Free Keyword Research Tool For Youtube

Youtube is a powerful platform. It can help you build a business that brings in more money than you ever imagined, but it also has its drawbacks. One of those drawbacks is the fact that it can be difficult to find the right keywords to optimize your video content for.

The problem with Youtube is that it’s not easy to find good keywords that will get your videos ranked well. You might have seen some of the top YouTubers using tools like KWFinder and, but these are not free tools and if you’re a beginner or don’t have much money to spend on online marketing tools then there isn’t much hope for you.

That’s why I decided to make this post: To show you what I think is one of the best keyword research tools for Youtube out there today!

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YouTube Keyword Tool: Find YouTube Keyword Ideas for Free

Free Keyword Research Tool For Youtube

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.

To work in concert with YouTube’s algorithm, you need to be using YouTube keyword tools and ensuring 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. Take advantage of relevant search terms that your audience uses to find content.

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.

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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 successfully reach the people it’s intended for.

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

10 Best 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.

    Another great keyword tool for YouTube is, 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. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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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  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions
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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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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Become a YouTube Keyword Expert
Learning how to perform keyword research is easy with self-paced, affordable online programs like Simplilearn’s Advanced Social Media Certification Training, your best bet to get the level of professional training needed to navigate the social media seas.

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!

best youtube keyword research tool

YouTube is the world’s 2nd largest search engine, with over one billion hours of video watched daily.

But the question is, what are people searching for?

And what should you create videos about?

Keyword research is the only way to answer that, but unfortunately, there’s no official research tool for YouTube as there is with Google. Even worse, many popular third-party tools do nothing but kick back useless numbers from Google Keyword Planner.

Luckily, there are some good tools.

Below, we’ll talk about what these are, how they work, and how to use them.

  1. TubeBuddy

TubeBuddy is a freemium browser extension for Chrome. It adds a sidebar to the YouTube UI with additional keyword data.

On the search results, you’ll see the “Search Explorer” overlay. This shows estimated global search volume, competition, and an overall keyword score out of 100. According to TubeBuddy, their keyword score tells you “how good a keyword is to target based on search volume and competition.”

TubeBuddy doesn’t explain how they gauge competition, so take this with a pinch of salt.

We’ve also found that their search volumes estimates are often overinflated. For example, we consistently rank in positions 1-2 for “SEO” on YouTube—a keyword for which TubeBuddy shows a search volume of 7.12 million searches per month.

serp overlay youtube

Yet we get nowhere near that amount of impressions in YouTube search…

Monthly impressions in YouTube search for our video that ranks for “SEO.”

… which proves that true search volume is nowhere near the number suggested by TubeBuddy.

You’ll also see keyword stats, which give you a high-level view of the search results:

keyword stats tubebuddy

Below this, there’s a list of related searches and the most used tags from the top-ranking videos.

related searches tags

This is useful for discovering long-tail keywords to optimize your video for, or even to find other less competitive topics that you might not have considered.

Unfortunately, both of these are limited to three results for free users.

On video pages, you’ll see the “Videolytics” overlay. This shows a bunch of stats about the video and publisher (e.g., social shares across major social networks, the number of videos on the channel, etc.).


It also tells you if the uploader has followed “best optimization practices,” and pulls the full list of video tags.

You can copy and save tags to a list with a couple of clicks.

This is useful when trying to build up a list of tags for a video. Just look for common and relevant tags across top-ranking videos, add them to a tags list, then copy-paste the final list into the tags section of your video.

Tag lists get deduped automatically, so you won’t end up pasting a list of duplicate tags.

It’s also worth noting that TubeBuddy does suggest tags when you upload a video.

tubebuddy tags suggestions

Beyond tags, another useful TubeBuddy feature is their rank tracker tool.

Here, you can track YouTube search rankings for yours and your competitors’ videos. You can even schedule downloadable weekly or monthly reports.

Keyword Ranking Report Display

  1. vidIQ

vidIQ is another freemium Chrome extension that adds additional data to the YouTube UI.

Much of its functionality is similar to TubeBuddy. In the search results, it shows search volume, competition, overall keyword score, related queries, keyword stats, and the tags from the top-ranking videos.

vidIQ doesn’t tell us the precise formula they use for the “competition” score. However, they do state they look at the “total amount of engagements (across YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook), view velocity of that video, and views.”

On video results, the stats you see are almost identical to TubeBuddy.

However, one small but useful difference is the ability to export video tags to CSV in a single click (without adding to tags lists first).

video tags export

vidIQ also shows channel tags alongside video tags, whereas TubeBuddy doesn’t.

channel tags

This is useful for getting a sense of the main topics a channel covers, and whether it’s worth analyzing more of their videos for potential video ideas.

