As a YouTube video creator, you want your content to show up in YouTube search results. This will increase your view count and result in more subscribers to your YouTube channel.
There are many ways to boost your YouTube viewership, including by adding hashtags to your YouTube video descriptions. This will connect you with users who click those hashtags on related videos. You’ll also reach viewers who search for video hashtags in the YouTube search bar. Here’s a primer on how to add YouTube hashtags, plus hashtag suggestions for your videos.
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What are YouTube hashtags?
YouTube hashtags are clickable keywords or phrases prefixed with the # symbol. Hashtags help YouTube understand the content of your video. They function much like those used on other social media platforms like Twitter (now X) and Instagram. When a user clicks on the hashtag text, they are taken to a search results page that contains other YouTube videos with the same hashtags.
You can include hashtags in a video title, description, or comment section. YouTube uses the hashtags as metadata tags to help categorize and contextualize platform content. The hashtags allow creators and viewers to connect with broader conversations, trends, and topics. They expose viewers to additional YouTube content, thus driving engagement.
Why are hashtags important for YouTube?
Hashtags play a critical role in YouTube's ecosystem by serving as navigational signposts for users seeking content related to their interests. By clicking on hashtags, users can access a cache of videos related to their topic of choice.
YouTube tags also benefit you as a video content creator. When you add hashtags to your YouTube videos, you can:
Hashtags make videos more discoverable by associating them with specific topics, trends, or communities. This helps you attract viewers in your brand’s target audience.
Well-chosen hashtags can expose your videos to people beyond those who already subscribe to your YouTube channel. Some of these viewers may become new subscribers.
Appear in more search results
Some YouTube users type hashtags into the YouTube search bar. If those same hashtags appear in your video’s description or title, your videos can turn up in their YouTube search results.
Connect with trends
Jumping on trending hashtags can inject your videos into existing conversations, boosting their visibility and engagement. Even older videos can resurface in search results if they contain a newly trending hashtag.
How to include hashtags for your YouTube video
It’s easy to add hashtags to videos uploaded to YouTube. Here’s how to do it:
1. Upload your video
Start by creating a YouTube account. If you already have a Google account, you can use your same user name and login credentials. (YouTube is a subsidiary of Google.) You can also create a new account for business purposes. Sign in to YouTube and use the YouTube Studio platform to upload your video. YouTube accepts many different video formats, including MP4 and MOV files.
2. Write a video title
Video titles can be a maximum of 100 characters in length, but it’s best to keep them under 70 characters so they’re visible in full on all devices. You may also choose to include a hashtag in your title; it’s best to limit it to one to ensure the title is easy to read.
3. Write a video description
Next, you’ll be prompted to write a description of your YouTube video. For many creators, this is a better place to include hashtags because using them in a title can make it harder to read. You can start your video description with hashtags if you wish, but many creators prefer to start with a few sentences before adding hashtags at the end of their description.
4. Contribute to the video’s comments
You can also engage with viewers in dialogue in the comments section below the video. Much like other social media platforms, YouTube supports hashtags embedded in video comments, making this a useful place to include them.
Best practices for optimizing YouTube hashtags
To optimize hashtags for your YouTube videos, follow these best practices:
Make your hashtags relevant and specific
The best YouTube hashtags are those related to your video's content. Relevant hashtags attract engaged viewers who may have genuine interest in your industry, content, and products. While misleading or unrelated hashtags will frustrate viewers, and you’ll fail to connect with the right audience.
While YouTube allows multiple hashtags in a video, seasoned creators use them sparingly. Aim for two to three relevant and high-impact hashtags. If you pack too many hashtags into a single video description, you may lower your YouTube search rankings. YouTube videos with more than 60 hashtags will be removed from search results.
Keep hashtags free of spaces and special characters
On YouTube, as well as other social media platforms, hashtags should be single words or a combination of words without spaces or special characters. If you have multi-word hashtags, use camel case—where each word starts with a capital letter (e.g. #CamelCase). You can also break the words into separate hashtags.
Experiment with a mix of trending, niche, or even branded hashtags to maximize your video’s reach and engagement. A branded hashtag includes the name of a brand, like #Shopify. Anyone can use a branded hashtag that’s relevant to the content of their video.
Use hashtags to link to your other videos
Consider using consistent branded hashtags across your videos to build a unified brand identity. This can help users discover your other videos because clicking on a hashtag brings up a search results page containing other videos with the same hashtag.
Use a YouTube hashtag generator
A YouTube hashtag generator tool (like this one from TubeRanker) can help you find relevant YouTube hashtags for your video. You enter keywords related to your video and the generator can propose hashtags to include in your title, description, or comments.
Abide by YouTube hashtag rules
YouTube’s community guidelines apply to everything published on the platform, including hashtags. Avoid violent hashtags, sexual or explicit hashtags, and misleading hashtags designed to exploit search engine optimization algorithms. YouTube also discourages over-tagging (videos with more than 60 hashtags will not appear in search results). It also forbids adding ordinary descriptive tags, which don’t have a hashtag symbol but do contain repetitive sentences and text intended to trick the search algorithm into highlighting your video.
Popular YouTube hashtags
Here are some popular hashtags that appear across many YouTube videos. Use these hashtags if they are relevant to your video’s content. However, because many other YouTubers use these same hashtags, it may be hard to win search results for them.
- #DIY. This is an acronym for “do it yourself.”
- #BeautyTips. This often accompanies videos about makeup and style.
- #TravelVlog. A common hashtag among YouTubers who document their travels on the platform.
- #GamingCommunity. This hashtag connects you with gamers who post videos on YouTube.
- #FoodieFridays. A popular hashtag among chefs and restaurant aficionados.
- #TechReview. This hashtag often accompanies reviews of computers, smartphones, tablets, and software.
- #FitnessJourney. People use this hashtag to document their fitness routine, whether that’s building muscle, recovering from injury, or achieving a personal goal.
- #FashionHaul. A common hashtag among influencers who try out new clothing on their YouTube channels.
- #BookTube. This hashtag is popular in YouTube’s book review community.
- #PetVlogs. People often document their pets’ lives on YouTube, and many use this hashtag.
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YouTube hashtags FAQ
Should you hashtag YouTube shorts?
Yes, it makes sense to add hashtags to all YouTube videos, including YouTube shorts, which are videos shorter than 60 seconds. YouTube gives these videos their own special place in search results.
What are the best YouTube hashtags?
The best YouTube hashtags are those directly related to your video’s content. If you’re lucky, these hashtags may trend with a broad audience, but it’s more important to accurately describe your video rather than latch onto trends.
How do I find relevant and popular hashtags for my videos?
You can try typing keywords related to your video in the YouTube search bar. YouTube's auto-suggestions can provide insights into popular search queries. You can also look at competitor videos and use some of the same hashtags found in their titles and descriptions.
Are there any restrictions on using hashtags on YouTube?
Yes, YouTube forbids content (including hashtags) that is violent or sexually explicit. If you’re wondering how many hashtags YouTube allows, you may include as many as 60 separate hashtags before YouTube removes your video from its search results.
How can I track the performance and effectiveness of my hashtags?
You can use the YouTube Analytics tool, which is found in the left side menu of the YouTube Studio page, to view the breakdown of impressions your video received from hashtags. Within YouTube Analytics, click on the Reach tab in the left sidebar and look for the Impressions from Hashtags metric.