YouTube is world’s second largest search engine. People are doing billions of searches on YouTube every month using keywords to find videos to watch. In this post, you will learn how to do YouTube Keyword Research.

Are they going to find yours?

They may – if you created the video for the right keywords and optimized it correctly.

Finding the exact keywords people use to search YouTube is critical to the success of your video. In this post, I am going to show you how to do YouTube keyword research.

I will show you the exact steps you need to follow to find the keywords your audience is searching for on YouTube. Once you know what the audience is looking for, you can create a video that answers that query and also optimize the video for the keyword so people can find it.

Finding Keywords – What Viewers Are Searching For

Finding what your viewers want is The Most Important part of YouTube marketing.

More important than even your video!

Unfortunately, most people jump into making cool videos without finding out what viewers want. That’s the worst thing you can do.

Here are the exact steps I follow to do my YouTube keyword research and find what my target audience wants to watch on YouTube:


1.   Check if the topic / keyword is used by people on YouTube using Auto Suggest

Just like Google, YouTube keeps track of what people type in the search box. As you start typing, it suggests the most popular keywords on YouTube related to what you are typing.

The YouTube auto suggest is a great place to start looking for keywords people are using to search. You start by typing the first few characters or words related to your product, service or topic.

For example, as I type “YouTube m”, it suggests a list of  related keywords. You can see YouTube marketing at number 4.

The list tells me that people are searching for YouTube marketing keyword on YouTube but its search volume is less than YouTube movies, music and money.

I normally check auto suggest for 3-5 keywords related to the topic to make sure people are indeed looking for videos related to the topic.


2. Use keyword research tool Soovle to find related keywords

The next stop in keywords research is

This is a free keywords research tool that gives keyword information about a bunch of different sites including Google, YouTube and Amazon.

If you enter your main keyword or topic, Soovle will display related keywords using the auto suggest data from YouTube and other sites.

Using Soovle, you can get a list of keywords people are actually using to search YouTube.

While it does not tell you how many people are searching for these keywords, it’s still a great place to start your research.

At this point, I have confirmed that people are looking for videos on my topic. I have also found the exact keywords people are using to search YouTube. The next step is to figure out which of these keywords are more important.


3. Rank keywords based on relative popularity on YouTube

Google does not make public YouTube search data as it does for Google search through the Keyword Planner tool.

Since we don’t have exact search volumes for different keywords, I use YouTube search to figure out which keyword is likely to be more popular.

When you search YouTube, it shows a page full of videos in search result like this one:

I look at the view count for top videos in the search result. I look for an average monthly view of 2000 or more. (Just divide the total views by the number of months the video has been live to get the monthly views.)


If a lot of people are searching YouTube with a keyword, the videos that rank for it should have lots of views. A low monthly view count indicates low interest and search volume.

But high monthly views do not necessarily mean that the keyword is popular since the video may be ranking for other keywords. Since a YouTube video gets more than half of its views when it shows up as a suggested video, it is important to find out where the views are coming from.

The first place I look at is the Video Title.

A video should rank for keyword used in the title. If I see a different keyword in the title than I searched for, it means the video may be getting views from another keyword.

I search for all the keywords I found in Soovle as well as any new ones I find in video titles.

The second thing I look at is the Video Description.

YouTube is more likely to promote the video as a suggested video for keywords used in the first sentence of description. If keyword I searched with is in the first line of description, it means the video is getting most of its views from the same keyword.

I collect the information in a spreadsheet so I can go back and analyze it later:

You can see that in this case, most of the videos seem to be getting their views from people interested in “YouTube Marketing” keyword. So that’s a keyword I want to target.


Let's recap the YouTube keyword research process

  • 1

    Check if the topic / keyword is used by people on YouTube using Auto Suggest

  • 2

    Use keyword research tool Soovle to find related keywords

  • 3

    Rank keywords based on relative popularity on YouTube


Got something to share?

What did you think about this YouTube keyword research guide?

Maybe you have a question.

Either way, Share your thought in the comments below right now.



YouTube Keyword Research - Using Auto Suggest


    6 replies to "YouTube Keyword Research – The Complete Guide"

    • Mark

      Do you give any weight to the fact that when searching YouTube marketing in google, there are really no videos in the top rankings for that keyword?

    • Vishal Srivastava

      Hi Mark,
      Thank you for your comment!
      Actually, there a couple of them on page 2. Why are they not on page 1?
      This is down to two things:

      1) Does Google feel that a video is the best format to answer the query “YouTube Marketing”- probably not because the search term does not fit into typical video content. If you change it to YouTube Marketing Tutorial. you will see a video on page 1.

      2) Are there any good videos on the topic Google can show on page 1 – there are so much high authority and high quality text content on the topic that videos have not made it to page 1

      I believe it is a combination of these two things.

    • Ivan

      Thanks for your experience and this guide, Vishal. I’ve also tried to describe the full cycle of the video optimization on Youtube and importance of longtail keywords –
      I hope you find something useful for yourself in the article. Share your opinion about it, please.

    • Vishal Srivastava

      Hi Ivan,
      Thank you for your comment. I will definitely read your article.

    • Mohit


      I want to ask you, do you accept (paid) guest posts on your website?

    • Vishal Srivastava

      Hi Mohit,
      Thanks for stopping by. We don’t accept any paid posts.

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