Today I’m going to show you how you can outrank featured YouTube videos on Google with a blog post.
In fact, I used this exact strategy to rank #1 on Google and get the featured snippet ABOVE videos featured in Google Search.
So if you want your article to be above all videos on Google, you’ll love my 5-step technique.
Here we go.
- Here is the dirty truth about conventional SEO wisdom
- How to rank a blog post above featured YouTube videos in Google
Here is the dirty truth about conventional SEO wisdom
Conventional wisdom is just that: conventional.
But I know from personal experience that some myths (or so-called “truths” you hear all the time) are false.
“You can’t rank on the first page of Google if your site has no authority or traffic.”
Yes, the search is a very long-tail keyword.
But this website ranked on Google (and got the featured snippet!) when:
- it only has 4 articles – no expertise
- I don’t disclose my full name in the articles – no trustworthiness
- I have no real authority on the subject (even if I lived in Brussels for 35 years)
And the traffic is ultra-low for that keyword:
Yes, that’s 23 visits for the last 30 days.
Authority and traffic myth: BUSTED.
“You can’t rank on the first page of Google fast with a new site.”
This article is ranking at position #5 after 9 days while the site is brand new.
“New websites can’t rank fast” myth: BUSTED.
“You can’t outrank featured YouTube videos on Google with a blog post.”
(You see where I’m going, right?)
What do you think?
It looks like this myth is busted too.
Of course, you won’t always be able to outrank featured YouTube videos on Google.
It’s actually likely to fail most of the time.
But because something is not PROBABLE doesn’t mean it’s not POSSIBLE.
So here is how I did it.
How to rank a blog post above featured YouTube videos in Google
1. Pick a very niche keyword
Some topics/keywords are very visual.
As such, it makes total sense for Google to feature videos for these keywords (instead of blog posts).
For example, if you search “how to paint a wall” on Google, you’ll get this:
If you want to teach how to paint a wall, it’s just easier to show it in a video.
Blog posts can be super useful of course, but they just can’t beat a good video – for this keyword at least.
Some topics require people need to SEE what you’re talking about.
Now, “how to paint a wall” is not a keyword with a gigantic search volume, but it’s not niche enough.
- To outrank a video with a blog post, pick a niche search term.
- One way to find a niche keyword is to find a long-tail keyword that refers to your primary keyword.
- Very specific, “enthusiasts-only” keywords are great too
For the purpose of this article, I’ll use the “seiko sarb035 review” keyword.
This is a “enthusiasts-only” keyword (that’s an automatic watch, if you wonder).
“how to paint a wall” gets 5,400 monthly searches (per the Google Keyword Planner Tool).
But “seiko sarb035 review” only gets 170 monthly searches.
2. Create a more awesome YouTube video
I’m sorry if this sounds like bad news, but you’ll have to create a video too.
But not just any video – so here is what you should do.
Publish your video on YouTube.
Google and YouTube are part of the same company.
And Google likes to feature YouTube videos before videos from other platforms (like Vimeo, for example).
Also, create a more awesome video.
- answer more questions your viewers might have about the topic
- go into the details that other videos on the topic don’t talk about
- make your video super enjoyable to watch with b-roll, graphics or different camera angles
Put simply, create a video that is better AND longer than the competition:
My video (the first one in the featured videos) is 20:29 long – longer than the second and third ones.
Now, don’t make a long video just for the sake of it.
It has to be longer (but not long-winded) and more awesome too!
Long-winded videos will perform terribly and will probably never rank (not even on YouTube).
So that won’t work.
Also, use your target keyword in the first sentence of your video description.
The goal is to help YouTube understand what your video is about (and potentially rank #1 in YouTube).
- create a video that is way more awesome than everything else out there
- make it longer than the competition
- publish it on YouTube
- add your target keyword in the very first sentence of your video description
3. Write an in-depth blog post
Here are some things that DON’T help your potential readers:
- Writing a post with the exact same description as your YouTube video
- Writing a 200-word pseudo post that just serves as a filler text above your video
- Slapping a full transcript of your YouTube video (bonus points if you don’t add any formatting)
These just make for bad content, and it just won’t do.
Target the same niche keyword/topic and write a 2,500-word article about it, at least.
