8 of the Best YouTube SEO Tools

Video is the top-performing type of content across all social platforms, and if you’re looking to use video in your digital marketing approach, you should also consider YouTube and establish a presence on YouTube.

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

Given these considerations, YouTube marketing will most likely be worth it, but if you want to optimize your performance on YouTube, you need to ensure that your videos match these search trends and are “findable” when users are looking for related content.

For this, you will need the help of a few 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 like genuine audience 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, enter your main subject, specify “Search YouTube”, then choose a geographic region, category and time period to narrow down the results to.

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

Google Trends also offers a list of related queries for each topic, along with maps that highlight audience interest across all regions. You can also download, integrate and share all this data if necessary.

Secondary benefit: Spot trends in breakouts within related queries to boost your videos’ ranking potential

Pricing: Completely free

2. Get 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 when crafting your YouTube strategy.

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

Keyword Planner retrieves tons of keyword ideas based on your seed keyword/phrase, search parameters and filters (if any) specified. You can take a closer look at the average monthly searches and the competition to identify the top performers. You can then export your keyword list with one click, with all metrics included.

Secondary benefit: Enter up to ten keywords at a time – adding a URL also works

Pricing: The tool is free

3. Intensify your keyword research with Rank Tracker

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

Rank Tracker lets you extract keyword ideas from YouTube suggestions and highlights essential metrics, such as search volume, expected visits, competition, and more.

You can also use Rank Tracker to do a quick rank check and generate the keywords that provide video results in featured snippets. Take note of the keywords with the highest search volume – these are the most likely to help you rank in organic search.

Secondary benefit: Set YouTube as a search engine to track the rankings of your videos once they’re live

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 your web page content – ​​only that there is 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, making it even harder to return.

Tool up with TubeBuddy, a browser extension that makes channel maintenance easy and helps with things like titles, descriptions, tags, annotations, maps and more.

Once integrated with YouTube, the tool will provide you with valuable information about all the YouTube videos you open. Maximize your organic reach by grabbing tags from all videos and save tons of time spent searching for the best fits within the 500 character limit.

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

Secondary benefit: Use the “Vid2Vid” feature to promote your old videos in descriptions of new uploads

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

5. Manage like a pro with VidIQ

VidIQ is another channel management toolkit that works like a browser extension, showing crucial stats for every YouTube video you open – meaning effortless competitor research and advanced analytics for every video you open. can find.

The tool’s “Most Viewed” feature allows you to identify and compare YouTube’s top performing videos against each other. For more insight, you can add specific competitor channels and compare them to yours. With your own 24/7 channel audit, you can see what practices you should consider implementing to improve performance.

You can go a step further and set up email alerts to keep tabs on trending topics in your field (or your competitors’ channels). And for better dissemination, you can use the “Facebook Syndication” feature and share your video instantly across all platforms (although you should exercise caution when cross-posting).

Secondary benefit: Bulk copy maps and end screens, bulk edit end screens.

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

6. Introspect your channel with YouTube Analytics

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

Knowing more about your audience, the content that catches their attention – and keeps them – and the videos they want to share, gives you crucial information to maintain and grow your presence on YouTube.

We know for a fact that longer videos work better. We also know that all of YouTube’s algorithms are focused on watch time. So it makes perfect sense to take a closer look at the watch time and real-time reports to look at your average watch time, average watch percentage, as well as audience retention.

Knowing which of your videos are driving subscriptions is also a must, as new subscribers give you a significant edge in YouTube search. Encouraging your audience to subscribe, like and comment – ​​when executed successfully – is a surefire way to get a ranking boost.

Secondary benefit: Study your interaction reports from the last six months to spot trends in likes, favorites, comments or shares

Pricing: The tool is absolutely free.

7. Track and grow user engagement with Awario

User engagement with video remains the number one ranking factor on YouTube. Therefore, it’s a must to keep tabs on the kind of buzz that surrounds your YouTube content – on the platform itself and elsewhere.

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

For more specific queries, you can try Boolean search – set up 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 – either way, Awario has you covered.

Views, likes, comments, and number of followers, including new followers, are all ranking factors – some more than others. Comments, however, are particularly interesting because they say a lot about user engagement.

You can like and comment directly from the Awario dashboard to ensure that none of your audience’s comments go unanswered.

Secondary benefit: Use Awario to conduct competitor research by setting the tool to track YouTube results only

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

8. Mix your visuals with Canva

Channel art might not be the first thing you think about when setting the course for 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 here to help you manifest your inner designer, through all sorts of visuals – be it a logo or a mind map. As part of your YouTube SEO efforts, you can express your artistic personality by developing channel artwork and thumbnails to increase your click-through rates.

You can start from scratch or browse the categories and choose one of the templates offered by the app: Canva’s drag-and-drop interface lets you use professionally designed layouts to further customize them, creating unique and engaging visuals and reinventing the look and feel of your channel.

Secondary benefit: You can also use Canva’s mobile app to create designs and collaborate on projects on the go

Pricing: Canva Pro costs $12.95/month, Enterprise is available upon request. There is also a free plan.


With YouTube now a universal hobby and a profitable line of work, video optimization is a skill every marketer needs to learn – and sooner rather than later. YouTube SEO isn’t quick or easy – however, when mastered, it can be hugely rewarding.

Download the tools that seem best suited for your process and use this list as a roadmap to make the most of the platform’s ever-growing potential.

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