How to Optimize YouTube Tags for Maximum Video Views

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Adding the right tags to your YouTube videos is one of the most crucial optimization factors that directly impacts your video‘s visibility, impressions and viewer traffic. But with so much competition, coming up with the perfect set of tags that hit the YouTube algorithm sweet spot isn‘t always easy.

In this detailed guide, we‘ll explore proven strategies to help you research, analyze and apply high-value tags to rank your videos higher and get more views on YouTube.

As a digital marketing analyst who has helped video creators grow their channels, here are my best tips on YouTube tagging, along with a handpicked list of the top tag generator tools to use.

Why Proper Tagging is Crucial for YouTube Success

Let‘s first understand why optimizing tags should be a priority:

Increase Video Rankings

Including keywords in tags that viewers are searching for can improve your video‘s ranking in YouTube search and suggested results.

For instance, say you create a video titled "How to Make Dalgona Coffee". By adding relevant tags like "dalgona coffee", "dalgona coffee recipe" and "how to make whipped coffee", you increase rankings for those searcher intentions.

More Views and Traffic

Higher rankings lead to increased impressions and clicks. If your video shows up on the first page for "dalgona coffee", it will drive more organic traffic of people interested in that topic.

Improved Click-Through-Rate

Relevant tags improve your video‘s click-through-rate (CTR) from the YouTube search results. When people see tags and titles matching their query, they are more likely to click and watch your video.

Tags allow YouTube to understand what your video is about so it can be recommended to viewers looking for that topic. Think of tags as clues for YouTube‘s search algorithms.

For example, carefully tagged cooking videos are more discoverable by users searching for recipes.

Insights for New Videos

Analyzing popular tags gives you ideas for new videos that can rank well on YouTube. Checking tag search volumes shows you what people are looking for.

Appeal to Fan Interests

Tags help fans of specific things like celebrities, games, brands etc. find your videos about those topics. The right tags get your content in front of your target audience.

Considering these benefits, it‘s no surprise that YouTubers like MrBeast with over 100 million subscribers still emphasize keyword tagging to grow and dominate.

How to Choose the Best YouTube Tags

Now let‘s get into tag optimization best practices so you can improve your video metadata step-by-step:

1. Include Primary Keyword First

Place your main target keyword or keyphrase as the very first tag in your video.


Some experiments and experts suggest the first tag may hold more weight with YouTube‘s search algorithm. So prioritizing your focus keyword can potentially improve rankings.

For example, if you made a "How to Train Your Dog" video, your first tag would be the core phrase:

how to train your dog

This clearly tells YouTube and viewers what the video is about.

2. Mix Broad and Precise Tags

Use a strategic combination of broad, short-tail tags along with more specific long-tail versions.

This helps cover both generalized and precise searcher intents.

For example, for a video on making pizza, broad tags would be:

pizza recipe
making pizza 

While more specific long-tail variations could be:

how to make homemade pizza
easy homemade pizza recipe
pepperoni pizza recipe from scratch

Mixing general and long-tail tags captures more user search queries.

In addition to direct keywords, also include related terms and keyword variations.

For the pizza video, related tags could be:

italian food
tomato sauce  
pizza toppings
cheesy pizza
pizza crust   
pizza oven

This tag expansion taps into more relevant keyword opportunities.

Analyze tags used by popular and trending videos in your category to incorporate relevant tags resonating with current interests.

You can use YouTube‘s sorting filters to check what‘s trending in your niche and add associated tags:

youtube filters by popularity and time

Trending tags help increase the odds of getting impressions and traffic.

5. Target Different User Intents

Think of the various intent angles viewers approach your video topic with. Add tags to cover each intent.

Common user intents include:

  • Informational – how to, tutorials, tips, guides
  • Entertainment – humor, funny moments, fails
  • Reviews – product reviews, movie reviews, game reviews
  • Problem Solving – fixes, solutions, troubleshooting

For example, a "setting up new iPhone" video could have these intent tags:

how to set up iphone
iphone tips and tricks
iphone tutorial
iphone setup guide
funny iphone fails
iphone review
iphone issues
iphone troubleshooting

Intent tags boost rankings for different searcher motivations.

