Getting the most out of YouTube video tags

Top online video creators know that strong metadata—the information you upload alongside your YouTube video—is essential to getting your videos seen and growing your fan base. We’ve already covered titles and descriptions, and now it’s time for tags.

Video tags aren’t as important on YouTube as they’ve been in the past, but they’re still key to your SEO strategy. It’s a good idea to include both short- and long-tailed keywords in your tags that focus in on the topic(s) of your videos. Here are a few examples.

  • Short-tailed: Android, Samsung, Galaxy, Unboxing
  • Long-tailedSamsung Galaxy S5, Android Phone, Android 4.3

The order of your tags doesn’t matter! Google and YouTube treat all tags the same.

Why so long?

With so much new content uploaded to YouTube every day, many of the short-tailed keywords get flooded with results. Including more specific, long-tailed keywords can improve your chances in search results.

Fewer people search for long-tailed key phrases, but those people typically know exactly what they’re looking for. Having your content appear toward the top of those results is usually better than having your content appear farther down in a more general short-tailed search.


If you’re having trouble thinking up longer keywords, think of how you yourself would perform a Google search on the topic that you’re covering in your video. What search phrases would you type into Google or YouTube?

You can even use Google’s auto-complete feature to your advantage. Just start typing your topic and see what else people are searching for!

google search words

Planning out your keywords

If you really want to nail down some successful keywords, consider using the Google Keyword Planner (which requires an AdWords account) to get a sense for which keywords have high competition, and which ones are easier to rank with.

We’ll look at the Keyword Planner in a future post. In the meantime, think about your tagging strategy for your next video upload!