Did you know that 60% of traffic on YouTube is search driven? YouTube is first and foremost a search engine. In fact it is the 2nd largest search engine on the Internet and it is owned by the largest, Google.
That means that millions of people use YouTube search every day to find videos, so it’s likely that someone from your target audience is searching for videos right now.
If you can identify the keyword or keyword phrase they are using in this search, make a video about it and optimize the video (more on this later) you are well on your way to having a video show up at the top of the search results.
So before you make your first video, you need to do a bit of research into keywords.
Fortunately, there are some great tools to help you do this.
Here are some of my favorites:
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This works just like Google Suggest and is built right into YouTube.
When you are on the YouTube page or app, type a keyword into the search field and you will see a drop down list of suggestions as you type.
Don’t underestimate the power of this technique. YouTube is literally telling you the exact keywords people search for.
Also, Autocomplete suggestions are usually “long tail” keywords, (4 words or more) These terms tend not to be as competitive as shorter keyword phrases, which means they’ll be easier to rank for.
Here is an example when I type "Sales Funnels"
"Sales Funnels" is a competitive phrase that would be difficult to rank for. However, some of the phrases in this list may be much less competitive.
So, how do you find this out? Well, this is where a couple of other tools can help you. Fortunately, both are available as FREE Google Chrome plug-ins to get your started.
VidIQ For Keyword Research
VidIQ is available as a Chrome extension that includes lots of cool features to help you optimize your YouTube videos. One of these is the VidIQ YouTube Search Keyword Tool.
You can sign up for theFREE version of VidIQ here. There are also paid versions with added functionality, which you can upgrade to when your channel starts to take off.
This article explains in detail how the Keyword Tool works, but here is a quick summary:
When you search on YouTube, VidIQ displays lots of great information regarding the keyword universe for a particular term.
The VidIQ Keyword Score gives a snapshot analysis of how good the keyword or phrase is, taking into account search volume versus competition. A score of 100 for search volume and 0 for competition would be the perfect score but this is almost unheard of. Instead aim for something over 60.
The VidIQ Keyword Inspector Tool helps you understand the keyword universe surrounding a root keyword. Here is an example which shows the results for the keyword "Video SEO". As you can see, VidIQ comes up with a number of related phrases and their Keyword Score.
I recommend you also check out the VidIQ academy. It is packed full of great free courses to help you grow your YouTube channel.
TubeBuddy is a great tool and is available as a free Chrome extension. You can access it here. Like VidIQ, there are paid versions that you can progress to if you want more advanced features.
Once installed, go to YouTube and you will see the TubeBuddy icon in the top right corner
Once you click this, you will see the link to the Keyword Explorer.
All you need to do is type in a keyword phrase and it will give you a visual representation of the search value of the term. The aim is to get a term with low competition and enough search volume to make it worth making a video about it. Green is good, Red is bad,Yellow is worth consideringas you can see in this screen shot.
TubeBuddy has lots more great features, but more on that later.
For now, I recommend you just search for keyword phrases that match your niche and cover videos you think you can make. Once you find one that is in the green or yellow area, put it in a spreadsheet. Also note down the tags in the bottom right. They will come in handy when optimizing your video.
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"Videos are ranked based on a variety of factors including how well the title, description, and video content match the viewer’s query. Beyond that, we look at which videos have driven the most engagement for a query, and make sure it’s easy for viewers to find those."
So yes, keywords matter from both "on-page" and “in-video” perspectives. Matching search intent is critical, especially when you are a new channel.
However, if you want to grow, you need to also start to appear in YouTube suggestions. The key ingredients for achieving this are watch time and high video engagement.
YouTube wants you to keep viewers on their platform for as long as possible. That’s because more watch time = more ads shown = more money in the bank for Google.
They also want you to drive engagement to your videos, through comments and shares, likes and dislikes and they’ll reward you with visibility in suggested search.
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