free seo tools for youtube videos

Welcome to our blog!

We’re so glad you’re here. We are [company name], and we’re passionate about helping small businesses succeed by building their online presence. Our goal is to provide you with the best free SEO tools for Youtube videos so that your business can get found by potential customers.

We’re going to start by sharing some of our favorite free SEO tools for Youtube videos, but first we want to tell you about our company and how it got started. After graduating from college in 1998, I started my first company—a real estate agency that specialized in selling homes in the suburbs of Philadelphia. At first, things were going great—we were getting lots of new customers every day and making a lot of money. But then came 2008: everything changed overnight when the housing market crashed and clients started defaulting on their mortgages or walking away from them completely (which meant no more income).

I was completely devastated when this happened because I had invested all my savings into starting this business and now everything was falling apart before my eyes! But then one day something amazing happened: one of my clients asked if we could help him find another house nearby that he could rent until he got back on his feet financially

free seo tools for youtube videos

Video is the best performing content type on all social platforms, and if you’re looking to utilize video in your digital marketing approach, you also need to be considering YouTube, and building a YouTube presence.

The online video leader is now the second most-visited website in the world, and boasts an astonishing 1.9 billion active users. YouTube is also considered to be the web’s second-largest search engine, behind parent company Google’s main app, with a growing number of visitors seeking out videos to help them contextualize their various queries and questions.

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How marketers are reaching Gen Z

Given these considerations, YouTube marketing will very likely be worth the effort – but if you want to maximize your YouTube performance, you need to ensure that your videos align with those search trends, and are ‘findable’ when users go looking for related content.

To that, you’ll need the help of some tools. These apps and tips will help you optimize your YouTube videos for user search behaviors.

1. Find a topic with Google Trends

Nothing helps YouTube optimization quite as much as the audience’s genuine interest in the topics you cover. ‘YouTube-able’ content comes in all shapes and sizes – the trick is to find yours.

Start exploring with Google Trends. To do this, type in your focus topic, specify ‘YouTube Search’, then pick a geographical region, category, and time period at which to narrow down the results.

You can take this a step further by adding a topic to compare your focus topic to, in order to see how they compare against each other.

Google Trends also offers a list of related queries for each topic, as well as maps which highlight audience interest across regions. You can also download, embed and share all of this data if needed.

Side perk: Spot breakout trends as part of related queries to boost your videos ranking potential

Pricing: Absolutely free

2. Fetch keyword ideas from Google Ads

Taking the time to find the perfect keyword/s for your content is probably the best investment you can make while laying out your YouTube strategy.

While we’re on the free first-hand data sources, let’s turn to Google Ads’ Keyword Planner. With a topic in mind, you can run a raw keyword research in order to identify search terms and queries with the highest potential.

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Keyword Planner fetches tons of keyword ideas based on your seed keyword/phrase, search settings and filters (if any) specified. You can take a closer look at the average monthly searches and competition to single out the best fits. You can then export your keyword list in one click, with all metrics included.

Side perk: Enter up to ten keywords at a time – putting in a URL also works

Pricing: The tool is free

3. Step up your keyword research with Rank Tracker

For next-level keyword research, you can also use YouTube autocomplete – either on the platform itself or via a designated keyword research and analysis tool such as Rank Tracker.

Rank Tracker lets you pull keyword ideas from YouTube’s suggestions, and highlights vital metrics, such as search volume, expected visits, competition, etc.

You can also use Rank Tracker to run a quick ranking check, and yield the keywords that deliver video results in featured snippets. Take note of the keywords with the highest search volume – those are most likely to help you rank in organic search.  

Side perk: Set YouTube as the search engine to track your videos’ rankings once they’re up and running

Pricing: Paid versions start at $124 (Professional) and $299 (Enterprise) – free version and trial available

4. Do your metadata homework with TubeBuddy

Optimizing your video content is just as essential as optimizing the content of your webpages – only that there’s no time to waste when it comes to YouTube SEO. Forty-eight hours after your video goes live is your metadata optimization deadline – once you miss that, the algorithm marks your content as less timely, which makes it extra hard to make a comeback.

