Matt YouTube channel screenshotYouTube SEO

Why you should use YouTube SEO Tools

Matt Phelps

We talked about how to grow your channel and how to optimize your SEO to get more exposure when people search on YouTube.

Now we want to introduce you to some of the tools that the pros use to optimize their channels and improve their video rankings.

What can I do with YouTube SEO tools?

YouTube Creators use SEO tools to optimize their video content by:

  • Doing keyword research
  • Doing competitor research
  • Tweaking their video title
  • Optimize their YouTube video descriptions
  • Looking at search trends
  • Looking at search volume
  • A/B testing their video thumbnail
  • Find their YouTube Tags
  • Adding Transcripts to their videos

Why should I use YouTube SEO tools?

YouTube SEO Tools will help you improve your YouTube videos and increase the chances of getting traffic via YouTube search giving you more views.

Especially in the early days, if you don't have a lot of subscribers, traffic from YouTube search is a godsend as you won't be getting many clicks from your existing subscribers.

Building up organic traffic on YouTube is a long-term game so it's important to familiarize yourself early with those tools and start as soon as you can to get a head start compared to 99% of people that just do things from the gut.

Once you rank you will keep getting traffic over the whole lifespan of your YouTube content that will lead to continuous AdSense revenue or will help drive traffic to your other revenue streams outside of YouTube.

So, if you're serious about growing your YouTube channel it's well worth investing some time into keyword research and the other kinds of things that help you improve your search rankings and help feed YouTube's algorithm.

Let's dive into more detail about how to get your videos ranked below by laying out the different types of tools and then actual examples of those tools 👇

Types of YouTube SEO tools

The YouTube optimization tools to grow your channel come in different shapes, usually:

  • A Website
  • A Browser Extension (that embeds into YouTube studio)
  • Tools in YouTube directly (YouTube's search bar for example)
  • Common Web SEO tools

Most of those YouTube SEO Tools come in a free version and a paid version for people that want to get serious with their search engine optimization on YouTube.

The free version can be quite limited to it might make sense to stick to YouTube's build-in tools and invest in one or two tools once you're starting to get serious to boost your YouTube performance.

YouTube search and google searches aren't that different from each other, so we can even use some of the tools that are just used to optimize SEO for websites.

If we have search terms, search fields, and a search engine in the background it's basically the same thing 😏

Now let's get to the meat and potatoes of this post, the actual tools 👇

The 10 best YouTube search optimization tools

Let's look at the best tools broken down by type 👇

Browser extension

A lot of the most popular SEO tools for YouTube are browser extensions and that is for good reasons. They embed themselves directly where you are anyway, on YouTube.

No matter if you're making videos or just watching your favorite creators you can always learn something to make your video content better and try to find patterns while you're at it.

It's actually a good habit to get into to just look at some other person's YouTube channel and see what kind of title and description they use and what kind of keywords they're going for.

Tube Buddy

Tube Buddy describes itself as: "a browser extension that lets you get more views and increase subscribers by providing you with tools that help you optimize your content in the fastest time possible" on their website.

This means they have a whole bunch of optimization tools for the whole journey of your channel's growth but let's look at their keyword tool as an example.

keyword tool screenshot

Image source:

As you can see it shows you how well you've managed to optimize your youtube videos for the keyword that you're looking for and gives you ideas which other keywords you can try by looking at related searches and much more.

It will help you find a good target keyword for your next video title and help you tweak your video's content to you rank your video instantly.


VidIQ is quite similar to Tube Buddy in what they offer and I would say that whoever you pick is mostly a matter of preference but they do seem to have a slightly more feature-rich free plan.

To give you an idea of how their tool looks I've included a screenshot below that shows their competitor research tool.

competitor research tool screenshot

Image source:

Competitor research tools help you track people that post similar videos and are competing with you for traffic in the YouTube search results. You can compare how well you're doing and what kind of content they're posting and maybe get some inspiration for your own videos. 🙏

Tube Transcripts

Transcripts are one of the things that are often overlooked yet can be super beneficial to your chances of ranking in YouTube searches.

They help you get a broader audience as more people than you'd think watch videos with subtitles enabled and are not native speakers but YouTube's automatic subtitles are of poor quality and don't have proper capitalization.

Transcripts also give YouTube better insights into what your video is about and help show it to the right people.

We have built a super small tool for transcribing videos as it's not part of the other standard YouTube optimization tools but I think they've been crucial to my own channel growth from 0 to 25k subs ✨

YouTube Transcripts screenshot

Head here to Transcribe your YouTube videos with one click.


There are a lot of websites for optimizing YouTube videos but they might be a bit more clunky to use than a chrome extension that embeds itself nicely into YouTube studio. Nonetheless, I want to show you some websites for your YouTube SEO efforts.


YTRank is a super-focused small tool to find out how a certain video is ranking in search. It's free and easy to use and can be a good choice in your arsenal of tools when on a tight budget.

