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Like you, I frequently come across many videos that have millions of views on YouTube. Some creators possess a Midas touch or luck, which enables them to produce viral videos without much effort. However, most full-time YouTubers implement plans and strategies to succeed. For instance, many creators do keyword research to improve their search rankings, discoverability, and visibility. Other users implement several tactics to increase their subscribers.
Although YouTube’s Studio application is robust, many creators use third-party products and services to support planning, strategy, and channel management. One such tool is VidIQ, which is popular among YouTubers. Let’s review how it can help you get more views, subscribers, and revenue.
Many YouTube tools help creators in different areas, from thumbnail creation to marketing to tag generation. VidIQ bills itself as an “audience development and management suite that helps brands and agencies grow their views and subscribers.” It also claims to be an “end-to-end solution.” As such, VidIQ should be able to tackle the following areas:
- Analytics and insights
- Bulk updates
- Comment management
- Competitor research
- Data backup
- Demonetization prevention
- SEO, keywords, and tags
- Social media marketing
- Thumbnail generation
- Video optimization
VidIQ launched in 2012, and its headquarters is in San Francisco, California. It offers a suite of tools to help creators, marketers, and agencies grow their channels and brand awareness. Its free Chrome browser extension features ratings, search engine optimization scores, keyword research, tag management, analytics, and more. Its web app provides dashboards and charts for various video and channel metrics. Many features are free to access, while some are accessible through premium plans. Lastly, VidIQ is a YouTube certified app.
VidIQ has raised a total of $4M in funding through three rounds. Its main competitor is TubeBuddy. (Read TubeBuddy Vs. VidIQ: Which YouTube Tool Is Better?)
Analytics & Insights
Analytics is the information resulting from the systematic analysis of data or statistics. To understand what’s working and not working on your channel, you need analytics to make informed and strategic decisions. VidIQ provides video and channel statistics on any user through its browser plugin and web application.
Chrome Browser Extension
VidIQ’s “Scorecard” is its primary offering. The Scorecard is a side panel that’s brimming with analytics and statistics. The overview section includes a score, views per hour, total views, and duration. The VidIQ score accounts for a variety of data points to determine the likelihood that your video will appear in YouTube search results, related and recommended videos. The rating considers social engagement (across YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook), velocity, and views. The closer your score is to 100, the better.
The social media section highlights Facebook and Reddit engagement stats; for example, the number of Facebook likes. Twitter stats sit atop the panel. Historical performance data and trending videos are available for paying users.
At the very top of your YouTube channel webpage, a real-time stats bar shows views per 60 minutes and 48 hours. Hovering over the data will bring up more performance stats regarding views, minutes watched, and subs. Additionally, channel subtotals and ratings are visible without having to click on videos for those data points.
On the left-hand side of a YouTube webpage, the Channel Audit tool displays your month-over-month views, subs, and watch time percentages. It indicates what videos to “double down on” based on views per hour and subscribers gained. It also highlights top search terms and videos that need work.
VidIQ’s web application isn’t as exciting or impressive as its browser extension. Nevertheless, it does provide some useful insights.
The analytics tab reveals various statistics for your videos and channel, including views, subscriber metrics, demographics, and viewers by country.
The video tab shows individual video stats, including tags, views, likes, and comments. You can edit video metadata from this page.
The subscriber tab is a premium feature that identifies what your subscribers are watching and liking. It also reports what channels your subs are following and the best time to post your videos.
Updating videos one by one is time-consuming, and VidIQ has a solution for that. While it doesn’t process bulk edits to metadata, it does support bulk copy of cards and end screens and edits to end screens. Those features will increase your productivity.
VidIQ has one feature to help manage comments. Comment templates enable the creation of standardized responses to questions and comments. Suppose you frequently get asked, “what’s the quickest way to reach 1,000 subs?” You could answer with your 1000 Subs template that reads, “1,000 subs? No problem. In this video, I discuss the fastest ways to reach 100, 1,000, and 10,000 subs: https://youtu.be/example”.
The browser extension and web app have competitor tabs. Compare your channel to others regarding total, cumulative, and daily averages for views, subs, and uploads. Review your competitors trending videos for different time intervals.
The Scorecard showcases insights, stats, and ratings for every video and channel. For example, compare views for the first 28 days of your video to any video, playlist, or channel.
Download all your video and channel metadata. Use this feature to download your public video data to a CSV file.
Demonetization concerns are ever-present as YouTube regularly updates its guidelines and policies. VidIQ’s controversial keywords feature identifies words and phrases in your metadata that might be inappropriate for advertisers. For example, the title, “How to Shoot Great Pics with Your Smartphone,” would be identified as potentially troublesome because the term “shoot” could refer to tragedy and conflict. Since YouTube isn’t transparent about its demonetization practices, VidIQ recommends using its feature as a guide.
SEO, Keywords, & Tags
An understanding of search engine optimization (SEO) techniques can be a game-changer on YouTube. The goal of SEO is to improve your search rankings, discoverability, visibility, and relevance. There are many pre- and post publishing factors. Here are some to consider.