Tool up with TubeBuddy, a browser extension which eases channel maintenance, and lends a helping hand with things like titles, descriptions, tags, annotations, cards and more.

Once integrated into YouTube, the tool will provide you with valuable insights on all the YouTube videos that you open. Maximize your organic reach by fetching any videos’ tags, and save tons of time you’d spend looking for the best fits within the 500-character limit.

TubeBuddy also provides optimization tips, and suggestions for boosting your channel’s growth. Additionally, the tool can provide automated checks to ensure that your videos are set up correctly (i.e. meeting YouTube’s recommendations).  

Side perk: Utilize the ‘Vid2Vid’ feature to promote your older videos in the descriptions of new uploads

Pricing: Paid plans start at $9/mo (Pro), $19/mo (Star), $49/mo (Legend) – a free version is also available

5. Manage like a pro with VidIQ

VidIQ is another channel management toolkit which operates as a browser extension, displaying crucial stats for all the YouTube videos you open – which means effortless competitor research and advanced analytics for each and every video you can find.

The tool’s ‘Most Viewed’ feature lets you identify and match YouTube’s best performing videos against each other. For further intelligence, you can add specific competitor channels, and compare them against your own. With your own 24/7 channel audit on hand, you can see which practices you should consider implementing to boost performance.

You can take it a step further and set up email alerts to keep an eye on trending topics within your field (or your competitors’ channels). And for enhanced outreach, you can use the ‘Facebook Syndication’ feature, and share your video instantly across platforms (though you should exercise caution when cross-posting).

Side perk: Bulk copy cards and end screens, bulk edit end screens.

Pricing: Paid plans start at $7.50/mo (Pro), $39/mo (Boost); free and Enterprise versions available.


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6. Introspect your channel with YouTube Analytics

YouTube Analytics is simply the best when it comes to identifying your channel’s strengths and weak points.

Learning more about your audience, the content that grabs their attention – and makes them stay – as well as the videos they want to share, gives you crucial insights for maintaining and growing your YouTube presence.

We know for a fact that longer videos perform better. We also know that all YouTube algorithms are focused on watch time, so it makes perfect sense to have a closer look at Watch Time and Realtime reports to examine your average view duration, average percentage viewed, as well as audience retention.

Being aware of which of your videos drive subscribes is also a must, since new subscribers give you a significant advantage in YouTube search. Encouraging your audience to subscribe, like and comment – when executed successfully – is a sure way to get a ranking boost.

Side perk: Study your Interaction reports from the last six months to spot patterns in likes, favorites, comments, or sharing

Pricing: The tool is absolutely free.

7. Track and grow user engagement with Awario

User engagement with the video remains number one ranking factor on YouTube. Therefore, keeping an eye on the kind of buzz that surrounds your YouTube content – on the platform itself and elsewhere – is a must.

With a social monitoring tool like Awario, fetching mentions of your video and keywords is made easy – you can simply enter your video’s URL to set up an alert, and collect linkless mentions that are already a ranking signal for Google.

For more specific queries, you can try a Boolean search – configure a targeted search to collect existing mentions and identify new link sources.

Add specific search operators, combine groups of keywords, apply additional language or country filters, and much more – whatever it is, Awario has you covered.

Views, likes, comment and subscriber counts, including new subscribers, are all ranking factors – some more than others. Comments, however, are of particular interest as they speak volumes of user engagement.

You can Like and comment directly from Awario’s dashboard to ensure that none of your audience’s feedback remains unaddressed.

Side perk: Use Awario to run competitor research by setting the tool to track YouTube results only

Pricing: Paid plans come at $29/mo (Starter), $89/mo (Pro), and $299/mo (Enterprise); free trial available.

8. Mix up your visuals with Canva

Channel art may not be the first thing on your mind when laying out the course of your YouTube optimization strategy. However, in a world of tools like Canva, getting creative has never been easier – so why miss out?

