Have you ever thought about how YouTube viewers find your content?
Typically, they find it by typing specific terms, called keywords, into the YouTube search engine. If your video matches or is relevant to those terms, YouTube will rank it higher up in the search results.
To rank for certain keywords, you must insert them throughout your video metadata. Metadata is the text that describes your video and mainly includes the title, description, tags, thumbnails, and captions.
But before you can place keywords, you have to know which ones to use. That’s where keyword research comes in!
Across the internet, you’ll find a wide variety of tools – both free and paid – that do the hard work of keyword research for you. In this article, we’re bringing you 16 of the best YouTube keyword research tools that are available in 2023.
But first, let’s explain what YouTube keyword research is.
What is YouTube Keyword Research?
If you’re not performing YouTube keyword research for the videos on your channel, you should be! This strategy is one that all professional YouTubers and marketers use to ensure that their content reaches their target audience, as well as to brainstorm high-converting video concepts.
Let’s say, for example, you plan to make a video showing how to build a table. To research keywords related to this topic, you would enter the topic into a keyword research tool, and the tool would pull up dozens if not hundreds of results. These are the terms that users are searching for when they want to know how to build a table, and the terms at the top of the list are the ones that are being searched for the most.
Referring to this list, you can pick out popular, high search volume keywords that are relevant to your content and put them in your metadata, so that they can help your video rank higher in search results.
A keyword research tool is also helpful if you’re not sure what topic you want to make your next video about. Just research general topics that you’re interested in and see what popular keywords come up. Then base your video on those top search terms.
If you’ve never used a keyword research tool before and don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered below!
Best Free YouTube Keyword Research Tools
To kick things off, check out the best YouTube keyword research tools that are free to use.
Best Paid YouTube Keyword Research Tools
If you don’t want your keyword research limited to just one metric (or none at all), consider trying these paid YouTube keyword research tools.
Tips for Taking Your Keyword Research to the Next Level
You can have the most comprehensive, most expensive keyword research tool that exists. But if you don’t know how to use it to optimal effect, it doesn’t matter how many bells and whistles it comes with – it’s not going to help you dominate your content niche and grow your channel.
Here are three tips that will take your keyword research to the next level, so you can make the most of your keyword research tool.
1. Start With a Seed Keyword
Rather than get super specific with your research, start with a seed keyword.
A seed keyword is a short, one or two-word keyword that describes your video topic or niche on a broad scale. It’s designed to help you discover a wider range of longer-tail keywords and sub-topics, which you can then use as content ideas or as tags for your existing videos.
2. Use the Metrics to Your Advantage
Metrics such as search volume, competition level, CPC, and trends data are crucial to helping you find the most effective keywords for your topic or seed keyword. Use them to your advantage, and to figure out which keywords will generate the most views for your video.
3. Pay Attention to Your Competitors
Sometimes, your competitors provide you with the most insight for keywords to use (and not to use). Analyze the other creators in your niche to find out which keywords they’re using to rank their content that’s similar to yours.
Bonus Tip: In addition to researching a topic or keyword, research-related or alternatively spelled versions of it, as well. This can help you catch a variety of keywords that users might type in to look for your content.
How To Use Keywords to Optimize YouTube Videos
Once you have your keywords, it’s time to put them into action! Here’s how to use keywords to optimize your YouTube videos, step by step.
How To Extract Keywords From a Competitor’s Video
Another way to perform keyword research is to extract the keywords from one of your competitor’s videos that’s similar to yours (or to a video you intend to create in the future).
To do this, you need a tool called a YouTube tag generator (or a YouTube tag extractor), which reveals the keywords that another creator uploaded as tags on their video. All you have to do is input the video’s URL into the tag generator, and it will produce the list of keywords you’re looking for.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Keyword Research Tool is the Best One For YouTube?
There are many great keyword research tools out there, but Semrush is one of the best – not just in quality, but also in quantity of features.
How Do You Use YouTube Keywords Tools Properly to Get the Best Keywords?
Start by using seed keywords to generate as many long-tail keyword suggestions as possible. Then reference metrics like search volume, competition, and CPC to choose the best ones for your video.
Can Keywords Increase My Video View Counts?
The right keywords in your video metadata can help your video rank higher in YouTube search results. This, in turn, can result in a higher video view count.
Is There a Limit to How Many Keywords I Should Use Per YouTube Video?
You’re limited to three keywords total for your YouTube title, but you can use as many as you want in the description, providing they fit in the 5,000-character limit.
Is It Smart to Only Use Keywords That Are Low Competition?
It’s good practice to use low competition keywords wherever you can to help your videos rank higher. However, keep in mind that if the search volume for those keywords is extremely low, you may not get many views.
Is It Possible For An AI Tool To Generate YouTube Video Keywords?
Yes. You can use ChatGPT and similar AI text processing tools to generate YouTube video keywords.
Keyword research is the lynchpin of every successful YouTube marketing plan. When done right, it helps you build a subscriber base from the ground up, using mainly organic traffic.
To get started with this strategy, though, you must have a good keyword research tool. It’s the best way to find the most optimal keywords that will drive traffic to your channel.
If your marketing budget is low, try starting out with one of the free tools on our list. As you grow, you can upgrade to a more professional, paid service like Semrush or Buzzsumo.