To do your YouTube SEO properly, you only need three tools. And don't be fooled by the big platforms like TubeBuddy and VidIQ. You don't need to pay for these services. Or costs are around $ 10,- per 8-12 months to get the biggest chunk of information you need.
Of course, the paid extra's within the platforms are great, will save you time and make your life easier (which in the end you want and need), but it is not something you need in the beginning,
So let's start with the three tools you need and why!
Here's what we will cover:
FIRST, everything starts with research for your YouTube SEO
A big part of getting your SEO on YouTube right and helping your videos perform well, is research! Research on your niche and the quality content that is out there, but also on the subjects you want to make videos about. This works differently for a knowledge-based channel that can choose specific topics than a vlog channel. But for both kinds of videos, the SEO part stays the same. The only difference with knowledge-based videos is that you do your SEO research upfront creating your content. With vlog videos, it's mostly after recording your content.
For SEO you need to do your research. With knowledge-based videos, you can and should search for a trending topic, with not too much competition and where you can make a video that is of more value than the average video out there. So you pick a subject you want to shoot a video about and search for specific keywords - SEO - that you want to target.
With vlogging, the content you make depends so much on what is happening during the day that you are recording. So the SEO research is mostly driven by understanding your vlogging niche and target audience. When the vlog is finished, you do research on the keywords you could best target for that video. This could be 3 to 5 keywords.
To know which keywords to target, you need to understand and know some basics:
how trending is the topic/keyword
how much competition is there within the search pool, and
which videos in the pool perform really good (relatively)
Keywords Everywhere PAID chrome extension
This is the only one you need to pay for to get the insights you need. But with just $ 10,- it will last you up to 8-12 months*.
Keywords Everywhere is the tool for you to understand how trending your topic/keyword is.
If you installed the extension, you need to set your settings right. Put credits onto your account and turn the extension on. With every search you do on YouTube, you will see the amount of monthly searches for the specific keyword (sometimes you have to close the tab and open a new YouTube.com tab to let it work).
The tool gives you instant insights in how trending any topic is. With 0 searches per month you don't want to target the keyword - that will be a waste of time. But also with too many searches, there is too much competition and the searches of people are too broad.
For example Montenegro (1.000.000 searches per month) or Montenegro travel (4.400 searches per month). With the first you will have a lot of different people with a lots of different reasons why they search for Montenegro: for work, travel, politics etc. With the second you only have people who are interested into travel and Montenegro.
The specific amount of searches per month you need to target depends on your reach you already have (subscribers and views per month) and the authority you have within that topic (see later on as well).
Get started with Keywords Everywhere here.
* This depends on if you have your settings right. So, your credits aren't used on data you actually don't need, and if you turn the extension off when you don't need it anymore.
TubeBuddy FREE chrome extension
If you installed this extension on chrome, you will see that you have a lot more functions and figures and data than you normally have when you watch or search for videos on YouTube. This tool is all about understanding the amount of competition.
The most important figures to use from TubeBuddy are the number of videos in your search pool (your keyword - the word(s) you write in the search bar). The bigger the number of videos in your search pool the harder it will be to get your video in the top-performing rankings.
Depending on the number of viewers and subscribers you have, and if you made other videos about that specific topic, will decide how big your pool should be. The more authority you have (created several high quality and good performing videos on the topic already) the higher YouTube will automatically rank your videos.
For a starting channel, a great aim would be to look for search pools between 25.000 and 100.000 search results.
With the free version, you have a limited amount of searches you can use. For the beginning, this should be enough.
We use the paid version for our clients because of uploading functionalities and in-depth analytic insights (such as A/B testing of thumbnails, but this is not what you need in the beginning to grow pretty fast).
Start with TubeBuddy here.
VidIQ FREE chrome extension
We only use this tool for understanding which videos perform good in the search pool. The bigger a YouTube account is the more views it will automatically have. This does not say anything about how the video is performing and if the quality is good.
As soon as a video reaches more views than subscribers, you have a good performing video. Which are signs to look at their content, thumbnail, title and most importantly the reactions of the viewers.
To have a quick view of how many views a video has compared to the number of subscribers, you need to have the VidIQ extension. As soon as you installed the free version, you will see next to the number of views a video has also instantly the number of subscribers the channels has. This last figure is normally not there and you would need to click on the video and find it out for yourself. Time-consuming and not efficient at all.
This is why we advise you to install VidIQ.
Get VidIQ here.
Want to understand this in more detail?
If you want to understand this and maximise your impact on your YouTube SEO we recommend you to follow our course about the basics of the algorithm and YouTube SEO.
How we can help you and your YouTube channel?
First, it would be a great start to take a look at our free downloads here and make sure you subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of our homepage. We share in-depth knowledge weekly in our e-mails and on our blog, but we also organise free masterclasses. Which we announce via our e-mails.
To become more experienced yourself, we have some great online courses that teach you all the ins and outs of how to run a successful YouTube channel. If you only want to focus on content creation we have our special services which we customise to your preferences and our specialities and skills.
** some links are affiliate links, we might get a commission if you use them at no extra costs to you. It would be a great way to show your appreciation for the work that we do.