Want 2 more EXTRA steps? Our awesome cheat sheet will have you dominating video SEO in hours and is the perfect complement to this post.

If it’s about time for you to skyrocket to the top of the charts with your Google ranking to get all eyes on you, video SEO is the quickest way we’ve found to do it. SEO can be extremely unpredictable, you know that.

Why Video is Great For SEO

For starters, the chances of getting a page one Google result increases 53 times with video – so says Forrester Research.

Plus, videos in search results have a 41% higher click-through rate than plain text results alone.

Easier to rank AND you get more clicks with videos? Sounds like an absolute no brainer to me..

Second Place Ain’t So Bad


video SEO ranking 1


Of course, everyone wants first page listings on the number sight for traffic. But did you know that YouTube recently outranked Facebook for listing dominance?

According to Quantcast YouTube gets 180 million monthly visitors compared to Facebook’s 138 million.

Utilizing video we can tap into the second BIGGEST traffic source while still gunning for those first page rankings.

We’ve created this 3-step formula to follow so you can easily rank your video for top keywords.  Follow the formula and double your traffic, simple as that!

The 3-Step Video SEO Ranking System

Step 1: Determine What Keywords to Target

We want to make sure we go after ‘video keywords’ or keywords that have video results in Google.

This is SUPER important, as we explained in our post on keyword research, it’s much easier to rank for a keyword that ALREADY has a video ranking on the first page.  As you’ll see in the examples below, videos rank very well for high search volume keywords.

We’ve listed the most popular types of keywords that typically have video results.  Don’t feel limited to just this list, but it’s a great place to start.

Popular Keyword Groups For Video Results

  • Reviews
  • Tutorials
  • How To
  • Fitness & Sports
  • Funny Videos


Keywords focused on reviews frequently have video results.  In the example below ‘Hostgator Review’ has a search volume of 1,000 and a first-page video ranking.  

Another example is ‘Godaddy Review’ with a search volume of 590 and a front page video ranking.


video SEO ranking 2


Still another solid review example is ‘Trunk Club Review’ with a search volume 5,400 and two videos on the front page that rank pretty darn high.


video SEO ranking 3


Tutorial related keywords do extremely well with videos. Often times, people are looking for a video rather than a site.  

These tutorial videos will typically contain words such as setting up, creating, tutorial and walkthrough.  In the example below ‘Setting Up a Gmail Account’ has a search volume of 1,300 and a first-page video ranking.

Two other examples with first-page video rankings are ‘Setting Up Google Analytics’ with a search volume of 390 and ‘Setting Up WordPress’ with a search volume of 260.


video SEO ranking 4

How To

How to listings overlap a bit with tutorials and they rank high. In the example below ‘How to Get More Facebook Likes’ has a search volume of 1,000 and a first-page video ranking.

Another example with a first-page video ranking is ‘How to Set Up Google Analytics’ with a search volume of 480.


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Fitness & Sports

Fitness and sports are notorious for the use of videos that rank.  In the example below ‘Abs Workout’ has a search volume of 22,200 and the first result is a video.

Another example with a first-page video ranking is ‘Kettlebell Workout’ with the same search volume of 22,200. With that many hits, it’s going to be page one without a doubt.


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Funny Videos

Funny videos also rank well and keywords include things like cute kittens. Whatever word you choose to Google, just add “funny videos” after it and you’ll see exactly what we mean.

Should You Use Long Tail or Broad Keywords?

The real answer is to learn how to use both.  

If you can combine these, you will get results quickly for the long tail keywords and over the long term, you can rank for the broad keyword as well. I always start with the longer tail keywords so I can gain immediate traction and build up the authority of my channel.


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Broad and Long Tail Keyword Example


There’s a lot I like in this example. First, it’s optimized for the broad ‘Go Daddy review’ but is also optimized for ‘Go Daddy website builder’  ,more of a long tail keyword.

It’s worth mentioning that the thumbnail really draws you in and it’s got a solid call to action. This is no accident, I assure you!

Other Examples

  • Long Tail: Video SEO Best Practices
  • Broad: Video SEO
  • Long Tail: 24 hour Jacksonville AC Repair
  • Broad: Jacksonville AC Repair

Step 2: Upload & Optimize

Now that you’ve got your keywords and title down, it’s time to upload your video.

But wait! There are a few tricks we can conjure up, and one of them happens before we even upload the video.

Filename Optimization (Before the Upload)


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BEFORE you upload make sure your file name includes the keyword phrase. If it doesn’t rename it then upload. An example file name like video-seo-best-practices.mp4 would work perfectly!


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Video Title Optimization

A common problem we see are videos that don’t properly utilize the title. On a YouTube or Google search, people will only see the first 55 or 60 characters. Better make sure to get the keyword in at the very beginning and add a call to action if at all possible.


video SEO ranking 10

Your takeaway here is clear. You only have so much space so make it count. In the image above, the first result isn’t even using all the available space so YouTube shows up in the title. In the second example, Super Fast Business shows you how to expertly use the entire title length.

