Marketers and content creators who put their hearts and souls into making videos want to see their content do well once it’s shared.
Unfortunately, even if the video is objectively excellent it may not get the recognition and views it deserves.
When creators hit a wall like this, some might consider buying views.
We advise against this practice because YouTube’s bot detection capabilities are improving and the algorithm doesn’t just pay attention to views, it considers engagement and user behavior, too.
So, instead of going down that route, work on understanding the system and customize how you share your videos.
Once you know about the best practices and how to track your video performance, you’ll be able to make strategic changes to get more views on YouTube.
If you’re in a hurry, we’ve summed up our top tips on how to get more views on YouTube below.
- Track the right metrics (watch time, click-through rate, retention)
- Improve content based on key metric data
- Write compelling video titles
- Focus on descriptions
- Create eye-catching thumbnails
- Incorporate tags
- Take advantage of A/B testing
- Add captions/subtitles
- Use cards to help your viewers discover more of your content
- Add other videos from your channel in the end screens
- Share your videos on social media
- Collaborate with other YouTubers
- Share your videos with niche communities
- Emulate industry leaders
- Remind viewers to like, comment, and subscribe
- Create playlists for your videos
- Enable video embedding option
- Add your YouTube videos to your blog posts
- Share your video in emails
- Post consistently
We’ll talk about each one in more detail, so keep reading.
How to get more views on YouTube
According to YouTube for Press, 500 hours of content is uploaded on the platform every minute.
So getting noticed out there isn’t an easy task, but if you understand how the platform works and aim to add value with your uploads, your channel will start to grow.
Now, first things first… how do you go about understanding the platform?
Well, you can start by learning about the key metrics.
1. Track the right metrics
Let’s start with a basic question…
What happens when you upload a video?
When you upload a video, it gets shown to an early audience (your recent viewers and subscribers).
If the video performs well, it will get shown to more people in this group, and if it keeps doing well, your content will become visible to people who aren’t subscribed to your channel.
This can snowball and result in a viral moment.
After this peak, the views tend to naturally decline. This phenomenon is what’s called the YouTube lifecycle.
Now, this doesn’t just apply to channels with massive followings, it’s true for small ones too.
And because your content’s success depends heavily on the algorithm, you should keep track of your key metrics to analyze and improve your videos as you move forward.
The key metrics are:
- Watch time
- Click-through rate (CTR)
If you can get at least 4 minutes of watch time with a 50% or above retention rate, and a 10-20% CTR, your video will have a solid chance of going viral.
Related: Tubebuddy vs vidIQ: A Comparison
Watch time is the amount of time people spend watching your videos. Simple, right?
The YouTube algorithm relies on this metric quite a bit. So, it’s better if people spend more time watching your videos.
Not convinced about its importance? Here’s the same advice straight from the horse’s mouth.
Pro tip: use your YouTube analytics to understand and compare your views and watch time to gain a better understanding of content performance.
This metric is the average percentage of a YouTube video that your viewers watch.
Videos with high retention rates get more visibility on the platform.
If you have a 10-minute long video and your audience watches it for an average of 5 minutes, then the retention rate on that video is 50%.
Click-through rate (CTR)
Your impressions click-through rate is equal to clicks divided by impressions.
The number shows you what percentage of your impressions on YouTube turned into views.
If your CTR is low but your overall views and watch time are increasing, then don’t worry. This can happen when some of your views come from sources with no thumbnail impression. For example from links outside of YouTube.
Now that you’re familiar with the YouTube algorithm’s holy trinity, you can begin working on improving these metrics.
2. Improve content based on key metrics
Boost watch time and retention
To improve these metrics, you could give your content a makeover.
Structure your video content
Well-structured content can keep people’s attention.
Here’s the layout:
Hook → context → set up
With this structure in place, you’ll cover the following:
- What the video is about
- Why you’re covering this particular topic
- What the viewer can expect
This isn’t a hard-and-fast formula but it’s something to try out.
Audiences browsing online have low attention spans, so be mindful of how you pace your videos. Stay away from dull moments and keep it tight.
Reward your viewers
Reward your viewers by adding value to your content. If your content is informative, leave your audience with actionable tips.
If you’ve already got great content, you can improve your YouTube CTR with metadata.
Working on metadata will help your video rank on Google.
And the best part is that high-ranking YouTube videos can show up in the top ⅓ of the results page.
But to land that coveted spot, you need to understand metadata basics.
What is metadata?
Metadata includes your titles, descriptions, thumbnails, tags, captions, and cards.
You can add all of these in YouTube Studio when you’re uploading your content.
To learn more about each one, keep reading.
3. Write compelling video titles
For search engine optimization, find relevant keywords with a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner and add them to the title.
Most importantly, don’t forget the human element. Write intriguing titles that promise value.
Side note: Veritasium’s Derek Muller took Mr. Beast’s advice in choosing a title and thumbnail for his video “Why Are 96,000,000 Black Balls on This Reservoir?”
It’s become one of the most popular videos on his channel.
Derek talks about his viral moment and how he got there in this video. Check it out for some great insights.
4. Focus on your descriptions
The description tells the search engine and the viewers what your video is all about. So, put your best copywriters to work and write something inviting and SEO friendly.
If your viewers get hooked, your click-through rate will increase, and, as we mentioned early on in the post, the algorithm loves that. This will give your content a boost and your YouTube video views will increase.
You can also leave a link and ask your viewers to follow you off the platform. If you use short linkers for tracking, you’ll also be able to find out which description links are getting clicks.
5. Create eye-catching thumbnails
Thumbnails can drive clicks because they give you the opportunity to intrigue people. So create a custom one.
