If you’re a creator on YouTube, chances are that you want more views! According to the experts, most of the viewership on YouTube is driven through the suggested videos column on watch pages.
YouTube is the second largest search engine. In fact, over 2 billion people (that’s 1/3 of all internet users) visit YouTube each month. This means that 74% of adults in the USA are watching videos.
In this article, we’ll provide you with 10 tips that will help get your video on the recommended videos list on YouTube- and increase your viewership! Let’s get started!
What is a View on YouTube?
Every time a viewer clicks on your video on their device and watches for at least 30 seconds, it counts as a view. If you visit YouTube and click on your own video, it counts as a view. If someone watches your video more than once, each time they watch it is a new view. Of course, that being said, YouTube is smart enough to know when you’re trying to play the system by repeatedly refreshing the system.
When embedded YouTube videos are watched or YouTube videos that have been shared on Facebook are watched, those are views as well. Live views are counted by YouTube as views.
These analytics are updated every couple of days. Therefore, if you’re not immediately seeing your activity, check again later. You must give the system time to refresh.
What is Not a View on YouTube?
The algorithm on YouTube is constructed so that any plays that appear to be automated are disregarded. The only thing it wants to count is the times that a human purposely watched your video. Therefore, if there is a single user or bot that is refreshing your video repeatedly, or if a website is auto playing your video, these are not counted towards your total views.
10 Tips to Get Your Video Recommended On YouTube
Each day, across the world, people watch 1 billion hours on YouTube. If you want your videos to stand out among the many others on the platform, here’s 10 tips for how to do so.
Make Sure Your Basics are on Par
Before you can run, you need to learn to walk. Examine your YouTube fundamentals and make sure that you’ve checked all the boxes. Once you’ve read through some beginner tips, go back and look at some more advanced ones. Your basics include:
- Consistent visual identity (channel icon, channel art)
- Complete, informative “About” section to tell people more about you/your brand
- Current contact information so that your potential clients and brand partners can reach you.
Focus on Your Niche (& Perfect Audience)
When you are working on optimizing your marketing strategy for YouTube, it’s necessary to get laser focused on your goals for your channel and the content that is going to help you reach that end goal.
After all, the truth is you’re not making videos for everyone on the platform. You’re making videos for your personal audience. Therefore, take some time to really think about who you want to reach and create your audience personas.
Research and Improve Search Ranking for Your Videos
Yes, it’s true that YouTube is a social platform. However, as we mentioned earlier, it’s also a search engine. One of the main ways to get more views on YouTube and to get your videos on the “recommendations” list is optimizing your videos for search, or SEO.
This means that when your perfect viewer types in certain keywords, you want your video to show up at the top or at least somewhere near the top of the results. Therefore, you need to have an idea of what it is that your audience is looking for: entertainment, inspiration, tutorials, or something else entirely?
The best way to get new viewers to watch your videos and not just your subscribers or those who are already interested in your videos, is to rank in the search results. However, its easy to say this- but not so easy to enact it. How can you improve the search ranking of your videos on YouTube?
Do your research with a tool such as Google Keyword Planner. Of course, you will need a GoogleAds account to do this. Here are two things you’ll be doing with this research:
- Finding inspiration based on what people are looking for
- Implement those keywords in your metadata (title, tags, description, subtitles)
If you’re not already familiar with how the algorithm works on YouTube, this is the time to learn it. This AI will not only determine where you show up in search results, but also whether or not you appear in the recommendations sidebar.
Keep in mind though, it all comes down to your viewers. It doesn’t matter if a video is “good” or not- the only thing the algorithm cares about is the viewers that are watching it. Of course, keep in mind that viewers will typically only watch “good” videos.
Use Your Metadata to Get on the Recommended List
If your primary goal is to increase your viewership, take a lesson from the popular videos in your niche. Begin by looking at the top video of your competitors. To find this, you’ll visit their video library and click on “Most Popular”.
The main goal of YouTube is to keep viewers on the platform as long as they can by feeding them one video after another. This is to make sure that they are seeing as many ads as possible. How does YouTube determine what viewers might enjoy? The following things are taken into consideration:
- Videos that are watched together
- Videos that viewer has watched previously
- Videos that are related by topic
The only point you have any control over is the last one. This is where your keywords are important. When you use keywords, you need to be thinking like a librarian. You’ll describe the topic of your video as well as the overall category. Then, consider other words that someone might use when searching for that topic.
