Video Marketing

The ultimate guide to YouTube tags

Updated June 16, 2022
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Want to optimize your YouTube videos? Bring new and existing videos to life and better their visibility with YouTube tags. 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?

YouTube tags are descriptive keywords creators can add to videos to help viewers find their content. Along with the video’s thumbnail, title, and descriptions, YouTube tags are essential pieces of metadata for YouTube’s algorithm to establish the topic of your video and help its discovery. Tags for YouTube can range from the topic, category, and even featured brands. The more information creators provide on videos, the easier it is for viewers to find the content when they type in keywords to the YouTube search bar.

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 do YouTube tags help your videos? 

If you tag your videos carefully, more people will likely find and watch your YouTube videos. For example, if viewers want to watch a Mcdonald's menu item review. Creators that include #McDonald or #FastFood in their food reviews give their videos a greater chance of being found.

Image of searched YouTube  tags

What are good tags for YouTube videos?

YouTube allows creators to publish up to 15 YouTube tags. There are no right or wrong YouTube tags, but some tags can be more relevant and helpful than others. Choose tags that communicate the video’s category. We recommend your first and second YouTube tags should be an exact keyword for which you want your video to rank. 

Not too sure what tags to add to your YouTube videos? There are plenty of popular tags for YouTube videos that can inspire you. Let’s look at what are good tags for YouTube’s popular genres.

  • YouTube tags for gaming channels: we recommend tagging the game you’re streaming or related information, such as #Fortnite or #xbox. 

  • YouTube tags for beauty channels: we recommend tagging the beauty item or style of video, for example, #makeupreview or #beautyblogger. 

  • YouTube tags for how-to videos: we recommend tagging the activity you’re explaining how to do, for example, #howtocook or #howtoclean.

YouTube tags best practices

How many tags can you use on YouTube?

While you can publish up to 15 tags on YouTube, we recommend using 3-8 tags per video. These tags should mix broad and focused keywords. Your first tag should always be the main target keyword. Remember not to go overboard with too many hashtags. Including dozens of YouTube tags with low search interest from viewers will not improve your video’s visibility. 

How long should YouTube tags be?

If you want to optimize your YouTube tags for SEO, keep them around 2-3 words or short phrases. YouTube tags that are too short might not give YouTube the information it needs to share your video with a broader audience.

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. If the tags rank and relate to your YouTube video upload, use those tags.

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 generates automatically.

How to add tags to YouTube videos

1. Create a new YouTube video upload

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. Select a video to upload

Drag and drop a video file to upload or select your video through files.

3. Name your video, add a description and tags  

Before you can start adding YouTube tags to your video, you must fill out the video title and description. Next, click on the Show more button to view the YouTube video tags option. Add between 5-8 relevant YouTube tags and separate tags with commas. Save your video when you’re ready to publish.

How to add tags to YouTube Shorts

Make sure to add tags to YouTube Shorts as well because this will link to a results page featuring all the other videos with the same hashtags. Once you have created a new Short, all you have to do is add hashtags in your YouTube Shorts video title and description. 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.

How new creators can use tags and YouTube SEO effectively

Don’t worry if you haven’t used YouTube tags before—it’s never too late to start! Add new tags to your existing video content whenever you desire. Paying attention to other YouTube SEO elements such as your video description can also make a long-term difference to your video views.

Here are our three top tips for new creators to effectively use tags and optimize their YouTube SEO:

  • Make sure to add tags or hashtags that directly relate to your YouTube video. Misleading or unrelated tags can result in fewer views and even removal of your video.

  • Read your tags without looking at the YouTube video's title. Your viewers need to understand what your video is about just by viewing the few tags.

  • Feel free to use tags from popular videos. If your video is the same genre as a suggested video, match your tags to that popular video so it can show up next to it for viewers.

Frequently asked questions

What are the best tags for YouTube videos?

There are no specific best tags for YouTube videos. Each tag you add should be relevant to your YouTube channel genre and video. 

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 to capture a wider audience along with the right spelling. 

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 YouTube video descriptions and titles after uploading to YouTube Studio to add hashtags.

Ready to increase your YouTube video views?

Adding tags to your YouTube video title and description is one of the fastest ways to generate more views and increase traffic to your channel.

Not sure how to incorporate YouTube SEO into your video descriptions? Take a look at our how-to guide on writing the perfect YouTube description.

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

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