TubeBuddy Review: Is It Better Than VidIQ?

Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links that I get a kickback from.

Whether you’re making videos for yourself or doing YouTube automation, you probably know the importance of optimizing your videos for YouTube Search. 

TubeBuddy is one of the most popular tools for beginner YouTubers that helps you do just that.

But is it any good?

I’ve been using and testing TubeBuddy alongside VidIQ and I’ve compiled a list of their best features, differences, pros, and cons to help you choose the right tool for your channel.

Jump ahead:

What is TubeBuddy?

TubeBuddy is a browser extension that adds a variety of YouTube analytics tools to your YouTube channel.

The extension helps you:

  • Find low-competition search keywords
  • Suggests relevant video tags
  • Shows video optimization score (out of 100)
  • Shows weighted and unweighted keyword scores based on your channel
  • Has an A/B thumbnail tester, and many more features.

Who is TubeBuddy suited for?

YouTube yearly analytics

1. Beginner YouTubers

TubeBuddy is excellent for beginners to get an idea of what is essential in order to optimize your YouTube video for SEO.

In the beginning, your YouTube channel doesn’t have a lot of data for the YouTube algorithm so YouTube analytics can be deceiving.

Only when your channel gets enough views you can start relying on the data that YouTube gives you.

However, in order to get those views in the beginning TubeBuddy is great for guiding you on your way to ranking your first videos on YouTube search.

2. Tutorial channels

Tutorial channels rely heavily on search traffic because YouTube browse features feature entertainment channels more often than educational channels.

Top positions in YouTube search results bring in the most views for educational YouTube channels.

In order to appear in top YouTube search results you have to learn SEO – put relevant keywords in your video title and description. 

TubeBuddy is great for keyword research because it suggests relevant keywords and lets you know how competitive they are.

3. Gaming channels

In the beginning, it’s very hard to stand out with a gaming channel among the competition that’s out there.

That’s why making gaming tutorials, in the beginning, could be the fastest way to go viral on YouTube. 

And the success of tutorial videos relies heavily on SEO which is where TubeBuddy comes in. 

It will help you find the right gaming keywords that people actually search for to make tutorials about. 

Once your channel gets discovered through gaming tutorials some viewers will naturally check out your other videos and expedite the channel’s growth.

4. Channels going for search traffic

TubeBuddy is great for finding low-competition and high-search volume keywords to make videos about.

When you make a video that has barely any competition your chances of ranking for YouTube search are a lot higher than going after a more saturated niche.

But how do you find a low-competition niche?

One of the many features of TubeBuddy is that this extension lets you search for any keyword and shows how competitive it is based on your channel’s size. 

5. Testing thumbnails

Creating a viral thumbnail isn’t easy but it can be the most important factor of your video’s success.

A thumbnail is the first thing the viewer sees when deciding whether to watch your video or not.

That’s why it’s so important.

Most YouTubers make many different versions of their thumbnails and test out which one has the highest CPM by swapping them out after some time.

The problem is that you can’t really accurately test out which thumbnail is better because YouTube doesn’t have an A/B testing feature.

That’s where TubeBuddy comes in.

It lets you do A/B tests for your thumbnail.

The way it works is you upload two thumbnails and the extension will switch them out automatically to see which one brings more viewers to your video. 

Get a free Notion template with the tutorial for the game of YouTube

🚀 10+ Notion pages about how to play the YouTube game

⚙️ List of tools & gear for YouTubers

🧑‍⚖️ How to make your first video and get your channel off the ground

💰 Detailed guide about finding your niche & making money

Free vs. Pro vs. Star vs. Legend plans

There are four plans:

  • Free ($0/month)
  • Pro ($4 per month)
  • Star ($12.5 per month)
  • Max ($28.5 per month)

However, you can get a free 20% discount if you chose to pay annually. 

TubeBuddy pricing plans

Free plan:

  • Available to everyone for free.
  • Has very limited features (or limits them after some time of use).
  • Has the keyword explorer tool to find searchable keywords.
  • Has the Videolytics tool that shows you how well your video is optimized for YouTube search.
  • Has the automatic tags feature preview letting you add up to 3 generated video tags per video.
  • Lets you view tags and copy tags from other people’s videos.
  • Shows you which search position your video occupies for each video tag.