Like TubeBuddy, vidIQ also suggests tags when you upload a video.

vidiq recommended tags

All in all, most of the functionality between vidIQ and TubeBuddy is so similar that it mostly comes down to personal preference.

But one unique feature worth mentioning is their trending videos feature, specifically for channels.

What this allows you to do is see any competing channel’s top videos by view velocity (i.e., the average views per hour).

To see it, head over to the channel’s page and hit the “Trending” tab.

trending vid iq

This information is valuable because newly-published YouTube videos tend to get most of their traction in the first 48 hours—which is when YouTube promotes the video to subscribers.

After that, if the video performed well, it gets promoted to other audiences via browse features.

This is important. It means that if you see old videos with a high view velocity, then those may be good topics/keywords to target on your own channel.

Reason being, the overarching topic/keyword clearly has longevity.

Here’s an example from Tasty’s YouTube channel:

high view velocity

Their video about easy 3-ingredient recipes still gets over 3,000 views per hour on average, despite being published over ten months ago.

SIDENOTE. The free version of vidIQ only shows you a limited number of videos.

  1. Morning Fame

Morning Fame is an invite-only YouTube tool focused on analytics and keyword research.

Looking for an invite? Click here. If that doesn’t work, Google “morning fame invite code”—you’ll soon find one.

Once you’re in, the first month is free. After that, it costs a few dollars per month.

So how does this tool work?

Unlike TubeBuddy and vidIQ, Morning Fame does keyword research in a four-step process. The idea is to go through this whenever you want to create a new video, and it begins with choosing a topic.

There are two ways to do this. You can either enter a search term that fits your topic…

morning fame topic

… or, if you’re stuck for ideas, paste in the URL of a video that inspired you:

inspiring video morning fame

From here, the tool pulls a list of keyword ideas from similar and related videos, then divides them into two lists: good keywords for larger channels, and good keywords for smaller channels.

keyword options

Choose a keyword to go to the next step, where you’ll see a “Ranking Opportunity Rating” based on your chosen keyword’s search volume.

The tool states that higher is better, although it’s worth noting that this is quite a simple metric and doesn’t take into account any other variables. What’s more, it doesn’t show actual search volumes but rather a score between 0-100. This serves as a rough indication as to whether search volume is high or low.

ranking opportunity

It also attempts to further estimate “ranking opportunity” based on four of your channels current stats: subscribers, views, likes & comments, and relevance.

Our advice? Ignore these grades. They don’t mean much.

The fourth and final step guides you through writing a title, description, and adding relevant tags to your video.

adding tags in morning fame

  1. Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
    ahrefs ke youtube

Keywords Explorer runs on a database of over 640 million YouTube keywords.

You can search for almost any keyword and see metrics powered by clickstream data, including local and global search volume (for nearly every country), clicks, click percentage, and more.

What does that mean in real terms? It means you can see how many people search for a query on YouTube every month, and also how many of those searches result in clicks on search results.

metrics ke

Looking at clicks and volume together can tell you more than looking at search volume in isolation.

For example, the search volume for “ramen recipe” is ~20% higher than “palak paneer recipe,” but the latter gets more clicks than the former:

search volume vs clicks

That means you’re probably better off showing people how to make palak paneer than ramen.

Keywords Explorer also lets you check SEO metrics for up to 10,000 keywords at a time. Just paste them in or upload a file.

10000 keywords

Or, if you’re short of keyword ideas, search for a seed keyword and check one of the five keyword ideas reports.

phrase match keywords

The reports at your disposal are:

Phrase match: Keywords containing the exact seed word or phrase.
Having same terms: Keywords containing all words in your seed query, but not necessarily in the order entered. E.g., If you seed is “salmon recipe,” then both “easy salmon recipe” and “recipe with salmon” will match.
Newly discovered: Keywords added to the database recently.
Questions: Keywords phrased as questions.
All keyword ideas: Keywords from all the reports above in one.
There are filters across all reports so you can narrow down hundreds or thousands of ideas quickly and easily.

filters ke

Learn more about YouTube keyword research in this post or this video:

  1. Google Trends
    google trends youtube

Google Trends shows whether interest in a topic on YouTube is rising or declining over time.

For example, let’s search for “apple watch,” select “YouTube search” from the dropdown, set the country to the United States, and set the range to the past three years.

apple watch google trends

What we see is that interest in this topic, on YouTube, is slowly rising.

