I know you. You’re a solopreneur, or a small and looking to be mighty business. And, you don’t know the first thing about getting your YouTube videos ranked on Google. But you know you need to do it.


So you can dominate the digital airwaves with your important message, product, or service that you’re so passionate about you’ll work 80+ hours a week to get it out to the peeps who need it most.

You may have a brick and mortar business, a purely digital one, or a combo of the two, but you’re newer to the game of being seen online.

What you’re looking to do is build authority, cut your street cred chompers right through the noise of your industry niche and be recognized. Heck, you may even be interested in providing this exact service to other businesses too.

Well then, if you love the camera and you’re all about the visibility while getting the most bang for your buck with the videos you shoot (or getting it for your clients), you are in the right place!

So you’re throwing your hat in the ring to be a major player in your industry and you know videos are the ticket you want to ride to get there. Perfect! I love your singular sense of focus. That’s hard to come by with so many shiny objects flashing your way as a new business owner.

Here’s a solution for you…

Read this guide. Then, read it again. But only twice. Because you’re going to need to take the leap some time and take those baby steps to get where you want to be – smack dab in front of your ideal audience.

How do you get there exactly?

Yep, Google SEO. It’s for videos too. Your peeps don’t just type questions into search bars anymore. They ask Alexa or Google Home to show them how to cook this or fix that.

And, since Google owns YouTube, might as well kill two birds with one stone from the start and rank high in both places. It’s not just about ranking high though. It’s about ranking often and holding that rank.

It’s about creating videos that keep viewers so engaged that they watch the whole thing, follow your call to action at the end, leave comments, share your videos, and subscribe to your YouTube channel.

Also, since your videos are so amazing, other blogs actually link to them and boost your beauty in Google’s online pagent. Before you know it you’ll go from 1st runner up to wearing the crown.

Like these guys did:



Ready to be seen? Cool, keep on reading…




Believe it or not, I was once new to digital marketing and growing my online business. And when I started, I may have learned a teansy-tiny bit from the school of not so soft knocks.

As in, I needed to figure out how to be seen and how to stay top of minds with the audience I was attempting to build. Whether they were ready for what I had to offer right now, or they were a year or two away from what I could do for them.

I was pretty much my own guinea pig. Once I did it for myself and my own company, it was game on to do it for others. Then it became a natural to teach others how they could do it for themselves or for other businesses in need of help to ease their digital marketing aches and pains.

Because I dove deep to understand exactly how to get YouTube videos ranking in alpha dog spot on Google for myself and my agency clients, I figured I’d get this guide into the hot little hands of all you DIY-ers out there. Because, we all have to start somewhere. So you might as well learn with less lumps than I took.




For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Joe Troyer. How you doin’ ? (Said in my best Joey Tribbiani voice.)

I’m what you might call a bit of an SEO and PPC nerd, ever since I took up the charge of learning this stuff for myself and my clients over a decade ago.


I’m kinda like a paid ad “mutual fund manager” in a way. I run over $500,000 in PPC ad spend a month for my clients alone. Between their sites and mine, we see over 2 commas and 8 zeros worth of unique visitors each month (Yes, you read that right, in the tens of millions).

And in case you’re wondering, YES, that translates into lots of commas in the bank for lots of happy site owners. That said, you shouldn’t have to have a lot of commas and extra zeroes in your bank account to get started with your own content ranking strategy. That’s why I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into this guide for you. So you can push those excuses aside and take action!

On top of that, I’ve taught over 40,000 students to do what I do for themselves or their own clients. Because, let’s face it…If you always want to be in demand, learn how to be a good marketer.

I fell into this business because I wanted to provide more value for people, both my agency clients and those out there wanting to learn how they can do what I do for themselves.

I know the more value I add, the more people I help.

The more I help others, the more they help me.

I’m a firm believer in what goes around comes around, and what you put out you attract.

How’d I do? Worth your time to listen to? If my credentials shake out for you, put on your best boots. Your hike to the top of Google mountain to rank your YouTube videos is about to start.




