How to tag YouTube videos

Engineering PR | technical PR| technology PRSo you've taken your first step into the big bad world of YouTube content creation. Your video has been uploaded and you're constantly checking the view statistics waiting for the numbers to roll in. Three days later, you're still waiting for those valuable views. Four days later, five months later - you get the picture. 

By Thomas Roden 

It's the way of the digital world that just producing fantastic content isn't enough. No matter how
brilliant your video is, or how interesting your product is, unless it's optimised for YouTube's search listings it's unlikely to get the reception it deserves.

However, many marketers go blank when it comes to optimising their video content, either because they're thrown off by the medium or because they're new to YouTube.

From tagging to descriptions and everything hidden in between, it can all get a little overwhelming. But there are a few simple steps that can help you keep your videos from getting lost in listings.

The right way to tag 


Tagging is the first thing you should address when optimising your video. This is a straightforward function on YouTube, allowing you to apply meta tags so your video can appear in relevant search listings.

Unfortunately, this is the area where most people fall down. From choosing vague tags to hijacking completely irrelevant ones, there is a host of digital sins that creators commit.

When tagging your videos, you should first consider how you would personally search for the type of video you're uploading. If you're uploading a video explaining the top ways of disposing of rust, then using the tag "rust" is far too vague to benefit you. Try "rust removal advice" or "how to remove rust".

There's a crazy thought some content creators have that tagging individual words in a phrase is, somehow, a good idea. It's not. Having "how to tag videos" as a tag is much more beneficial than separate tags for each word. Besides, when was the last time you searched YouTube for the word "to"?

An example of YouTube tags, highlighting the vague irrelevance
of suggested tags.
A good rules is, if it would work as a video title, it'll work well as a tag. Similarly, if it's something YouTube would put in suggested tags then do not use it. You should know your content better than YouTube.

Beyond the tags 


There's more to YouTube optimisation than tags though. The description isn't as valuable to search rankings as tags are, but it definitely has an impact. A solid description that uses searchable terms can compliment effective tags.

Of course, don't just throw a few searchable terms into the description box and hope for the best. Besides being a waste of a description, this may also be flagged by YouTube as spam. Instead, work those terms and phrases into coherent sentences.

Making sure all the information on your advanced settings is correct is worthwhile as well. Little things like selecting the correct language and choosing your location can make a big difference in localised searches.

Keeping all these things in mind, you'll be on your way to optimisation success. But remember - optimisation is a sign that directs your audience to your content, not what convinces them of the quality of your product. No amount of tagging can make up for a sub-par video.

If you feel ready, go forth and conquer the world of YouTube. But if you think you need a little guidance, get in touch.

Richard Stone

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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