Getting great YouTube video ideas is more than just making videos around your topic, it’s about the research to find ideas that go viral

So you’ve started a YouTube channel, you’ve put in hours setting up your page and thinking through branding. You’ve got your video equipment set up and you’re ready to go.

Now, there’s just one problem…what should you make videos about???

It seems there would be an obvious answer, make videos around your niche. Just start making videos that you think your audience will want to watch…but not so fast.

With over 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, you need more than just a quick video idea to compete. Your video content strategy needs to be just that…strategic.

This means research to find the YouTube video ideas that get views. Just 15 minutes of research and SEO can mean all the difference and I’m going to show you exactly how to do it.

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How to Find Video Ideas to Get as Many Views as Possible on YouTube

Just like with Google search, video views on YouTube revolve around keywords. It’s your video’s ranking for keywords that determines where it shows up in search and suggested videos. These are going to be two of the biggest traffic sources for your videos so it’s important to find the keywords that will drive views.

Also like Google though, you can’t just create a video around a high-volume keyword. Create a video around the keyword ‘make money online’ and you’ll be buried under millions of other videos. The keyword might get over 70,000 searches a month but you’ll need some serious watch-time to rank for it.

Instead, you’ll need to find keywords with a high search-volume but that have lower competition from other creators. You’ll take that broad, highly-searched keyword and find related keywords by adding a few more words.

There are two methods I use to research keywords and YouTube video ideas that every new creators should know; using keyword research tools and the video-hacking method.

How to Keyword Research on YouTube

I’ll show you the video-hacking method next but let’s start with basic keyword research that accounts for the majority of my video ideas on YouTube.

I use two tools for keyword research, the Keywords Everywhere plugin and TubeBuddy.

Keywords Everywhere is a free browser addon for Chrome or Firefox that shows you search volume and cost-per-click rates when searching on Google or YouTube. This allows you to see actual monthly search volume for a keyword, on the search term and any suggested terms.

how to find youtube keyword ideas
How to Do Keyword Research for YouTube Video Ideas
  • Start with a broad keyword idea that you think will be popular and type it in the YouTube search box
  • Suggestions for video ideas will auto-populate in the drop-down with the monthly search volume next to each
  • Work through the alphabet, typing your main keyword plus ‘a’ then ‘b’ and so on, looking at what appears and the search volume for each
  • For smaller channels, a good place to start is keywords with between 500 to 1,000 searches but note any keywords with more than 500 searches for more research
  • You can also try working through the alphabet with additional words before the main keyword, so typing ‘a’ then ‘b’ before your broad keyword
  • Try adjectives before your main keyword, words like ‘best, fast, easy’ to see what is suggested and the search volume

Create your account on TubeBuddy for free to see the features that will help grow your channel!

Remember, you’re looking for long-tail variations on your broad keyword. These are still going to have solid search volume but will not be as difficult to rank as that main idea.

With the list of potential keyword variations, I use the TubeBuddy extension to find the ones with the least amount of competition and the highest traffic.

After installing the free TubeBuddy tool, you’ll find a Keyword Score that combines search volume and competition any time you search on YouTube. In the right sidebar, TubeBuddy shows you this Keyword Score as well as related searches and most used tags in results.

how to use tubebuddy for youtube video ideas
How to Use TubeBuddy for YouTube Video Ideas

I use the Star-pricing level for TubeBuddy but you get a lot of features with the free extension. The upgrades are worth it if you’re serious about growing a channel but everyone needs at least the free features.

Get the free version of TubeBuddy here and get started today

Grow your YouTube channel and you’ll eventually be able to rank for competitive keywords but you’ll want to start with keywords and video ideas with a score of 30 or higher at first.

For example, the broad keyword ‘high paying jobs’ gets over 90,000 searches a month on YouTube but has a ‘poor’ overall keyword score of 12 from TubeBuddy. Channels ranking for the keyword have subscriber counts in the hundreds of thousands and tens of thousands of views on the ranked video.

It’s not likely many channels will be able to compete here.

