TC 024: 3 Step Video Ranking Formula – Get Top Rankings with Video

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If you want to quickly increase your traffic, a top ranking on Google is the fastest way to do it.  The problem is that SEO can be extremely unpredictable.

One thing we’ve found to work time and time again is video.  Video constantly ranks high AND gets more click-throughs.  Just read the stats below.

Why Video is Great For SEO

  1. The chances of getting a page 1 listing on Google increases 53 times with video. (Forrester Research)
  2. Videos in search results have a 41% higher click-through rate than plain text results.

It’s easier to rank videos AND they get more clicks. To me, that sounds like a win-win.

2nd Place Ain’t So Bad

Of course, we want first page listings on the number sight for traffic: Google. But did you know that YouTube has recently outranked Facebook? According to Quantcast YouTube gets 180 million monthly visitors compared to Facebook’s 138 million.

Utilizing video we can tap into the 2nd BIGGEST traffic source while still gunning for those first page rankings.

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

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.

Another awesome review example is ‘Trunk Club Review’ with a search volume 5,400 and 2 videos on the front page ranking very high.


Tutorial related keywords do very well with videos.  Often people are looking for a video rather than a site.  These will typically contain words such as setting up, creating, tutorial and walk through.  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.

How To

How to listings overlap a bit with tutorials and they do extremely well. 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.

Fitness & Sports

Fitness & sports are notorious for the usage and ranking of videos.  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 a search volume of 22,200 as well and a first-page video ranking.

Funny Videos

Funny videos also rank well and keywords include things like cute kittens. An example is not needed for this one.

Should You Use Long Tail or Broad Keywords?

The true answer is to learn how to use both.  If you can combine these, you will get results quickly for the long tail keywords and longer 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. 

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’  a more long tail keyword. It’s worth mentioning thumbnail really draws you in and it’s got a solid call to action.

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 we’ve got our keywords and title down, it’s time to upload. But wait! There are a few tricks we can do and one trick happens before we even upload the video.

Filename Optimization (Before the Upload)

BEFORE you upload make sure your file name includes the keyword phrase. If it doesn’t rename it then upload. Example: video-seo-best-practices.mp4

Video Title Optimization

One thing we see a lot of videos get wrong is properly utilizing the title.  Only the first 55 or 60 characters are seen in a YouTube search and Google search.  You need to make sure to get the keyword in the very beginning and even a call to action if possible.

Titles only have so much space so make it count. In the top result, they aren’t even using all the space so the – YouTube shows up. In the bottom example, Super Fast Business does a good job of utilizing the entire title length.

Additional Title Optimization Tips

  • Write it like a headline.  If you need inspiration then search google for 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

If you’re a local based 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 of course.  This works extremely well for ’emergency’ keywords.  Things like a/c repair, emergency dentist, plumber and sewer problems.

The last result here has the best listing and thumbnail. The only thing missing is they could have included the number in the title.

Optimize the Description

According to YouTube the more words in your descriptions the higher your chances of being discovered by searchers.  We want to make sure we utilize the description using at least 300-600 words (1-2 keywords per 100 words) with 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.

Then you’ll see the category.

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, we 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 seems active.
  2. Add several calendar events to Google Calendar and add several documents to Google Docs to add more legitimacy.
  3. Fill in the Google+ profile with an avatar that seems real, add a description as your ideal customer so you can complete the profile, and 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 prospect your trying to attract).

Once we’ve got our Gmail Account set up, it’s time to set up our Channel.

Creating an Optimized Channel

If you follow the tips below you’re on your way to having 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.

Add Channel Keywords

You should know by now that when we have to chance to use keywords we’re gonna.  This is another great spot for relevant keywords.

1. Click the pencil in the top right and go to Channel Settings


2. 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 keywords stuff here.  Instead we’re looking for profile that feels complete.

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

about arrow

Next enter your channel bio.Edit_bio_and_add_urls_072314_123943_PM

Add URLs to Your Site

Right where we edit our bio we can also enter our URLs as seen in the image above. Enter your main website with a call to action.  Also, add any social profiles you have.

Add a Photo That Fits Your Niche

A cover photo can go a long way towards the authenticity of a channel.  Take the time to get one created and uploaded.

Setup a Channel Trailer

Take your most important video and set it up as the channel trailer.  It takes a few steps but it’s definitely worth it.  You can add a lot of views to on of your key videos whenever someone lands on your channel page.

We’ll walk you through setting up a channel trailer below.

Step 1. Click Edit Channel Navigation



Step 2. Enable Browse Channel Navigation


Step 3: Add Your Channel Trailer




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