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Researching tags

From: Video SEO Basics

Video: Researching tags

In SEO, tagging can mean a lot of things. In this case, when I talk about tagging, I mean selecting tags on the video hosting service that you're using. Tags are very important. Here's what YouTube says about tags. When users type keywords related to your tags, your video will appear in their search results. You can't get much more direct than that. And by the way, it's totally true. This is a search result from maple bacon dog. If you take a look here, you see my video is showing in the search result.

Researching tags

In SEO, tagging can mean a lot of things. In this case, when I talk about tagging, I mean selecting tags on the video hosting service that you're using. Tags are very important. Here's what YouTube says about tags. When users type keywords related to your tags, your video will appear in their search results. You can't get much more direct than that. And by the way, it's totally true. This is a search result from maple bacon dog. If you take a look here, you see my video is showing in the search result.

It's this one right here. It's way down the page, but still, I don't use the phrase maple bacon dog anywhere in my title, anywhere in my description, the only place I use it is in a tag. And that got me on page one on YouTube for what, for awhile was a very hot term. You can't use this example for every possible category, but it does work and tags are very important. And the temptation I know, after reading something like this and seeing this video is to go out and find every broad traffic generating tag and add them to your video.

Even if it has nothing to do with your video. But remember, there's a lot more to rankings than just tags, views, ratings, comments, velocity. If you use tags that have nothing to do with your video and you get people coming to it and they watch it, and they're unhappy. They're either going to watch the first ten seconds and leave, which can lower your rankings, or they're going to give it a thumbs down, which can lower your rankings. Or they're going to flag it, which will also lower your rankings. So, when you select tags, use these rules. First of all, if you have keyword research, if you've already done your key phrase research, start there.

Second, have at least one tag that very generally describes the subject of the video. So, for example, if I did a video about mountain biking, cycling would be one of my very general topical tags. So, you actually want to go that broad. At the other end of the spectrum, have at least one very specific key phrase tag. So, if I'm again talking about Mountain Biking, then I would have a tag that says, Mountain Biking. Don't create a new tag, if you can avoid it. Use the tags that already exist in your video hosting services tag library.

If a tag already exists, that probably means folks probably already search for it, and by using it, you're speaking their language. Use YouTube's search suggest feature to find ideas for tags if you need to, and try to avoid stop words in your tags. And when I talk about stop words, I mean things like a, the, and, or. If a word does not impact the meaning of the tag, leave it out. Use lots of tags. There's no penalty for using up all your available tags space on any given hosting service.

So, use every single one to fully describe your video. Make sure at least one of your tags matches your primary key phrase. When you do that, you should end up with your primary key phrase showing up in the title, in the description and in your tags. That's what will tell you, okay, this my most important key phrase, and that's a good kind of synergy to have among those three areas. Make sure you tag for mood where its relative, if your video is funny, then use funny as a tag. And the reason for that is folks often search for mood as well as content. You can tell, if you go on YouTube and type funny in the search box. Make sure you go plural where possible.

In my experience, people tend to search on plural forms of words, and search engines seem to have a better time going form plural to singular than singular to plural. And these rules hold true on any video hosting service that supports tagging. As you follow these rules to create your list of tags, you may want to organize them into something like a spreadsheet. Then you can search the sheet to remove stop words, check for words that don't match your original intent and otherwise clean up your list. Tags are very like keywords. So, if you've already done your key phrase research, it's very tempting to skip the tags.

And if you've already done your tagging research, it's very tempting to skip the key phrase research. But after this video, you should know to do both. You can use YouTube's tag suggestions to drive additional ideas for key phrases. And you can use your key phrase research to drive additional ideas for the best tags. These steps build on each other and ensure that you'll get a great result.

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Video SEO Basics

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Ian Lurie
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