On the other hand, the keyword ‘high paying jobs without a degree’ still gets over 3,200 searches a month and a TubeBuddy keyword score of 30 or ‘fair’. One video ranking for the keyword has just 265 views and channels with just a few thousand subs are ranking.

how to youtube keyword research
How to Find Keyword Ideas on YouTube

TubeBuddy also has a Keyword Explorer tool that helps find suggestions for video ideas. Open the TubeBuddy platform and click to the explorer. You’ll see the keyword score for any search term as well as related and trending results.

A nice feature for paid accounts is that TubeBuddy shows you a Weighted ranking score based on your channel metrics like average views. This fine-tunes your search for keywords you know will rank.

how to find keywords on youtube
Best YouTube Keyword Research Tools

Remember, while you want to find keyword variations with solid search volume, don’t sacrifice ranking or a high Keyword Score just to target a video idea with thousands of search traffic. It does you no good to rank 20th for a high-traffic keyword when you could rank in the top five for a smaller keyword and get legit views.

Aim for those keywords for which you can rank and get steady views. Over time, those views will contribute to the video watch-time and the overall watch-time for your channel. That’s what it takes to grow on YouTube. Growing your watch-time to rank for more competitive keywords.

Why You Need to Pick the Right Keywords for Your YouTube Videos

In this modern day and age, consumers have a lot of ways to get their questions answered. They can ask Google; they could ask Siri or Cortana, or they could just ask you.

The last option is becoming more and more popular because it seems to be the easiest way out. If a consumer has a question about your product, chances are they’re going to head straight to YouTube and look for the answer in one of the millions of videos uploaded every day.

You could create that video, and all you have to do is make sure you pick the right keywords for your YouTube video so it’s searchable by Google users trying to find answers on how best to use your product.

Let’s take a look at how selecting the right keywords makes all the difference when it comes to ranking your YouTube video.

The Importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

When you optimize something for the internet, it’s called “search engine optimization” or SEO. Google is an incredibly powerful search tool because it can filter through billions of pages to find the best results based on what the user types in as their query.   

A common misconception with SEO is that you need to rank first if you want to win any business; that isn’t necessarily true. You just need to be one of the top five results Google pulls up for its users during their search.   

Ranking high gives, your massive exposure and credibility, which will drive more traffic back to your website than lower-ranking sites because people trust those first few results.

This is where picking the right keywords comes into play.  

What Makes a Keyword Good?

There are three criteria that make for good keywords:

1. Relevance to Your Video Content    

You want viewers to find your video through search, so it makes sense to use relevant keywords whenever possible. If you’re making a video about how to identify wild plants, don’t try to rank for “investing.” That’s too broad and will yield unrelated results. Instead, focus on something more specific like “investing tips for beginners”.

2. Search Volume    

Google looks at words that people type into their search bar when they’re looking for information as an indication of their popularity. The more times a term is searched, the higher its value as a keyword. This is why you’ll sometimes hear SEO experts recommend using long-tail keywords like “how to start investing in cryptocurrency” instead of “crypto”.       

3. Competition    

This criterion goes hand-in-hand with search volume; the less competition you have for your desired keyword, the better. If everyone is trying to rank for “cryptocurrency,” you’re going to need an extremely compelling video and great SEO strategy if you want people to find yours over all the others.

Video Hacking to Find Viral Keywords on YouTube

While researching keywords comes up with the majority of my YouTube video ideas, there’s another strategy I use that has produced some of my biggest hits.

It’s called video-hacking and it’s a much more straight-forward way to getting viral video ideas.

Whereas keyword research feels like you’re starting from scratch, finding a good keyword and creating content, video-hacking starts you off with ideas that are already proven winners.

Start by finding five YouTube channels similar to yours. These should be popular channels but not necessarily ones with millions of subscribers. The idea here is to find channels with some really popular videos, with views in the hundreds of thousands, but not channels that will rank for anything by virtue of their size.

I’ve found the best targets for this video-hacking idea are channels with between 100k to 350k subscribers.