YouTube Rank tracker tool screenshot

See above for the rank of one of my best performing YouTube videos that I have managed to get ranked


Tubics is a polished tool that aims at very big creators or companies that are looking to improve not only their SEO but get the best ROI when it comes to video content marketing.

If you're looking to seriously level up your YouTube game you should check them out but make sure that you bring some cash as their business focus shows in their pricing.

Tubics - YouTube SEO optimization tool screenshot

YouTube built-in

YouTube's suggestions in search

As you search on YouTube, YouTube will try to predict what you're looking for.

Those suggestions, as they're called, are directly taken from real users and can give you ideas about what people are interested in and what keywords you should include into your videos to get them ranked

Looking at related searches of a certain keyword is a great way to target longer keywords and make your YouTube video more specific and easier for YouTube to suggest them to a certain niche audience

See below how I got some inspiration for my best performing video n on "How to mew" 👇

YouTube search suggestions screenshot

YouTube Analytics

YouTube has a toolset of analytics that will let you see how your videos are performing.

It's one of your crucial YouTube SEO tools, not necessarily because it lets you do a very complex analysis but because in order to make sure that your videos are working you need to measure how your YouTube audience is responding to them.

So it's a great tool to see what's working and what's not while most of your other SEO toolset is to make sure you optimize your YouTube videos before you post them.

You will want to make sure that more and more traffic over time comes from YouTube searches, this means that your SEO efforts are slowly paying off and that you're set up to receive traffic for the unforeseeable future.

Chart from YouTube Studio showing channel growth with 2 videos

YouTube search results

This is another low hanging fruit and free of course

When you search for a certain keyword on YouTube you will see who ranks for those keywords in search by looking at the results that YouTube will show you.

This is a great starting point for competitor research and seeing what kind of related videos you can post to make you an authority in your niche.

Check below to see.

YouTube search results screenshot

Web SEO tools

As mentioned before YouTube is just a search engine and the OG search engines like Google have been around for a long time.

This means there is a broad range of tools that exist specifically for keyword research and other types of optimization for Web search engines.

You can leverage some of them for YouTube and make your videos better while dealing with tools that have been around for a long time and are therefore very mature.

Ahrefs YouTube Keyword tool

Ahrefs is the gold standard when it comes to picking a Web SEO tool

They have been around for a long time and their datasets are very accurate.

Their YouTube keyword tool is free to use and shows you search volume and if you use YouTube as only one of your acquisition channels it's worth getting more familiar with this classic SEO tool.

See the screenshot below for an example or looking up a keyword with their tool

Ahrefs YouTube keyword tool

Google Trends

I have talked about using Google Trends to find your perfect niche in my article on how to grow your channel fast.

It helps you zoom out and look at topics from a birds-eye view, identify trends on both Google and YouTube Search.

As this data comes directly from Google it's very reliable, most of the other classic SEO tools can only estimate their numbers (although they do a good job most of the time)

If you can identify a trend that has a lot of search volume but not a lot of people make videos about it great, you have identified a topic that is almost guaranteed to let you rank if you can make a well-researched and entertaining video about it.

See below for a Google Trends screenshot about mewing the topic I talk about most on my YouTube channel

Google Trends - mewing worldwide screenshot


As we've seen there is a wide variety of tools to optimize your videos.

From tools that have been developed with YouTube in mind to just plain ol web SEO tools, it's most important that you get started today to approach your channel in. a data-driven way.

SEO is crucial to get ranked in search and get traffic for your videos for a long time and there are plenty of ways of getting it done if you're serious about growing your channel, some of them outlined in this article.


The most important thing you can do is to try out the tools in this article, find the ones that work for you and make using them a habit.

I recommend that you start with the free tools and work your way up.

A possible strategy for tool adoption could look like this:

  • Start using YouTube's built-in tools
  • Get a free trial for a chrome extension tool for deeper research
  • Start adding transcripts to your videos
  • Get a more advanced plan on your tool of choice in number 2
  • Explore other tools

Make sure to always measure if what you're doing is working using YouTube analytics, the tighter you can make this feedback loop, the better.

Good luck with growing your channel mate, I am rooting for ya 🙏

Who am I

I'm Matt I used data-driven insights from my career as a Data Analyst to leverage YouTube analytics to optimize my video content and hit 23k subs with 12 videos.

Matt YouTube channel screenshot

I love to analyze search volume and am always on the lookout for keyword ideas and am obsessed with YouTube rankings if you search for "Mewing" on YouTube you will see me in the search results without having to scroll too far :)

I built a tool for adding transcripts/subtitles to your videos because I didn't want to pay a fortune for creators like you and me.

If you want to get the full scoop on how I managed to grow my channel with just 10 YouTube videos check out my article about how to grow your YouTube channel fast where I lay out all my tips and tricks for doing keyword research and getting the most organic search volume from the Google search engines 🤓

If you have a keyword research tool or any other digital marketing tool, that you use for your YouTube videos, that is not mentioned here, please reach out to me and I will consider updating this list :)

Matt Phelps

my channel

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