How to find keywords for your videos | Three easy steps
Here’s how to find keywords for your videos in three really easy ways!
What are keywords and why are they important for YouTube videos?
Keywords or phrases are the exact words used by your audience, they’re what they type into search to describe the topic of content that they want to see.
If we can find the words our audience is using to search for content, not only will our videos have a better chance of ranking, but our content will be relevant and valuable to a very specific group of people.
Keyword research is based on supply and demand. So the demand is search volume and the competition is the supply. So how many other videos are using an optimised for that keyword? What we want to do is get the balance. We want to find keywords that people are using, so there has to be a search volume for those keywords, but there doesn’t want to be too much competition, especially when we’re first starting out.
So how to find the right keywords with the right balance of supply and demand?
1. Using YouTube’s search bar/Autofill function
The first way is to use the YouTube search bar. When we type words into the YouTube search bar, you’ll notice that a dropdown box appears. It’s the autofill box which gives us suggestions of other alternative ways of phrasing what we’re trying to say, which comes up with different suggestions based around what we’ve typed in.
The suggestions that appear in that dropdown box are based on prior search history on YouTube. They look at the volume of search across everyone using the platform.
So once you have a keyword or phrase in mind, try typing it into the YouTube search bar and see what other suggestions come up. By playing around with words before our keyword, the end of our keyword, or finding different alternatives for the phrase that we’ve chosen, we can find lots of different suggestions which might give us a better chance of ranking, of our video being found.
Let’s look at an example…
If we enter into the YouTube search bar how to cook a chicken, the dropdown box gives lots of different suggestions. How to cook a chicken in the oven and how to cook a chicken in the slow cooker. So if either of those phrases were relevant to the video that you were going to create about cooking a chicken, you might want to then take those key phrases and do some further research on them to find out whether they would be better to use than how to cook a chicken.
Now here’s another nifty trick on how to come up with different keywords ideas using YouTube’s autofill function. You can use a wildcard, which is essentially an underscore on your keyboard.
You can insert this wildcard or underscore in any position at any point in your chosen sentence. So using our example of how to cook a chicken, let’s use the wildcard in a part of that sentence to see how it might throw up some other suggestions.
If we type in how to _ a chicken, you can see that one of the suggestions that appears is how to cook a roast chicken. If we put the wildcard, the underscore, at the beginning of our sentence, and remove the ‘how to’, we’re shown that how to cook a chicken is a search term. We see other suggestions such as every way to cook a chicken.
So using this wildcard is just another way to identify another level of topics and get different ideas. And don’t forget you can use that wildcard anywhere within your sentence.
2. Using Keywords Everywhere
The second easy way of finding keywords for your videos is to use an extension called Keywords Everywhere. It’s a Chrome extension which there is a free version of, and for any given search term or keyword, it gives you the monthly search volume for it.
Now this second way of finding keywords is best combined with the first way above of using the YouTube search bar, because once you’ve installed Keywords Everywhere and have it switched on, what you’ll notice is that when you then use the YouTube search bar to type in words or phrases, in the dropdown box, not only do you see the different suggestions which we discussed in way one, but you’ll also notice that next to each of those suggestions is the data from Keywords Everywhere, the monthly search volume for those keywords and phrases.
So you can use the YouTube search bar to get your suggestions for keywords and titles for your video, and you can then analyse the data from Keywords Everywhere to help you work out of the suggestions that the YouTube search bar has given you, which ones have the best search volume.
Now do remember what we said earlier on which is that keywords are all about supply and demand. So it’s all very well using a tool such as Keywords Everywhere to find keywords and phrases that have a really high search volume, but if our channel is in the early stages, if we don’t have a huge subscriber base at this point, then we’re going to be in competition with the really big channels which do, and so, have a much better chance of ranking for those keywords and phrases than perhaps we do.
So how do we then find the right balance? How do we then pick our keywords and phrases based on not only the search volume that Keywords Everywhere is giving us, but also showing us what the likelihood of us ranking for that keyword or phrase is?
Well that’s where way number three of finding keywords for your videos comes in.
3. Using TubeBuddy
The next way to find keywords for your video is to perform keyword research using TubeBuddy, an extension which can be used on Chrome or Firefox. There is a completely free version, but there’s lots of opportunities to upgrade to unlock lots of different functions as well. TubeBuddy overlays data and options onto YouTube and gives you loads of channel management features that you don’t get with YouTube itself.
For this step we’re going to focus on one specific element of TubeBuddy and that is the Keyword Explorer tool. In the same way that we’ve used YouTube’s search bar to get suggestions for different variations on a keyword or phrase, we’ll use TubeBuddy to do the same thing, but we’ll see not only what the search volumes are for that particular keyword or phrase, but we’ll also see what the competition is, and then how likely it is that for our channel, we will have a chance of ranking for it.
If we type in those exact words, how to cook a chicken, we’re given a score. This score is based on the search volume, but it’s also based on the competition for this keyword. With how to cook a chicken, it’s obviously a highly, highly competitive keyword as it’s given a score of 5/100. So what we’re shown is, that whilst loads of people search using this term, the chances of ranking for it are so slim because so many people are using it.
Let’s look at some different variations. If we type in how to cook a roast chicken, you can see the results are slightly more promising with a score of 32/100, but can we improve on that?
By making the phrase even longer, if we type in how to cook a roast chicken in the oven, we get a score of 53/100.
It really is worth spending some time playing around with the Keyword Explorer tool in TubeBuddy, getting different ideas and analysing the keywords and phrases that you’ve come up with to see which ones might be best for you to use in terms of search volume and competition.
So there we have it. We use way one which is to use the YouTube search bar combined with way two which is Keywords Everywhere extension. From there we take our keyword ideas and we use the Keyword Explorer element of TubeBuddy to find out which ones we should use.
There’s going to be much more on how to find keywords for your videos and on every topic you need to help you grow your YouTube channel so do head over to YouTube and subscribe 😍