In May 2016, YouTube quietly rolled out support for hashtags in video search. This is huge! And here’s the biggest deal about it. You will only see the videos that have a matching hashtag.
I’ve already started hash-tagging my most important videos and I’ve put together a little checklist so you can hit the ground running with it too.
Where and How to Add Hashtags Properly
You need to know the rules. Don’t go bonkers with your hashtags.
The two places to add hashtags are:
Google’s hashtag guidelines include:
- No spaces – hashtags have to be one word, like #SiteSecurity
- Don’t over-tag – 2-3 are plenty, and 4-5 is getting to be much. Over 15 will make Google ignore them all.
- No misleading tags – if you use #CuteKittie your video better be about cats, not a model standing by a Ferrari.
Non-hashtags are one extra guideline worth pointing out. Here’s what Google says:
“While adding hashtags is allowed, adding ordinary descriptive tags or repetitive sentences in the description is (still) prohibited. Violating this policy will result in the removal of your video or penalties being applied to your video.”
You can see Google’s full guidelines here
The keywords you are already using in your video titles are the best place to start for creating hashtags.
For me, that would be hashtags like:
You can use custom hashtags too, for things like your company name, or names of your products.
For me, that would be:
Finding hot hashtags is easy
Try using the social media networks you’re already on like Twitter, Instagram, and G+. See what topics are trending on those.
There are also services to help you track hashtags usage.
And you can even register a hashtag.
Add Hashtags the Easy Way
Okay, so maybe it seems overwhelming to add hashtags to all of your YouTube videos.
Instead, add them to just your most important videos.
To find your most popular videos:
- Go to Video Manager.
- On the right, click the down arrow for the sort filter (default is Newest)
- Select Most viewed.
Or sort by watch time:
- Log into your YouTube account.
- Go to Creator Studio
- In the left sidebar, click Analytics, to expand it.
- Click Watch time
Scroll below the graph where you’ll see a list of your top watched videos.
Add appropriate hashtags to at least the top 10. That way you’ll help them stay the top 10.
Increase Playlist Visibility
Then jump over to Video Manager > Playlists.
Locate your most important playlist in the list, like this one I have for plugins
Click the title of the playlist, or the edit button, to see a list of all the videos in that playlist.
Hashtag the videos in the playlist. Yeah, you have to do them individually, but it’s worth it!!
Hashtag a Little at a Time
Even if you only do a handful of videos a day, or only one playlist, in a week’s time you’ll be way farther ahead in your higher visibility than those who are doing nothing due to overwhelm.
The real trick is to do it on the fly for all new videos you upload to YouTube.
Why You Want to Jump On YouTube Hashtags Now
I think the folks who get on this right away are going to get a big boost as it begins to catch on with users.
I’m keeping in mind that YouTube videos also display in regular Google search, and folks use hashtags there too.
How well it catches on in YouTube direct search may depend on how well Google gets word out that it’s available and folks start telling others about using it.
I’m also betting that if it does catch, there will be a lot of folks trying to game the system. So, regular ranking signals will still come heavily into play.
Okay, go get your hashtagging on!!!