YouTube Keyword Research 101

In this guide, I will show you how I increased my Youtube views in 7 times – from ~300 views per day to 2200+.

Mostly, it is thanks to a detailed Youtube video keyword research.

Youtube mrhackio

A lot of my videos rank in top positions in the Youtube search

Ranking youtube video

and on the first page in Google search.

Ranking Youtube videos in Google search


What is Youtube Keyword research?

By Youtube video keyword research I mean finding keywords, for which people search in Youtube or Google search.


Why Youtube Keyword research matters?

Youtube is the most popular video search engine in the world.

Also, it is the second most used search engine, after Google. is one of the most visited sites out there, with astonishing 1.9B monthly active users.

You don’t want to miss that opportunity!

Now, if your video is already on Youtube, what are the most popular sources of views?

Majority of Youtube videos get most views from:

  • Suggested videos
  • Youtube search
  • External sources (includes Google search)

In fact, on my Youtube channel over 95% of views and watch time come from Search (Youtube Search + External Google Search)!

My Youtube stats

I don’t get a lot of views from Suggested videos. 😅

Majority of my videos – tech tutorials-screencasts – are by far not the best quality, but they are thoroughly optimized for keywords.

The bottom line is: if you optimize your Youtube videos around certain keywords (proven by data) – there is more chance people will find them and your videos will get much more views.


How to find keywords for Youtube videos?


Youtube autocomplete

The easiest and cheapest way to find relevant keywords for your videos is by using Youtube autocomplete.

Just start typing in Youtube search bar and you will get a bunch of suggestions.

Youtube autocomplete

Youtube autocomplete shows only the most popular keywords – so, it’s a great data source for your video ideas.

Also, from Youtube autocomplete you can dig in some long-tail and niche keywords (4-5 words+). These are keywords, for which it would be easier to rank your Youtube videos.

Especially, if it’s a new Youtube channel, with a low amount of subscribers, likes, comments, etc.


Google autocomplete

The same way as with Youtube, you can use the Google autocomplete feature.

Google autocomplete Youtube

Just have in mind, that not for all Google search queries there are video results. Therefore, you need to check if there is at least one video on SERP (Search Engine Result Page).

Google keywords, with videos in search results, are often referred to as video keywords.


But, I recommend you to dive deeper and actively use one or many Youtube keyword research tools.


Top Youtube keyword research tools

Go to the Youtube tab in and enter your seed keyword.

Youtube keywordtool

In keywordtool, you can see much more data – search volume, trend, competition, etc.

You can also explore related questions and prepositions.

Keywordtool Pro starts with $89 per month, with a 30-day money back guarantee.



Ahrefs – fantastic all-in-one SEO suite.

It also offers Youtube keyword research. Just go to Keyword Explorer -> Youtube tab.

Ahrefs Youtube keywords

Then you can see keywords with the same terms,

related questions,

or newly discovered keywords.

For Google video keywords, go to the Google tab in Ahrefs keyword explorer.

Ahrefs keyword research

In this section, you will see much more keyword suggestions.

Below, you can see if this keyword is a video keyword –  SERP will have videos or “Top stories” included.

SERP Ahrefs

Ahrefs plans start from $99 per month (with 7 day trial for $7).

Ok, Youtube keyword tools seem pretty expensive. But, if you are serious about growing Youtube, it’s a needed investment. I would suggest choosing one tool. If you are on a limited budget, try the tool for a month and do all keyword research in that period.



VidIQ also has a Youtube keyword research feature. And it’s available for free in VidIQ web app.

VidIQ Youtube keyword research

Btw, if you don’t use it, VidIQ is a must have Youtube channel management software.


Competitors Youtube keyword research

“Stealing” keywords from your competitors is one of the top tactics. It works like a chart for me.

Just head to your competitor channels, which are relatively your size, not much bigger.

Click on the “Videos” tab and sort by the most popular videos.

You will see videos with the most views.

Here you will have plenty of ideas from videos titles and descriptions.


Video tags from competitor videos

While you are browsing competitors videos, it is also a good idea to analyze their tags.

You can spy on competitors video tags by viewing page source, but also with VidIQ or Tube Buddy Chrome extensions.

Just install free VidIQ Vision Chrome extension and you will see tags next to each Youtube video.

Competitors Youtube tags


Your videos Youtube analytics

Youtube Analytics shows you the exact keywords people are searching for to find your videos.

To access this report in new Youtube Studio, go to Analytics -> Reach viewers.

These are Youtube keywords, for which you are already ranking in Youtube search. Add these keywords to your Youtube description and tags – and you will get even more views.


BONUS: How exactly I’m doing my Youtube keyword research?

I’m using a mix of all mentioned above tips.

Basically, in my tech tutorials Youtube channel, where more than 95% of all views come from Search (Youtube Search + External Google Search), the majority of my video topics are based on keywords.

My video creating process starts with thorough keyword research – either in or Ahrefs.

For example, I want to create more tutorials about Google Chrome, here are my exact steps:

  1. Identify a seed keyword or topic – Google Chrome.
  2. Enter seed keyword in Ahrefs Youtube keywords explorer.
  3. Look for main keyword groups – e.g. “How to update Google Chrome”, “How to delete Chrome”, “Clear cache in Chrome” – both with high volume (10K+ monthly searches) and also super niche topics.
  4. Create videos based on these keywords.

That’s it!

This super easy framework helps me to significantly increase my Youtube views.

And moreover, create evergreen Youtube content – even old Youtube videos consistently bring views, because every month people are searching for same stuff again.


Learn more:

Youtube SEO: how to rank Youtube videos (how I tripled my views)

A guide to Youtube tags