Video Marketing

How to add tags to YouTube videos 

Updated December 15, 2023
Written by Darren Buser

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An image of YouTube tags.

In the world of YouTube, tags are like hidden gems that can significantly boost your video's visibility. This easy-to-follow guide is perfect for YouTubers to understand how to effectively use tags, especially if you're just starting out.

Read on to explore how to boost your YouTube video watch time, increase click-through rates and generate more subscribers with the help of YouTube video tags. 

What are YouTube tags?

Stepping into the world of content creation can be daunting, but mastering the art of tags on YouTube is a game-changer for beginners. Tags are more than just keywords; they are your silent promoters working behind the scenes. Along with the video’s thumbnail, title, and descriptions; YouTube tags are descriptive keywords that help the YouTube algorithm understand and categorize your content when they type keywords into the YouTube search bar. This means the right tags can connect you to your target audience more effectively.

Where can you see YouTube tags?

You can find YouTube tags located above a YouTube video title in the color blue. Only three YouTube tags will be displayed above the title, even if the creator publishes more than three tags.

Image of YouTube tags

How to add tags to YouTube videos

Prepare relevant tags

Before you add tags to your videos, research the right keywords. Think about what your video is about, what is your video niche or what topics it covers specifically, and the keywords your audience might use to find content like yours. Use tools like Google Trends or YouTube's auto-suggest feature to get ideas. Aim for a mix of broad and specific terms that reflect your video's content accurately.

Add tags during the video file upload process

Here's how to enter your tags as you upload the video:

  1. Upload your video: Start by uploading your video to YouTube. Click on the camera symbol next to your profile picture. A drop-down menu will appear. Click on Upload video to start a new upload.

  2. Go to ‘details’: In the video editor, navigate to the Details section.

  3. Enter your tags: Scroll down to the Tags box and start typing your prepared keywords. To add a hashtag, enter the # symbol, then type your tag or keyword. You can create your own or add from a list of recommended hashtags. Remember, YouTube allows up to 500 characters in tags, so use them wisely.

Preview of YouTube tags in YouTube upload process

Add tags to existing YouTube videos

Already have videos on your YouTube channel? No problem. To easily add, remove or enhance tags:

  1. Access video manager: Go to your YouTube Studio page and find the video you want to edit.

  2. Edit and add tags: Click on Details and scroll to the Tags section to add or modify your tags.

Tags for YouTube Shorts

For YouTube Shorts, tagging is a bit different but just as crucial. Since Shorts are about quick content, keep your tags short and relevant. Focus on precise keywords that capture the essence of your short video. Once you have created a new Short video, add hashtags in your YouTube Shorts video title and description.

How do YouTube tags help your videos? 

Tags play a pivotal role in enhancing the discoverability of your YouTube videos. When used thoughtfully, tags act as signposts, guiding viewers to your content. For instance, if you’re reviewing a McDonald's menu item, incorporating tags like #McDonaldsReview or #FastFoodReview not only categorizes your video but also connects it with viewers actively seeking such content.

It's essential to balance broad tags (like #FoodReview) with specific ones (such as #McDonaldsBurgerReview) to widen your video's reach while maintaining its relevance to specific audiences.

YouTube’s algorithm uses tags to determine the relevance of your video to user searches and related video suggestions. Accurate and representative tags can significantly boost YouTube video views by appearing in these crucial discovery areas.

Image of searched YouTube  tags

YouTube tags best practices

How many tags can you use on YouTube?

Striking the right balance in your YouTube tags is crucial for maximum impact. While there's no strict limit on the number of tags you can use, focusing on quality rather than quantity is essential. You have up to 500 characters at your disposal, allowing for a well-considered selection of tags.

Aim for about 5-8 highly relevant tags that blend both broad and specific keywords, ensuring they align closely with your video content. The key here is relevance; too many tags, especially if not closely related to your video, might not necessarily boost your visibility and could confuse both viewers and YouTube's algorithm.

How long should YouTube tags be?

When it comes to tag length for SEO effectiveness, the goal is to be precise yet comprehensive. While YouTube allows for up to 30 characters per tag, your tags should ideally be 2-3 words or short phrases. This length is sufficient to provide context without being overly wordy.

Remember, the effectiveness of a tag lies in its ability to quickly convey the essence of your video. YouTube video tags that are too brief may not give YouTube enough information, whereas very long tags might dilute their effectiveness in categorizing your content.

How to generate tags for your video

Here are some tips to find tags for your videos. First, check out your competitor's videos, and browse what YouTube tags are adding to their content. Use those tags if the tags rank and relate to your YouTube video upload.

Next, try free YouTube tag generator tools like TagsYouTube, TubeBuddy, and Rapidtags to source a list of related tags. Just enter words related to your content, and a YouTube tag list is generated automatically.

Frequently asked questions

What are the best tags for YouTube videos?

There are no specific best tags for YouTube videos. Choose tags relevant to your YouTube channel genre and video's topic.

What should I do if I misspell a YouTube hashtag?

If you accidentally misspell a hashtag, the chances are viewers might do the same.  You can include tags of commonly misspelled words along with the right spellings to capture a wider audience. 

Why are my tags not showing on YouTube?

If your video isn’t showing up when searching for a specific hashtag, you might have added incorrect YouTube tags. Double-check your tags before publishing a video.

Can you add tags to YouTube videos after upload?

Yes. You can edit your YouTube video description and video's title after uploading to YouTube Studio to add hashtags.

Now, let's tag team your video to stardom!

Tags are more than just keywords; they're your allies in making your YouTube videos discoverable and engaging. Adding tags to your YouTube videos can significantly improve your video's visibility and connect with the right audience, so start leveraging the power of tags on YouTube today.

If you’re a new YouTuber or looking for an easy video editing tool, try a free online video editor like Clipchamp. In a few clicks, creators can add YouTube intro and outros, subscriber buttons, royalty-free music, and even publish videos directly to YouTube.

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