And again, just not any random 2,500 words.
Your content should be so awesome that your readers think “this is the single best thing I’ve ever read on the topic, period”.
Be so good and so thorough that the competition won’t even THINK of trying to go steal your ranking.
(Because it’s too much work, and you’ve created the single best resource anyway.)
In fact, the article I wrote for the “seiko sarb035 review” keyword is a 2,568-word beast.
Obviously, the goal is to rank on the first page of Google.
So write your article like you would write any other epic article on the subject.
(If you don’t know how to write epic content, check out Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Technique v2.0.)
- Write at least 2,500 helpful words for your target keyword
- Make your content so awesome that
- your readers feel they don’t need to read anything else
- your competitor are discouraged to go after the same keyword
4. Answer the underlying questions with micro-summaries
This one is absolutely crucial.
Your site can appear above videos without Google displaying it as a featured snippet.
In fact, for the “seiko sarb035” keyword, my website ranks above the featured YouTube videos as a regular Google search result:
But for my target keyword (“seiko sarb035 review”), my website gets the snippet:
As I told you, the Seiko SARB035 is an automatic watch.
So obviously, when people search for “seiko sarb035 review”, they want to know everything there is to know about the watch.
(It’s a $500 watch after all, and people think twice before dropping this kind of money.)
But here is the thing:
People want to know QUICKLY if this watch is any good or not.
And they want to know that before buying, but also before even reading your content!
The question you want to answer is:
I answered this question in a micro-summary – a 45 to 90-word piece of text, directly answering that question.
(This tactic is adapted from a Moz technique to get the Google snippet.)
If you could tell everything there is to know about your keyword in only 20 seconds, what would you say?
It should look something like:
Also, you want to answer all underlying questions.
For example with a watch, you want to answer these questions:
- is the automatic movement accurate?
- is the case well finished?
- is the dial legible?
… and so on.
Because you never know which part Google will feature in the search result.
So ask yourself:
What part of the product/service people want to know about, and how can I write a micro-summary answering each question?
For example, Google featured this part of my article:
This happens to be about the movement, not about the watch in general.
And this section is not at the top of my article.
In fact, there are 876 words BEFORE that paragraph in my review!
So clearly, Google is picking what it thinks is best for the user.
And because you never know which part will most appeal to users (and Google), write micro-summaries for your keyword and ALL underlying questions.
- for your target keyword and all underlying questions, write micro-summaries of 45 to 90 words, directly answering each question
5. Embed your video in your article
All you need to do now is to embed your YouTube video at the end of your article, like this:
The goal here is to help Google understand that your awesome video is a companion to your awesome article.
Also, make sure your channel and website have the exact same name.
And that they link to one another, too:
- put a link in your video description to your article
- put a link from your website to your YouTube channel
Just like this:
I found that putting a link to your YouTube channel in the menu works best.
But, putting it in the footer works too:
Wait for Google to analyze, test and trust your content
This is not an actual step since you don’t have to do anything.
But now, you’ll have to wait for YouTube to rank your video for your target keyword and for Google to rank your article.
This doesn’t happen overnight.
- On YouTube, ranking can go as fast as a few days (for established channels) to 1-3 months (for new channels)
- On Google, ranking will take between 3 months at best, but 6 to 12 months is more realistic
To outrank all featured YouTube videos in Google with an article, be ready to wait months and months on end.
If you recorded an epic video, wrote an epic article answering all questions with micro-summaries and linked everything together, this should happen at some point.
While it is POSSIBLE to outrank featured YouTube videos in Google, most of the time it’s not PROBABLE.
You could very well implement this technique and not see any result – ever.
This might be because:
- your keyword is too broad
- your keyword is WAY too competitive (aka publishers and stores create crazy epic content to rank on the first page of Google and make money with it)
- your video is not long/extensive enough
- your article is not awesome enough
- Google doesn’t feature text-based snippets for your keyword
So keep this in mind before you try.
The question is: would I spend time trying to outrank featured YouTube videos?
- If you’re targeting a very, very juicy keyword (think high RPM/ePMV or affiliate commissions), go for it and try
- If you’re trying to just get more traffic to your website, you’re probably better off targeting another keyword