A freemium graphic design app, Canva is there to help you manifest your inner designer, via all sorts of visuals – be it a logo or a mind map. As part of your YouTube SEO efforts, expressing your artistic self can be done through developing channel art and thumbnails to increase your click-through rates.

You can start from scratch or browse through the categories and pick any of the templates the app has to offer: Canva’s drag-and-drop interface lets you use professionally designed layouts to further customize them, creating unique and compelling visuals, and re-inventing your channel’s looks.

Side perk: You can also use Canva’s mobile app to create designs and collaborate on projects while on the go

Pricing: Canva Pro comes at $12.95/mo, Enterprise is available on request. There’s also a free plan.


With YouTubing now a universal pastime, and profitable line of work alike, video optimization is a skill for every marketer to acquire – and sooner rather than later. YouTube SEO is neither quick nor easy – however, when mastered, it can prove to be extremely rewarding.

Download the tools that look like the best fit for your process, and use this listing as a roadmap to make the most of the platform’s ever-growing potential.

youtube seo for beginners

Everybody knows that people would rather watch a video than read a big long blog post (I know, I should have done this as a video too—maybe one day). In fact, 59% of executives say they would rather watch a video than read text. That’s a lot of people. Which means that video SEO can have countless benefits: increased watch time, broader brand awareness, and more sales and leads.

youtube seo tips—youtube homescreen
Search engines like YouTube and Google use the same fundamentals in their algorithms for website and video ranking. The focus is on providing the user with the very best experience possible, and YouTube video search results have now been combined with Google search results to simplify how people search.

In this blog, I’m going walk you through exactly how you can drive traffic to your YouTube videos using some simple SEO tips.

8 simple YouTube SEO tips to rank higher in search
You can combine your SEO and video strategy to help supercharge your marketing in a pretty straightforward and simple way. Doing this will not only improve your video watch time, but also get your customers’ attention, and help you further down the line with things like YouTube remarketing. Here are eight steps to improve your YouTube SEO to drive more traffic and video views.

  1. Pick your keywords wisely
    SERPs are getting more competitive every month. New competitors, new products, new services—everyone is fighting for the top spots. So, finding ways to diversify yourself and your offering is crucial. Do your keyword research, and unless you can compete with really competitive terms, pick keywords that can get you volume, but are less competitive.

You can use the same keyword research tools you’d use for PPC or SEO, like

WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool
Google Keyword Planner.
Moz or Semrush.
Google search—search suggest, people also ask, related searches, and more!

  1. Use keywords in your video title
    Understanding the search intent of your audience is the first step. We know that the most common types of search intent include informational, commercial, navigational, and transactional. So, matching what your video is about with the intent of your customer is going to be really important for getting your video visible in search results.

youtube seo tips—SERP showing the keyword in video titles
Secondly, make sure, you understand WHY you want to create a YouTube video and who the primary audience is. For instance, if you are looking to showcase a product review, then use the product name in the video title and description. It sounds really simple, but there are so many YouTube channels that miss this step and their videos show up low on Google and YouTube search results.

Below is an example of how competitive the term ‘dell computer review’ is. This term is something that someone may be searching for when they are considering a product. These videos are pulling through from YouTube, but also from other websites and blogs around the web.

youtube seo—videos in the SERP

  1. Include the keyword in your video file
    Super simple, but YouTube may use this as one of the ranking factors when it comes to showing your video in search results. If the file name you are uploading has the target keyword in it, your video will have a much better chance of being ranked—and a much better chance of gaining more search volume.

youtube seo tips-keyword in video filename
When uploading a new video, you can see the filename. YouTube uses this to make sure the video is relevant, so ensure your file name is updated before you upload it!

  1. Optimize your YouTube video description
    One of the most important ranking factors for YouTube SEO is making sure you have a solid, optimized video description. Whenever you change or update any YouTube video element—which includes video descriptions, subtitles and closed captions, and video thumbnails—YouTube will reevaluate the video. This can be good or bad… so it’s important you get it right the first time!

youtube seo tips—description tab
YouTube recommends that you put your most important keywords in the first couple of sentences of your description – and that your description should be no longer than 200 words. Broadly speaking—make your description useful. If it doesn’t help a user—delete it.

