. This will help you bring in views from several similar searches other than your primary keyword. 

    While you shouldn’t use all the tags you think of, look for other related terms that have high search volume. Try to avoid using broad tags or generic tags of irrelevant keywords that will do little to help your YouTube video tank.

    You should also avoid adding excessive tags as this could actually hurt your video SEO. Research the number of tags you should use for your specific niche. That being said, you should use some commonly misspelled words that are directly related to your content (while still avoiding broad keywords).

    Tagging will become easier after your first few videos. After a while, you will get the hang of what you can add to other videos that will attract new viewers. The more user engagement you generate on your channel, the more your video will be recommended to others.

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    Niche Keywords

    Add keywords based on the niche that your content falls into to capture the attention of people who are looking for new YouTubers to follow. For instance, if you have a channel about indoor plants, then add “indoor plants” and “houseplants” as tags on your YouTube video.

    Again, it is good practice to avoid adding unnecessary YouTube tags to your video to ensure that you continue to show up in the YouTube search results. That being said, don’t worry about using as many tags that are necessary in order to adequately explain your video’s content.

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    Brand Keywords

    Don’t forget to add your brand name and anything relating to it to help your videos to show up in searches. Self-reference tagging is a good starting point for every YouTube channel. While you may not be well-known now, you may be known later. You definitely want to show up on YouTube for all branded searches.

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Popular Tagging Tools

When it comes to finding the right YouTube tags, you may want to use a keyword tool that was created for YouTube. Adding tags to each YouTube video can be tricky especially when there are so many options to choose from.

Here are four tools that can help you rank your YouTube videos:

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    TubeBuddy is an overall good tool for new and intermediate YouTubers. It can help you title your videos and do enough keyword research to get the best early results.

    Their YouTube tag features include helping you find out what other tags are used for your type of content, as well as allowing you to copy and paste tags from previously published videos easily.

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    Keyword Keg

    Keyword Keg allows you to search for the volume and competition of specific keywords for video SEO. It will also show you how difficult it will be to rank for that keyword and give you additional terms that may be trending or will help you overall. 

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    Not only will VidIQ give you information about your key term, but it will also give you related keywords, scores, and the volume of search it receives on a monthly basis. Adding these suggestions to a YouTube video could be the thing that helps it rank.

  • pencil will not only give you the research you want for a YouTube tag, but it will also show its trends over the previous year and provide you with a list of questions you may want to cover in your video. 

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Dos and Don’ts of Tagging

When adding tags, make sure that you don’t use too many. Try to aim for between 200-300 characters total to be best optimized. Make sure that every YouTube tag is relevant to the content f your video. It is a good idea to review it and other tags before you publish your content.

You should also never add your tags to your description as YouTube may penalize you for misleading users. Another example of this is using popular tags that have nothing to do with your content. Don’t frustrate other users by doing this. 

Tags are essential in ensuring that your audience will find your videos through keywords and research. Take the time needed to pick the right tags for your videos then update them later on if necessary. While viewers decide what content is great on YouTube, you will need to put in some work for them to see your video in the first place.

Take the time to research good tags either by looking at what others have done or by using an SEO keyword tool. Even though you will need to do this for each and every video, the process will get easier over time.