Video Keywords Research – A Quick Guide

Over the years we’ve covered video’s benefits for SEO quite extensively here on the blog. This post is about further leveraging these benefits by grounding your video SEO efforts on some good old Keyword Research.

So where’s the big revelation?” you may rightfully ask, “Keyword research tools have been around for ages, and are easily accessible!“, and right you’d be, but the issue is that most keyword tools and techniques are focused on STANDARD TEXT RESULTS, whereas video results present an entirely different paradigm…

Video for SEO – The opportunities

Before we start analyzing methods for doing Video Keyword Research it’s probably a good idea to recount the SEO opportunities that videos present.
Briefly these are:

Universal Search Results with video

Universal Search Results with video

The video thumbnail in Google’s universal search

Ever since search engines introduced the concept of Universal Search Results videos have become a huge opportunity for “cutting ahead” of the text rankings and getting a thumbnail right on the first page (see the screenshot on the right).

Video search

Search engines enable users to search by media type, and video searches are exceedingly popular.


The 2nd most popular search engine in it’s own right, and the 3rd most popular site online, Youtube is obviously a HUGE opportunity for marketing via video.

What key-phrases yield video results?

Whereas one can obviously enter any string into Google’s search box and get results, not every key-phrase will yield video results, so the question arises:

How do we know when a search will display video results?

The short answer is that normally* we don’t, or at least not with 100% certainty. But we can make educated guesses based on what we know of how Google provides results.

The reality is that Google provides video results when THEY MAKE SENSE. In plain terms this means that searches indicating situations where the user is looking for a demo, tutorial, review, etc. are likely to come back with video results included (as per the example in the screenshot above)

Using the wisdom of the crowd

Take a look at the following screenshots for Youtube and Google and showing the auto-suggest completions for the same keyword:

Youtube autocomplete - "Soap"

Youtube autocomplete – “Soap”

Google autocomplete - "Soap"

Google autocomplete – “Soap”

Not only do the suggestions validate the point made earlier regarding the different intents people have in mind when they go searching for videos, but furthermore we also got a cool recommendation to use “Soap and Skin” as a key-phrase for or video specific SEO efforts (…assuming we’re in the soap selling business). This brings us to our last tip for today:

  The Youtube keyword tool

Whereas any online marketeer worth their salt are familiar with the adwords keyword tool, surprisingly few know that a similar tool exists for Youtube.

The Youtube tool is particularly cool because it allows you to generate keyword recommendations not only based on an existing key-phrase you have in mind, but also via inputting an existing Youtube URL, as per the example below (the Youtube URL entered as a reference was for a soap making video):

The Youtube keyword tool

The Youtube keyword tool


* – SEOmoz‘s Rank Tracker provides a report that does indicate keyphrases that yield video and image results, you can try it for free for 30 days, however after that you’ll need a pro account with them.