If you need some inspiration, you can peek at the keywords that a competitor used by right clicking on the webpage and then choosing “View page Source” and CTRL-F “keywords” until you find them.
However, that being said, before you decide that you’re just going to copy/paste the metadata over from a popular video to yours, keep in mind that your audience doesn’t want to see the same video again.
Perhaps there were some questions that were left unanswered by the first video. Maybe there’s something interesting that was brought up that warrants being pursued. Think about what you can do to add value to what they just watched so that they’ll want to click on yours?
Create Custom Thumbnails
When potential viewers are scanning through the search results/recommendations, your thumbnail is a critical factor in whether they decide to click on your video or a different one.
Much of the advice you hear is what graphic designer nightmares are made out of: cluttered information, screaming fonts, etc. However, let’s take a closer look at what exactly makes a thumbnail effective?
- Your thumbnail should be a clear and accurate representation of your video. If your thumbnail is misleading, eventually YouTube will figure it out because your view time will decrease. This is because your viewers are getting annoyed and click out of your videos. The algorithm will not be pleased by this.
- Your thumbnail works together with the title of your video.
- Your thumbnail should stand out. This could be as simple as using a bright color or making a funny face. On the other hand, if your niche is full of high-key visuals, perhaps you can sand out by being the calm, reasonable channel.
Create Playlists to Increase Views
The best way to ensure that viewers are likely to stay on your page is to organize/create playlists. This is because playlists on YouTube work just like Netflix: when one video ends, the next one starts.
Since you’ve already made the effort to help your viewers find your video, click on it, and watch it through, it only stands to reason that you should provide them with content they’ll want next.
Use Cards/End Screens to Direct Traffic to Your Videos
In addition to playlists, cards/end screens can be used by creators to get around the algorithm and have an effect on the next choice your viewer makes.
A card is clickable and interactive and appears at some point in your video. There are several formats available and can be used for selling merch, fundraising, and a variety of other things. In this case, you’re trying to boost views, so they will link to another one of your videos.
A card is a pop-up, so it’s critical that it adds value. You don’t want to spam your viewers. The content that you are linking to needs to be relevant to the information they are consuming at that particular moment. If you notice that you have an issue with viewer drop-off at a certain point in your video, add a link card at that moment to keep their attention.
An end screen is a call-to-action that can be added in the last 5 to 20 seconds of your video to prompt viewers to a certain action. These are valuable because you are aware that if someone has watched until the very end, they are interested in your content.
End screens can be used to encourage users to subscribe to your channel or visit your website. However, if your goal is to boost your YouTube views, you should probably promote your playlists or other videos.
Do More than “How-To” Videos
One thing is for certain, when you research your target keywords, you’re likely to see a lot of things that include the phrase “how to”. This is because there is a high rate of search for “how to” content.
Therefore, while you’re working to grab new viewers/subscribers, you also want to make sure you don’t forget about those who are already watching you. The value-added features of your brand come through content that is meaningful to those who are already interested in what you have to say.
Create Relationships with Your Viewers
When it comes to YouTube (and other social media platforms), audience engagement is just another way to say “building relationships”. The primary goal is to get organic, sustainable, realistic views on YouTube.
Therefore, engaging with others on YouTube- commenters, creators, or both- will boost your chances that they will care about your brand and subscribe to your channel. This means they’ll be more likely to watch more of your videos.
Ideas for creating relationships include:
- Politely replying to comments
- Run a contest
- Make reaction videos
- Include content from others in your videos (as long as they’re okay with it)
Partner with Other Creators
Viewers absolutely love seeing crossovers, mash-ups, guest appearances and more because they love the shock of unfamiliar familiarity. Do some research and find the Yin to your Yang and partner with that creator.
Perhaps you have the budget that will allow you to hire a creator that already has a following. On the other hand, if you are an aspiring influencer/creator, boosting your views is the first step in making money on YouTube, not spending it. This means that ideally you should partner with creators who share your goals.
Ideally, the creators that you partner with should have very similar charm, values, and popularity. Plus, you should like them and you are able to have fun together with them.
In order for the YouTube algorithm to pick you up and put you on the recommended list, you need to find ways to boost your views. The more popular you are, the more likely you are to be recommended. Additionally, SEO in your title, metadata, description, and such are very important. You want to make sure that people can find you when they search for certain keywords.