For each of the five target channels, go to ‘Videos’ and sort by popularity. Then list the title of the top five or ten videos in a spreadsheet.

how to find youtube video ideas
How to Find Keyword Ideas for YouTube Videos

Since having the keyword in the title is so important for YouTube, the main keyword is probably going to be in the title for each of the videos in your list. You can also click through to the videos and see which keywords they’re ranking by using the TubeBuddy extension.

Once you’ve got a list of the most viewed videos for each of your target channels, you’re going to start seeing overlap. There will be keywords that are popular across all the channels, keywords that get massive views for everyone in the niche.

Pick out at least three or four of these winning video ideas and get ready to make a viral video!

To compete with some of these bigger channels, we’re going to be using an old keyword research technique called the ‘skyscraper approach’. The strategy, attributed to Brian Dean of Backlinko, involves searching your keyword on YouTube and Google to brainstorm everything that needs to be in an epic video.

how to get youtube video ideas fast

Do a search for your keyword and within the top five or ten results;

  • Click through and note the main topics and ideas that are covered, these are usually revealed in the section headings for articles
  • Note the ‘People Also Ask’ suggestions in a Google search
  • Note the ‘Searches Related to…’ at the bottom of the Google search
  • Note the talking points and anything unique in YouTube video results

These are all ideas that both Google and YouTube feel relate closely to the keyword and need to be in any content that ranks. Your goal in creating epic content is going to be to create a ‘super-video’ that incorporates as much as possible.

The Skyscraper is more than just copying down what other people are saying. You’ll want to research and find the detail others missed and put your video together in a way that keeps people watching in its entirety.

Don’t forget to add graphics, personal stories, branding and all the other things that keep people watching and engaged with your video.

While you’re looking at the top results for the keyword on YouTube, check out the titles and thumbnails as well. You’ll need to create something special and different from the existing content to get noticed so you might want to brainstorm your title ideas and thumbnails now while it’s top-of-mind.

Produce five or more of these video-hacking YouTube ideas and I guarantee they’ll blow your other videos away in terms of views and it’s likely at least one will become a most-viewed video for your channel.

Click to reserve your spot at the FREE YouTube Quick-start Webinar! I’m sharing three strategies that helped me grow my YouTube channel and double my business income. I guarantee they WILL work for you. Seats are limited for the webinar, so make sure you reserve yours.

Running with Your Winners on YouTube

Finding a strong keyword or one that’s worked for other channels doesn’t automatically mean it’s going to get viral views. There are reportedly millions of factors that go into the YouTube discovery algorithm so even finding keywords that work well for peer channels, sometimes it all seems like a crap shoot.

But spend just ten minutes to do your keyword and video idea research and you will have winners.

It’s here where you have the chance to really grow your channel.

When you do have a winning video, we’re talking a video that blows all your others away and gets 100K+ views, take the broader keyword from the video and develop it into your content strategy.

This means taking that broader keyword and finding at least four to six long-tail variations on it for more videos. This will create a library of videos around that topic, each detailing a more specific but related area.

The idea here is that YouTube now sees your channel as an authority on that core keyword with the successful video. Any videos you make around that will cumulatively add watch-time to the keyword authority you have on the channel and will help each rank.

Each of the videos will also show up in the suggested videos for each other so you’ll have that power video sending traffic to the others for instant organic ranking.

For example, if you have a video titled ‘Best Jobs for College Students’,

  • Keyword themes here might be something like: best jobs, high-paying jobs, or college students.
  • Brainstorm other video ideas that include these themes for example; Best Jobs for High School Students, High-Paying Jobs without a Degree, Credit Cards for College Students
  • Research each long-tail variation of your keywords to find the ones with good volume and low search then produce four or five videos around the keywords

It helps to publish these follow-on videos as soon as possible to the success of your previous video. All the people that watched your viral video will be shown the new videos in their suggested and in the browser, especially the ones that ‘Liked’ or commented on the video.

Growing a YouTube channel is about more than just producing content. Getting great YouTube video ideas takes time and research but your effort will be rewarded. Spend just 10 or 15 minutes researching your topic ideas and keywords before filming and you’ll boost views with keywords you can actually rank.

Read the Entire Grow on YouTube Series

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