YouTube tags are an important part of YouTube SEO. They help YouTube understand the content of your video and help your video show up in search results.

If you’re looking to promote your content to new audiences or show up in more relevant search results, then you need to be using YouTube tags. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about YouTube tags, including what youtube tags are and how to add them to your videos.

What are YouTube tags? 

YouTube tags are keywords that you add to your YouTube videos. They help YouTube understand the content and context of your video, which allows YouTube to show your video in relevant search results.

For example, if you have a video about how to make a cake, you would want to use YouTube tags like “baking,” “cake recipe” and “how to make a cake.” This would help YouTube show your video to people who are searching for those terms.

YouTube Tags - How to make a cake

Why are YouTube tags important?

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, and its 2 billion monthly active users use it to find videos on all sorts of topics. Tags for YouTube help people discover your videos in YouTube search results. 

YouTube says that the most important SEO factors on the platform are the video title, description and thumbnail. Still, YouTube tags can be a great secondary method to boost discoverability on YouTube.

YouTube tags vs. YouTube hashtags

The main difference between YouTube tags and YouTube hashtags is that tags are used for relevancy in YouTube search, while hashtags are used for dedicated hashtag search.

For example, think of hashtags on Twitter. When you search for a specific hashtag, you’re able to see all of the Tweets that include that same hashtag. YouTube hashtags work similarly, giving users the ability to see all YouTube videos that include a specific hashtag in the title or description.

YouTube tags, on the other hand, describe the content of your video and help YouTube (and potential viewers) understand what your video is about. 

Tags will help YouTube’s search engine algorithm determine where to rank your video in YouTube search results. Hashtags will simply anchor your content to other content that uses an identical hashtag.

How to add tags to YouTube videos

Step 1. Go to YouTube and hover over your profile picture. Select YouTube Studio from the drop-down menu.

Step 2. Select Content from the left menu.

Step 3. To edit a video, simply hover over it and click Details.

How to add tags to youtube

Step 4. Scroll down the video details page and click Show More.

Step 5. Add relevant tags up to 500 characters total, in the Tags section.

Adding YouTube Tags

Step 6. When you’re done, click Save in the top-right corner of your screen.

How to find popular YouTube tags

Before you start tagging your YouTube videos, you should spend some time researching popular YouTube tags.

Not surprisingly, the best way to find popular YouTube tags is on YouTube. To find popular tags, simply go to YouTube and search for a topic related to your content. For instance, if you are making a video on how to take care of houseplants, you could search for “how to take care of houseplants”.

Finding popular youtube tags

Choose a video that fits your search query and look at the YouTube tag suggestions on the right side of the screen. These tags are based on related searches and can show you what people who have watched this content were also interested in.

You can also use a YouTube tags extractor or tags generator to find even more popular tags for YouTube.

YouTube tags extractor

YouTube tag extractors are online tools that help you find the most popular YouTube tags for your content.

When you enter the URL of a YouTube video into a YouTube tags extractor, it will show you a list of tags that users have added for that video. You can then use these tags in your videos to make them more discoverable.

YouTube Tags Extractor

Here are a few YouTube tag extractors to try:

YouTube tags generator

If you’re looking to generate YouTube tags for your videos, then you can use a YouTube tags generator. YouTube tags generators are online tools that help you find the most popular tags on YouTube. Enter the title of your next YouTube video, and the YouTube tags generator will give you a list of tags to use.

YouTube tags generator

Here are a few YouTube tags generators to try:

Want to go even deeper? Try Sprout’s Social Listening features so you can track and analyze social media trends. You can use this data to inform your YouTube tag strategy.

YouTube Tags Sprout

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Tracking performance of YouTube tags

Once you’ve done the heavy lifting of tagging your YouTube videos, it’s time to track the performance of your YouTube tags. These are a few metrics you can use to track the success of your YouTube tags:

  • Views: How many people have watched your video?
  • Watch time: How long are people watching your video?
  • Engagement: What percentage of viewers are engaging with your video (liking, sharing, commenting)?
  • Traffic sources: Where are your viewers coming from? YouTube search, YouTube suggested videos, other social media channels?

To track these metrics, you can use YouTube analytics. To access YouTube analytics, click on your profile picture on the YouTube homepage. Choose YouTube Studio, then click Analytics in the left menu.

YouTube Channel Analytics

Don’t forget to use the YouTube search traffic sources, which lets you see which search terms are bringing people to your videos. Continue to optimize your YouTube tags by analyzing your YouTube analytics and making adjustments to improve traffic.

Tips for using YouTube tags

Get the most out of your YouTube tags by following these best practices.

1. Don’t use too many tags

Don’t go overboard when adding tags to your YouTube videos. The YouTube algorithm is designed to present the most relevant content for each user, so if you’re using too many tags, or if your tags are irrelevant, YouTube might relegate your videos to the bottom of search results.

According to Briggsby, 31 to 40 tags (of two to three words each) is ideal.

number of phrases for youtube tags

2. Use tags that are trending

YouTube has an auto-suggest feature that can help you identify which tags are trending. Simply begin typing your tag into the YouTube search bar and check out some of the recommended tags that pop up.

YouTube trending tags

3. Use both specific and broad tags

To help users find your videos, use both specific and broad tags. For example, if you’re a real estate agent in Los Angeles, some of your specific tags could be “Los Angeles real estate” or “LA homes for sale.” Some of your broader tags could be “real estate” or “apartments for sale.”

Remember, YouTube is a search engine, so treat your tags like you would keywords for Google. The more relevant and specific your tags are, the easier it will be for YouTube to match your video with user searches.

4. Don’t forget synonyms

Using synonyms is a great way to broaden the reach of your YouTube tags. For example, if you’re a travel vlogger, some of your tags could be “travel,” “vacation,” or “trip.” It’s always smart to consider how people (not just algorithms) might be searching for your content.

5. Use competitor videos as inspiration 

Checking out how your competitors are tagging their YouTube videos can give you some great ideas. After all, if they’re ranking high for certain keywords, it’s likely because those keywords are working well.

To see what tags a YouTube video has, open the video page on Google Chrome or Firefox. Then, right-click on the page and click View Source. Hit Control + F, then search for the word “keywords” in the source code to see the tags.

YouTube tags - view source

As you’re looking at competitor videos, also take note of their titles and descriptions. These can give you some great ideas for how to title and describe your own videos to help them rank.

Getting started with YouTube tags

YouTube tags are just one component of a successful YouTube marketing strategy. YouTube is constantly evolving, which means there are always new opportunities for marketers. Now that you know all about YouTube tags, check out our complete guide on YouTube marketing to learn other strategies that will boost your brand’s YouTube presence.