VidIQ Review: Is It Worth The Money For New YouTubers?

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

VidIQ and TubeBuddy are 2 of the most popular YouTube keyword research tools. And most YouTubers struggle to choose between the two.

But do you even need a tool like this at all?

Or is it just a distraction from what matters?

Pros of VidIQ:

  • Lets you see views per hour (VPH) on every YouTube video.
  • Lets you see the estimated search traffic for search terms.
  • Lets you see the estimated competition for search terms.
  • Lets you search and compare keywords.
  • Lets you see and copy tags from other YouTube videos.

Cons of VidIQ:

  • Many features are completely useless.
  • Other free tools can replace paid VidIQ features.
  • Clutters up the YouTube interface.
  • Shows you a lot of data that doesn’t matter when you’re starting on YouTube.

If you’re like most YouTubers, you probably spend a good chunk of your time trying to find keywords that people search for.

But is investing in a tool that simplifies this process worth it?

That’s what I want to explore in this VidIQ review. 

Table of contents:

I’ll go over all the pros, cons, features, and pricing so you can decide if it’s worth it for you.

In short, if you’re thinking of getting a keyword research tool to help grow your YouTube channel, then VidIQ is the best option for analyzing your competition, optimizing your videos for SEO, and tracking your channel’s performance.

However, I would not recommend an SEO tool at all when first starting on YouTube. Focus on making the best videos possible rather than obsessing over data (which is usually insufficient to help you make any meaningful decisions at the start).

Who am I to review VidIQ?

I’ve been using VidIQ for more than a year when I first started my YouTube channel.

Moreover, I used not only it but also others like TubeBuddy, Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and even YouTube’s built-in keyword tool.

At the moment, I’m not using any keyword research tool consistently.

So that’s why I decided to write this review. I want to explore what VidIQ can do, who it’s best suited for and most importantly, whether should you use it to reach more people with your YouTube channel.

Let’s dive in.

What is VidIQ?

VidIQ is composed of two parts – a website and a Chrome extension. 

VidIQ keyword research tool

The website: 

  • VidIQ’s website can do everything that the extension can but on its own space on the internet. Whereas the extension functions only on YouTube. 
  • The website gives you tools to research your YouTube competition, optimize your videos, and track your channel’s performance.
  • It shows insights into what’s working for other channels in your niche.
  • Its ranking features let you see how your channel is performing over time so you can make necessary adjustments to improve your YouTube search ranking results.

The browser extension: 

  • Works on YouTube rather than on another webpage.
  • With it, you can see bonus stats on how your videos are performing and recommendations to improve them.
  • Provides insights about your channel, including your subscriber count, average view count, views per hour (I love this one), and other stats.

Who is VidIQ Suited For?

I would say if your main objective is to either (1) produce a lot of content or (2) rank your videos for YouTube search then VidIQ is suited for you.

With it installed, you’ll be able to research your competition, optimize your videos for better visibility, and track your progress over time.

Plus, their suite of AI tools makes it easy to generate video titles, and ideas, and help optimize your descriptions to help your videos stand out from the rest in search results.

VidIQ rising keywords

However, if your main goal is to appear on YouTube’s homepage (aka the place where you end up once the algorithm likes your videos) then I don’t think VidIQ is necessary.

You should focus all of your attention on making the best videos possible, writing better titles, and thumbnails, editing your video well and only then, once you nail all of these things should you look at the analytics and assess how your videos are performing.

Looking at the analytics before you either (a) get some decent views so that the data becomes significant or (b) learn to make videos that you’re proud of and your viewers think are good, is mostly a waste of time.

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⚙️ List of tools & gear for YouTubers

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💰 Detailed guide about finding your niche & making money

VidIQ pricing plans

VidIQ offers four pricing plans:

  • Basic (free).
  • Pro ($5 per month).
  • Boost ($24.5 per month).
  • Max ($99 per month). 

However, there is a discount if you choose to pay annually.

Here are the most notable features of each of the plans: 


  • Available to everyone for free.
  • Allows you to see video views per hour on all YouTube videos.
  • Shows an SEO score for every video on YouTube.
  • Lets you track 3 competitors.
  • Lets you use the keyword research tool (with limited features).


  • Gives access to more trending keywords in the keyword research tool.
  • Gives 10 daily video ideas instead of 3.
  • Lets you track 6 competitors.
  • Full access to the Keyword Research Tool.
  • Gives access to the Most Viewed Videos tool (with limited functionality).


