How to Do YouTube Keyword Research

YouTube has evolved into one of the most powerful marketing platforms on the internet. It offers an opportunity for businesses to connect with their target audience. But in order to succeed on YouTube, it’s crucial to understand how to do keyword research effectively.

In this article, we’ll explore the world of YouTube keyword research., let’s get into it!


1. Understand the basics

YouTube keyword research is the process of finding the right words and phrases that your target audience is most likely to type into the search bar.

These keywords help your videos appear in search results, making them more discoverable. Let’s break this down step by step:


Step 1: Brainstorm keywords

Begin by brainstorming keywords related to your video’s content. For instance, if you’re a fashion brand, think about keywords like “trendy clothing,” “stylish outfits,” or “fashion tips.”


Step 2: Utilize YouTube’s search bar

To get an idea of popular search terms, start typing your keywords into the YouTube search bar. As you type, YouTube will suggest autocompletions.

For instance, for the topic “explainer video,” you might notice suggestions like “explainer video animation” and “explainer video tutorial”.


Step 3: Analyze competing videos

Search for the keywords you’ve brainstormed and analyze the top-ranking videos. Pay attention to their titles, descriptions, and tags. This can give you insights into what’s working in your niche.


Step 4: Use Keyword research tools

Various tools, such as Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or SEMrush, can help you refine your keyword list.

These tools provide data on keyword search volume, competition, and related keywords. This can be invaluable for making data-driven decisions.


Step 5: Find trending keywords

While optimizing your YouTube content for popular and evergreen keywords is essential, staying updated with trending keywords can give your videos a timely boost in visibility.

Here are some additional ways to discover what’s currently hot on YouTube:


i. Twitter and Reddit trends

Social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit often highlight trending topics and hashtags. Monitor these platforms to identify current trends and discussions that are relevant to your niche.

For instance, if you run a tech channel, you can look for trending tech-related hashtags or discussions on Reddit’s tech-focused subreddits.


ii. Google search queries

Use Google search to your advantage. Type a query related to your video content into the search bar and take note of the suggestions in the “People also ask” section.

Google’s suggestions are based on what people are actively searching for, making it a great way to discover trending or highly relevant keywords.


2. Optimize your videos

Once you’ve identified the right keywords, it’s time to optimize your videos. Here’s how to do it effectively:


a. Incorporate keywords organically

Your target keyword should be in your video’s title, description, and tags. However, it’s essential to do this organically, without keyword stuffing.

For instance, if your keyword is “motion graphics” your title could be “motion graphics video – [company’s name] like the example below.


Here is the entire video.

If you like it and want a similar video, contact us! Our video animation company specializes in such videos, we’d be happy to help.

Want a video for your business?



b. Create high-quality content

Your content must be engaging, informative, and relevant to the chosen keywords.

Remember, YouTube’s algorithm rewards watch time, so your videos need to keep viewers interested from start to finish.


c. Compelling thumbnails and titles

Your video’s thumbnail and title are your first opportunity to attract viewers. Make sure they are eye-catching and accurately represent the content.

Neil Patel, a renowned digital marketer, uses keyword optimization to great effect. He creates in-depth videos that cover various aspects of digital marketing and SEO.

His video titles and descriptions are keyword-rich and informative, helping his content rank high in search results. Here’s an example.

Read more: How to Advertise Your Business on YouTube


d. Utilize A/B testing

A/B testing, also known as split testing, involves creating two versions of your video’s thumbnail and title. These versions should differ in some way, such as the thumbnail image or wording in the title. F

For example, you might create two thumbnails with different color schemes or two titles with distinct wording.


3. Local SEO for YouTube

Local SEO is a crucial aspect of YouTube keyword research, especially for businesses with a physical presence or businesses looking to target a local audience.

On YouTube, it involves optimizing your videos to rank well in local search results. Here’s how to do it:


a. Include location keywords

To target a specific area, use location-specific keywords in your video title, description, and tags.

