Top Findings from Analyzing 15,000 Keywords on YouTube

YouTube was started in 2004. Surprisingly to many, it wasn’t started as a video-sharing platform but rather as a video dating website.

Today, it’s the second most used search engine globally after Google, attracting over 2 billion monthly users. Google acquired it in 2006 for $1.65 billion.

If you’re trying to scale your rankings on YouTube, you might find research recently conducted by Semrush and Tubics interesting.

They analyzed the top 10 search results for 15,000 keywords to determine which metric points affected performance the most. Here’s what they found:

Growth dynamics


Most of the results in the top 10 came from channels with the highest number of subscribers.

Only 18% of videos came from channels with less than 1,000 subscribers.

Take away:Subscribers help, but if the content is engaging and of high quality you can still make your way into the top ten. But the more competitive the keyword, the more channel “authority” will help.


On average, the video in the first position had 74% more views than the video in the second position.

Also, the YouTube algorithm recommends videos that are more likely to be viewed to the end based on their length and previous engagement.

After all, YouTube makes money by selling ads.

Take awayPromote your content as soon as you release it (across multiple platforms) to get early traction for views. Don’t rely only on the YouTube algorithm to do all the work for you.

Engagement metrics

In short, it’s a virtuous circle.

The more people watch a video, the more views, likes, and comments it gets.

And the more engagement signals it receives, the higher it ranks.

Video features and elements


54% of all the analyzed videos had an average of 8 words in their title. Limiting your word use here seems to be the way to go. Also, be sure to mention the main keyword.

Description length

The average number of words was 107. The idea here is to go longer to help rank for more keywords, but not to go crazy with it. Ensure the description closely matches the video content.

Links in the description

Branded URLs were shown to increase CTRs by nearly 36%. If you want to drive the viewers to your website, use these.


Top-ranking videos have on average 13 tags. Videos with fewer tags ranked in lower positions. Sprinkle in tags that match the keywords. But like on Twitter, Instagram, and other sites that use hashtags, don’t overdo it.

YouTube is launching its own keyword tool

There are hundreds of ways to do keyword research for YouTube, but none of them are directly supported by YouTube.

Well that’s about to change. YouTube has announced that it plans to release a “search insights” tool for creators.

If you read more carefully, you’ll realize this is a fancy name for an actual keyword research tool.

Here’s what you’ll get:

Your viewers’ searches

This tab will display the keywords that people who regularly watch your content are searching for on YouTube.

You’ll also see the search volume for each of these keywords expressed as low/medium/high labels.

Searches across YouTube

This is as close to a general keyword research tool as YouTube has gotten.

You’ll be able to type a keyword phrase and see related phrases with low/medium/high search volume.

Content gap

You will see a “Content gap” label next to some keywords that YouTube suggests.

This is YouTube’s way of saying, “Our viewers can’t find the information they’re looking for when they type this keyword.”

So there’s a “gap” where you can create “content” around the keyword.

And boy, we marketers love finding gaps.


Soon enough. YouTube said they’re still testing these features, but will expand their rollout shortly.

TME.NET provides technology, fintech, and business news, marketing and social media guides, and info on streaming & other entertainment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.