The Ultimate Guide to track YouTube video Keyword Rankings


What if I told you that you can check YouTube video ranks very easily just like you check competitor website keywords and their ranking positions in SERPs? Yes, of course, you can track your YouTube video keyword rankings within a few steps.

Unlike tracking website SEO keyword rankings, you can’t track YouTube video rankings with Google webmaster tools. However, I have found an easy method to check YouTube video rankings of own videos and competitor videos.

Yes, by using the technique I am going to explain, you can track any YouTube video’s keyword rankings in YouTube.

How to Track YouTube Video Rankings

YouTube is the world second largest search engine, right? If you have a YouTube channel and have a few videos published, you should check their rankings every day. The advantages of tracking YouTube video rankings are invaluable. One of those are you can identify your competition and make necessary arrangements to stand out your video from other ones.

When it comes to YouTube video tracking, you have to follow a specific way to track ranks. People use search terms (or keywords) on the YouTube search box before watching your video. These keywords are also known as Video keywords. In general, top 3 videos ranking on above the fold gets the most visits compared to others.

By tracking YouTube videos online by keyword position, you can find the people who view your videos and their intents etc. These ultimately cause to user engagement which is a YouTube ranking factor.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to track YouTube video rankings by keyword position, not in average SERP position. Therefore, you can correctly check YouTube video ranks on a daily basis in the right way.

At the end of this post you’ll learn,

  1. How to Track Own YouTube video rankings [jump to]
  2. How to Track competitor YouTube Video Rankings [jump to]

There are several YouTube rank checker tools online. However, I will only use two YouTube rank checker tools that provide compatible tools to track YouTube videos online. Follow the instructions correctly to find your and competitors YouTube video rank positions and start tracking them on a daily basis automatically.

Track Own YouTube Video Rankings

If you have a website or blog, you can easily find average ranking position in SERPs by using webmaster tools such as Google Search Console (for Google), Bing webmaster tools (for Yahoo and Bing) and Baidu webmaster tools (for Baidu) etc. However, although YouTube is the second largest search engine, according to Alexa rankings, there is not any definite way to check YouTube video rankings.

Here’s how to check YouTube video ranks.

Step #1: Get YouTube Video Keywords

As I mentioned earlier, we track videos by keyword position. So you must get YouTube video keywords first. To get YouTube video keywords,

Sign into your YouTube account and go to Analysis page.

Select the YouTube video you want to track. In this example, I choose the first YouTube video: How to Create a VKontakte Page for Your Website

YouTube video titles - analytics

At the bottom of the YouTube video overview stats, you could see a panel named with Top traffic Sources. Click on it.

top traffic sources

Here you can find top traffic sources for YouTube video. Click “YouTube search” link.

Traffic sources - youtube

Now you can see the top YouTube video search keywords that people used. Below screenshot shows the keywords that people used to find my YouTube video.

YouTube video keywords

Click on “Download Report” button.

download report

You’ll get a spreadsheet which contains YouTube video search keywords. Open it and copy all keywords. You need it for the next step.

Step #2: Add Keywords to YouTube rank checker tool

Now in this step, you are going to add video keywords into the YouTube keywords tracker program. If you are wondering what the YouTube rank tracker program is, TubeBuddy is the YouTube video rank tracking software.

TubeBuddy is a complete solution for YouTube marketing and it provide variety of products for different cases such as YouTube video analysis, video keywords research and channel analysis. YouTube video keywords rank tracking is one of awesome features that TubeBuddy provides.

After you created your RankTrackr account, follow below instructions. (You can sign up for a TubeBuddy by using this link)

Watch this video to learn how to track YouTube keywords rankings with TubeBuddy.

If you are a YouTube marketer and want to step up your game dominate your niche, you should definitely give TubeBuddy a try. It’s not only a fantactic toolkit for analysing YouTube video keyword rankings, traffic and other statistics, you can get a big picture on what works on your niche and what interests your audiece has!

Track competitor YouTube Video Rankings

If you want to stand out from the competition, you must analyze your competitors. By analyzing your competitors, you can learn many things, especially competitors SEO strategies. Just like competitor keyword analysis for websites, you can find YouTube keywords which your competitor’s videos are currently using.

But, you can’t find other videos’ search keywords which bring them tons of video views in every day simply. You have to use a competitor analysis tool for that. Here’s the step by step guide to spy on competitor YouTube videos and find their top YouTube video search keywords.

Step #1: Find Video Keywords

We can’t get competitors YouTube video keywords through YouTube analytics page, right? Therefore, we have to use a specific tool such as SEMrush to get YouTube video ranking keywords.

SEMrush is a powerful search engine marketing tool which provides useful SEO tools for webmasters and internet marketers. I have been using SEMrush for a few years and got great results. Read my complete SEMrush review to learn more about it.

SEMrush has a few pricing options. As a bonus, you can create a SEMrush Pro account for free using this link. If you have a SEMrush free account, you can upgrade to SEMrush free trial Pro account for free following the instructions in the post.

After you created your SEMrush Pro account (or a Guru Account), follow below instructions respectively.

First of all, you have to get the permalink of competitor’s YouTube Video. Go to YouTube.com and enter your target keyword or keyword phrase. I entered “Dog Training” as the keyword, because it’s one of the top searched YouTube video keyword phrases.

dog training - YouTube search result page screenshot

I will use the third YouTube video to track their keyword ranking positions in SERPs. The video is “Train Your Dog – 6 Important Dog Training Tips For Obedience Training

After getting the video permalink, go to SEMrush and login to your SEMrush account. If you use a SEMrush free account, you’ll get less results. So upgrade to SEMrush free trial Pro account for free by following the instructions in this blog post.