  • Grants access to VidIQ Academy (YouTube videos on how to become a better YouTuber).
  • Gives 50 daily ideas.
  • Lets you track 20 competitors.
  • Access to the Dedicated SEO Analytics tool.
  • Gives SEO title and description recommendations.
  • Gives access to the bulk SEO tool (to edit existing video tags in bulk).
  • Gives full access to the Most Viewed Videos tool.


  • Gives access to a dedicated group of coaches to answer your toughest questions about your channel.
  • You get a personalized action plan for your channel.
  • Access to priority customer support.

VidIQ's top features

1. Views per hour

This feature lets you see views per hour on any video on YouTube.

It’s one of my favourite features, not because it’s super revolutionary but because it’s fun to look at other YouTuber’s stats.

You can see how someone else’s videos are performing in their first few days or look at an old video that is still getting served on YouTube’s homepage.

This feature is just fun.

mr beast channel

2. Keyword research tool

This feature is included in the free VidIQ plan (although with limited functionality) and shows a specific keyword’s monthly search volume and its competition score.

You can use it to find high search volume and low competition keywords that you can make videos about, then optimize your video title and the description for that keyword to rank that video high on YouTube search results.

It also shows some related keywords and matching terms.

Of course, no tool out there knows the exact search volume (since Google doesn’t tell anyone).

But you can still use it to get a rough indication of how popular a phrase or a topic is.

Also, keep in mind that top-ranking videos usually rank for more than one search phrase. For example, a video ranking for “making money online” may also rank for “best ways to make money online” or something similar.

keyword research tool

3. Daily ideas

This feature uses AI to generate daily video ideas based on your channel and what’s currently trending on YouTube.

The free plan lets you generate 3 ideas per day and this number increases for other plans.

This tool will not give you the best ideas right from the start. But you can train it.

Next to each idea, there is a button to either dismiss the idea or save it. And the more ideas you dismiss or save the more VidIQ’s AI will tune itself and try to recommend ideas that are best fit for you.

The ideas it generated can be a hit-or-miss. More often than not it’s a miss. But occasionally it can spit out a wonderful idea, or at least a decent topic that you never considered yourself.

daily ideas

4. Video optimization scorecard

Helps you optimize your videos for YouTube’s search algorithm.

This can help your videos rank higher in YouTube’s search results and get more views.

Although I like TubeBuddy’s implementation of this feature more, VidIQs can also get the job done.

The way it works is it shows you an optimization score (from 0 to 100) and helps you make sure that all the boxes are ticked when it comes to giving your video the best chances to appear when a person searches for a specific keyphrase through YouTube.

Also, YouTube videos can rank for Google search results so optimizing them for SEO can mean a double win.

What are the Cons of VidIQ?

1. Adds cutter to YouTube

Most of the features that VidIQ adds to YouTube once you install the extension are useful, however, with that comes a lot of clutter and seeing all of them on inside your YouTube studio makes it a lot less visually appealing.

Moreover, most of these include things that you can already find inside your YouTube creator studio.

The silver lining here is that you can disable most of the panels from the preferences menu on the left.

VidIQ interface

2. Serves you built in ads

Worst of all, there are ads for more expensive VidIQ plans.

VidIQ constantly tries to push out its more expensive plans and instead of hiding the unavailable features of the current plan it keeps them visible but blurred out. 

It also embeds videos from VidIQ’s channel into your creator studio.

I just don’t like the clutter that this brings to my YouTube Studio dashboard.

3. Too many features that do duplicate things

I wish VidIQ was simpler.

Instead of having a million features, it could be a simple tool, with a simple interface that shows what’s most important (or at least doesn’t show blurred features that you don’t have included in your plan).

Most people (including me) will never even explore all the things that you can do with it.

It’s confusing.

With the amount of “things” on your screen, there’s no doubt that some people will get confused about which VidIQ feature serves which purpose and may end up not using the tool entirely.

Is VidIQ worth it?

If your goal is to rank your videos for YouTube search then VidIQ is worth it.

Also, since it offers a free plan you don’t lose anything by trying it out.

However, if you’re a new YouTuber obsession over small amounts of data (that’s most likely inaccurate) might even be harmful.

Instead of overanalyzing everything, focus on making videos instead. Making better videos.

I’ll leave you with a few resources that will help you do that:

Thanks for reading 👋!

P.S. I made this Notion template for anyone looking to grow their channel and win the great game of YouTube. I think you’ll really like it.

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

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