How To Tag YouTube Videos To Get Views

How To Properly Tag YouTube Videos To Get Views

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Read the transcript of this episode of Giant Wednesday... 👇

It can take a LOT of work to make YouTube-worthy content – trust me, we know, which is why it can also be SUPER disappointing when your content ends up underperforming and not ranking well. 

Sad faces all around. 

If you want to climb those YouTube rankings then nailing the use of tags should be one of your key focuses. 

But how strategic should you get with them? Well, let me tell you in this week’s episode of GIANT Wednesday.


Hi, I’m Danny from Sleeping Giant Media and today I’m going to talk to you about using an effective tag strategy to help rank your videos higher on the second largest search engine in the world, YouTube.

If you like what I have to say in today’s video then make sure to subscribe to our channel where we release digital marketing skills-based videos every week! 

So, onto these tags I’ve been rattling on about…

YouTube tags are a great way for you to add relevant keywords to your videos to help your audience better understand what your video is all about, but also to help people find it in the first place. 

Keywords aren’t just reserved for written word content, and neither is SEO. 

YouTube is, as I said, the world’s second-largest search engine, and therefore search engine optimisation is still relevant.

Keywords play a GIANT role when it comes to video marketing, and you’ll find this is true across a wide array of video hosting platforms too.

Tags aren’t the only thing that will make your video climb the YouTube rankings though, you need to consider your title, your description, your thumbnail and a whole other host of user experience metrics. All things we’ll cover off in other episodes of Giant Wednesday.

But you still need tags to form part of your optimisation strategy, and when it comes to YouTube, adding them to your video is simple.

When you’re uploading a video, simply click on the ‘more options’ button in the uploader and you’ll be given the option to add in up to 500 characters worth of tags.

And not to worry if you’ve already uploaded a video, you can still edit your tags in the edit section.

This is also good practice anyway for underperforming videos. Make it a regular thing you check up on and optimise for success.

So, what makes a good YouTube tag? Well here are my three top tips for selecting and sourcing YouTube tags:

Number 1 – Don’t let first be your worst

Whilst it’s possible to add multiple tags,  it is recommended that your first tag should be an exact match keyword for the thing you want to rank for… such as ‘social media scheduling tools’ on a video about social media schedulers.

This is because YouTube will give the most priority to that tag when it comes to video search results – so you’ll want to think carefully about this one.

If you could summarise your video in one word, what would it be? Other than amazing, obviously, it’s probably best bet that it’ll be a great first choice tag.

Number 2 – think broad beans, but replace beans with keywords…

Making sure your tags are specific to the content of your video is important, and these would be tags based on focused keywords.

In fact, two to three of your tags should be focused. 

But you should also remember to include broad keywords.

Whilst they are less specific, broad terms tend to have a higher search volume. But, as a result, can be harder to rank for. 

This is where you’ve got to get clever and continually optimise what you’re doing, because appearing for some broad search terms will land you with some hefty view counts.

This is as simple as making sure that if your video is about the specific wonders of mint chocolate ice cream, that you also include keywords for just plain old ‘ice cream’ too. 

But don’t go stuffing your video full of as many tags as you can, because that’s called keyword stuffing and it will do more harm than good and the YouTube Gods will punish you for it.

Your best bet, and get your notebook out people, note this down, is to use 5-8 well researched and relevant tags as opposed to 20 generic ones.

Number 3 – Add common, relevant keywords from top-performing videos

It’s safe to say those that are sitting in top position for the keywords and phrases you want to appear for have done something right with their optimisation. 

So don’t let that put you off, instead grab a hold of that data and use it to further your efforts.

You can use tools such as VidIQ to see your competitors top performing tags.

Use this data, collected from 3 or 5 high performing videos, and consider implementing them into your tags.

Only if they’re relevant though…


So, they were three of the things I recommend doing to help boost your tagging game.

But remember there are loads of other elements of your YouTube videos and channel that you should consider optimising for success.

In fact, why not subscribe now and hit the bell for notifications so you can be first to hear when we have more on those topics. 

Anyway, my final bit of advice, from me to you, is just because you have the option to use 500 characters for your tags doesn’t mean you should. In fact, it’s been found that the sweet spot is between 200-300 characters. 

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