How to Check YouTube Search Volume & Keywords for Free

01-26-2020 Home  »  Youtube  »  How to Check YouTube Search Volume & Keywords for Free

Looking to Create YouTube Videos That People Will Actually See?

The MILLION dollar question on YouTube is what content do I create that people are going to want to watch AND what content that I create will actually be seen amongst the BILLION of other videos on the platform?

So let's dive in to a little bit about the process of how I go about making my YouTube videos by doing a bit of upfront research on YouTube Search Volume metrics and YouTube Keywords.

But Wait...

Before we go ANY further… You need to know that YouTube is a space to be YOU and if your only motivation to create content is to gain more views or subscribers… then you’re probably not going to make it very far. That should always be a secondary goal or motivating factor.

However, for all those SEO geeks or Amazon FBA dudes or any type of online marketer who works with brands to grow something for the sole purpose of driving traffic… then you're in the right spot.

Also you need to know that just because you can rank a video at the front of a specific search term… it doesn’t mean you’re going to get a TON of views on YouTube.

It’s actually pretty crazy… but not as many views as you think on YouTube come from the search feature. In fact it really depends on the type of channel that you have. If you have a tutorial or how to style channel… yeah, you’ll get a good amount of views from the search.

But if you’re creating entertaining content and not necessarily valuable learning content… then you won’t get that much at all from the search. Plus it also depends on channels size and existing subscriber base.

Now since I’ve been on YouTube forever and have worked on and seen analytics from 100+ channels… I took an average of the Traffic source types between 10 VERY DIFFERENT channels and I got a average of the following stats:

--> 32% of all views come from the YouTube search

--> 34% come from the browse features on YouTube

--> 26% come from suggested videos on the platform

Again these numbers varied TREMENDOUSLY per channel. So it’s good to go check your analytics right now to get an idea of what your current traffic is like.

But ok let’s say you primarily rely on search traffic or you just want to boost what you currently have…

3 Great Strategies for YouTube Keyword Research & Search Volume Metrics that are 100% FREE

Let’s get you a more detailed picture of how many views you can expect to get and what kind of competition there might be when creating a video for YouTube. 


First and foremost, the most popular method is using something called VidIQ. I’ve been using this chrome extension for years. It shows about how much search volume a specific term or phrase gets and also how saturated or how much competition the terms has already on YouTube.

Plus you get a lot of cool stats based on that term like top creator and monthly views. It’s pretty legit and it’s super simple way to get an idea of the content you’re creating.

For example if I wanted to create a video on how to tie a shoe… I would just search the term.

We can see that there’s an average amount of search volume but there’s SO much competition that VidIQ gives it an overall “Low” score.

I try to only create content or make my titles terms that are over 55 out of 100 based on VidIQ. And this doesn’t mean you have to totally scrap a video idea… but it just means you might have to add a twist to it. Like if I change my search to how to tie a show one handed…

My VidIQ score goes up as the competition is basically non-existent. Only bummer is that volume is very low.

But VidIQ is awesome and I HIGHLY recommend you download their free version because it can do nothing but good stuff (plus it does way more than what I showed). 

YouTube Search Predictions

Next up is something a lot of people overlook on YouTube and it’s just what YouTube auto-populates when you search for something. Their search predictions show you what other people are searching for.

For example if I log out of my account and search “How To" it shows me some of the most popular and current search terms that other people are typing in right now. So those could be good terms or phrases to create content on or at least to look more into with VidIQ.

Plus you can use a few hidden tricks to open your search a little more. Like using an asterisk (*) in a search term or an underscore (_). I’ll let you try those out to see how cool that is.

But a lot of people overlook the search predictions on YouTube and it’s one my go-to measures for thinking up great content to make. Because if it’s in that prediction box, then that means there’s a good amount of volume for that term.

YouTube Search Results (Volume)

Now to go along with our previous tool (because… if we know there’s a lot of people searching for it… they might be a lot of competition). And while VidIQ is great to give us a measure of competition. It doesn’t actually show us how much search results (or how many videos) are returned.

YouTube used to show us how much search results a specific term returned but they don’t anymore so we have to get creative.

Take the term you searched on YouTube… and copy and paste it to Google followed by “site (colon)”.

Now it’ll show you how many videos populate for that specific term on YouTube alone. Which 75,000 is actually not bad all which is why VidIQ said the competition was so great.

Because if you search gaming on YouTube… you’re going to get 1.75 billion videos that populate.

That's Your Free YouTube SEO Tools

By utilizing these three (free) tools prior to making a video on YouTube… You'll be much better off getting your content actually seen and growing your channel with more views and subscribers. 

Here's a Bonus...

If you are one of those marketing nerds (kind of like me)… then I recommend checking out the tool “Keywords Everywhere”.

I actually use this tool for Amazon and Google but it has YouTube on it as well so figured I’d throw it in here if you’re looking for something juicy. Now depending on how many searches you perform on a daily basis… it can get pretty expensive, but it’s cool because it shows you average search volume per term and how much advertisers are paying to bid on that term.

Pretty neat! But again, you can stick to the other 3 and you’ll do just fine!

But that’s my answer to the MILLION dollar question on YouTube… This is how you can gain a little more insight on what people are actually searching for and what might have a lower competition amongst our peers. So hopefully it helps you craft some good video ideas that people will actually see.

Search ranking just a little too much for you? Want some help? Get some YouTube consulting to skyrocket your growth! -

Ready for the
next level?

Hi, I'm Shawn Malkou. I'm determined to help you succeed. My question is, are you ready?

Let's Do It

About Shawn Malkou

He is the shawn-of-all-trades. Starting his entrepreneurship journey at the age of 14 with a dream and a single YouTube channel, he’s then since broken into countless industries. As the founder of Dream2Succeed, co-founder of DishTheDeal, co-founder of DirectionDesk, and lover of all things media – Shawn prides himself in picking up a new skill quickly to then share with others.

Learn More

Ready for the
next level?

Hi, I'm Shawn Malkou. I'm determined to help you succeed. My question is, are you ready?

Let's Do It