Keyword Research for YouTube 101

August 8, 2014
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If you even have the slightest experience in marketing your business online, then you’ll have heard of keyword research. But before you think this beginner’s guide is child’s play, realise that YouTube is an entirely different ball game that requires its own unique approach. And we’re going to hand you a couple of strategies that will put you ahead of your competition right off the bat.
Strategy 1: Don’t Apply Adwords Keyword Planner Strategies  
It’s possible you’ve already spent many hours glued to Google’s Keyword Planner when doing research for your website. Because YouTube is a Google-owned property, the Keyword Tool will have a familiar look and feel to it. But don’t think you can apply the same tried and tested strategies you’ve used with the Keyword Planner. YouTube requires a slightly tweaked approach that requires you think to think from a more creative perspective.
What we mean by that is thinking about the type of phrases that someone would look for in a video rather than in a website or news article. ‘Mountain Bikes Melbourne’ may seem like a relevant phrase for Google, but it’s not something that you’d type in on YouTube. Just as an example, a phrase like ‘how to choose a mountain bike’ would be much more suitable.
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Strategy 2: YouTube Search Suggest
Just start typing into YouTube’s search bar – trust us, just try it. You’ll see that the second you enter even a single letter, YouTube will work its magic and start suggesting keywords as you type. This isn’t just an incredibly handy tool for the end user, but it’s also an invaluable asset when it comes to keyword research.
The reason for this is that YouTube will only suggest keywords that are relevant and have an existing interest already. Try different versions of your product or keyword you’re trying to target and you’ll often find that YouTube will hand you the exact target phrase you should go after.
YouTube’s Keyword Tool
Yes, YouTube does have its own keyword research tool and yes, it will suggest to you keywords and search volume from YouTube. In the past it hasn’t been great as far as suggesting winning campaign keywords but its getting better and as with all keyword tools, the more data you input, the more relavant the output will be. Definitely worth including in your keyword research strategy.
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Strategy 3: Don’t Just Focus on Pure Numbers
The worst thing you can do when performing your keyword research is getting obsessed with the numbers. While the quantity of searches being done on a particular keyword is certainly an important part of the formula, it’s not everything.
You also need to think about the customer’s intent. Does your video actually answer the query they’ve typed in, or are you just keyword stuffing to get more eyeballs on your wares? Conversions matter more than the number of views – always remember that.
Strategy 4: Leverage Existing Traffic
Already have a YouTube Channel? It’s time to leverage the traffic you’re already driving to your videos. Even if you’re getting a paltry amount of traffic, it’s nevertheless worth doing.
Look at the keywords that are already being used to land on your videos. If you’re not optimising for them, it means you’re ranking without even trying. Just a few small optimisations (such as title and description changes) and you’ll shoot to the top of that particular keyword phrase.
You can also do this with popular videos in your targeted niche that you know people are searching for. In the process of your keyword research, these popular, viral, videos will float to the top. Add the titles of them to your keyword list for an extra boost.
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But What Kind of Videos Rank on Google Itself?
When you create a video on YouTube, don’t forget that it can be found via Google as well. The search engine giant loves ranking its own properties, but you need to know the type of keyword that stands a chance. Generally speaking, you’ll see a lot of the following types of keywords churning out YouTube results:
– How-To Videos
– Product or Service Reviews
– Tutorials or Lesson
– Anything in the Health Niche
Optimising your keyword for both YouTube and Google guarantees an entry ticket into two races at once. And that’s quite a lot of traffic, especially considering that Google gets a higher volume of searches.
Finally, another tip slightly outside of the keyword research- It’s a good idea before you actually produce your video to go through these steps. It will give you some great insights into what kind of video you should produce in order to get people to watch it and share it. And videos that get watched are videos that get ranked!

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