You can see below, that the keyword I have typed into Google is in bold in the descriptions of the videos that have shown up. This is YouTube’s way of telling me the videos are relevant from the video descriptions.

youtube seo tiips—keyword bolded in results
Youtube has some great resources on the Youtube Creator Studio which is a resource that is always updated with current information. It has a handy list that guides you through the steps to a successful video description:

Include an overview of your video using natural language—not just a stream of keywords.
Insert the most important keywords at the beginning of your description.
Pick 1–2 main words that describe your video and feature them prominently in both your description and title.
Use keyword tools such as Google Trends and the Google Ads Keyword Planner to identify popular keywords and their synonyms. Including these terms can help you to maximize traffic from search.
Omit irrelevant words in your description because it creates a poor viewing experience and may violate Google’s policies.

  1. Use video hashtags to drive YouTube search results
    Across social media, hashtags (#) are now used to help users find content that answers their questions across a range of platforms. You can use related hashtags (#) in video descriptions to help viewers find your video when they search for a specific hashtag.

Tags specifically help drive search as they make key trends more visible. Once you add a hashtag to the video description, it will be shown above the title of the video and then become hyperlinked.

youtube seo tips—hashtag appearing above video title
It’s also important to remember where you include video hashtags here. If you add in a hashtag in the video title, hashtags from descriptions won’t get displayed about the video title.

  1. Select a video category
    If users are searching for a particular video with advanced options, they can select the search to show videos from selected categories. When uploading your video, it’s important you contextualize your video with categories so you will have a better chance of getting found by a user.

YouTube has a variety of category options to pick from, so you should be able to find a category that suits your YouTube videos. You can select the category options when uploading your video.

youtube seo tips—video categories list

  1. Customize your thumbnail image
    Thumbnails can help or hinder your YouTube videos. They are the first thing that grabs people’s attention when they look at YouTube search results. A strong thumbnail can lead to a higher watch time, which can have a big influence on YouTube ranking. Create something that grabs people’s attention and stands out from the crowd so that your video gets noticed. For example, these thumbnails are just taken from the video itself and are probably not the most relevant for grabbing the user’s attention.

youtube seo tips—examples of poor thumbnail images
Creating a custom thumbnail is the best way to see results—showing people what your video is about and how it will benefit them is the real key to success.

A great example of a customized thumbnail:

youtube seo tips—example of good, custom thumbnail
RELATED: The 12 Best Video Editing Software for Beginners

  1. Add subtitles and closed captions
    Using subtitles and closed captions is the final tip for success on YouTube search.

While video subtitles are designed to communicate video dialogue for viewers who can’t understand the video language, closed captions are for viewers who can’t hear the audio.

Both subtitles and closed-caption files contain the text of what is said in the video, like a transcript. The file will also contain time codes for when each bit of text should be displayed through the video, so it can match up with speech or another visual element. See what file formats YouTube supports here.

The other benefit of having a transcript for your video is that it can be picked up by broad search engines, just as a blog would.

On the video upload screen, you can select your file and video language. There are a lot of really good guides out there for how to create an SRT file for your video. Here is one I use often!

youtube seo tips—language, subtitle, closed captions tab
Achieve higher ranking with these YouTube SEO tips
If you are looking to promote your business on YouTube, use these YouTube SEO tips to help improve your video traffic and watch time:

Choose your keywords wisely
Include keywords in the title of the video
Include keywords in the video file
Optimize your description
Use video hashtags
Select a video category
Use eye-catching thumbnails
Add subtitles and closed captions
And finally, do your research as you would with any other piece of content. Focus on creating evergreen videos that you can build upon to strengthen your content portfolio. The more helpful content you offer users, the more search volume you will get to your business and YouTube channel!


Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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