Pre-publishing SEO factors:
- Length of video
- Video and channel content categories
- Target audience, for example, everyone, adults, or kids
- Publish date (“freshness” and relevance)
- Video/film location
- Video and thumbnail file names
- Closed captioning
Post publishing SEO factors:
- Click-through rates from search results
- Click-through rates from recommended/related videos
- Total watch time
- Average watch time per user
- Like/dislike rating
- Video subscriber conversion rates
- Comment activity
- Social media engagement
- Playlist inclusion
- Overall channel performance
In the Scorecard panel, the SEO tab provides an SEO score. The score considers actionable and performance factors, such as high-ranking tags, tag count, keywords in the title and description, and more. Also visible are stats on creator suggested content, word count, links in your description, end screens, and external referral links to the video.
When you search on YouTube, for example, “passive income ideas,” VidIQ gives you a robust side panel of actionable keyword insights. You’ll get scores for search volume and competition to assess the probability of ranking for a keyword. Related queries and top keywords are also available. Enable inline keywords to see and copy tags from your competitors.
In the web app, the SEO tab has keyword research, tag management, and bulk editing tools for paying users. Unpaid users can retrieve up to four results and ratings for related keywords.
VidIQ makes managing tags user-friendly and efficient. On the Scorecard under the video and channel tag headings, you can see what terms are in use for any video. You can copy tags by clicking the paperclip icon or download terms to a CSV file. On your video’s YouTube page, you can translate, reorganize, and copy tags, and create tag templates to reuse. Furthermore, get tag recommendations and rankings.
The Keyword Inspector displays related keywords and trending videos, scores, and reports. Click on highlighted terms to get more insights.
Social Media Marketing
With VidIQ’s Facebook Syndication, you can post your videos directly from YouTube to your Facebook page. Connect your Facebook account to VidIQ, select “send to Facebook,” select a few options, and you’re ready to go.
An eye-catching thumbnail stands out and increases click-through rates. VidIQ has a custom thumbnail editor. First, select a video still, solid color, image, or current thumbnail. Add text, styles, shapes, images, and create templates for future use. Click the save button, and you’re done.
On the Scorecard, a video optimization checklist identifies what user actions have been taken; for instance, cards and end screens are in use. The list consists of ten items and appears on all videos, including your competitors.
Want to know how a keyword is performing or how many views a competitor is getting? Trend Alerts enable you to track keywords, categories, and competitors. It’s a great tool to keep tabs on viral and breakout videos. Set up notifications by views per hour and email frequency. Receive email alerts to track trending topics every day, week, or month. Finally, monitor your competitors to see what videos are trending on their channels.
The Most Viewed function supports video ideation and research. Search for the top trending videos using a combination of filters, including terms, category, country, rating, views, and length. This feature goes beyond YouTube’s trending videos to pinpoint what’s performing well.
The Achievements feature monitors your accomplishments and top-performing months for subscribers, views, uploads, likes, hours watched, and comments. It also displays forecasts for upcoming milestones. Case in point, it shows me that I reached 3,000 subscribers on September 28, 2019. Easily share your achievements on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote your successes, videos, and channels.
The web app description tab offers a premium feature that enables description campaigns. A description campaign allows you to add text (including URLs) to all your video descriptions simultaneously. All URLs in the campaign are shortened with vid.io so that you can monitor click-through rates and performance. Use description campaigns to promote new videos, encourage users to subscribe, and drive traffic to your website and social profiles.
VidIQ is an excellent all-in-one YouTube tool with a myriad of benefits. However, compared to its main rival, TubeBuddy, it’s missing a few capabilities.
VidIQ’s comment templates are useful, but one-dimensional compared to the six comment functions offered by TubeBuddy. Secondly, bulk updates would be much better if it included changes to metadata and playlists.
VidIQ doesn’t offer a mobile app for work on the go or integrate with other apps, for example, Patreon. Lastly, partnerships and perks are nonexistent.
VidIQ has four plans, including Basic (free), Pro, Boost, and Enterprise. Pricing starts at $7.50 monthly. It rarely offers coupons and discounts.
VidIQ is one of the best YouTube creator tools on the market. It’s packed with an extensive range of features that support the most critical areas of channel development and video optimization. It also regularly adds new features to its lineup. Although its Chrome browser extension is much better than its web software, both applications are user-friendly and valuable.
VidIQ is exceptional in the areas of analytics and data, competitor research and insights, and demonetization prevention. Its various keyword research tools significantly increase your chances of appearing on the first page of YouTube search results. It’s tag research and management capabilities simplify the process of finding high-ranking terms to implement. VidIQ is a terrific partner to support your SEO strategy and increase your visibility, discoverability, and views.
The many video scores and ratings across both its apps enlighten and motivate creators to improve their activities. The video optimization checklist highlights best practices and to-dos. The thumbnail generator enables you to produce unique images to increase your click-through rates.
VidIQ doesn’t have a mobile app. However, many YouTubers likely work from their desktops, so it’s not a huge miss. I would like to see more comment management and bulk editing options, but I’m not sure of the overall demand for these functions.
Ultimately, VidIQ should be on your shortlist of creator tools to help you succeed on YouTube. Its Scorecard is too valuable not to have by your side. The real-time status bar, overlays, and alerts will keep you informed. Its milestone tracker will ensure you’re moving in the right direction and accomplishing your goals. Install VidIQ’s free Chrome browser extension to boost your views, subscribers, performance, and revenue. You can also test TubeBuddy’s free browser extension (Chrome and Firefox) alongside VidIQ for a direct comparison.