  • Understand what ranking your videos high on Google can do for you
  • Learn Google’s ranking factors
  • Rank high and for a long time
  • Know the nuts and bolts of keywords and how to pick ‘em
  • Understand how to use keywords
  • Make videos in categories that Google loves
  • Keep your audience watching
  • Create videos in batches to fill your content calendar in a flash
  • Pay attention to other important YouTube “to-dos”
  • Distribute your content in a quick and painless (and free) way

But first, how about you decide the best way to get exactly what you need from this guide. Sound good?




Be a know it all, or cut to the chase. Click on an icon image below to read up on a specific topic, or just read through the guide from start to finish (you know you want to).





Although I covered a little of this in the intro to this guide, I figure it’s important to get to the why of what you’re doing, so a little repetition won’t kill you.

When you rank at the top of not only YouTube but Google too with your videos, you skyrocket your authority. It becomes a whole lot easier to build your brand awareness when you’re in the top spot. After all, 2nd place is the 1st loser.

The higher your rank, the more views you get. More views equal more chances to spread your message and influence your ideal audience. Not a bad trade off, if you had to make one.




You do realize, the complete list of ranking factors for Google is over 100, right? Would it surprise you to know there are 210?

Would it baffle you again if I went ahead and decided to include a handy dandy checklist of ALL of Google’s ranking factors in this guide?

(It really shouldn’t, especially since I’m all about giving you so much information to refer back to at any point in time that you need it that it just might make your head spin!)

Just so we don’t venture too off course though, I’ll let you know Google ranking factors can basically be broken down into 9 categories. And, there is some repetition of the factors between the categories.

These categories are:

  • Domain-level
  • Site-level
  • Page-level
  • Backlink
  • User interaction
  • Brand signal
  • On-site search spam
  • Off-site search spam
  • Google algorithm rules.

Brain Dean over at Backlinko put together this amazing guide, if you’d like deeper explanations for each factor. Otherwise, if you just want the down and dirty checklist so you can tick off each box when you audit your own site, hit me up with your name and email address right here…

A list of over 200 ranking factors can be a bit much, don’t you think? Besides, some of those factors should be common sense to peeps like you, looking to have a long-term, sustainable online biz, right? I mean, I’m pretty sure I don’t need to tell you not to be spammy or to avoid accepting requests to have questionable backlinks point to your site.

That said, SEO experts like to pontificate about the most relevant Google ranking factors that matter the most every year. I figured I might as well pull the best of the best list to compare to what Brian Dean had to say, and here’s what OptinMonster turned in for 2019.

Now, combine that with the contents of my behemoth guide here, and you’ll start to see a trend. Consider starting with the factors that overlap in the awesome infographic I had my cool designer make. This is a summary of what to do to move the levers most to skyrocket your YouTube videos to the top of Google search results. Take a look…





If you’re looking for the Cliff’s Notes version of getting YouTube videos ranked on Google (plus get a handy dandy video SEO ranking cheat sheet when you enter your name and email address), you can find it here.



But, if you’re ready to be in the know with more of the “why” and “how” of getting your YouTube videos ranked on high and for the long run, read on…




It’s time to go a little old school and use your keyboard strategically.

Let me back up the bus one second. For this step, I’m going to say you already know your niche. You’ve got a plan in mind for sharing videos on the most important topics of interest to your intended audience.

Alright, out of reverse, and back into drive…

You’ve got a great idea for a video you’re ready to shoot. Now it’s time to decide the most important and relevant keyword to use for it. Because, you’re going to use it in a lot of places coming up.

Here’s exactly what I do to pick the best keyword for the video.

I let my fingers do the walking in the YouTube and Google search bars respectively. I’m sure you’ve seen both of these sites “guess” (autocomplete) what you’re searching for. You know how they come up with those options to complete your search queries, don’t you? Predictive data based on millions, possibly billions of searches performed before yours of course. Don’t turn a blind eye to those AI guesses though. They’re gold.

Think about it. If you know the most popular phrases that boatloads of people use with your keyword, you not only know which videos to shoot, but which longtail keywords to use in those videos to get them to rank too.



Of course, another way to seek and destroy with the best keywords is to spy on your competitors. Here’s a short list on how to do that.

