YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, so keyword-optimizing your videos on the platform is just as important as keyword-optimizing your blog posts for Google.
Even if you’ve just created the next “Charlie bit my finger” video, you must remember that an algorithm dictates which videos YouTube will serve to its audience -- and which ones it won’t.
One of the best ways to keyword-optimize your videos for YouTube is leveraging tags. Below, we’ve put together a guide that will explain exactly what YouTube tags are, why they’re important, and some best practices to follow. We’ll also show you three YouTube tag generators that can help you discover the keywords that could rocket your videos to the top of the platform’s search results.
What are tags for YouTube?
YouTube Tags are words and phrases you can include in your YouTube videos’ description. They let your viewers, and YouTube, know what your videos are about and can help them rank higher in the platform’s search results.
Why are YouTube tags important?
YouTube tags are important because they help YouTube grasp your video’s content and context. This way, YouTube can understand your video’s topic and category, and associate it with similar content, which can amplify your video’s reach.
YouTube Tags Best Practices
To leverage YouTube tags to their fullest potential, check out these tips and tricks.
1. Make your first tag your target keyword and order the rest by importance.
YouTube heavily accounts for your video’s first few tags when ranking content in their search results, especially the first tag. So make sure your first tag is the exact keyword you want to target.
2. Use some broad keywords that describe the overarching topic your video falls under as other tags.
Using broad keywords as other tags helps YouTube understand your video’s context. For example, if you’re creating a video called “How to Hit a Baseball”, you’d want to add “Baseball” as a broad tag to indicate to YouTube that your video’s overarching topic is about baseball.
3. Use some specific keywords that describe the topics you covered in your video as other tags.
Using specific keywords that describe the topics you cover in your video as other tags helps YouTube understand your video’s content. For instance, in the same “How to Hit a Baseball” video, adding “hitting off a tee” or “hitting batting practice” as specific tags would indicate to YouTube the exact topics your video covers.
Best YouTube Tag Generators
To discover the keywords you can tag in your videos and help them rank higher in YouTube’s search results, here are three of the best YouTube Tag Generators to try.
1. Keyword Keg
Using Keyword Keg, you can enter your target keyword into the tool and it’ll serve up its search volume, cost-per-click, competition, on-page difficulty, off-page difficulty, SEO difficulty, CTR scope, keyword power, trends, and suggested keywords. You can also filter your results by country and language.
After plugging your target keyword into its YouTube search bar, Keywordtool.io will provide you with suggested keywords, their search volume, how they’ve trended over the past 12 months, and questions, prepositions, and hashtags that also include your target keyword.
3. VidIQVidIQ will display your target keyword’s related keywords, related score, search volume, search score, competition score, and overall score, which is a combination of a keyword’s related score, search score, and competition score.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.