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Published July 29th 2020

How to Do Effective YouTube Keyword Research

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world - so if you want to make an impact you'll need to consider the content you create carefully with keyword research, search suggestions and more.

Whether you’re looking to improve your YouTube engagement or get started, keyword research is vital.

Why? Well, YouTube is the world’s second most popular search engine.

Over 2 billion people log into YouTube each month: nearly one-third of all internet traffic.

If you’re just dipping your toes into YouTube, don’t worry. It’s not too late.

Starting with high-engagement keywords will ensure your channel is set up for success.

Why Bother with YouTube Keyword Research?

As with any search engine optimization, it’s not about driving as much traffic as possible – it’s about reaching the right kind of traffic.

You want to optimize your videos for keywords that relate to your videos and your audience’s interests. It’s smart to run keyword research before producing your videos so you can use terms and phrases to guide your topics.

When you write a blog post, you tend to

  • Read the top-ranking pieces on Google for the keyword
  • Look for ways to add nuance or improve what’s out there
  • Stand out from the competition

Right? Following the same strategy with your YouTube content will help you build subscribers, traffic to your site, and even sales. Effective YouTube keyword research (and optimization) is the key to engagement.

Start Your Keyword Research with YouTube’s Autocomplete

YouTube’s autocomplete feature is the easiest way to browse keywords – and it’s completely free!

Start by heading over to your YouTube homepage. Let’s say you’re running an e-commerce website that sells teas, functional mushrooms, and other supplements.

You want to make some YouTube videos about functional mushrooms to educate your audience and build trust in your brand. Start by typing “medicinal mushrooms for” into the search bar.

YouTube gives you plenty of keyword ideas right away:

“Medicinal mushrooms for dogs” or “medicinal mushrooms for high blood pressure” would make some awesome video ideas!

You could run the same autocomplete search with the phrase “best tea for” and YouTube will give you a ton of suggestions:

You might click on “best tea for sore throat” to check out which videos are already ranking.

After watching the top-ranking videos, you can click on the search bar again and get a ton of related keyword suggestions. Just remember to keep your original search in the bar.

Check Out Which Keywords Your Competitors Use

After running some autocomplete searches, continue your keyword research by seeing what works for your competitors.

It’s important here to stick with comparable competitors for your research. In other words, check out competitors with roughly the same subscriber counts. Accounts with massive subscriber counts can get away with using broader keywords (as opposed to long-tail keywords) which are much harder to rank for.

When you find a competitor, click on their “Videos” tab and sort the content by “Most popular.”

By analyzing the title and description of their top-performing video, we can see that they’re targeting the keyword “growing mushrooms:”

Use the BuzzSumo Keyword Research Tool to Find Ideas

BuzzSumo’s new keyword research tool can also help guide your YouTube strategy.

You’ll start by picking a keyword, like “medicinal mushrooms” and running it through the search:

The tool gives you thousands of keyword ideas. “How to grow mushrooms” might make for an awesome YouTube video.

To continue your research, go back to YouTube and run a search for the keyword “how to grow mushrooms.” You could start by looking at the results for content ideas.

Next, click on the search bar again to run another autocomplete search. Here you’ll find a ton of ideas for narrowing down your video content. You might want to consider producing a video on growing mushrooms in a bucket at home or with coffee grounds.

Going back to the BuzzSumo keyword research results, you can also see that “Four Sigmatic” is a related search to “medicinal mushrooms.” As a competitor, you would want to check out their YouTube channel to analyze the content and potential keywords:

Next, you can switch from the related keyword tab to “analysis.”

You might start by looking at the content ideas and questions for some inspiration to guide your topic.

Next, you can check out the influencers. This is useful for YouTube keyword research because you can go check out any YouTube influencer and other social media accounts to analyze their content.

100thMonkeyMushrooms looks like a promising choice. You could search for the creator on YouTube and sort their videos by most-popular again.

From there, you can see that they’re also trying to rank for the keyword “growing mushrooms” with several of their videos. It would definitely be worthwhile to watch their videos so you could build content that stands out from your competition.

Search for Topics with the YouTube Analyzer

BuzzSumo also offers a complete YouTube Analyzer tool to find hot topics across every industry.

You get tons of great content ideas in the results which are organized by popularity. However, it’s also smart to check out the finer details such as the

  • Average video length
  • Upvotes versus downvotes
  • Comments and engagement

It looks like FreshCap Mushrooms might have a successful YouTube channel. You could head over there and analyze their content for ideas and inspiration.

You could take a deeper dive now by clicking on the BuzzSumo “Analysis” tab. Here you’ll find a breakdown of the best length for your video based on shares and engagement. BuzzSumo will also tell you the average view count based on title length so you can optimize your metadata for SEO and engagement.

Next, scroll down a bit and you’ll see the best days of the week to share your video on YouTube based on the topic and relative engagement.

Not only can you run keyword research from start to finish with BuzzSumo, but you can also nail down logistics, topics, and other details. All that’s left for you to do is watch competitor videos and build amazing content!

Ready to start building your YouTube keyword strategy? Uncover thousands of keyword ideas with BuzzSumo.

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