YouTube keyword tools

Online video search concept with a play button and a search bar.

Why do some YouTube videos show up in search results while others languish at the bottom of the page?

Do their creators know something no one else does?

The YouTube search algorithm is a fiercely guarded secret, but we know that one simple ingredient has a sizable effect. The humble keyword is an essential part of optimizing your videos for YouTube. It can take your video from obscurity to the top of the search results.

Learning how your customer thinks

Keywords are the words we type into the search bar when we want to find something. The key to finding the right ones for your content is to get inside your customer’s head.

The least creepy way to do that is by using keyword research tools. These tools show us what people type in to search engines when looking for stuff, so you can try to rank for it.

The challenge here is that YouTube doesn’t make search query data available in the same way its big brother Google does. This means that YouTube keyword tools can’t give you the exact search volume.

So what are these tools showing you? Most of them take the Google search volume data and use it to create a YouTube estimate. While this isn’t ideal, it’s the best we’ve got.

To help you get the most accurate data, we’ve put together a list of YouTube keyword tools for every budget.

The best YouTube keyword research tools

In the past, the Google Keyword Planner used to give an accurate exact-match search volume data. This made it a really useful (and free) research tool. Now, it only gives us broad ranges, rendering the data almost useless.

Still, there are a few tools that give us quality data and can help you find the right keywords for your video.

Free YouTube Keyword Tools

If you’re just starting out and your budget is fairly limited, these tools can help you take things to the next level.

1. Ubersuggest

Homepage of the ubersuggest website offering a search bar for keyword ideas, with prominent branding and navigation menu.

If you can’t afford to invest in a tool that gives you specific search volumes but still want to get a solid idea of what your ideal customer is typing into their search bar, Ubersuggest can help.

It uses Google’s auto-suggest feature to identify relevant keywords. Plug in a keyword topic related to your business and it will throw up hundreds of related suggestions that show you what your customers are looking for.

Ubersuggest is a phenomenal tool if you are just starting your first YouTube channel.

2. SERPs

A screenshot of the serps keyword research database webpage with a search box and captcha verification checkbox.

The SERPs keyword research tool shows you estimated keyword volumes.

Type in your keyword, let the algorithm know you’re not a robot, and study the estimated search volumes and related keywords.This is really useful for getting a better idea of the popularity of specific keywords.

If you need more detailed data, you like this tool, and are ready to make an investment, SERP also offers a paid version aimed at small businesses, starting at $49USD a month.

Paid YouTube keyword research tools

If your channel is growing and you’re ready to invest in some powerful SEO and keyword research tools, here are some of our favorites.

3. Keyword Tool

A screenshot of the keyword tool website's homepage, featuring a search bar for keyword suggestions across various platforms like google, youtube, bing, amazon, ebay, and the app store.

The aptly named Keyword Tool is a handy way to find the right keywords for a number of different platforms, including YouTube.

The free version is extremely limited and the paid options don’t come cheap. The Pro Plus will set you back $88USD a month and includes keyword search volume, AdWords CPC estimates, data on AdWords competition, and the ability to export all your keyword data.

If you’re looking to drive paid traffic or really commit to growing your channel, the Keyword Tool can be a worthwhile investment. But, if your content marketing strategy is still in its infancy, this probably isn’t the best option for you yet.

4. Ahrefs

A screenshot of the ahrefs homepage advertising seo tools to analyze competitors and monitor one's niche with an offer for a 7-day trial.

Ahrefs is an all-round one-stop tool for SEO research. You can use it to check backlinks, spy on your competitor’s keywords, and, of course, conduct your own keyword research. It uses clickstream data directly from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to get the most accurate search volume estimates.

Ahrefs offers a few different pricing tiers. The standard version will set you back $179USD a month and is designed for one user.

This platform has an incredibly comprehensive tool suite, and if you use all the tools to their full potential, the price point is worth it.

5. SEMrush

Homepage of Semrush featuring their all-in-one marketing toolkit for digital marketing professionals, including the Biteable video maker, with logos of trusted companies and a call-to-action button.

Like Ahrefs, SEMrush is an all-in-one marketing toolkit. You can use it for keyword research and checking out the competition’s rankings, traffic sources, and social media results. If you’re leveling up your paid ads game, SEMRush can really help you strategize.

The Guru package is $199.95USD a month, and is designed for SMBs and growing marketing agencies. It includes historical competitor data and allows you to track up to 100 social media profiles! Talk about research.

If you’re ready to take your SEO, paid ads, and social media game to new heights, this tool is a great investment.

The right YouTube keyword tool for you

Keyword research is the cornerstone of any good content marketing strategy. It’s an integral, and incredibly important, part of your audience research. It helps you understand how people act, how they look for information, and what kind of language they use.

Using the right keywords will help you get more leads, make more sales, and raise awareness about your business, so the right tool is essential. However, what’s right for you depends on your goals and your budget.

If you have a comprehensive, wide-reaching marketing strategy, and invest in paid traffic, one of the all-in-one-tools can help you on all fronts.

If you’re mainly focused on growing a YouTube channel right now, Ubersuggest and the SERPs keyword tool can help you get started.

Use the free (or in Ahref’s case super affordable) trials to test the different tools and find the one that works for you. Good luck! We’d love to know what you picked and why, so please hit us up on Twitter (@biteable) or our Facebook page and let us know!


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