No, I don't mean hashtagging (or should I say #hashtagging?). I mean good, old-fashioned, YouTube tags which are a simple and often overlooked way of helping your YouTube video rank for keywords that you can 'tag' to your video. YouTube tags are a fairly simple concept but of course there are some best practices to keep in mind (and some worst practices to avoid). Behold! My 5 tips to choose the best tags for your videos:
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1. Keep them relevant.
Use YouTube tags to describe your video with specific, relevant, words. They should match your title and topic of the video. Did you perform a Bon Jovi cover while on vacation at the Grand Canyon? Unexpected, but sounds intriguing. Use 'Grand Canyon' and 'Bon Jovi' as YouTube tags because they are both relevant, recognizable, descriptive and will help people interested in those two things find your video. These relevant tags are much more helpful then using YouTube tags along the lines of 'singing with some friends' or the ambiguous 'YOLO'.
2. Don't go crazy.
While it might be tempting to cram as many YouTube tags in as possible in an attempt to cover all your bases, it's best to stick with just 10-15 tags. You don't win for having the most tags, you win by having the right tags. So, put some thought into it and don't go overboard.
3. Seek inspiration.
Perhaps one of the best tips to choose the best tags for your videos is to see what YouTube tags a highly popular video uses. Choose a video that is still relevant to what your video is about. For example, if you are doing a cover of a Katy Perry's new song 'Roar' look at what tags she uses to get an idea of what her fans are searching for.
Next you will see a page of code. Don't be alarmed, you didn't break YouTube. Simply look for the part that says 'keywords' and you should find the list of tags.
The keywords are highlighted in the screenshot below:
Some of the listed keywords from Katy's song that are good for tags would be 'Katy Perry' 'Roar' and 'You're going to hear me roar'.
4. Stay close to success.
Even if you are posting a musical cover it is still helpful to reference other popular videos in your tags. Posting a video of something funny your adorably chubby cat does? Look for the most popular cat video out there and include the title in some of your tags. As always, stick with something that is relevant to your post.
5. Be original.
Last but not least; be original. Yes, it is smart to reference tags from popular YouTube videos, but never copy them outright. Make sure you always use original content. Whatever you post can stand on its own if you enable the right audience to find it, whether it's Bon Jovi mega fans, other chubby cats owners or people who just really really love the Grand Canyon.