Pro plan:

  • Grants access to the SEO studio feature (a feature most worth upgrading for).
  • Lets you create video cards and end-screen templates.
  • Gives access to the search positions tool (lets you see where your video ranks for all of its tags in YouTube search in one dashboard).

Star plan:

  • Grants access to the bulk processing feature (bulk update end screens, bulk delete cards, bulk delete comments, bulk find & replace, and many more).
  • Lets you use the opportunity finder tool (simple suggestions for channel growth based on video performance and analytics).
  • Let’s publish videos directly to Facebook.
  • Allows full access to the channel backup feature in case something goes wrong.
  • Grants limited access to the search tracking feature that lets you track your video rankings (and your competitors) across YouTube and Google search for specific keywords.

Max plan:

  • Grants access to the thumbnail A/B testing tool (a feature most worth upgrading for).
  • Grants access to the click magnet tool (in-depth analytics of how to help win the click and get viewers watching for longer).
  •  Adds a competitor scoreboard which lets you see how your channel stacks up against the competition.

TubeBuddy top features

TubeBuddy has lots of useful features for YouTubers that make it stand out among its competitors like VidIQ

Here are some of the its best features

1. Keyword explorer

TubeBuddy YouTube keyword explorer

This tool helps you grow your YouTube channel by letting you search for trending keywords to create videos about.

The keyword explorer tool combines data from YouTube search and Google Trends and shows you an in-depth analysis of any keyword or search phrase that you put into it.

It’s great for finding low-competition and high-search volume keywords that will be easier to rank videos for.

It also has the ability to show a weighted keyword score which is based on these factors:

  • Your channel size.
  • Keyword search volume.
  • The number of videos that already exist for the keyword.

2. SEO studio

TubeBuddy SEO studio tool

TubeBuddy’s SEO studio is a more advanced keyword explorer. 

Instead of showing the information about the keyword this tool helps you optimize your video metadata for that specific keyword.

SEO studio shows you recommendations for your title, description, and video tags and then sums it up with an optimization score to let you know if you did a good job optimizing the video.

3. Search rank tracking

YouTube video tag research

Normally, in order to find out if your YouTube video ranks for a specific keyword you’d have to go to YouTube and type that keyword into the search bar and then look for your video. 

This process could be tiring because one video might rank for multiple search terms at once.  

TubeBuddy’s search rank tracking tool lets you add keywords that you want to track.

Then it generates a tracking report that shows you information about the rankings of all your videos for those keywords.

With this tool, you can also track the ranking positions of your competitors but it requires a legend-level TubeBuddy license.

You could also find out the ranking by scrolling down to your video tags and then TubeBuddy will show you a number after each tag indicating the ranking position for that keyword.

4. Thumbnail A/B testing tool

YouTube thumbnail A/B testing tool with TubeBuddy

A good thumbnail is no doubt one of the most important things to creating a viral video.

Unfortunately for most YouTubers, the first thumbnail that they make doesn’t mean that it’s the thumbnail that viewers will click on.

That’s where TubeBuddy’s A/B testing tool comes in.

It lets you test out two thumbnails at the same time to see which one performs better.

You can choose to run the A/B test for a set amount of time. You can run it until the statistics show that one of the thumbnails is outperforming the other. 

You can also stop the test at any time if it becomes clear that viewers like one thumbnail more than the other.

5. Bulk processing tools

TubeBuddy bulk keyword optimisation tool

With TubeBuddy you can:

  • Bulk update or delete video cards.
  • Bulk delete comments.
  • Bulk update or delete end screens.
  • Find and replace, append, or remove text from video titles and descriptions across your entire channel.
  • Copy and paste end screens and cards across videos.

6. Lets you analyse other YouTubers

TubeBuddy has many tools that show you data on other YouTubers’ videos. 

