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How to Do Keyword Research for Your YouTube Videos?

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How to Do Keyword Research for Your YouTube Videos?

I am starting a new category of articles today here on my website. I will be also including info insights about YouTube. The first topic will be how to do keyword research for the videos you upload to YouTube.

Keyword research is crucial – but most tools are centered around Google search data. What if you’re looking for keywords used on YouTube, and their search volume? In this article I will respond to a question submitted by one of the subscribers of  my YouTube channel: CodeRevolution TV.


A question from Ryan:

Hey, Szabi! My question is about keyword research on YouTube. Is it the same as doing keyword research on Google when you’re writing articles, or are the keywords different, and do they have different traffic levels? I’m interested in understanding where you go to find specific keywords on YouTube that you want to target, and what you’re using right now. Thanks!

(Got your own questions for me? Ask ’em here!)


Hey, thanks, Ryan, and good question. Love it, and it will help out everybody listening quite a bit.

So, first thing, the Google AdWords keyword planner, we all know about that. That gives you Google search volume. Is the search volume on YouTube different? Yes, obviously, but it’s the second largest search engine in the world, so it also has the second largest number of queries per day. You will find that there will be some similarities between what the Google AdWords keyword tool will tell you or tools that use it, like Market Samurai, and what actually happens on YouTube.

However, because YouTube is a visual medium, people do search for different things, or they phrase things differently than they would if they were looking for textual information. So there are a couple ways you can get very specific information about what people are looking for on YouTube.

The first one of those is the analytics that YouTube includes in your own videos, and what I found with that, (this goes for your regular blog posts and things, too) is when you set up a blog post or video, and you’re attempting to have it ranked for a certain key phrase, you do your keyword research, you optimize it, maybe you even do a little bit of link-building, that sort of thing, and when you go to look at your analytics, which they have in YouTube now, or if we’re talking about a blog post, you can do it with your Google analytics, and you see what are the key phrases that are actually sending traffic to that post. That can often give you a very great jumping off point for key phrases you may not have thought of, but that Google or YouTube clearly thinks that your post or video is relevant for, and is already sending you traffic on.

Then you can optimize that blog post, that video for those key phrases you hadn’t thought of before, but that are receiving some small measure of traffic. When you do that, you’ll often find that you’ll get quite a bit more traffic. If Google or YouTube thought your piece was relevant for a certain key phrase you weren’t optimized for, and you do actually optimize for it, you’ll oftentimes see that it’s quite easy for you to make a big jump in those rankings and therefore get a lot more traffic. That’s one way.

Another way that is super simple for you to use is the YouTube suggest tool. If you’re doing a video on running shoes, and you type “running shoes” into YouTube, you’ll see the suggest box pop up with a whole bunch of ideas on what the longer tail keywords might be that you’re looking for. That’s a really basic way for you to get some of the highest tier keyword data that is the most popular and most used. It won’t work for every key phrase. It won’t work if you’re already looking at a very long tail key phrase, but if you’re looking for something general, a broad market key phrase, you’ll be able to get some really great ideas from YouTube suggest, and then you can dig down into there. It’s also helpful sometimes when you’re looking at those videos that come up for YouTube suggest, to look at their titles and look at their descriptions, and see variations on that key phrase that they might be using to rank.

The final one, the best one, is the actual Advanced YouTube Keyword Research Tool from TubeBuddy. It’s not as fully functioning as the Google AdWords keyword tool, the difference being, of course, that this is very specific to YouTube searches. It will be highly relevant to YouTube search queries, not Google search queries, so if you’re looking for very YouTube-specific information, this is the place to go. It has a free plan, where it can be used for basic keyword research and multiple premium plans, to boost the feature set that it provides. Now, you can’t sort by the volume and you can’t select nearly as many options as you can with the Google keyword tool, but given that the information is very specific to YouTube, it is a huge helper, and it’s one not many people know about. For more info, check TubeBuddy.

Check this video where I show how I upload my videos to YouTube and how I use TubeBuddy to help me in keyword research and also speed up the video upload process:

I hope that those ideas get you started with your YouTube keyword research. It ought to give you some definite jumping off points. Thanks for your question, Ryan, and everybody listening, head over to my contact page to submit your own questions. Thanks so much! Bye-bye.

This article is licensed under Creative Commons License.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Riza

    04/10/2020 at 11:44

    Right, Szabi. Nice question and very nice answer. You can’t just expect that what works with Google, will work with everything else including YouTube. It’s cool though that Google has a tool for YouTube keyword research.

    By the way, inviting readers to ask is always a good way to have a new topic to write or talk about. 🙂

    • CodeRevolution

      04/10/2020 at 11:46

      Yes, you are right, thank you for making this point! 🙂

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    Szabi Kisded

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