Want to know what the best keyword tools are for YouTube? The web giant is a video-based search engine that selects videos to show to certain audiences. Like most search engines, YouTube uses algorithms (sets of instructions that tell computers how to convert information) to serve the appropriate videos to the right audiences.  

As a digital marketing specialist, to work in concert with YouTube’s algorithm, you need to be using YouTube keyword tools and ensure that your content incorporates the right keywords.

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What Are YouTube Keywords?

Per YouTube, adding descriptive keywords (or tags) to your videos is a way of helping viewers find your content. In a nutshell, keywords provide YouTube with information and context about your video content. Then, the algorithm considers those keywords and uses them to deliver your content to the right audience. YouTube favors videos that are well-liked. According to YouTube Creator Academy, the algorithm follows the audience by paying attention to things like:

  • What they watch
  • What they don’t watch
  • How much time they spend watching a video
  • What they like and dislike 
  • What they’re not interested in

YouTube recommends that creators consider what their target audience likes. You should learn how to take advantage of relevant search terms that your audience uses to find content. 

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What Is YouTube Keyword Research?

YouTube keyword research is an SEO practice that you can perform to find the most relevant search terms and discover alternate phrases that people use when looking for information. YouTube keyword research refers to the process of learning what search terms people use when looking for video content. This reveals exactly what your target audience is searching for and how they’re phrasing things, which enables you to incorporate those keywords directly into your video’s name, tags, transcript, and description. 

Through keyword research, you can be confident that the content you’re producing aligns with what your target audience is searching for.

Why Are YouTube Keywords Important?

YouTube keywords are essential for getting your content in front of the right audience. If you create a YouTube advertisement, for instance, you of course want it to reach the people it’s intended for successfully. 

Optimizing your videos for search is a great way of using YouTube marketing and elevating your brand awareness and recognition.

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11 YouTube Keyword Tools

To get started using keywords for YouTube, here are the 10 of the best keyword tools: 

1. TubeBuddy

TubeBuddy is a free browser extension for Google Chrome that works directly alongside YouTube. It’s equipped with a keyword explorer, which helps you find long-tail keywords that will best optimize your video for YouTube. 

The extension also conducts a best practice audit, which ensures your content is following YouTube’s recommendations. It suggests tags for videos and can translate your video’s title and description into other languages. 

Although there’s a free version, TubeBuddy also offers a Pro version for $7.20/month, a Star version for $15.20/month, and a Legend version for $39.20/month. 

2. Keywordtool.io

Another great keyword tool for YouTube is Keywordtool.io, which autocomplete data to rank hundreds of YouTube keywords by popularity. Then, it provides comprehensive lists of keywords categorized as keyword suggestions, questions, prepositions, and hashtags. 

Keywordtool.io is a great tool to maximize your YouTube SEO efforts, but the free version is limited. You can upgrade to the Pro Basic version for $68/year.

3. VidIQ

VidIQ is another Google Chrome extension that works similarly to TubeBuddy. It mainly helps creators determine the best keywords for improving content searchability. When searching for a keyword, the extension reveals the term’s search volume, competition, overall keyword score, related queries, keyword stats, and the tags from top-ranking videos. 

VidIQ is great for confirming that you’re using the right keywords for your video content. The tool offers a free version, or you can subscribe to their Pro plan for $7.50/month. 

4. YouTube Autosuggest

Another great YouTube keyword tool is simply taking advantage of YouTube autosuggest. After you type a keyword into the YouTube search box, a dropdown menu appears suggesting additional phrases.

These suggested terms come directly from relevant search queries that users have previously searched for, making them a great resource for optimizing your content. 

Although YouTube doesn’t reveal the volumes of these search terms, manually typing in the search box for autosuggestions is tedious but completely free.

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5. Google Trends

Google Trends is another free resource for YouTube keyword research. When searching for keywords, you can narrow the results to only YouTube searches, which is perfect for creators. 

Use Google Trends to compare the relative popularity of keywords, or use its Trends feature to discover new potential topics. 

6. Ahrefs Keywords Explorer

Ahrefs Keywords Explorer pulls from a database of over 640 million YouTube keywords. Part of an all-in-one SEO toolset, the keyword tool provides search volumes for 10 different search engines (including YouTube). 

This tool also includes relevant search phrases that use your keyword, a difficulty score, and a “clicks” metric. However, because the database is so large, Keywords Explorer is priced a bit higher with plans starting at $99/month. 

7. Rank Tracker

Rank Tracker lets you determine your current positions on YouTube's search results page. Just input the URL of your video to initiate a project, configure it to monitor the specific URL, and choose YouTube as your search engine. Shortly, you'll uncover the highest-ranking keywords and your placement on YouTube's search results.

Additionally, Rank Tracker offers a complimentary Autocomplete feature for broader keyword suggestions. Choose YouTube from the autocomplete selection, enter your primary keyword, and click on Search. This tool will generate many long-tail keywords, ideal for enhancing your video's optimization.

8. Keyword Keg

Keyword Keg uses your inputted keyword to generate relevant search phrases and data. It presents things like search volume, Google AdWords cost per click, and overall keyword power. 

This tool allows you to view a sample of results for free, but it costs $40-$280/month for a complete package. 

9. Kparser

Kparser is another YouTube keyword search tool that can be used to find keywords and suggestions for long-tail keywords in specific fields. This is an especially great tool for international users as it allows you to generate keywords based on geography or location. Kparser’s basic features are free, or you can pay $4.99/month to see all the data.

10. Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere is another free Google Chrome extension that reveals useful keyword data. This tool calculates a term’s search volume, cost per click, and competitiveness, making it ideal for validating your existing keywords. 

11. Keyword Tool Dominator

A keyword generator tool that’s great for first-timers, Keyword Tool Dominator will return a list of relevant terms that are related to yours. Using the free version, you can perform three searches/day. If you’d like unlimited searches, upgrade your plan for a one-time fee of $39.99. 

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The course provides critical information for beginner and intermediate social media marketers and teaches you how to design ads, schedule and manage your channels, and understand web analytics so you can keep posting content your audience loves. Set yourself up for success by taking the time to learn with Simplilearn!


Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about YouTube keywords.

1. What is the best YouTube keyword tool?

TubeBuddy is at the top of our list for the best YouTube keyword tool, and here’s why: 

  • It’s easy to use. The extension operates using a simple system that’s ideal for beginners. Compared to more complicated, harder-to-use options, this tool is designed to make your keyword research painless. 
  • It’s comprehensive. The extension combines many different features in a single program, making it a great all-in-one keyword research tool.
  • It’s free. Although you can pay for more advanced versions, you don’t have to. You can get started with TubeBuddy at no cost. 

2. How do you use the keyword tool on YouTube?

There’s a keyword tool already built into the YouTube platform and using it is fairly straightforward. All you have to do is select your preferred language and countries, then enter your keyword or phrase. From there, click “Get Keyword Ideas,” and you will be presented with a lengthy list of keyword suggestions. 

3. Is there a keyword planner for YouTube?

Although Google Ads offers a free keyword planner tool that allows you to research and discover new keywords, there isn’t a version specifically for YouTube. We recommend using one of the YouTube keyword tools mentioned above to plan your YouTube keyword strategy.

4. Where do I find YouTube keywords?

There are a variety of tools that you can use to find the best YouTube keywords. Try any of the resources listed in this article to find terms relevant to your content, or you can use the tool that’s already built into the YouTube platform.

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