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Finding relevant keywords

Firstly let’s just talk about keywords. If you haven’t spent the last 5 years in prison or stuck under a rock, you’ve probably heard of these before! After Google, YouTube is the second biggest search engine and keywords are as relevant here as they are on Google. So for your videos, play lists and your channel to appear in the search results, you need to get your keywords right in your video submissions. That means you need to work out which keywords your target market is searching for when they are looking for content and then either create relevant content for those keywords and/or optimise your relevant videos with those keywords. For example, if you know your prospects are looking for ‘video marketing strategy tips’, they might type those words into YouTube. If you’ve created a video that’s focused on telling people all about ‘video marketing strategy tips’ and you use those keywords when optimising your videos, you have a fair chance of them finding your content, right?

So how do you go about choosing your keywords? First of all, it’s best to go for long tail keywords which are 3 words or more. And here are a few ways in which you can find out what people are searching for:

YouTube & Google search suggestions

First think of your subject, let’s say they were losing weight. Type your keywords into the YouTube search bar but leave off the last letter. This means YouTube will offer search suggestions in a drop down.

Using Search Suggestion in YouTubeLosing weight fast

In the image above you can see the weight-loss related topics that are currently popular on YouTube and that people are searching for.

Now, write down the relevant and best ones. Next, check out the competition.

To do this enter one of these keyword phrases into the YouTube search and see what comes up. Look in the top right hand side of the listing box and see how many results are being served. The higher the number, the more competitive the term. This doesn’t mean anything at first but if you do this on 5 or 6 keywords you’ll get a feel for what is high and what is low in relation to each keyword. What you’re looking for is one that is significantly lower than the rest.

Now, check that the first 3 or 4 videos in the results have a decent amount of views. If they don’t, then it’s possible not that many people are searching for that phrase. But if they have a good amount of views then you know the phrase is popular.

Next, check out how many subscribers each of the top 3-4 videos have by rolling over their channel name. A box appears and next to the subscribe-button there is a number. If each of the top videos are by channels with thousands of subscribers then it’s going to be difficult to compete because they will have a lot of channel authority compared to you. This is something you have to do for a bit with a number of keywords before you start to see the trends appear. You can visit each of those channels to see how many videos they have and how often they post videos. The more videos and the more consistency they have, the harder it will be for you to compete.

The other thing to keep an eye out for, is if there isn’t a video using the exact keyword phrase in the search results. This is a golden opportunity for you to create one and optimise it correctly!

Checking the competition in YouTube

The Google Keyword Planner

Next you can enter you ideas into Google’s Keyword Planner to get some suggestions and stats on what people are actually searching for. This will help you narrow down some good keywords that are relevant to your videos. To do this in the Google keyword planner, click on “search for new keyword using a phrase, website or category”. Enter your relevant video keyword ideas and press ‘Get Ideas’. Next select the ‘keyword ideas’ tab and set your search setting to “Broad”. Look through the keyword ideas that have high search volume, that are relevant (the optimum is around 5,000-25,000 searches per month). You can make a short list of these and then check the competition using the method above.

Google Keyword Planner

Using these methods you can make up a hit list of 10 to 20 keyword phrases. This list of keywords becomes a list of YouTube videos you’re going to make. You know that people are searching for these topics and if you make a value packed video and optimise it correctly you should get plenty of views.

So to recap:

– Look for keyword phrases with around 5,000-25,000 searches per month

– Find keywords with relatively low amounts of competition in the search results

– Check the top videos that have a decent amount of views

– Check the channels of the top 3-4 videos and look for the ones with less subscribers, less videos and less consistency

– Check if there isn’t an exact match of the keyword phrase with the titles of the top videos

If all of the above works out, then you have a good keyword phrase to make a video from

Optimising your videos

Once you have your keywords, you still need to optimise your video submissions correctly and here’s how:


First off all, YouTube allows you to upload a transcription of your video. This helps YouTube know what your video is about as well as allowing sub titles to appear on your video. So it’s a good tip to make sure your keyword phrase is used in your video at the beginning, middle and end. So when you’re writing your script, be sure to include the keywords. After you’ve uploaded your video to YouTube upload your transcription.


Next, use your keywords in the title of the video (on YouTube). Put the most important words first. Google and YouTube put more emphasis on the first words in a title. So if you want to put your company name or your own name in the title, put that last. You should assume that no one will be searching for your name at this moment, unless you are a global superstar of course.


It’s important to write a proper description for your video. This should start with your website address in full including the http:// part. If you do this for every video that you upload you will be getting backlinks to your site, which will help push it up the Google search results. The more views your videos get, the more power the backlinks will have.

Then write a meaningful description, describing exactly what your video is about and include your keywords. These keywords should make up around 3% of the entire text. There are keyword density tools online to help you figure this out, just search Google to find them. I now just have a feel for what’s right rather than using a tool every time. You can write up to 1000 characters in your description and the more the better.

YouTube title & description keywords

Include your contact details in the description. This is where you can have your company Facebook, Twitter, blog and website urls (asking people to like, follow, check out and visit, you know the drill). If you write a standard section which works across all videos you can reuse this to save time. Another thing you can do is to copy and paste your video script into the description as a transcription of the video. If you don’t have a script, you can transcribe the content or even outsource this to a transcription service provider to save you time. You can find people on Fiverr.com that offer these services cheaply.


Add your keywords into your tags section of the video. Only use between 6 to 8 relevant keywords. Any more will be seen as keyword stuffing and can count against you.


Custom thumbnail

To make your videos stand out in the listing, create a custom thumbnail. Make this bright, include a picture of you in action presenting (if you appear in the video that is) and design it with big clear text saying the name of the video. Make sure your keywords are in the file name of the thumbnail.


Channel Authority

There are many other factors that help your videos rank and these are all linked to channel authority. Some of these metricks are how many views your videos get, how often and regulaly you post your videos, how long people watch your videos, how many comments your videos are getting and how many likes and shares your videos are receiving. And finally how many subscribers you have. There’s way too much to cover on this in one blog post so I’ll cover this in a follow up post.