How To Tag YouTube Videos

Today, in 2018, more than 60 hours of video get uploaded to YouTube every minute. And while YouTube is one of the best ways to attract attention to your message, channel, and brand, knowing how to tag your videos properly will prevent your videos from being lost in the abyss and generate meaningful traffic from search.

In this post I’m going to cover some optimization essentials, as well as, offer a checklist and some other resources that will aid you in giving your channel the best opportunity to be discovered.

Analysis Tools For YouTube SEO

Before we begin, there are a few tools you need to be aware of that will make tagging your YouTube videos a lot easier. If you’re not already, you should be using Google Chrome as your default browser. With Chrome, the amount of plugins that greatly improve your browsing experience are endless.


1.) Keywords Everywhere

Download a plugin called “Keywords Everywhere”. Don't worry, it's free. This plugin will show you how many monthly searches are conducted for anything you type in to YouTube, Google, and Amazon search fields.



2.) Tube Buddy

The next thing you should consider is, Tube Buddy. Tube buddy is a paid YouTube analytics tool that provides deep insight into your channel and the platform. It will recommend what tags you should consider adding to your videos, and what search terms are worth targeting based on the amount of monthly search volume and competition.


There are many other features that Tube Buddy offers, and to learn more, check them out. I know you might be thinking; "Matt, do I really need Tube Buddy?" Well, do you need a flashlight in the dark?


Understanding YouTube Tags 

Let’s start by taking a look at how the tags section of your channel works. This in part is how YouTube determines what your video is about, where it belongs in search results, and who to suggest it to. You are allowed up to 500 characters here and if you do it right, will be more than enough.

While there are many factors that determine a videos rank, it really boils down to...How well does your video serve the searchers intent?

After all, the better a video serves the intent of the viewer, means the longer they stay on the platform and the more ads they will consume. Which means, the more money YouTube makes.


The 3 Categories of Tags:

  • Author/Branded Tags : This is where you enter in anything that describes you, your business, or profession, starting with your name. YouTube has a variety auto-suggested tags for this, for example; "freelancer (job title)", “blogger (website), or “carpenter (occupation)“

  • Content Category : This is where you’ll find and enter a few that describe what category of video this is. Is it “how-to (category)”, “diy (category)”, or “blog (industry)“ etc...

  • Keyword & Keyphrases : these are the terms and phrases people are typing in to YouTube to find specific answers. A lot of times they are how-to related or ask a specific question.

Choosing the right YouTube Tags for sEO

Tagging your videos doesn’t have to be a complicated process, in fact, as long as you’re using descriptive words in your tags, the YouTube algorithm is very smart in figuring out what your video is about and where it belongs.

But, you’ll still want to make sure you’re adding relevant search phrases. If you're like me and don't want to leave it up to chance, here are some tips that can greatly improve your chances at achieving higher rankings, faster.

Conduct Keyword Research

Your ideal audience should be on the forefront of your mind when tagging your videos. If you want to leverage the power of YouTube to grow your brand, it's your duty as a creator to get inside the minds of your audience and figure out what they're typing in to find you. 

What are their struggles? How are they typing their queries in to the search box? Does your video provide the right solution to their problem?

YouTube tries to help by predicting suggestions based on popular queries as seen in the image below. The Keywords Everywhere plugin you should have downloaded earlier, also shows how many monthly searches are conducted every month, beside each of those suggested queries.

You can start to see how when you combine all these tools together they allow you to make educated decisions on what type of content to create and how to tag it advantageously.



Start researching your niche, typing in any general terms people might be using to find information on the more general topic.

Use the predictive results that the search field gives you to see what other terms people are looking for. Take note of how many times per month people are searching for those terms.

See what videos appear when you enter in different terms too, is your video better? Will it solve a searchers problem better than other videos coming up in the results? How many results are there? If there are less than a million, your chances are a lot better at climbing up to the first page, provided your content is good.

Any term with more than a million videos appearing in the results will be hard to rank for. Thats not to say that it can’t be done, but your video will have a lot further of a climb and will have to be tested against many other videos on it’s ascent.