To be a successful content creator on YouTube, keyword research is a necessary strategy.
It involves finding which words or phrases people use in finding content online.
It not only involves finding these phrases, but also involves finding which ones are used most frequently, and in what forms they are used.
YouTube Keyword Research Guide
Proper keyword research helps you plan your content and create catchy titles that rank high in search engine results.
How often should you do keyword research?
Languages are constantly evolving, and as a result, the words people use in finding what they need will change.
For this reason, keyword research should be done regularly to stay on top of trends and keep your content relevant.
Ideally, you should conduct keyword research whenever you want to create a new video.
You can also research old videos a while after publishing them to see if you need to update your titles.
Why YouTube Keyword Research is Important
Every day, people watch over a billion hours of videos on YouTube.
Also, YouTube on mobile phones reaches more people in the 18-34 year old demographic in the United States than any TV network.
Based on this, it goes without saying that there is a vast audience for your content on this platform.
Without keyword research, it is be difficult for you to know what your audience is looking for.
Then how to create titles and content that will attract and keep their interest.
To get your videos to the right audience, however, you would also need to appear at the top of the search results.
Keyword research also comes into play here as you can optimize your video using relevant phrases and increase your ranking in the search results.
Knowing that keyword research is important, how do you go about it?
How to do YouTube Keyword Research
YouTube keyword research begins with one or many starting points.
These starting points are known as Seed Keywords.
Seed keywords are used as building blocks for the keyword strategy you will develop during your research.
You could base your seed keywords off a lucky guess related to your niche, or come up with them by answering a few questions.
- What is your website about?
- What do you promote?
- Are you clear on what keywords you want to rank for?
- What keyword ads would attract you?
- If someone were just beginning to research your niche, what words would they begin with?
Alternatively, you could build your list of seed keywords using YouTube’s auto-complete feature.
Whenever you type in something in the YouTube search bar, you have probably noticed that YouTube suggests search options for you related to what you have typed in.
This would be great for finding seed keywords too.
After building a solid list of seed keywords, you will then have to determine just how popular each one is.
And how difficult it would be to rank them in the YouTube search results.
For this part, you could choose to use the autocomplete tool as well.
For example, if a keyword is suggested by YouTube, it is obviously because it is popular.
However, longer keywords are usually not very competitive, which makes it easier for you to rank for them.
If you do not fancy using auto-complete, you will need to use a YouTube keyword research tool.
Let’s have a quick look at some of these tools and how to use them.
YouTube Keyword Research tools
TubeBuddy is an extension browser for chrome that includes a sidebar to YouTube’s user interface with additional information about keywords.
The Search Explorer feature shows an estimate of the global search volume, competition, and rates keywords out of 100.
This keyword score is expected to convey how useful it would be to target a keyword-based on its search volume and competition.
While it is possible to use this tool for free, its free version has some limitations.
Another important thing to note is, the prerequisites for ranking competition are not stated, so it may not be accurate.
You can check TubeBuddy out here.
Much like TubeBuddy, vidIQ is a chrome extension that includes a sidebar to YouTube’s user interface with additional information about keywords.
Most of its features are similar to those of TubeBuddy, and it can be used for free if you are comfortable with having access to only a limited number of videos.
Like TubeBuddy, the parameters for ranking competition are not stated, but it does show statistics for other videos.
Things such as the video’s total amount of engagements across social media, view velocity, and views.
A useful difference is you can export video tags to CSV without having to add it to a tags list first.
Morningfame is a tool focused on YouTube analytics and keyword research.
It requires an invite to be used and is free for the first month.
Here is an invite code for you to save you asking around: https://morningfa.me/invite/lqv4nq46
Afterwards, you will have to pay a few dollars monthly to keep using it.
Keyword research with Morningfame takes place in four steps.
- First, choose a topic for your video. You can either enter a topic or paste a link to a video similar to what you have in mind.
- The tool will create a list of keywords and you can select which ones are relevant to you and categorise them into which ones are good for larger and smaller YouTube channels.
- Next, pick a keyword and you will see its Ranking Rating Opportunity based off its search volume.
- The fourth step is a guide that assists you in writing a title, description and adding tags to your video.
While this is a great tool, it is also important to note that the metric used in ranking keywords is quite simple and does not factor in many other variables.
Also, the tool does not tell the actual search volume of a keyword, but a number that indicates whether the search volume is high or low.
Grab a free PDF overview here [No opt-in reqired]
Intent – The Secret Sauce
It’s vital that you understand the 3 main types of keywords and how to get the best results from them.
What you want to identify keywords that are going to make you money, you want to go and identify keywords that you could potentially rank for.
As well as find keywords that do have commercial value
“The winner or the loser of the game is actually being determined even before the athlete or the boxer walks into the ring.”
This is an area that can make or break your YouTube marketing.
You’re going to spend a significant amount of time in this specific area.
Some of these steps are going to be manual, unfortunately.
Essentially these keywords are of people looking for information.
They’re not really at that stage yet where they are ready to buy something.
Examples of informational keywords:
- Best perfume for ladies
- How to lose weight in 21 days
- What is the Best Stretch for a bad back?
So, what is the objective, or what is the goal, when you’re wanting to rank for informational keywords?
Ideally, your objective should be building an email list.
If you’re looking to get ranked for informational keywords such as Best perfume for ladies or and immediately you try to sell something, your conversion rates are going to be low
Folk are not at the stage where they’re looking to buy.
Sure you may make some commissions but the overall rate will be low.
When you’re ranking for informational keywords the objective should be to build a list.
The best way to do this is offering a simple lead magnet as a call to action.
A sample of this in action can be found here: https://youtu.be/XAmaCWhGX7o
Okay, someone has searched for Best perfume for ladies.
They have now made a decision, after looking at all the different types of perfumes out there for ladies.
It’s come down to Michael Kors and Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium, and they want to know which is the better product.”
Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium versus Michael Kors or a Michael Kors versus Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium.
And this is at the point where they are in the mix where, if you nudged them a little bit, they might be tempted to buy.
So now your objective can be more towards offering value and then selling a product
You can expect your conversion rates to be a little bit higher if you’re ranked for comparison keywords and asking people to buy as opposed to you ranking for an informational keyword and asking people to buy.
Because this is at the stage where people are already deciding, “Okay, which one am I going to buy?”
An example of what is a buying keyword, when it comes down to people typing online, would be:
- Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium review
- Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium discount code
These are different types of buying keywords.
These are the type of keywords where you’re going to have the highest conversion rates, in terms of people buying.
As opposed to out of the other different types of keywords.
And, yes, the objective of ranking for these buying keywords is to, ultimately, sell a product.
More often than not what I found is that people have already made a decision that they’re going to buy.
What they really want is they want to have that little bit of assurance.
They want to have you to push them over the fence.
There are many other available resources to assist you in keyword research.
Finding the right one may take up a fair bit of your time, but it takes a lot of guesswork out of your work and leaves you with better results.
For more information on the best YouTube tools, then we have a great article here.
Other than that, we would love to hear your thoughts below.