By Aleh Barysevich published December 4, 2019

21 YouTube SEO Tools to Boost Your Video Rankings

Do you know the second largest search engine in the world?

The good people watching YouTube consume more than 1 billion hours every single day. That’s why YouTube, which is owned by Google, became the second largest search engine on the internet in short order.

That’s why optimizing video content is critical to ranking and accessing the audience on YouTube. Fortunately, a lot of the rules for traditional SEO are similar. Pay attention to the right keywords – highly searched, rarely used. Keep your finger on the pulse of recent trends, analyze your competition, etc. By doing that, you’ll better deliver videos and their corresponding text-based content (title, meta data, description, etc.) that elicit viewers and keep them watching (something YouTube’s algorithm likes.)

#SEO for video is critical to ranking and accessing the audience on #YouTube, says @ab80 via @cmicontent. Click To Tweet

With that said, here’s a rundown of tools to help you manage your YouTube SEO. Some are your general, run-of-the-mill SEO tools. Others are designed specifically for YouTube. But every single one is useful for growing your YouTube presence.

Look up topics in Google Trends

Turn to this unique and free application provided by Google itself. Look up any topic on Google Trends to see how much interest it generates. While you may be familiar with the overall Google Trends feature, click on “YouTube Search” to explore the video-related opportunities. Given that the data is coming from Google itself, it’s as trustworthy as it gets.

Identify the best keywords

To get your video content found, you need to use the right keywords in your text-based content (i.e., title, description).

You can use YouTube’s autocomplete feature – type your primary search phrase in the bar and see how YouTube interprets it by showing autocomplete versions. You can use that in tandem with Google’s Keyword Planner.

You also can use tools that expand their features seamlessly. Rank Tracker (disclosure, I am the creator) lets you tap for free into a database of relevant keywords to see the number of searches, expected visits, competition keyword difficulty, costs per click, etc.

Keywordtool.io and Kparser are paid solutions for keyword research that give CPC and search volume. Keyword Keg is a similar tool. The free version is limited, but the paid version is suitable for marketers running larger-volume campaigns.

For something lighter and more convenient, look into Keywords Everywhere. This tool is a convenient extension for your browser. It greatly augments the autocomplete features of YouTube with valuable metrics.

Research the most profitable tags

Opening a ranking video’s source code, you can find its keyword tags. But as usual, tools can make this process more convenient.

RapidTags generate multiple tags related to your topic. Put in the URL or topic of your next video and see what tags come up. RapidTags shows the level of engagement needed to rank for a query. One downside, though, its free version is limited.

Add video’s URL or topic to @RapidTagsPromo to see tags & level of engagement to rank, says @AB80 via @cmicontent. #tools Click To Tweet

Alternatively, you could look into BetterWayToWeb’s free tag generator. TagsYoutube gives tips on optimization and a great variety of tags.

Tags for YouTube is an extension that shows the tags for each YouTube video you’ve opened. It provides a nice overview of any video that is currently ranking for your topic.

Manage and audit your channel

Always keeping an eye on your successes and failures is a natural necessity. Knowing what videos are working for your brand – and which ones don’t – can help understand the effect of your current keywords and inform future opportunities.

YouTube Analytics (YouTube’s native tool) gives an overview of your channel. It’s accessible through your channel’s dashboard. It tells you who your audience is, and what other stuff they enjoy watching. You can see the timeline of views/engagement with your audience as well. It’s made for people who already have a certain number of videos and want to survey their success.

Also worth a mention is TubeBuddy. It is the most feature-rich app for running and optimizing your channel on the market.

.@TubeBuddy is the most feature-rich app for running & optimizing your #YouTube channel on the market, says @AB80 via @cmicontent. #tools Click To Tweet

You can analyze your channel’s stats and perform competition research. You also can edit your video data – editing thumbnails, annotations, and descriptions.

Alternatives to those two are tools like vidIQ, which is an all-in-one YouTube SEO solution. It gives tips on publishing times, suggests your niche’s influencers to connect with, and so on. A handy browser extension lets you research competitors in the same way.

Tubics is a similar tool. It provides you with the tools for keyword research, channel audit, and more. Though quintly is not specifically created for YouTube, it is easy to integrate. In addition to data on subscribers, engagement, watch time, and so on, it provides a convenient reporting feature.

Research your competitors

By using tools like Rival IQ you can get a full profile of your competitors’ YouTube presence. You can see a general outline of their growth, what works, what doesn’t, what tags they are using, etc. Use this information to create more effective videos and text-based content.

By using tools like @RivalIQ you can get a full profile of your competitors’ #YouTube presence, says @AB80 via @cmicontent. #tools Click To Tweet

Alternatively, you can use NoxInfluencer. Not only does it help you evaluate your channel, but you can see the best-performing videos in a category or location. That makes it indispensable in SEO research.

YouTube Competitors Analysis Tool by Socialinsider provides an in-depth look at the history of ranking and performance of your and your competitors’ content.

Moderate your comment section

Though you may not think of the comments section as an SEO factor, it can have an indirect effect. Comments can make or break your YouTube channel. Sometimes the comments under the most innocuous, helpful videos could be such a vile pit of rot as to harm a brand in a very real way.

Comments can make or break your #YouTube channel, says @ab80 via @cmicontent. Click To Tweet

The YouTube comment moderation feature is probably the best tool for this task. You can add filters to automatically deal with inappropriate commenters and create a list of “forbidden” words that would quarantine comments incorporating them.

Smart Moderation does the same thing across several platforms at once. The comments with the aforementioned “forbidden” words aren’t just quarantined but deleted forever.

Watch your YouTube SEO

YouTube is the definitive content platform for millions of people around the world. To make the most of it, brand marketers need to think about SEO before the content is ever created and follow through long after the videos are posted. Not doing so means you’re investing in videos never to realize their potential on YouTube.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Aleh Barysevich

Aleh Barysevich is chief marketing officer and co-founder at Link-Assistant.Com, the company that makes SEO PowerSuite (website promotion toolkit) and BuzzBundle (social media software) for bloggers, webmasters, and online marketers. Follow Aleh on Twitter at @ab80.

Other posts by Aleh Barysevich

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