Sunday, May 19, 2024

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Review: Is vidIQ Worth Using for Your YouTube Gaming Channel?

When building a gaming channel on YouTube, you’ll need the best tools to compete. This is because gaming on YouTube is incredibly saturated. Can vidIQ help you build an audience and a successful YouTube gaming channel?

I suppose that depends on how you use the app. Also, keep in mind that vidIQ is only a tool. You’ll still have to come up with content people want to watch.

What is the vidIQ App?

vidIQ is a free platform that comes built with an extension for Google Chrome and Firefox to help you build a YouTube channel. It provides a variety of data points to help you build a strategy as a creator.

When viewing YouTube with the vidIQ extension installed, it will pull various pieces of information about competing content. This includes the number of subscribers other creators have as well as showing how many videos any specific video gets per hour.

That is as long as it gets more than 0.05 views per hour on average.

While it does offer quite a bit of information in its free version, vidIQ becomes far more versatile when paying for the Pro or Boost upgrades.

What Can You Expect from vidIQ for Free?

I started using vidIQ a few years ago. And since then, it’s grown quite a bit. So, why do I continue to use the app after all this time?

These are just some of the things you can expect from vidIQ. Although I do pay for a yearly subscription to the Pro service, it does have a lot of great features across all of its plans.

The Channel Audit

vidIQ will analyze the video content of your YouTube channel and give you an audit. This will break down various elements of the videos including which are performing the best and what video topics to “double down” on.

The tool provides a lot of actionable data regarding what you should make next and how the channel stacks against others.

Researching Top Keyphrases

vidIQ Keywords

One of the features I use often when looking for content ideas and tags is through search. The vidIQ app will show the most common searches for your terms, which can provide quite a few ideas.

This includes an “Overall score,” which I’ll go over in a moment. Suffice it to say, you can get quite a few ideas just from the keywords the system provides.

You’ll also see a list of the top trending videos including your keyphrase as well as the total views and its views-per-hour.

vidIQ Video Idea Scoring

The “score” for keyphrases and topics is a combination of factors such as the popularity of the topic and the sheer number of competitors on YouTube. The higher the number, the easier it is to rank for that particular keyphrase.

This is somewhat vital, especially if you’re creating niche gaming videos. Keyphrases with a high search volume but low competition will be easier to get in front of an audience.

If you’re new to YouTube, every bit counts.

Keeping an Eye on Competitors

Everyone is going to have competitors on YouTube. With the mere volume that is uploaded on a daily basis, you’re going to compete for viewers regardless of your niche.

vidIQ lets you keep an eye on competing channels. This lets you see what videos are working best for them and how they are building channels compared to yourself.

Perhaps if you can cover a similar topic for your audience but make it better, you’ll gain new subscribers directly from the competition.

Top Search Terms of Your Channel

How are people finding your YouTube channel? In the vidIQ dashboard, you can see the top search terms of what is driving traffic to your videos. This way, you can get an idea of what of videos people are finding the most prevalent for your channel.

These terms can also be helpful if you’re trying to rank for something that has yet to appear on this list. This means you’ll need to make more of that type of content if you want to change the top search results for your channel.

It’s much easier said than done, especially if you’re aiming at exceptionally popular terms.

Top Keyword Opportunities

Another feature I like about vidIQ is the “Top Keyword Opportunities” for your channel in the dashboard. Basing the information according to your video’s performance and searchability, the app will show you keywords for topics you might want to create.

You can also search directly from this panel to find keywords and topics for future content.

Personally, I like the “Questions” portion of the search field. I just don’t know if it’s available in the free version of the app. Remember, I pay for the Pro account.

Achievements Estimate Your Progress


The Achievements screen is a fun way to promote your progress with vidIQ. I remember sharing on social media when my YouTube channel hit 1,000 subscribers.

Using estimates based on current progress, you can get a feel for when your channel will hit certain milestones. Then, you can share those achievements on social media to boost awareness of your channel.

The vidIQ Dashboard

I’ve mentioned the vidIQ dashboard in other points above. This is your channel’s main hub and includes everything you’ll need to work on creating great content.

Keywords, monetization tracking, channel stats over time, when people are most likely to watch your videos, competitors, and more are all laid out for you.

CP YouTube Banner v1.0

Is Paying for the Pro and Boost Features Worth the Value?

As I said earlier, I pay for the Pro version of vidIQ. This gives me access to more daily ideas, the search companion, trending videos in real-time, and keeping an eye on more competition.

It only costs $90 per year and comes with quite a few bonuses that I use every week.

I’m quite interested in the Boost upgrade so I can manage up to 3 channels while having access to things like AI recommendations, tracking videos by keyword, and other features.

Mostly, I want Boost so I can manage the writing, gaming, and weight loss channels I have on YouTube. But at the moment, I don’t have a spare $700 for all three channels.

At any rate, $90 per year for the Pro version of vidIQ has been worth the investment for me for the past three years. Though, I really need to put more effort into creating better videos.

This brings me to my next point…

You Still Need to Have a Good Publishing Strategy

It doesn’t matter what kind of tools you have to make a gaming channel on YouTube if you don’t have some kind of a strategy in place. No tool can give you personality or the ability to engage an audience.

Sure, something like vidIQ can help you find awesome topics your audience might want to watch. Nonetheless, you still have to make the video watchable to them.

Trying to build a gaming channel willy nilly doesn’t guarantee you’ll attract a large audience. Everything from the games you cover to how you deliver that content is going to matter.

If you have the personality of a stone on valium, no one is going to stick around.

You also need to keep in mind that there is a reason why many big YouTubers have a specific publishing schedule. It’s all about giving people the content they want exactly when they want it.

Think of how television works. There’s a reason why certain shows aired at specific time frames and how it affected the audience.

It’s true that video on demand makes this a bit more flexible. However, everyone has an ideal publishing schedule. And vidIQ can show you when your specific viewers are more active.

This means more watch time overall as you’re delivering the videos when those people are actually on YouTube.

CP YouTube Banner v1.0

What Tools Do You Use for Building a Gaming Channel?

The Internet is full of tools to help you build a gaming channel. I use vidIQ for ideas while using something like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to produce titles that are more clickable and shareable.

Now all I have to do is put in just a bit more effort to put out more interesting videos. For me, it’s more of a time issue than anything.

Michael Brockbank
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Michael Brockbank

Michael developed ColoradoPlays to help various charities through his favorite pastime. Since then, the blog and Twitch channels have donated several hundred dollars to Extra Life, Geeks of Grandeur and Operation Supply Drop, to name a few.