post-icon-youtubeSo, I’ve been doing a lot of work on YouTube recently. I wanted to see how far videos will get organically and for the long-tail keywords I’ve seen some pretty good rankings. However, there hasn’t been much movement on the higher difficulty keywords. It’s been at least a couple years since I attempted to rank a YouTube video in Google, so that’s what we’ll be exploring in this case study. Being that YouTube has huge pull in Google, you will see most search results have at least one YouTube video in the top 10. And quite often it can happen without any SEO work. So YouTube videos don’t need much push in general to reach a high top 10 ranking. And as a bonus, we can do some crazy things to it that we normally shouldn’t do with our own websites or websites with less authority in Google.

Initial Stats

For this case study, I’ll be focusing on just one YouTube video. We’re going to see what it takes to rank this video in the top 10 of Google and YouTube searches. I chose a keyword that looks to be pretty difficult and I chose one of my YouTube videos that is not ranked in the top 500 for the keyword in Google. We will go through some stats in this first part of this case study to establish a starting point and get a general idea of what we’re going for.

Keyword Difficulty

I use Rank Tracker (SEO Powersuite) to keep track of all my rankings. It’s a pretty easy-to-use software with some nice features. One of the features, which can be found in most keyword tools nowadays, is “Keyword Difficulty”. Usually this is just a calculation based on the top 10 result’s DA, PA, Alexa rank, social signals, number of backlinks, etc. These difficulty scores should just be used as a general guide; not to be taken too seriously. It should be used to give you a general idea of the keyword you’re going for. So I calculated the difficulty score for the chosen keyword we’ll be attempting to rank for and it got a 46.5.

Ranking Youtube Video Case Study Part 1 Rank Tracker Keyword Difficulty

I’m not sure on the keyword difficulty scale, but based on manually looking through the top 10 results, it seems to be a middle of the road keyword with a couple of authority sites mixed in.

Keyword Difficulty Stats

After generating the keyword difficulty score, Rank Tracker will show you the stats for all of the top 10 results. Here’s a screenshot of the stats for the top 7:

Ranking Youtube Video Case Study Part 1 Rank Tracker Keyword Difficulty Top 7

From this image, we can see a couple of authority sites with some impressive stats. Whenever you are trying to rank a satellite site, it’s always a good sign to see it in the top 10. As you can see, there is a YouTube video currently sitting at #3. We’ll be replacing that with our video.

Global Monthly Searches

This is another number I don’t look into too much. I just use it to get a general idea. For this, we’ll hop over to the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. The keyword we are going for is showing a total of 720 global monthly searches, which isn’t too bad.

Ranking Youtube Video Case Study Part 1 Google Adwords Keyword Planner Monthly Global Searches

Google Rank

Quick tip: In Rank Tracker, take advantage of the “Alternate URLs” option under “Preferences” when checking rankings. This is especially useful when tracking the ranks of YouTube videos. Instead of creating a separate project for each YouTube video, you can just copy and paste all of your YouTube videos into the “Alternate URLs” option. This will tell Rank Tracker to use any of these URLs. So when it goes through the keywords, it will show the highest ranking for any of the YouTube videos.

Ranking Youtube Video Case Study Part 1 Rank Tracker Alternate URLs

For the Rank Tracker project I’m working with, I just want to check the one video we’re ranking, so I’ll be creating a brand new project for it.

Normally I check only the top 100 results to save on proxies, but for this case study I’ll be checking the top 500 results. As you can see, the YouTube video is not ranking in the top 500:

Ranking Youtube Video Case Study Part 1 Rank Tracker Ranking

YouTube Rank

So now that we took a look at the Google rank of the video, I think it would be interesting to track the ranking of video in YouTube as well. Rank Tracker offers a lot of different search engines to check and has the YouTube search engine included as well. You can include the YouTube tracking when first creating the project, or by going to Preferences>>Preferred Search Engines…

Ranking Youtube Video Case Study Part 1 Rank Tracker Youtube Ranking

So as you can see, the YouTube video is already ranking in Google for the keyword at #81, which is definitely a nice start.

YouTube Views And Likes

For the hell of it, we’ll be keeping track of the number of views and likes/dislikes for the video. I haven’t decided on the SEO methods yet, but it would be interesting to see the impact of the number of views/likes a video has on it’s Google ranking. From the picture below, you can see this video has only 40 views and 0 likes.

Ranking Youtube Video Case Study Part 1 Youtube Views And Likes


So in this part, we took a look at the keyword difficulty, top 10 stats, number of global monthly searches, Google rank, YouTube rank, and YouTube stats. We will be attempting to rank a relatively new YouTube video with little views, no Google ranking, and a low YouTube ranking in the top 10 of both Google and YouTube. We will rank for a keyword with an average keyword difficulty score and an estimate 720 monthly global searches. We will be using Rank Tracker to track the rankings of the video for both Google and YouTube. In the next part, we will be starting the first SEO method.

Results Table