First, go to on of the leaders in your niche whose stuff you consume on a regular basis. You think their stuff is the best and if you could, you’d hire them on as your mentor. Go there. Look at their YouTube channel. Find which of their videos have the highest views, the most likes, and long comment threads.

That’s the kind of stuff you want to make videos about. How did they title and tag their videos? When you search the keyword they used in Google, does their video show up at the top of the search results? If so, you have a winner.

Create a video on the topic with your own unique spin on it and get yourself to ranking.

But, before you do, you may want to check an important factor. How often is that longtail keyword being searched on Google? If it’s less than 100 times a month, it’s not going to be worth your effort.

Of course, you can make the research and spying a little quicker with a tool called vidIQ. This handy Chrome extension lets you search a keyword your into on YouTube to see the top results.

You get to see the number of views, likes and dislikes. Or, find out the number of social shares and subscribers. See the comments, view times and video engagement metrics. While you’re looking, you can snag the tags for the video too.   

Here’s an example of what a search for “YouTube video SEO” looks like inside vidIQ.





Now that you’ve got your top keywords in mind, it’s time to use ‘em in all the right places. Those places are:

  • Title – Be sure to include your keyword in the name you give your video on YouTube. Bonus points if you use the keyword in the beginning of your video title.
  • Description – Every good video deserves a great introduction, right? Use that keyword at the beginning of your video summary.
  • Tags – Just like in the WordPress panel of your blog, using relevant keyword tags on YouTube makes a difference. Heck, you can get tons of ideas on popular “similar” keywords from your competitor spy session or your vidIQ search if you wanted.   
  • File upload name – That MP4, MOV or whatever other supported video file format you’re uploading to YouTube should have the keyword in the file name. For example, I would name an iPhone video I shoot about using an SEO proposal template to get the most bang for my ranking buck.




There are exactly 5 categories of videos that Google loves, so definitely make sure to fit your video into one of them to rank. They are:

  • Tutorials – the most common category my videos fall into. If you are in the business of teaching your target audience about hot topics in your niche, how to do something, how to overcome a struggle, this is where your offerings will land too.
  • Reviews – for online business, this is a strategy used by people who are affiliate marketers, or by someone in eCom who has a private label or SAAS product in competition with a well known brand. For a brick and mortar biz, I could definitely see this as a great way to share customer testimonials.   
  • Fitness/Sports – these videos tend to be educational, but some may also be compilations of GOAT (greatest of all time) plays, or team fan shares.
  • Cute/Funny – things like a baby going from laughing to crying and back when a parent makes a funny face then a mad face or a mother cat taking care of an abandoned puppy fit this description.
  • Need to see it to understand it – think of the “Triple Lindy” dive Rodney Dangerfield pulls off in the movie Back to School. If you’re trying to explain in words how to solder a memory chip to a motherboard inside a computer, it’s probably better to use a video instead.

One important thing to make sure of is that the keyword you’re tagging in the video shows video results at the top of a Google search, like this one.





Okay, so now that you’re going to all the trouble of creating videos so that you can be number one on Google’s charts, I’m guessing it’s equally important to stay there. Like consecutive weeks in the Billboard top 10 for Michael Jackson’s Thriller album important.

Being Michael Jackson kind of good means you’ve got to pay attention to these top 5 factors, which build momentum from one to the next.

First, you’ve got to keep people watching your videos for as long as possible. I’ll get you some tips on how to do that in just a sec.

With longer watch times, aka engagement, comes factor number two, your credibility. And, when they’re watching that long, they’re apt to leave a comment or question below your video. Which, of course as a good human, you fire up a response to. If people are watching more than a few minutes, in Google’s eyes, they must believe what you’re saying. And if you’re having a dialogue with your viewers, Google likes you even more.

Next up, is authority. You get to build your authority in a few ways. One way is by being a “credible” information source, like I just mentioned. Another authority builder comes in the form of others referencing you in hot spots all over the web. Think social media shares, backlinks from reputable influencers and their blogs, that kind of thing.  

