YouTube Search Insights

How to Use YouTube Search Insights — A Guide for Digital Publishers

YouTube’s experimental new Search Insights tool is meant to simplify keyword research and help digital publishers identify content gaps on their YouTube channels. We’ve rounded up everything you should know about YouTube Search Insights, so you can get started using this useful new feature right away.

If you’ve wondered what YouTube Search Insights is, you’re not alone. YouTube Search Insights is an experimental tool that shows publishers, and other digital creators, the number of views a specific search term has driven to their channel in the previous 28 days. The tool was first publicly announced on November 25th, 2021, in a video on YouTube’s Creator Insider channel.

This is an experimental feature, which means it’s not available to everyone just yet. During the initial rollout phase, only select content creators are being given access to Search Insights. However, it’s expected that the feature will be available more broadly to digital publishers in the coming months. When it is widely available, Search Insights will be accessible under YouTube’s Analytics/Research tab.

How Does YouTube Search Insights Work?

Creators with early access to Search Insights report that the feature surfaces keyword search data, such as the queries that led viewers to a video channel. These keyword search features are laid out across two tabs: one tab shows “Your viewers’ searches” and another tab shows “Searches across YouTube.”

Under the “Your viewers’ searches” tab, publishers can see the top searches coming from their viewers, as well as from viewers on similar channels. YouTube-wide search volume for specific keywords is also available, although it’s described in basic terms as either low, medium, or high. Publishers can also see the number of views their channels have received for any query in the last 28 days.

Under the “Searches across YouTube” tab, publishers can access data that goes beyond their own audiences. For the first time, YouTube is providing its creators with access to relevant search data. Publishers can see the most popular keywords people are using to find specific types of content on the platform. (For example, a publisher could type in “Hawaii” to find the most popular keywords YouTube users are using to find Hawaii-related videos.) Creators can access search volume based on data from the last 28 days.

How Should Publishers Use Search Insights?

Ideally, publishers will use this feature to hone in on their audiences’ interests and measure interest around specific topics across the broader YouTube audience. YouTube’s goal in developing Search Insights was to give top creators information about how important certain keywords are to their overall view counts.

Creators can also use a special feature to identify content gaps in their channels and find better content opportunities based on actionable data. Content gaps are discovered when viewers search for a keyword or phrase and can’t find the information they are looking for. Or, if the results that do appear are low quality or irrelevant to the specific query. Content gap labels appear alongside keywords, when applicable, and filters are available for creators to access. These content gap filters allow users to narrow keyword listings to show “content gaps only.”

YouTube is providing top creators with information about content gaps in the hope that they will use the data to create videos to fill those holes. If you are familiar with using Google’s Search Console or Google Trends, then YouTube’s new content gap feature works along the same lines. It’s meant to provide insight into how creators can optimize their efforts to align with current search trends.

As YouTube Search Insights becomes more widely available and publishers have more time to experiment, it’s likely that we’ll hear more about possible use cases. Already, brands marketers have reportedly started using search data to make videos that are more relevant for their audiences.

Have you gotten early access to the YouTube Search Insights feature? Let us know what you think!