The recommended thumbnail resolution is 1280×720 with a minimum width of 640 pixels and size limit of 2 MB.
You can upload the image as a JPG, GIF, or PNG.
Careful not to go too overboard with thumbnails because if your content doesn’t match up to your viewers’ expectations, your reputation will take a hit.
If you’ve heard of Mark Rober, you’ll know how amazing his content is, and his thumbnails reel you in.
They sometimes seem clickbaity, but the content always delivers so viewers don’t have a problem with it.
In fact, Mark Rober’s YouTube channel is an excellent case study if your goal is to grow your channel, get more views, and become popular on the platform.
Watch this video to learn more.
6. Incorporate tags
Some creators think tags aren’t all that necessary, but their general purpose is to help YouTube understand what your video content is mainly about. So adding them won’t hurt.
Make sure your tags are relevant and don’t go overboard. YouTube may suppress your video or mark it as spam if you use them excessively.
How to add tags
- Log in to YouTube Studio
- Hit CREATE and upload your video
- In the window, scroll down and click on SHOW MORE
- You’ll find the tags field where you can insert your tags
7. Take advantage of A/B testing
With the help of certain tools, you can A/B test your thumbnails, titles, tags, and descriptions.
TubeBuddy is a great option and can help you take a closer look at analytics and A/B test variations.
8. Add captions and subtitles
Closed captions are the text version of the spoken part of your video and make your content more accessible. For example, a person will be able to understand what’s happening if for some reason they can’t hear the audio.
You could also add subtitles in various languages if you have a more international audience.
Adding closed captions and subtitles is a great tactic to increase video views and enables people from all sorts of backgrounds to get engaged.
It’s not clear if adding captions improve your video or channel’s ranking, but, as mentioned above, it does have its advantages.
9. Use cards to help your viewers discover more
Cards are a great optimization tool. Here’s how you can use them within videos.
- Link to your other videos
- Link a poll and have your audience participate in it
- Add a link to your website
10. Share your video on social media
Whenever you put out a video on YouTube, share it across your social platforms.
When people discover your content through these channels and are funneled to YouTube, your video will get a boost from the algorithm and it’ll improve your organic ranking.
Pro tip: Create short snippets and previews of your video to share on social media. This type of video distribution strategy works really well for a long-form video.
Need help with social media videos? Our video producers can help you out.
Want a video for your business?
11. Collaborate with other YouTubers
Collaborating with other YouTubers is a win-win scenario.
You could start by inviting guest YouTubers and influencers to participate in your videos.
It’s a great tactic to not only build a stronger community and presence on the platform but also gain new viewers and subscribers.
Use tools like BuzzSumo to find creators/influencers that are relevant to your industry or share a similar target audience.
Pro tip: When you partake in collaborations, be sure to promote your guest and their content, too.
Link their channel in your video’s description and remind your audience to go check out their content, too.
12. Share your videos with niche communities
You can share your videos on platforms other than your businesses’ social media accounts/pages.
Look up relevant Quora forums and share your content there if it adds value.
Another great way to reach niche communities is through subreddits.
13. Add other videos from your channel in the end screens
You can link other videos or playlists from your channel to end screens. This will help your viewers discover more of your content and get you views across the board.
14. Emulate industry leaders
It’s always a good idea to learn from others. Stay updated on what other leaders in your industry are doing; figure out what they are doing right and emulate that.
This will help you to adapt and change your strategy as you go. In the end, you’ll be rewarded with increased video views and engagement.
15. Remind viewers to like, comment, and subscribe
The simplest way to get something is to just straight up ask for it.
Reminding viewers to ‘like, comment, and subscribe’ will increase engagement and help your channel gain more visibility on the platform.
16. Create playlists for your videos
Creating playlists for your videos will allow you to take advantage of the auto-play feature on YouTube.
Your viewers may end up going through a bunch of your videos in one sitting if your content is good.
17. Enable video embedding option
Make it easier for bloggers and content creators to share your videos on their website. You can do this by turning on the embed option.
18. Add your YouTube videos to your blog posts
Enrich your blog posts with relevant videos from your YouTube channels.
It’s a great way to add some personality to your content, break up the text, and get more views.
19. Share your video in emails
According to Mckinsey & Company, email beats social media as the most effective at acquiring customers. It’s 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined.
On top of that, adding a video to your email leads to a 200-300% increase in click-through rate.
So if you haven’t tried adding your YouTube videos to your emails, it’s time to start.
You won’t be able to embed the video directly into the email body, but you could add a screenshot and link that to the desired video.
For more on this topic, check out our guide on how to use video in email marketing.
20. Post consistently
Last but not least, experiment with your videos and post often.
Idle channels can sometimes lose the algorithm’s favorability.
Set an uploading schedule and stick to it.
There is an exception though. If you build a substantial catalog of content on your YouTube channel that does well consistently, you’ll continue to get views and new visitors even if you stop uploading new videos for a while.
Evergreen content tends to generate views over a long span of time, and how-to videos are some of the most popular on YouTube.
A lot of popular content creators have experienced this, too. Here’s a snippet of YouTube influencers talking about this phenomenon.
Keep in mind that YouTube isn’t simply a social media platform, it is a search engine, too.
This means that creating great content is only half the battle. The other half is understanding the technicalities of the platform so you can optimize your content and increase views on YouTube.
If you use all of the tips we talked about, you’ll get the most bang for your buck.
If you’re looking to work with someone who can help you grow your business with video, then hit us up! Video production and marketing are our specialties.
Want a video for your business?