Additional Title Optimization Tips

  • Write it like a headline.  If you need inspiration, search Google for your chosen keyword and look at ads for ideas.
  • Use primary and secondary keyword phrases if possible.
  • Don’t repeat keywords.
  • Use every last character available in the title.
  • Don’t add unrelated keywords  but don’t be shy about adding keywords and words to ensure the title makes sense.
  • Add a call to action.

Phone Number Trick for Local Businesses

If you’re a local business use a phone number!  

That way they don’t even have to watch the video they can just pick up the phone and call.  Only use it if it makes sense to of course.

This works extremely well for ’emergency’ keywords. Things like A/C repair, emergency dentist, plumber, and sewer problems will all likely score more rings when their number is in the title.


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The third result in the image above has the best listing and thumbnail. The only thing missing is they could have included the phone number in the title and not just the thumbnail itself.

Optimize the Description

According to YouTube the more words in your descriptions the higher your chances of being discovered by searchers.  

You want to make sure you utilize the description using at least 300-600 words (with one or two keywords per 100 words) and the main key terms before any URL.  Also, include your keywords at the bottom of your video.


The tags are another good place to fit in some keywords.  Simply add as many relevant keywords that can fit.

Category Choice

Choose your category based upon what’s already ranking, don’t reinvent the wheel!

While researching this post I was hoping that there would be one or two categories that really stuck out as winners. Frankly, there is no ‘perfect’ category.

Instead look at the videos within your keyword group that are currently ranking and use the same category.

Finding the category is simple and I’ll show you how below.


video SEO ranking 12

Once you click Show more  you’ll see the category. Use it for your video in the same niche.


video SEO ranking 13

Step 3:  Channel Optimization

You’ll want to open a new Gmail Account for each niche to use for the channel.  When creating the account, you’ll want it to look like a ‘real’ account.  Listed below are a few tips to make the account seem more ‘real’.

Gmail Account Creation Tips:

  1. Subscribe to several newsletters so the Gmail email appears active.
  2. Add several calendar events to Google Calendar and several documents to Google Docs for this Gmail address to add more legitimacy.
  3. Fill in the Google+ profile with a realistic avatar  Add a description like that of your ideal customer so you can complete the profile. Post all your YouTube content to the profile upon uploading.
  4. Follow at least 30-50 people in the same industry as your videos that are either local or national (depending on the prospects you’re trying to attract).

Once you’ve got your Gmail Account set up, it’s time to set up your YouTube Channel.

Creating an Optimized Channel

Follow the tips below and you’ll be on your way to publishing a perfectly optimized channel.

Include #1 Keyword in Channel Name

This is a simple step but can be overlooked by most.  Having the #1 keyword will help your videos tremendously.

Below is a good example of a local based business using their #1 keyword in the channel name. Also, this Dental Group has uploaded a custom banner, included their number, website, Facebook, and Twitter.


video SEO ranking 14

Add Channel Keywords

You should know by now that when there’s a chance for you to use keywords we’re gonna tell you to do it. I mean, if you’ve got a blank canvas, why not splash some relevant keyword paint on it?

It’s two-step simple to do. Here’s how:

First, click the pencil in the top right and go to Channel Settings




Next, insert your Channel Keywords


channel keywords

Optimize The Channel Bio

Include a description of what the channel is about.  Keep it natural and don’t keyword stuff here. (I know, I know, I just told you to use keywords everywhere, and I mean it…Except here!) Instead, we’re all about creating a profile that feels complete.

To do this simply click “About” on the main page of your YouTube account.


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Next, enter your channel bio.



Add URLs to Your Site

Right where you edit your bio you can also enter your URLs as seen in the image above. Enter your main website with a call to action.  Also, don’t forget to add links to all your social profiles.

Add a Photo That Fits Your Niche

A cover photo can lend both authority and authenticity to your channel. ake time to create one on Canva or get one created on Fiverr on the cheap and upload it.


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Setup a Channel Trailer

Use your most relevant video as the channel trailer.  It takes a few steps but it’s definitely worth it.

When you do, you can add plenty of views to one of your key videos whenever someone lands on your channel page because it plays automatically.

Setting up a channel trailer is pretty simple. Follow along below for all the deets:

Step 1 – Click Edit Channel Navigation




Step 2 – Enable Browse Channel Navigation




Step 3 – Add Your Channel Trailer



Step 4 – ?

Step 5 – ??

Question marks got you all in a tizzy? We’ve got your solution right here!

Reveal steps 4 and 5 inside our awesome cheat sheet and you’ll be dominating Google search for videos in hours not days! What are you waiting for? Click it already!



Video SEO Ranking System Quick Step Summary

  • Decide which video keywords to target (yes, they’re specific to video…Read up on them above if you skimmed to the end)
  • Upload and optimize your video file name, title, description, tags, and category
  • Optimize your YouTube channel with a niche specific Gmail account name, channel keywords, bio, site URLs, a niche appropriate photo, and a channel trailer
  • Click the button and opt-in for the cheat sheet to reveal the five steps to creating a stand-out channel trailer