6. Use Important Brand Names

If your video mentions specific brands, products or people, add the brand name as tags when relevant.

For example:

nike shoes
just do it
jay z
iphone 14

This helps fans easily find your content on their favorite brands.

7. Check Competing Video Tags

Research tags used by top ranking YouTube videos in your niche to identify winning tags to model.

Tools like VidIQ and TubeBuddy make it easy to analyze competitor video tags.

VidIQ tag analysis

Repurposing popular tags used by authority channels in your niche can improve your own video rankings.

8. Leverage YouTube Autosuggestions

YouTube‘s search bar autosuggestions provide a goldmine of popular, high-potential tag ideas.

As you start typing a topic, YouTube suggests the most commonly searched terms and phrases around that keyword.

youtube autocomplete tags

These autosuggestions make for ideal tag candidates with search volume potential.

9. Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Do not try to overly stuff your tags with repetitive keywords trying to spam the YouTube algorithm.

This form of aggressive optimization can backfire and actually hurt your rankings. As verified by YouTube, any tags after the first 500 visible characters get dropped.

Keep tags concise, relevant and non-repetitive for the best optimization.

10. Update Tags Periodically

Interests change over time. The tags bringing traffic today, may not work as well in the future.

That‘s why you should revisit and refresh your video tags regularly based on rising search trends.

Analyze YouTube search volumes and competitor tags every 2-3 months to update outdated tags driving low value.

With these manual tagging strategies, you can significantly improve keyword optimization. But researching the best tags for ALL your videos is extremely time consuming.

That‘s where YouTube tag generator tools come in very handy.

Top Tag Generator Tools to Try

Tag generators analyze top performing keywords and phrases to recommend optimized tags saving you tons of research time.

Here are the top tag tools worth checking out:


VidIQ is the #1 most widely used YouTube SEO toolkit by creators. It makes tag optimization easy through features like:

  • Tag explorer for ideas based on title
  • Search volume metrics for tags
  • Competition analysis scores
  • Related keyword suggestions
  • Chrome extension integration

The free VidIQ plan has limited capabilities. Paid access starts from $9.99/month and unlocks more tag data.

Overall, VidIQ is the tag generator tool I recommend most for its depth of optimized features.


TubeBuddy is a very popular YouTube management companion used by over 10 million creators.

For tagging, TubeBuddy provides:

  • Tag generator with autocomplete suggestions
  • Import tags from YouTube transcripts
  • Monthly search volume estimates
  • Related keyword recommendations
  • Available as browser extension

TubeBuddy‘s paid plans start from $9/month. It does offer a free trial.

It‘s an all-in-one option if you need help with general YouTube optimization.


TagTool specializes in YouTube tag research and analytics. It offers useful stats like:

  • Search volumes and trends
  • Tag suggestions based on title
  • Competition analysis
  • Related keyword discovery
  • Mobile friendly site

TagTool starts at $6.66/month for paid memberships that unlock more data. They offer a free trial too.

The competitive intelligence TagTool provides around tags make it worth exploring.


RapidTags is a dedicated tag generator service created by YouTube experts.

Key features include:

  • AI based tag ideas and autocomplete
  • Search volume and cost-per-click data
  • Keyword difficulty scores
  • Chrome extension for easy access

RapidTags has free and paid plans starting from $9.99/month for unlimited use.

It‘s a newer tool but offers robust tag optimization capabilities.


Neil Patel‘s free Ubersuggest tool provides useful YouTube tag recommendations too:

  • Tag ideas from autocomplete
  • Monthly search volumes
  • Related keywords
  • Competition metrics
  • Location filters

Ubersuggest is easy to use for quick YouTube tag inspiration completely free.