It’s also clear that there semi-regular spikes in interest. If we analyze these spikes further, we see that they occur at roughly the same time each year—Christmas.

apple watch google trends december

Putting two and two together, it’s likely that these spikes occur because lots of people get an Apple Watch for Christmas. After which, they head to YouTube to learn how to use it.

The takeaway? If you run a tech channel, publishing a video about “how to use an apple watch” on December 25th wouldn’t be a bad strategy because that’s when the most people are searching for this.

Google Trends also lets you compare the relative popularity of two or more keywords.

For example, if we compare “how to use iPhone XS” with “how to use Galaxy S10,” we see there are more searches for the former on YouTube than the latter…

youtube trends comparison

… although interest is on the rise for the S10.

This is a useful exercise if you have a few video ideas and are unsure which one to prioritize.

You can also use Trends to find new topics for videos. Just look at the related queries section.

rising searches

These are all queries that have seen an increase in searches recently on YouTube.

  1. YouTube (Autosuggest)
    youtube autosuggest

Head over to YouTube and type any keyword into the search box.

You should see a dropdown like above.

These suggestions are based on relevant queries people have previously searched on YouTube, and they’re a great source of inspiration for videos.

For example, if I type “vegetarian,” I see results like “vegetarian ramen” and “vegetarian lasagna,” which are great ideas for standalone videos.

vegetarian youtube

For even more ideas, use an underscore (_) between words. This acts as a wildcard.

wildcard search

Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t show search volumes. Nor does it show the relative popularity of the queries (i.e., how much more popular one term is than the other).

For precise search volumes, you can copy results into a paid keyword tool like Ahrefs Keywords Explorer.

youtube ke

Alternatively, use Google Trends to see their relative popularity.

Relative popularity for “vegetarian curry recipe, “vegetarian chili recipe,” and “vegetarian burrito recipe” for YouTube via Google Trends

SIDENOTE. It’s best to exclude the seed query when doing this because it’s often way more popular than the autosuggest results.

    keyword tool is a freemium tool that is essentially a bulk YouTube autosuggest scraper.

What do we mean by bulk? Well, it scrapes the autosuggest results for the keyword you search for. But it also appends and prepends the query with various letters and numbers, and scrapes the autosuggest results for those.

It then divides the keywords into four tabs:

Keyword Suggestions: All autosuggest keywords (excluding those formatted as questions).
Questions: Autosuggest keywords formatted as questions.
Prepositions: Autosuggest keywords containing propositions (from, for, after, etc.). Note that you can also see these in the Keyword Suggestions tab.
Hashtags: Autosuggest keywords with hashtags. (This is usually a rather pointless tab from what I can see).
Usually, you end up with a list of a few hundred keyword ideas.

You can filter these results with ease, and also add “negative keywords” to filter out queries containing specific words or phrases.

negative keywords

Keywords are also exportable to Excel or CSV at the click of a button.

export keywords

The downside is that search volumes aren’t available for free users. If you want those, you’ll have to pay.

Paid users also see up to twice as many keyword suggestions compared to the free version.

That said, I’ve never seen the free version kick back more than 800-900 keywords. So I’m reasonably sure that even the paid version will max out at around 2,000 keyword suggestions.

  1. Ahrefs Content Explorer
    Content Explorer is a searchable database of over one billion web pages.

How is this relevant to YouTube keyword research?

Because there are currently over 60 million videos from YouTube in the database, and you can see which of them get lots of traffic from Google search. Like this one:

ce high traffic video

By creating videos about such topics, you can “double dip” and get traffic to your videos from Google as well as YouTube.

Does it work? Yes. Here’s the traffic we get to our videos from Google:

2 Analytics YouTube

How do you do it?

Just search for the following in Content Explorer, then filter only for pages with organic traffic: inurl:watch title:”topic”

For example, here’s one of the results from a search on protein powder:

protein powder video

It’s a homemade protein powder recipe, and it gets an estimated 2,000 visits from Google every month. That happens because it ranks for keywords like this…

video ranking keywords

… where Google shows videos in the search results:

google video result

Final thoughts
If you want more views on YouTube, then targeting keywords with search volume is crucial.

How do we know? In early-2019, we launched a series of product-related videos for our former Marketing with Ahrefs course. None of these were optimized around keywords with search volume. As such, they didn’t perform well from an organic search perspective.

Low lifetime search traffic for one of our product-related videos.

But here’s what happened to our views after we started taking a keyword-focused approach to our channel:

channel views youtube

So, use the tools in this post to your advantage and find relevant keywords people are searching for, then create videos around them.


Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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