November 28, 2021

YouTube Keyword Research - How to Find the Best YouTube Keywords

YouTube is widely considered the world’s most popular video-sharing website. It’s also the world’s second-largest search engine, only behind its sister company under the Alphabet umbrella, Google. 

As with written search content, keywords matter and if you’ve got something to promote, there’s never been a better time to get more eyes on your products and services through the YouTube audience.

Perhaps the most important development is the increased availability of in-stream ads. Announced late in 2020, YouTube confirmed that ads could appear on channels that are not part of their Partner Program for the first time. It took immediate effect in the US and has continued to roll out globally throughout 2021.

Essentially, no matter your niche and sector, and regardless of how big popular channels are, there’s an advertising opportunity – as long as you know which keywords to target.

When you’re confident of what you’re targeting, the possibilities are endless. You could get high-margin, low-volume products or services in front of specific audiences. You can even target competitors directly, using keywords to ethically place your content in front of theirs, where buyers all throughout your competitors’ funnel will see your video first.

Keywords and YouTube Ads

Even if you only use YouTube to advertise on the videos of others, keywords are every bit as necessary. Even though viewers aren’t seeking out your videos specifically, your chosen keywords represent one of the most potent content targeting methods. As mentioned in the intro, this can extend beyond videos in your industry and talking about products like yours to even focusing directly on the competition.

By researching the market, you can find the kinds of videos you’d like to advertise on and add the keywords they use to your ad account. Keyword research helps discover the terms you might not have thought of and helps build an overall advertising strategy.

Finding the Best YouTube Keywords

YouTube keyword research isn’t just guesswork. There are several tools and techniques you can deploy to ensure the right people see your promotional materials. 


One tried and trusted method that applies to keyword research on any content is autocomplete. YouTube emulates Google when anyone uses the search box. As you type, it will drop down a list of suggestions.

The list is based on what people have searched for previously. The more they search for it, the higher it appears in the suggestions. If you like to create content around questions and information, this is a great way to get started.

Finding Google keywords is easy. There are dozens of tools out there that can provide information on search volume, competition, and related terms. Anyone that creates written content is well-served.

The YouTube market lacks the same attention. Most tools that claim to work for YouTube simply take Google results and apply YouTube trends. The YouTube tool on, on the other hand, was designed from the ground up specifically with YouTube keywords in mind.

Starting with a broad term that represents your content at a high level, the tool quickly pulls out all related keywords, along with their monthly search volume and even popularity trends.

From there, you can create topics and subtopics, group keywords together, and dive deeper into anything that catches your eye. You can even view search results with a single click to understand the competition and how they perform.

This can come together not only to inspire more content on the part of your business but also to showcase which videos rank highly and where your advertising budget is best spent.

Scouting the Competition

If a video on YouTube ranks well for a specific term, the chances are the creator of that video knows all about keywords and tags. Few limit themselves to just a single keyword, so once you find a video that ranks well, you can look at what other keywords they use and explore the kind of traffic they bring to their videos.

You can also dive deeper into tags if you’re comfortable exploring the code behind a page. Unfortunately, these tags aren’t displayed on videos by default. Still, if you enter Chrome DevTools or your browser’s equivalent, you can view the ‘hidden’ keywords that also help the competition rank.

Your Data

If you’ve published videos in the past, you already have access to a YouTube keyword goldmine. You can access your Analytics in the YouTube Studio.

In most cases, the keywords you’ve already optimized for will come out on top. However, you’ll also see search terms you’ve never paid attention to. People are searching for those terms and already landing on your videos. Imagine how many more will land on a video optimized for their search!