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Social media is loaded with handy tools that allow brands and marketers to get the most out of channels like YouTube. When it comes to online video marketing, YouTube tags are one critical tool that can help you reach a bigger audience.

Social media lingo can get a little confusing. The first thing to know is that YouTube tags are not the same thing as hash tags. YouTube tags are the phrases and words marketers use to briefly describe the topics covered in YouTube videos. These words and phrases make it easier for people to find the videos through search. They don’t include the hash tag symbol, also known as the pound sign. YouTube tags are important because they help drive more views of your videos and can help your videos to rank higher in search results.

The benefits of using YouTube tags are pretty clear-cut. They make it easier for viewers to find your videos because they describe what the content is about in common search terms. They can help you edge out the competition and grow your base of YouTube subscribers, awareness of your brand, traffic to your website and conversions.

Best Practices for Creating Successful YouTube Tags

Here are some examples of the best practices brands and marketers consistently use to create successful YouTube tags:

  • Research what the competition is doing. Find the top-ranking YouTube videos that are similar to yours and find out the tags they’re using.
  • Keep it short. Keep the average tag length at about two to three words.
  • List tags in order of importance. Your target keyword should be your first tag.
  • Keep things interesting. Your YouTube tags should be a mix of broad and specific and multi-word and single-word tags. If your video is called “How to Cook Carrots,” a broad single-word tag for the general topic would be “Cooking” or “Carrots.” A more specific, multi-word tag would be “cooking raw carrots.” A broad-term tag would be “Cooking vegetables.”
  • Simplify it. Don’t overdo it with the number of tags you use. It’s more important to use the right tags that best describe the video.
  • Only keep the important words. Leave out unnecessary words, including prepositions and articles like “for” and “the.” For example, instead of using the phrase “the best fabrics for sportswear” you would use “best sportswear fabrics.”
  • Toot your own horn. Don’t forget to use some tags that include your brand name.
  • Include some error tags. Error tags include mistakes like misspellings that people typically make when they search for certain topics.
  • Don’t use tag spam. It’ll trip you up in the search algorithm and could get you kicked off of YouTube. Say, for example, you find out that the name of a celebrity or a trend is one of the most searched keywords on YouTube. You might be tempted to include that celebrity’s name or trend as a tag to get more views, even though your video is unrelated. Don’t do it. A good rule of thumb is that if a tag is not relevant to your video’s topic, don’t include it.
  • Default tags. Set up default tags of the ones that you use most often and that are relevant to your videos. If all of your videos are going to be about football, you can set up default tags like “sports” that will pop up automatically.