Keatings left the club by mutual consent after being told he would only be a squad player for Hearts in the Scottish Premiership next season.
And after talks with Hibs boss Alan Stubbs, he was left in no doubt that he could improve at Easter Road and signed a two-year contract.
The striker told Sky Sports News HQ says moving to Hearts’ bitter rivals was not an issue for him.
“I was looking at my future, first and foremost. I had SPL offers but I do believe this is the best offer I could get and the best for my future,” he said.
“It’s a tough league to get out of, we’ve seen that in the last couple of years. I’ve been lucky – I’ve been in two teams that have gone up. We’ll have a hard pre-season, and then have a real go at it.”
Keatings has won promotion in the last two years, first with Hamilton, and then with Hearts, and Stubbs believes the 23-year-old can make it a hat-trick next season.
Stubbs told the club’s website: “James will bring goals to the team and we’re delighted to add him to the squad.
“It’s an area where I thought we did well last season, but it’s also an area where we can improve.
“His goalscoring record speaks for itself – he’s got a good habit of being in the right place at the right time.
“We want competition for places and we want to score lots of goals. We’re delighted to sign James and the fact he wanted to come here.
“The fact we’ve got this deal done and Fraser’s new contract is a positive sign about how we want to drive the club forward.
“I want to do all my business as early as possible and have the nucleus of the squad in place for the start of pre-season.