How To Tag YouTube Videos To Rank Higher

If you are a YouTuber then – of course – you want your videos to rank well. It’s not only essential to rank well for search, but it’s also so important to get into the suggested videos. And let’s face it, after creating videos for your channel, tagging them can either get people stuck and frustrated or they throw in some words without any strategy to get the video live. In addition, so many people don’t understand the importance of tagging your videos properly! 

Here are three main areas to focus on to maximize the number of views.

Tagging Strategy for Maximum Views

Tagging strategy is by far the most crucial part because this is what has the greatest impact on video ranking.

Select a Target Keyword

It’s so easy to fall in the trap of wanting to add a big variety of words into the video’s tag section, but the purpose of this tags is to give YouTube more information about what your video is about so that it can serve it to the right people, show it in the right searches, and suggest your videos to the right people based on other things that they’re interested in.

There are two steps to come up with the best target keyword:

  1. Brainstorm words and phrases that are very directly related to what the video is actually about. Make sure you stay away from keywords that you simply think are popular.
  2. Select the most popular of keywords you’ve brainstormed. In order to determine which of the keywords is most popular, use YouTube search, or the free browser extension Keywords Everywhere.

Structure Your Keywords

It’s crucial that you add the target keyword as the first tag in your video description. Keep in mind that YouTube gives more weight to the tags that come first and less weight to the tags that come later on.

In addition to adding the keyword in the tag section, you’ll want to make sure that you add the keyword in two more important places:

Video’s Description – Use the primary keyword in the description at least once.

Title – Use most, if not all the words from the tag in the video title. If it’s a phrase that cannot be a part of the video’s title, then you might want to rethink whether or not that really should be your video’s primary keyword.

Four Important Types of Tags

  1. Primary keyword 

Pick tags that will compliment that keyword. It’s essential not to include tags just to max out the allowed character count. We want to make sure we include very relevant tags so that we can make sure when YouTube suggests the video that it is a great fit.

  1.    Alternative keywords

These are search terms that people would use if they’re looking for a video like yours. These keywords are basically different ways of saying the same thing. It can also include the different aspects that your video is about.

  1.      Broad categories

Let's remember that the primary goal of the tags is to give YouTube as much information. If your video is What I Eat in a Day, then some of the broad categories would be – cooking, recipes, or healthy eating. Although you may not necessarily rank for these broad categories, it will help YouTube suggest your video to the right people.  

  1.    Your name or channel name

At first, you might think that you don't need to include this because not very many people will be searching for your name yet. What people don’t know is that this step actually helps in getting you into the suggested videos. Here's the thing, after someone watches one of your videos there is a unique opportunity to get them to watch more of your videos. The goal is to make sure that your video is in the “suggested” or “up next” section! The best way to do this is by adding your name or channel’s name in the tags because then YouTube sees that the video has tags in common, i.e., your name/channel name!

Common Tagging Mistakes

Here are some common tagging mistakes that I see both new and not so new YouTubers make that can really hold their videos back and prevent them from ranking well.

Scattershot approach – Trying to use keywords that are not relevant to the video.

Treating YouTube tags like Instagram hashtags – A hashtag or a term that someone might be interested in if they are also interested in your video content doesn't correlate the same with the YouTube algorithm. Also, people don’t “follow” hashtags on YouTube the same way they follow them on Instagram.

Missing out on vital tags – Doing a little bit of keyword research to find words that people are actually looking for and that are also a good fit for your video’s topic goes a long way. These tags give YouTube critical information to make sure they show your video to the people that want to watch it.

As you can see, without using the proper tags in your videos, you could potentially be missing out on getting your video seen and suggested. Including the research and tags to your video’s description is a step that cannot be ignored if you want to grow your YouTube channel.

Of course, it doesn’t just stop with tags! There are about a dozen steps I take every time I upload a video on YouTube to ensure that it performs as well as possible. Want to know what they are? Well, you’re in luck, because I put together a FREE video upload checklist just for you. Snag the checklist HERE!

Do you have a YouTube channel? If so, what's it about?


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Gillian Perkins

Hi, I’m Gillian! I’m a marketing strategist who helps online entrepreneurs 10X their sales with FB ads + sales funnels. I love combining tech, analytics, and psychology to create powerful marketing systems. When I’m not helping my clients scale their businesses, I’m spending time with my husband and two little boys, exploring new places, or seeking out choice espresso.