Enter the YouTube Video permalink and choose the Google.com (US country domain). Then hit the search button.

semrush search box

At the bottom of overview page, search for “Top Organic keywords” section. This is where you can find the top search keywords that people used on Google.com before watching the particular video. In my example, I found 56 organic keywords. Click on “View Full report” to find more information about keywords and ranking video.

top organic keywords

On this page, you can find more information about each keyword the video ranking on Google.com SERP.

organic search positions - semrush

Click on “Export” button at the top of keywords table. Download keyword report in CSV format. So you can open it in Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheet easily.

Copy all the keywords that video is ranking for and save it on a Text document.

Step #2: Add Keywords to YouTube rank checker tool

After you got keywords, the next step is adding keywords into rank tracker program. We use RankTrackr YouTube rank checker tool to track keyword positions. Here’s how to track competitor videos keyword rankings.

Go to RankTrackr and sign into your account. (If you don’t have an account, sign for a free trial account over here.)

Select on YouTube static group (or you can create a new one) and click on Add URLs button.

add urls

Choose YouTube as the search engine from the drop down menu and copy & paste competitor YouTube video URL. Click on “Add URLs” button.

add competitor YouTube video URL

Then click on “+Add Keyword” button.

add keuword

Now copy & paste Organic keywords which you received from SEMrush. You can also start tracking keyword rank positions in specific locations such as San Francisco, United States. But, for this example, I will use default settings.

add keywords

After you added keywords, RankTrackr will immediately add them up to rank tracker system. You should see keyword rank positions and other information such as search results very shortly.

youtube video rank tracker

Note: The results could be different, because we used SEMrush to get video ranking keywords. They are organic keywords, not YouTube video keywords. Anyway, most top ranking videos on YouTube tend to rank on Google SERPs for most video keywords too. However, you could lose lots of search terms that people use on YouTube website alone.


You should check YouTube video rankings for each keyword on daily or at least monthly basis, because one position drop in search results could result in losing thousands of views and thousands of earnings. It’s not an easy task to check YouTube video ranks for each keyword. If your video has hundreds of ranking keywords, it would take hundreds of minutes to check video rankings.

But, with the use of TubeBuddy and SEMrush tools, you can find video keywords and start tracking rankings of each keyword from the first second you added keywords. As RankTrackr updates their database on daily basis and RankTrackr has perfect tools to track local video rankings, you can get most of these search engine marketing tools.

I am using RankTrackr and SEMrush for a long time, because it helped me grow my business. After I utilized them to track YouTube video ranks, I found many ways to increase my YouTube video rankings. Some of them are,

  • Use an attractive custom thumbnail: YouTube generates and suggests a few thumbnails. However, custom video thumbnails is the best option when it comes to attract people in the first span.
  • Use attractive words in video title: Titles with numbers get more clicks than regular titles.
  • Short YouTube videos get more views: I don’t know the exact reason, but many people prefer to watch short-time videos than lengthy videos.
  • In competitive niches, YouTube has ranked lengthy videos higher on SERPs: Just like in content marketing, in YouTube marketing, lengthy and informative videos tend to rank higher on YouTube SERP at most times.
  • Video description is so important: Write mini blog posts (about 300+ words). The more words you include, your video will rank for more long tail search terms. Make sure you sprinkle keywords a few times in the description panel. Use SEMrush tool to find keywords of competitor’s videos. Then sprinkle a few of them into your video description.
  • Video Transcript is as useful as video description: Use Google translate to translate existing video transcripts into another language. I used this strategy in SEMrush Coupon Code video and saw a significant growth in video views. Read this article to learn how to write own transcript and upload them to YouTube video.
  • Interlink YouTube videos:  Add at least one of your YouTube video permalinks in the description panel. Add a few keywords around the URL, so search engines will find that the video is related to the surrounding keywords. Do joint ventures with other channel holders. Not only those links will pass more link juices, but also a few engaged visitors too.
  • Use competitors’ channel names as tags. (I learned this YouTube trick from this video by Brian Dean)
  • And so much more…

This is all because, I started tracking YouTube video rankings. If you are curious to know what’re the keyword rankings of your videos, you should use an online YouTube rank checker tool and start tracking video rankings.

So how can you track YouTube video rankings? Share your ideas in the comment form below.

Chamal Rathnayaka

A blogger, Growth Hacker, and Internet Marketer since 2012. Chamal Rathnayaka is the founder of this very site and he's sharing his experience and knowledge on Internet marketing through Pitiya blog. Send him a message on Pitiya.com/contact.

  • duo says:

    You should try http://youtuberanktracker.com to track your YouTube video rankings. It’s free, web-based and anonymous.

  • krew jordan says:

    A YouTube subscriber is someone who has decided to follow your YouTube channel and watch your videos on your link. So, yes it’s true that just as a Web page with relevant keyword terms to always rank better in search results. The videos with the relevant keywords appear at the top of YouTube search results. Youtube SEO is truly important. Thanks for this info.

  • krewjordan says:

    thanks for the blog.A YouTube subscriber is someone who has decided to follow your YouTube channel and watch your videos on your link. So, yes it’s true that just as a Web page with relevant keyword terms to always rank better in search results. The videos with the relevant keywords appear at the top of YouTube search results. Youtube SEO is truly important. Thanks for this info.

  • >