Ultimate Guide to youtube keyword tool software: Best Tools and Resources

June 18, 2024

Nitin is the CEO of quickads.ai with 20+ years of experience in the field of marketing and advertising. Previously, he was a partner at McKinsey & Co and MD at Accenture, where he has led 20+ marketing transformations.

Researching and using the right keywords is crucial for getting your YouTube videos discovered by your target audience. This guide covers the best tools and resources for effective YouTube keyword research, including:

Top Free Keyword Tools:

  • Ahrefs: Limited free version shows keyword ideas and search volumes

  • Google Trends: Displays related topics, queries, and regional interest for keywords

  • Keyword Tool: Suggests keyword ideas from YouTube's Autocomplete feature

Top Paid Keyword Tools:

Tool Key Features Pricing
TubeBuddy Keyword explorer, tag suggestions, video analytics Paid plans start at $2.25/month
VidIQ Search volume, competition data, trending video alerts Starts at $49/month
Semrush Search volume, difficulty, intent, marketing tool integration YouTube keyword analytics for $10/month

Quick Comparison of Top Paid Tools

Tool Keyword Research Competition Analysis Video Analytics Pricing (Starting)
TubeBuddy $2.25/month
VidIQ $49/month
Semrush $10/month

To effectively use keyword tools for YouTube:

  1. Find starting keywords related to your topic

  2. Study competitor videos to see what keywords they target

  3. Refine keywords based on search volume, competition, and relevance

  4. Optimize video content with target keywords in titles, descriptions, and tags

  5. Track performance and adjust strategy based on keyword rankings

Stay up-to-date on new trending topics and search patterns to keep your content relevant.

Understanding YouTube Keyword Research

What is YouTube Keyword Research?

YouTube keyword research is the process of finding the words and phrases people use when searching for videos on YouTube. It helps match your video content with what viewers are looking for.

Choosing the Right Keywords

When selecting keywords for your YouTube videos, consider:

  • Search Volume: Look for keywords with high search numbers to reach more viewers.

  • Competition: Check how many other videos target each keyword to gauge ranking difficulty.

  • Relevance: Ensure keywords directly relate to your video's topic and audience interests.

  • User Intent: Think about what viewers want when searching those keywords (information, entertainment, etc.).

Types of Keyword Tools

There are different tools to help with YouTube keyword research:

Tool Type Purpose
Research Tools Find and analyze keywords (e.g., Ahrefs, SEMrush)
Rank Tracking Tools Monitor your video's ranking for specific keywords (e.g., TubeBuddy, VidIQ)
Competitor Analysis Tools See what keywords your competitors use (e.g., Keyword Tool, Google Trends)
Tag Generators Get keyword and tag suggestions for your video (e.g., TubeBuddy, VidIQ)
YouTube Analytics Tools Understand your video's performance and audience (e.g., YouTube Analytics, Google Analytics)

Evaluating Keyword Tools

Choosing the right keyword tool is crucial for effective YouTube keyword research. Here are some key factors to consider:

Tool Features

Look for tools that offer useful features like:

  • Keyword suggestions and research

  • Search volume data and trends

  • Competition analysis and ranking tracking

  • Tag generation and optimization

  • Integration with other tools you use

Determine which features are most important for your needs.

Data Accuracy

Reliable, up-to-date data is essential. Choose tools with a reputation for providing accurate information on:

  • Search volumes

  • Keyword trends

  • Competition levels

Inaccurate data can lead to poor content decisions.

User-Friendly Design

A tool with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface saves time and reduces frustration. Look for:

  • Clear instructions

  • Minimal learning curve

  • Simple navigation

Tool Integration

Consider how well the keyword tool integrates with other software you use, such as:

  • Video editing tools

  • SEO platforms

  • Analytics tools

Seamless integration streamlines your workflow.

Pricing and Value

Keyword tools range from free to paid subscriptions. Evaluate the pricing model and ensure the tool provides good value for your budget and content strategy.

Support and Documentation

Good customer support and comprehensive documentation help you get the most out of the tool. Look for:

  • Tutorials and guides

  • Responsive support team

  • Clear explanations

User Reviews

Read user reviews and expert recommendations to gauge the tool's reputation. Positive reviews and high ratings can indicate a reliable, effective tool.

Key Factors Description
Features Useful capabilities like keyword research, competition analysis, and tag optimization
Data Accuracy Reliable, up-to-date data on search volumes, trends, and competition
User-Friendly Design Intuitive interface with clear instructions and minimal learning curve
Tool Integration Seamless integration with other software in your workflow
Pricing and Value Balanced pricing model that provides good value for your needs
Support and Documentation Comprehensive guides, tutorials, and responsive customer support
User Reviews Positive reviews and recommendations from users and experts

Top YouTube Keyword Tools

Finding the right keywords is key to getting your YouTube videos seen by your target audience. There are many keyword tools out there, both free and paid. Here are some of the top options:

Free Keyword Tools

Free tools are a great way to start if you're on a budget or just testing the waters.


Ahrefs offers a free version with limited features. It shows keyword ideas and ranks them by search volume. Pros: Lots of data, easy to use. Cons: Limited free access. How to use: Generate keywords and see their search volume to tailor your content.

