As long as people have to type phrases into a search engine, keywords will play an important role in SEO. So what does that mean for video marketing?

3-keyword-research-tools-video-seoWhile video SEO best practices are a little different than those for plain-text pages, it still all begins with effective keyword research. Fortunately, there are many free keyword research tools available to help marketers identify the right terms for optimizing their videos. Here are three to consider.

#1. Google AdWords Keyword Planner

Arguably the most popular tool available for keyword research is the Google AdWords Keyword Planner. If it doesn’t sound familiar, that’s probably because Google recently rebranded its old Keyword Research Tool with some additional features.

The tool now requires an AdWords account to use (registration is free), but the functionality is essentially the same as it was in the past. With the Keyword Planner, you simply type in various keyword phrases and Google will return the average search volumes and relative competition for each.

Now, there are two important things to keep in mind when using the Keyword Planner tool for keyword research:

1) This data is relevant for all Google search results, not just video

2) The Keyword Planner is designed for paid ad campaigns, not organic search.

That being said, this information can still be incredibly valuable for video SEO. For example, average search volumes can shed light on the popularity of particular phrases, while “Low” competition will give you a general idea of which terms represent the best opportunity for higher rankings. Information like this is particularly important when using embedded videos to raise the SEO value of your company webpages.

(Note that while Google is easily the most popular search engine to optimize content for, Bing also has it’s own Keyword Research tool to consider.)

#2. Ubersuggest

It’s also a good idea for marketers to do additional research to find new keyword phrases they may not have considered. Ubersuggest is a free keyword research tool designed to return longtail variations for broad keyword terms.

For example, typing in a general phrase such as “video marketing” will return a variety of keyword options related to that term (from “video marketing case studies” to “video marketing statistics 2013”).

You can also use this information to combine tools. Once you’ve identified the relevant terms for your video content, you can then plug them into the AdWords Keyword Planner to learn which ones represent the greatest SEO opportunity for your video marketing content.

#3. YouTube Keyword Research Tool

Finally, since we are dealing with video SEO, it’s also important to conduct keyword research for video content specifically. YouTube is not only the largest video content website on the planet, it’s also the third most popular search engine period. With over 4 billion hits each day, it obviously makes sense for brands to post video marketing content to YouTube, put proper SEO is still important if you want to attract new audiences.

The YouTube Keyword Research Tool works in almost the exact same way as the old AdWords research tool and current Keyword Planner (remember that Google owns YouTube). The only difference is that in this case, all keyword data is based on searches within the YouTube engine.

These results will give you a better idea of how audiences are searching for video content online, which can help you to further optimize your videos for YouTube and beyond.

Admittedly, I find the quality of this data to be far lower (and thus less useful) than what you’ll find with other free keyword research tools. Part of this is because the types of searches done on YouTube are so different that what’s plugged into more traditional search engines. That being said, it’s still important to learn about how audiences are searching for video content specifically, so this tool is not to be overlooked.

Of course, there are many other valuable SEO and paid keyword research tools to consider, such as Moz Analytics, Web CEO, SEO PowerSuite, and (for pure video analysis) Pixability Caffeine. But as far as free options go, the three listed above will at least put you on the right path.

Do you have a favorite free keyword research tool of your own? Tell us about it in the comments!

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