What’s the deal with YouTube tags?
Glad you asked. Tags are words, and sometimes phrases, that relate to your video and direct general searches to your specific upload.
Tags Versus Phrases
Audiences rarely search using a single word, but they do use phrases – a collection of two or more words. You can use phrases in your tags, so long as you place each phrase within quotations so YouTube will know to put it together. If you know the audience will search the phrase often, use it. Otherwise you can string together individual tags.
How Do Tags Work?
When typing up the tags for your video, you may want to exhaust all related phrases and words, or you may want to choose a few choice words you know someone will type. It’s good to place yourself in the audience’s many shoes and try to think: If I wanted to find a video about lizard hunting, what would I type to search it? Probably “lizard hunting.” Maybe “lizard hunting hilarious.” Maybe even “lizard hunting man knocks over tree hilarious.” So if you made a lizard hunting video that turned into a blooper reel, you may want to include all those tags. There’s no problem with using as many tags as possible. Also, make sure to include words from your video’s title in your tags, as well as your company name or YouTube username.
What to Avoid
As tempting as it may be to use phrases from the most-viewed videos, such as “charlie bit my finger,” or the names of famous people (“Jennifer Lopez,” if you will) to increase view possibilities, it won’t really help you. For one, there are already plenty of videos of Jennifer Lopez singing and judging American Idol – so much so that your video will get lost among the others. And another, if someone searches “charlie finger bite,” they aren’t interested in watching your instructional video on reptile hunting. They want to watch a baby cause comical pain to his older brother, so they won’t click on your video anyway.
Have some experience, tag tips of your own, or questions? Put them in the comments!