For instance, Product Con is a tech event, that was held in London this year. The titles for videos included both #ProductCon and London keywords. Here’s one of the videos.


b. Geotagging

Geotag your videos with the location where the video content was recorded or where it’s relevant. This can help local viewers discover your videos.


c. Promote local events

If your business is involved in local events or promotions, make sure to create content around them. For instance, if you’re a local florist, create videos like “Flower Arrangements for [Local Festival/Event].”


4. Competitor analysis

Analyzing your competitors can provide valuable insights into what’s working in your niche. Here’s how to conduct competitor analysis for YouTube keyword research:


a. Identify top performers

Find out which videos from your competitors have the most views and engagement. This can give you an idea of what topics resonate with the audience.


b. Keyword strategy

Analyze the keywords they are targeting in their video titles, descriptions, and tags. Identify which keywords are common among top-performing videos.


c. Content gaps

Look for content gaps that your competitors haven’t covered. If they’ve missed key topics, you can create videos around those subjects to stand out.


5. User intent

Understanding user intent is essential for creating content that truly serves your audience. Tailor your keyword research and video content to match user intent:


a. Informational keywords

If users are looking for information, create ‘how-to’ or educational content. For example, if you’re a video or image editing app, target keywords like ” how to make custom GIFs”.

Read more: Vimeo vs YouTube for Businesses


b. Transactional keywords

Use keywords that lead to conversions in case the users are in a buying mindset. An e-commerce store might target keywords like “Buy [product name] online.”


c. Navigational keywords

When users are searching for specific brands or channels, make sure your channel is discoverable for related navigational keywords. For instance, if you have a tech channel, optimize for “Unbox Therapy.”


6. YouTube algorithm updates

Staying informed about YouTube’s algorithm updates is crucial to maintain a successful YouTube channel. The algorithm evolves over time, affecting how videos are ranked and recommended.

Here are a few examples of how algorithm updates impact YouTube keyword research and content creation:


a. Viewer behavior

The algorithm increasingly considers user behavior, such as click-through rate, watch time, and viewer engagement.

Which means it’s essential to create videos that encourage viewers to stay engaged and watch your content.


b. Trending and seasonal content

Algorithm updates may favor trending and seasonal content. Consider creating videos that align with current events, holidays, or popular trends in your niche to capitalize on algorithm changes.

For example, focus on making Christmas videos in the last 2 weeks of December. Add the keyword “Christmas”


c. Experimentation

The algorithm is not static, and YouTube frequently tests new features and ranking criteria. Be open to experimenting with different content and keywords to adapt to these changes effectively.


7. Track and iterate

After uploading your videos, it’s essential to track their performance and make necessary adjustments. Here’s how to do it:


a. Monitor video analytics

YouTube offers detailed analytics, allowing you to see how your videos are performing. Pay attention to metrics like watch time, click-through rate (CTR), and engagement.


b. Learn from your audience

Listen to your viewers. Comments, likes, and dislikes can provide valuable insights into what your audience wants. Use this feedback to refine your content strategy.


c. Refine your keyword strategy

Periodically revisit your keyword strategy. Search trends change and new keywords may emerge. Stay updated and adapt accordingly.

For example, Dollar Shave Club’s YouTube channel has mastered the art of tracking and iterating. They regularly analyze which of their videos are most successful and then create more content in a similar style.

This iterative approach has helped them maintain high engagement and growth.

Read more: How to Advertise Your Business on YouTube


That’s a wrap

In YouTube marketing, keyword research is a crucial component. You can harness the power of YouTube to connect with your audience. By following the steps outlined in this guide and learning from examples, you can create and optimize your videos for maximum visibility.

Now that you know how to do YouTube keyword research, remember to be creative in your approach, and the results will follow.

In case you’re looking for someone to make a video for your brand’s YouTube, get in touch! Our team of professionals will make it for you.

Want a video for your business?



Posted by Samra Tiwana

Subscribe to the MotionCue Newsletter

For monthly video and marketing insights from company founder/CEO Osama Khabab

Contact Us

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.