One of the best ways to improve upon your own YouTube videos is to look at and analyze what your competitors are doing

When you open a YouTube video TubeBuddy shows you:

  • View, comment, and like count for the video.
  • Their SEO optimization score.
  • Let you see and copy their video tags.
  • See their channel analytics like total views, amount of videos, channel keywords, views in the last 30 days, and videos uploaded in the last 30 days. 

7. SEO scorecard

The SEO scorecard shows you how well your video is optimized and what you need to improve for better YouTube search ranking

It gives you an SEO score out of a hundred letting you know how well search-optimized your video is.

Cons of TubeBuddy

While TubeBuddy has many cool features there are definitely some drawbacks to using this extension too:

1. Clutter

When you install TubeBuddy it adds various analytics and panels to your YouTube page which clutters up the interface.

Sure this is fine when you want to analyse competitor videos or dive deeper into data but when you want to enjoy YouTube it can get in a way.

While this is a minor inconvenience, if you want to enjoy YouTube like a normal viewer you’ll have to switch Google accounts or disable the extension to get rid of the clutter.

2. Lots of unnecessary features

TubeBuddy has tons of features that you’ll probably use once to check out what they do but never come back to them later.

The features that I use the most are the SEO studio, keyword explorer, SEO scorecard, and the A/B thumbnail testing tool (which, unfortunately, is only available on their most expensive plan).

TubeBuddy vs. VidIQ

VidIQ and TubeBuddy are the most widely used YouTube keyword research and optimization tools.

But which one is better?

1. Keyword research:

Both VidIQ and TubeBuddy have keyword research tools.

However VidIQ doesn’t show weighted scores specifically for your YouTube channel. 

When calculating the keyword difficulty score VidIQ takes search volume and competition into account. 

Whereas TubeBuddy also includes the size of your channel in their keyword difficulty score.

2. Interface

Both extensions have a similar interface and equally clutter up YouTube.

However, VidIQ has its tools in a separate website interface, which means you can do a competitor analysis and keyword research not inside of YouTube.

If you want to enjoy YouTube by default, disabling the extension doesn’t mean that you lose on the features of VidIQ.

While TubeBuddy also has a separate website, their interface is more complex to navigate due to the number of unnecessary features that clutter up the interface.

3. Pricing

VidIQ is more expensive than TubeBuddy but both YouTube extensions have a free plan.

VidIQ’s cheapest paid option starts at $7.5/month while TubeBuddy’s cheapest paid option starts at $3.2/month.

That’s why TubeBuddy is better for beginner YouTubers that have a tighter budget.

4. Actually useful features

Both VidIQ and TubeBuddy have a lot of features, but most of them you’ll probably never use. So here are the most useful features of each extension:

VidIQ’s most useful features:

  • Views per hour (show you how many views any video on YouTube gets per hour).
  • Daily video ideas (uses AI to generate video ideas for you).
  • Rising keywords (show you which keywords are popular on YouTube).
  • Keyword research tool (helps you find low-competition keywords to make videos about).
  • Ranking indicator for tags (show your video’s ranking position for each video tag).

TubeBuddy’s most useful features:

  • Thumbnail A/B testing tool (lets you test out 2 thumbnails at the same time).
  •  SEO scorecard (shows you which keywords you and your competitor’s videos are ranking for).
  •  SEO Studio (gives suggestions on how to optimize your video for YouTube search). 
  • Bulk processing (lets you change your video cards, descriptions, titles, and end screens in bulk)

If you want to learn more about VidIQ, here’s a dedicated VidIQ review that dives deeper into all of its features, and pros & cons. 

Was this TubeBuddy review useful?

Of course, there’s more to success on YouTube.

Having the best YouTube tools doesn’t guarantee that your channel will explode.

Video optimization is only half the battle.

The other half is the video itself.

Without good CTR and viewer retention, your video can have the best description and title but still flop horribly.

That’s why I’ll leave you with a few resources to ensure that your next YouTube video is the best one that you’ve ever published:

How To Grow A YouTube Channel Fast (Blue Ocean Strategy)

Read More

How To Make a Thumbnail Viewers Can't Resist (Like Mr.Beast)

Read More

17+ YouTube Tools To Start Earning Money Faster

Read More
Scroll to Top