Okay, cool, now you’ve got “known” people giving you good lip service. Your stuff is getting shared regularly on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and other people’s blogs. NICE. Google may now deem you an “authority” which gets you the top spots on keyword search ranking (factor number four if you’re still counting). In the words of Mel Brooks, “It’s good to be the king.”  

The last factor, it’s all about the thumbs. The more thumbs “north” the better of course, so be sure to ask your viewers to give you one when they’re done watching. And don’t forget to ask them to click the “subscribe” button too. Google prefers ranking content higher from channels that are “winning” and not just churning out unremarkable video after video.

Numbers like this…



Lead to Google search results like this…



Okay, so maybe my blog post beat out the video, but hey, I’ll take the #1 and #2 spot in Google ANY day of the week y’all.




While I’m not going to be the one to tell you how to “do you” since you know how to do that best, I can tell you what makes for great, Google rankable video content.  

First up, make longer videos, as in, the longer the better. Long videos are kind of like Google’s preference for long form written content (like my ultimate guides) on blog posts to rank you higher. But, before you get all, “nobody has time to watch me for an hour shoot the shit about training their dogs to be good citizens” (or whatever your topic), I promise you if you follow these tips, they’ll be more likely to stick around.


How to keep your viewers engaged


Entertain them. Seriously. When you open your mouth, get their attention from the get go. Whether for you that means cracking a joke, singing a song, doing a dance, I am legitimately here to tell you if you open in a way your viewers don’t expect, they will be mesmerized. Especially if what they’re used to seeing is someone stoic or monotone.

I’m not saying you have to be a joker or a clown. What I am saying is to show your personality and be a little unpredictable. It never hurts to shake your audience’s perceptions up of what’s available to them, especially if you’re in an uber popular niche.

Promise a solution to a problem at the beginning of your video. After all, they were likely so sick about a recurring problem they were having that they sought advice about how to fix or “cure” it on YouTube. Hit them with the solution to a micro problem of the larger problem you’re the master of taming. But, of course, keep them hanging on your every word by not revealing the solution until the end of your video.

Even for those who don’t watch the video in its entirety, as in, they fast forward to the end to get to your solution, they will stick around to watch more of your video. And, since you were awesome enough to give them a viable solution to their problem that you promised at the beginning of your video, your credibility goes up. They now value what you have to say, and are more likely to leave you ooey gooey reviews, thumbs up nods, and subscriber clicks.

You remember how important I said those three things were to ranking earlier, don’t you?


Use the keyword Luke…


Okay, so maybe you’re not a rebel fighter from Star Wars, but if I didn’t tell you to use your keyword, I’d be putting Obi-Wan Kenobi to shame.

When you open that “problem” loop at the start of your video, use the keyword you researched so expertly. It’s in your title, it’s in your video description, it’s in your tags, so why wouldn’t you use it in the video script?

And not just at the beginning, but remember to sprinkle that bad boy naturally throughout the course of your video.


Be so good they can’t ignore you


So says Steve Martin, and so say I.

Provide amazing value to your viewers with the content of your videos. When you do that, they will not only like, comment and subscribe, but they will share. Socially. And we all know what a pandemic social scrolling has become.

If you’re being viewed and you’re being shared by your audience, the right people will notice. We’re talking niche influencers kind of right. They’ll start to backlink to your videos in their blog posts or on their social channels too.

Why? Because you’re helping out their audience with your content, and the only work that influencer had to do to serve their followers that info was to share yours. You just saved them time and put another notch on their authority belt because they shared something valuable that hit their audience right between the eyes.


In search of good backlinks


Since you may be new to the game and you’re trying to build an audience and traction, it might help to get in touch with authorities in your niche to move the needle a little.

The worst that can happen when you approach an influencer to feature your videos is they say no. Being that you’re an entrepreneur, I’m gonna say you’re a bit more immune to rejection than the average person, so you’ll be alright.

But, if you want the low down on one of the very best methods you can use to get quality people to backlink to your videos, Brian Dean has a good one. It’s part three of his Skyscraper technique.

Be sure to do your homework and find quality people that are open to backlinking when you complete step 1. Give those quality contacts something they’re chomping at the bit to link to when you follow step 2.  Do the outreach and collect the golden eggs (credible and authoritative backlinks) with your yes responses.