Google‘s Trends tool gives you a peek at rising search interests on YouTube:

  • Analyze search volumes over time
  • See top related keywords
  • Filter by location and category
  • Identify seasonal trends

Use Google Trends data to update tags targeting hot trends.

YouTube Keyword Tool

YouTube‘s built-in Keyword Tool generates tag ideas from autocomplete with search data:

  • Get tag suggestions
  • View monthly search volumes
  • Filter by location
  • Export keywords

This free official tool from YouTube gives you trustworthy tag recommendations.


AnswerThePublic is a free curated autocomplete tag generator:

  • Generates hundreds of tag ideas
  • Provides search volume estimates
  • Related question keywords
  • No login required

AnswerThePublic is a handy starting point for quick YouTube tag inspiration.

Choosing the Right Tag Generators for You

With so many tag tools and options, how do you decide what‘s best for your needs?

Here are key criteria to evaluate when picking tools:

  • Search Volume Stats – Look for tools showing monthly searches, trends and historical data. This helps identify high-potential tags.

  • Competitor Analysis – Check if the tool analyzes tags from top ranking YouTube channels in your space. This reveals the most effective tags to model.

  • Additional Metrics – CPC data, competition scores, rankings etc. allow deeper tag evaluation.

  • Location Targeting – For geo-optimized tags, search filters by country and language.

  • User Interface – Clean and easy-to-use UIs improve experience.

  • Tag Exports – Downloading tags as CSV, Excel etc. makes adding them faster.

  • Pricing – Both free and paid tools available based on your budget.

  • Reliability – Choosing recognized and recommended solutions avoids shady sites.

  • Support – Look for responsive customer support in case you need troubleshooting.

With these criteria in mind, I recommend starting with VidIQ for its reliability, deep features and polished interface. For free options, try the suggested YouTube-based tools first.

Spend some time experimenting to see which utility best fits your workflow.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using Tag Generators

Once you‘ve picked the tag tools you want to test, here is the general process for generating optimized tags:

Step 1: Sign Up and Login

Create a free account on the tag generator site and confirm your login.

For paid tools, select the plan you want and complete payment to unlock full access.

Step 2: Enter Main Keyword

Type your primary target keyword or overall topic of your video into the search bar.

This core term will drive related tag recommendations.

Step 3: Set Filters

Most tools let you filter tags by parameters like:

  • Location
  • Language
  • Search volume
  • Competition
  • Trends
  • Intent

Apply relevant filters to get results tailored to your video‘s target audience. This helps remove less useful tags.

Step 4: Review Suggested Tags

The tool will analyze your inputs and suggest optimized tag variations.

Go through each recommendation and look at the key metrics provided like search volume, competition, CPC etc. to identify winning tags.

Step 5: Download Tags

Shortlist the top tags you want to use and download them as a CSV, Excel, or other file types for easy exporting.

Step 6: Add Tags to Video

Finally, copy your refined tags into the tag section when editing and publishing your YouTube video.

Rinse and repeat this process periodically to keep improving your tags over time!

Final Tips for YouTube Tagging Success

Here are some final best practices for optimizing your YouTube video tags:

  • Periodically Refresh Tags – Update stale tags with new trending keywords every few months.

  • Use a Mix of Tools – Leverage both paid and free generators to maximize results.

  • Analyze Competitor Tags – Check what tags top channels in your niche use.

  • Delete Irrelevant Tags – Prune tags not improving metrics to keep only the best.

  • Blend Generic and Long-Tail Tags– Use short and long tags to cover all bases.

  • Check Tag Performance – Monitor search click-through-rate in YouTube Studio.

  • Don‘t Over-Tag Videos – Use only relevant, non-repetitive tags so YouTube indexes them fully.

  • Reinforce Video Topic – Tags should clarify the core theme so viewers get what they expect.

With the right tagging strategies, you can significantly increase your YouTube video performance. While it does take work, properly optimized tags ensures your videos are discoverable by your target audience.

So leverage these tag tips and generator tools to cut through the noise on YouTube and boost your video reach!

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