Tagging – How much is too much?
Want to learn to fry an egg? Change your oil? See the newest Bono music video? I have the perfect place for you! YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet. Over 6 billion hours of video are watched every month — an hour for every person on the planet. Any video you want to see is only a click away! With that much content out there, you may feel pressured into making one of the most common YouTube mistakes… too much tagging. Tags are the keywords added to a video that trigger a result for a search engine. Anyone who uploads a video has the chance to add whatever the tags they like. the more tags, the more times your video will pop up on the results. So if I’m trying to drive viewers to my page, why wouldn’t I want to use as many as possible? Here’s why: Let’s say I am trying to find out how to upload a video on the site. Let’s type ‘Upload YouTube’ into the search bar:
Now here are the results: What the heck! This is not what I searched for at all! So why did It pop up? Likely the owners of these videos added ‘YouTube’ or ‘upload’ as tags in their video descriptions. The titles of the videos could also help. But even though they popped up on my search results, I still have no interest in watching the video. And worse, I’m angry for them wasting my time! While there is no punishment for too much tagging, there are several ways that viewers can hurt you:
- People can rate your video badly. Videos with poor ratings get fewer views and get triggered by searches less often.
- You can be reported. By misleading users, your video can actually be taken down or your whole channel can be deleted! Imagine waking up and all your videos are gone!
- You will lose customer confidence. Too much tagging and misleading titles look unprofessional. In an age where Smartphones are attached to our hands permanently, anyone can recognize spam from a mile away and will lose confidence in your company.
Don’t fall prey to this quick-fix trick. By tagging videos correctly, you might get fewer views, but they will be more relevant and interested in what you are selling. And, you will look more professional. Here are some ground rules for tagging:
- Only use 7-10, highly directed tags. If I’m looking for ‘how to cook toast’, don’t be tagging ‘butter’, ‘food’ and ‘yummy’. Stick to ‘cook toast’ and ‘how to’.
- Have a simple and relevant title. Don’t be misleading, and definitely don’t leave the user wondering what your video is about. It takes about a millisecond to scroll down to the next video on the list if I can’t tell what yours is about.
- Finally, think about who your potential viewers are and what they might be searching for.
Overall, YouTube is filled with hours upon hours of content from people just as busy as you. Take the extra few seconds to make your videos look clean and professional so that you can stand out from your competition.