Get social


You’ve done the hard work. You created damn good video content. It’s time to brag a little, don’t you think?

Share the hell out of your new videos on your own media channels (they count as backlinks too ya know). Your blog. Your Facebook business page. Tweet it. Share on LinkedIn. You can even post the first minute or so to your Instagram stories if you want.

While you’re at it, put a teaser link to your video in your email signature. This works especially well to skyrocket views if you’ve got a cornerstone piece of content you want more eyeballs to see.

My point is, you have to let people know in as many ways and places as possible that your stuff exists. The interweb is a big place. Get the right link to the right audience at the right time, and that’s when the magic happens.


Consider syndication


Maybe not on the scale of an AP wire going out to national newspapers or television networks, but just as important for the internet, syndicating your content can get you massive exposure.

Let me introduce you to a vital tool that takes the virtual legwork out of the online syndication process. It’s called Syndwire, and it does so much more than just managing your content. It gets your stuff out there to multiple channels to be seen.

It’s also pretty badass at repurposing content too. More on Syndwire coming up…


Create in bulk baby


As the seasoned face of Digital Triggers videos, I can tell you one thing I did that made creating new content much easier was the decision to batch my work.

I can literally bang out 3 months worth of video content over a weekend in the studio (or on the street) when I plan ahead, and you can do the same.

Timeblock to get your raw footage shot. You know the pain points you’re an expert at relieving. You know the questions that come up with your target market based on the popular blog posts and videos you consume from influencers in your niche. What spin can you put on them to make them unique? How can you make your videos a better solution based on the angle you take? (Remember Step 2 of the Skyscraper technique? Do that!)

Make a list of the top 25 questions you have an answer you’d like to throw your hat in the ring about in one column on a piece of paper. Those are your video titles (pay attention to keywords here). Draw a line down the center of the sheet. On the other side of the line, make some bullet points of how you’d solve that problem. Now you’ve got your scripts.

Now it’s time to go to town. Get to shooting. Hand your raw video over to someone good (and inexpensive) to edit your work. You can find someone that fits the bill on Fiverr or Upwork. Have your video editor add a custom intro slide, music (if you like), and an outro.

Bam! You’ve just created 3 months’ worth of content in 2 days. Not too shabby.

Once your finished files start filtering in from your editor, upload them to YouTube and set publication dates so you get stuff out there twice a week. Grab the auto-transcription YouTube creates and use it to make a new blog post. Two for the price of one.  

It feels pretty good knowing I shot these videos over two ago and they’re already scheduled to be published.





It all boils down to analytics in the end, after all, so understanding your YouTube analytics is key to throwing your rank around, so to speak.

Key YouTube metrics you absolutely need to pay attention to are:

  • Comments you receive and timely responses to them
  • Subscribes after watching
  • Shares
  • Click-through rate

Find your YouTube analytics panel once you’re logged into your channel by clicking here.


Comments and responses


Getting comments can be as simple as asking your viewers to leave them, both in your video and in the description you post below it. Whether you get positive or negative comments, it’s important to address them and spin the “bad” stuff into a new “good” perspective.

How you are received matters, so show up. Don’t let yourself be shut down by the “haters” either. You’ve got Google search results to climb dammit!


New subscribers


If you don’t ask, even the most avid followers may never subscribe. Tell them to click the big red button. And if they don’t like notifications, tell them to click the bell to off.


Video shares


Ask for the share, but don’t beg. Really, if you’re getting super high value content posted, and you’re targeting the right audience, it’s natural that your viewers will share your stuff. It doesn’t hurt to tell them sharing means you’ll be around to give them more “good stuff” because you can see that it’s relevant and makes a difference to them.


Impressions or click-through rate


Once your video shows up in the YouTube search bar for a keyword, this is the number of times people click to view your video in response to their search.

Obviously, the higher the better here, so the best way to increase your odds of getting the click are to optimize your video title, description, tags, and even your thumbnail. Here’s a peek at this stat for a video with a pretty darn good CTR.