Google Trends is a free tool that shows related topics, queries, and regional interest for keywords. Pros: Free, shows trends data. Cons: Doesn't give direct volume numbers. How to use: See rising topics and align your content.

Keyword Tool

Keyword Tool uses YouTube's Autocomplete to suggest keyword ideas. Pros: Simple and effective. Cons: Limited features in free version. How to use: Find less competitive keywords from autocomplete suggestions.

Paid tools offer more advanced features and data, ideal for creators looking to take their content to the next level.


TubeBuddy is a browser extension with a keyword explorer, tag suggestions, and video analytics. Pros: Lots of features. Cons: Some features require paid plan. Pricing: Paid plans start at $2.25/month. Unique point: Integrates directly with YouTube.


VidIQ is a Chrome extension that provides search volume, competition data, and more. Pros: Useful analytics and insights. Cons: Key features require subscription. Pricing: Starts at $49/month. Unique point: Alerts for trending videos.


Semrush is a comprehensive keyword data tool, including search volume, difficulty, and intent. Pros: In-depth data, integrates with other marketing tools. Cons: Expensive for small businesses. Pricing: YouTube-specific keyword analytics for $10/month.

When choosing a keyword tool, consider your content strategy, budget, and the features you need most. The right tool can help optimize your YouTube content for better visibility and engagement.

Tool Free Version Paid Version Key Features
Ahrefs Limited Yes Keyword ideas, search volume
Google Trends Yes No Related topics, queries, regional interest
Keyword Tool Limited Yes Autocomplete suggestions
TubeBuddy No Yes Keyword explorer, tag suggestions, video analytics
VidIQ No Yes Search volume, competition data, trending video alerts
Semrush No Yes Search volume, difficulty, intent, marketing tool integration

Using Keyword Tools for YouTube

Step 1: Find Starting Keywords

Begin by finding broad keywords related to your video topic. Use tools like Ahrefs, Google Trends, or Keyword Tool to get keyword ideas.

Step 2: Study Competitors

Look at successful videos from competitors in your niche. Tools like TubeBuddy, VidIQ, or Semrush can show you the keywords they target. Use this data to shape your content plan.

Step 3: Refine Keywords

Narrow down your keyword list based on:

  • Search Volume: How many people search for each keyword

  • Competition: How many other videos target the same keywords

  • Relevance: How closely the keywords match your video topic

Use tools like Ahrefs or Semrush for accurate data.

Step 4: Optimize Video Content

Include your target keywords in:

  • Video title

  • Description

  • Tags

Use keywords naturally without compromising content quality.

Step 5: Track Performance

Monitor how your videos rank for target keywords over time. Tools like TubeBuddy or VidIQ can help. Adjust your strategy based on which keywords drive the most views and engagement.

Stay Up-to-Date

Regularly check Google Trends, Keyword Tool, or other tools for new trending topics and search patterns. This helps you identify fresh opportunities and keep your content relevant.

Following these steps and using the right keyword tools can improve your YouTube video visibility in search results.

Step Description
1. Find Starting Keywords Use tools to get broad keyword ideas for your topic
2. Study Competitors Analyze successful competitor videos to see what keywords they target
3. Refine Keywords Narrow down keywords based on search volume, competition, and relevance
4. Optimize Video Content Include target keywords in titles, descriptions, and tags
5. Track Performance Monitor how your videos rank for target keywords over time
Stay Up-to-Date Check for new trending topics and search patterns regularly


In the end, doing keyword research for YouTube is very important. By using the right keyword tools and methods when making your content, you can help more people find and watch your videos.

Keeping up with research is key as YouTube is always changing. Checking for new popular topics, search trends, and what your competitors are doing can help you update your content plan and stay ahead.

Don't be afraid to try different keyword tools and change your approach based on what works best for your needs. Experimenting is how you'll find the right tools and strategies.

Using effective YouTube keyword research allows you to:

  • Get your videos seen by more viewers

  • Attract your target audience

  • Grow your channel

Benefit Description
Increased Visibility Optimizing videos with relevant keywords helps them rank higher in YouTube searches, making them more visible.
Better Engagement Using keywords viewers search for helps attract the right audience and keep them engaged.
Channel Growth Reaching more of your target viewers through keyword optimization can lead to growing your subscriber base.

So keep researching keywords, testing new tools, and adjusting your content strategy. It's the path to unlocking your videos' full potential on YouTube.


What is the best tool for finding YouTube keywords?

TubeBuddy stands out as the top choice for a YouTube keyword tool. It's designed to be user-friendly, making keyword research simple even for beginners. Unlike more complex options, this tool keeps things straightforward with an easy-to-use system.

How can I find free YouTube keywords?

In the YouTube search bar, enter a topic related to your channel or a topic you want to make videos about. YouTube's autocomplete feature will suggest multiple keyword variations. Write down the relevant YouTube search terms that appear in the autocomplete results. Then, create videos targeting those keywords.

Tool Description
TubeBuddy Top choice for YouTube keyword research. User-friendly interface makes it easy for beginners.
YouTube Autocomplete Free method. Enter topics in the search bar and note the autocomplete keyword suggestions.

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