Some other YouTube video ranking tips I’d be callus to leave out include the following:

  • Include a transcript
  • Customize your video thumbnail
  • Optimize your channel
  • Add a location for local brick and mortar business




Including a transcript is important for a couple of reasons. First off, it give you the opportunity, in your description, to naturally add in your keyword more often. Additionally, when you have the transcript, it makes your video super easy to repurpose in written form on your blog.


Video thumbnail customization


Don’t overlook this seemingly tiny detail.

Some people are visual, others are verbal, and still others prefer the written word. You want to take as many opportunities as possible to get your keyword seen. If your thumbnail shows up with your keyword containing title over it, it’s just another layer of visibility that will make the person searching out that phrase want to click through to your video.


Ways to optimize your channel


Here are four places to get your YouTube channel up to snuff (and add in some extra keywords while you’re at it).

Make sure to include channel art. Even if it is something as simple as your logo and a call to action, be sure visitors to your channel know what you’re all about. Not including channel art makes you seem like you’re a little less serious about being in business.



Fill out a description of your channel so that viewers can get to know what to expect when they come to your channel to subscribe. This write up will show up in the “About” tab of your channel.

If you’re not including a trailer set to autoplay on your channel’s home page, you’re missing the opportunity to get loads and loads of views. If you do this right, and include your keyword in the video, it can make a massive impact in improving your authority.

Finally, create playlists that are keyword rich. And, don’t worry about collecting videos from your competitors here. If you become a rich source of content that interests your intended customers, they will be happy to keep returning to your channel to find it.

Of course, I’d recommend you shoot a few of your own videos on similar topics to your playlists so you can include them in the list for your viewers and improve your views.




The School of Google Video SEO anyway…

Remember Syndwire that I mentioned earlier? The tool that will help you to:

  • Save time
  • Repurpose with a simple click
  • Set it and forget it so you can focus on more important stuff like reading my guides and watching my videos (lol)

Syndwire does all this and more, and you can literally use it for FREE, forever if you want to.

Imagine this. You shoot that YouTube video and share in on your channel. Why not also get the transcript and turn it into a blog post? Rip the audio and get it live on SoundCloud. There are so many places you can be. In fact, Syndwire has 58 networks on lockdown to share all your goodies.

When you use Syndwire, you are essentially following in the footsteps of some of the most successful marketers on the planet. How’s that? Because you look like you’re EVERYWHERE so you stay top of mind with potential customers.

With all the time and effort you can save using this tool, it’s easily worth paying for a monthly subscription to it. But since you can use it for free, it makes it kind of a no-brainer to click on over and check it out.





Alright, I think I’ve successfully downloaded all the know how I have for getting your YouTube videos to the top of Google search results. Here’s my rapid fire list of what to do next.

  • Pay special attention to the Google ranking factors that converge in the circle infographic from the intro section
  • Do your keyword research
  • Use your keyword in your video title, description, tags, video file upload, video script, on your custom thumbnail, in your channel art, and in a playlist on your channel
  • Make videos in categories that Google ranks for, especially above written content
  • Shoot valuable, long form videos
  • Include video transcripts in your video descriptions
  • Share your videos everywhere and get your videos shared by others with Syndwire and targeted influencer reach outs
  • Create an arsenal of unique content on the ready to share on your media channels
  • Engage with your audience through your comments
  • Ask for likes, comments and subscribes to improve key metrics in your YouTube analytics dashboard

Now that you know what to do get your YouTube videos to the top of Google search, build your street cred with valuable content, and become the one everyone’s talking about (and linking to) in your niche, what next action will you take to get there?

If you already have your YouTube channel ready launched and have optimized what you’ve got posted already, your next best step should be to syndicate it!

Get your content as hot as Rupert Murdoch did when he founded and chaired 21st Century Fox with Syndwire.




Use Syndwire for free.


Absolutely no dinero (or credit card) required. Not kidding.

And no, it’s not just a limited feature version either.

Enter the coupon code SYNDICATE and get your YouTube videos, blog posts, and social posts everywhere you want to be (where your customers are at least) with Syndwire.

CATEGORY: Case Study, SEO, YouTube