Lydia Sweatt is a writer who loves balancing her article/blog time indoors with a healthy dose of nature. She bikes, hikes, and identifies edible plants along the way.
22 Simple Ways to Get More YouTube Views in 2023 (for Free)
Understanding how to get YouTube views is a skill every creator should have in their toolbox. Because let's face it: No one wants to spend hours crafting a video, only to receive zero views after hitting publish.
So if you've ever found yourself wondering, Why don't my YouTube videos get any views, this guide is for you.
From creating better thumbnails to writing click-worthy titles, here are 22 ways to get more views on YouTube videos.
1. Focus on One YouTube Niche
It’s tempting to post whatever you want on YouTube, from DIY projects to hair tutorials to your latest cryptocurrency buy. After all, it’s your channel, and what’s wrong with mixing things up from time to time? Viewers will learn to appreciate your love for baseball, boba tea, and trail running, right?
Unfortunately, that’s not how viewers think; they want to see videos that cater to their interests over and over again. To make that happen, you’ll want to find a niche you’re passionate about and start creating videos within that sphere.
You’ll get more views on YouTube by making focused content in the long run.
- YouTube will categorize your channel, then recommend your videos to people with similar interests. It's free promotion and likely the best you'll ever receive.
- You'll gain like-minded subscribers who return to watch more videos on your channel.
2. Do Some Keyword Research Before Filming
Making popular videos is tough if you don't know what people are searching for on YouTube. The best way to overcome this hurdle is with quality keyword research.
This task puts you into the minds of viewers so you know what they intend to watch and which target keywords to use. Then, YouTube's search engine will recognize those terms and share your video with people searching for those topics.
If you need help boosting your channel's search traffic, check out the keyword research tool from vidIQ. Simply type any word or phrase into the tool’s search bar to see how any keyword is performing on YouTube.
By doing this, you’ll get:
- The monthly search volume of any keyword
- A list of related keywords to deepen your search
- A score showing keyword competition
Once you find the right keywords, add them to your video title, description, and video chapters to increase your YouTube view count.
3. Write Powerful YouTube Video Titles
We haven’t gotten around to filming yet, but that’s OK. Having a list of strong keywords and understanding your niche helps you do other things to increase your views on YouTube, like optimizing video titles.
Of course, a good title has more than popular keywords. It also lets people know:
- What a video is about
- Why they should care
- The emotional draw of the topic
Here’s an example: If you filmed a video about getting YouTube subscribers, “How to Get 1,000 Subscribers,” is a good starting point for your title.
Now compare that to a title like “Under 1,000 Subscribers? Try This.” Adding that last bit of information at the end – “try this” – begs the question: What exactly should I be trying? The next logical step is to click and find out.
A boring title is usually too vague. If you write something like “Real Estate Tips for Buyers,” that’s not helpful because the real estate market is location-based. Plus, are we talking about houses, land, or commercial buildings? In this case, your title isn't specific enough.
How to Speak Your Audience’s Language
To write better titles, capture your community’s shared language with each upload.
You'll find the best example of this on a channel called Zeusy the Pitty. This adorable “talking” dog has more than 29 million views, mostly because his droopy eyes and classic head tilts are irresistible.
It also helps that Zeusy's videos have amazing titles. His owner uses keywords like “talking pit bull” because pit bulls are vocal, and it’s a relatable detail. Zeusy’s owner also calls himself “dad” to emphasize the parent-child relationship between owners and their pets.
Check out this title to see how it all comes together: “Talking Pit Bull Argues With His Dad! This Dog Is Too Smart!”
Do you see the appeal? The title speaks the language of dog enthusiasts and has some emotional intrigue ("this dog is too smart"). And guess what? The video has more than 170,000 views and counting.
4. Use Trending Topics to Get More Views
Do you pay attention to YouTube trends? If not, now’s the time to start because hopping on a trending topic is a great way to dominate YouTube search results.
The key to making trend-worthy videos is knowing which topics to embrace. That often means staying within your niche so your channel remains focused. Every video you post needs to matter to your audience whether it goes viral or not.
Also, don’t fall into the trap of only posting trending topics. You still need evergreen content to generate long-term value and get steady views. We recommend dedicating 10-20% of your content to following trends.
Are you looking for a way to track YouTube trends? Download vidIQ and create custom trend alerts for your channel. With this tool, you can:
- Keep tabs on specific keywords and track their performance.
- See how many views per hour a competitor is getting on a trending topic.
- Set up email alerts for the top trending videos on any topic.
5. Create Attractive YouTube Thumbnails
Did you know you can upload custom thumbnails for any video after verifying your YouTube channel?
It's true. You don’t need thousands of subscribers, watch time, or a certain number of videos to do this. In fact, your channel doesn’t even have to be monetized. From day one, you can verify the phone number associated with your account and promptly upload custom graphics.
For example, check out this thumbnail from our YouTube channel. The video it’s paired with, “How to Get 4,000 Hours of Watch Time,” has more than 450,000 views. We’d say this thumbnail is working for us so far – much better than the random frame YouTube shows if you don't upload a graphic.
Here are nine tips for creating better YouTube thumbnails:
- Keep your thumbnails simple. Viewers should be able to understand them in mere seconds.
- Communicate one idea, theme, or concept.
- Stick to three dominant colors or less.
- Increase the saturation and vibrancy of the image to make it pop.
- Remove the background from your image and insert a better design.
- Use a ring light to take well-lit thumbnail images.
- Fill enough negative space so the image feels complete.
- Incorporate short, snappy text – perhaps four words or less.
- Aim for three main elements and one background color.
If you’re making custom thumbnails but aren’t getting more views, read this post to see what you’re doing wrong. Once you’ve found the problem, download vidIQ and use the thumbnail preview tool to compare your images to those from other creators before publishing. Simply type in a keyword to compare different thumbnails.
6. Hook Viewers with a Good Intro
Your video’s intro is crucial. Within the first 30 seconds, viewers decide if they're going to A) keep watching or B) abandon the video.
Making them stay means you collect more watch time, which is always lovely. But a better reward is satisfying people so they return to give you more views.
Want to create better intros? Here’s what you need to do:
- Make it quick so viewers get what they came for sooner.
- Don’t do a generic intro introducing yourself and the video topic. Jump right into the good stuff and introduce yourself later.
- Do your best to hook the audience. It’s not so much an intro as a chance to keep people watching. Tease the juicier parts of your video or do something funny to hook the viewer.
- Make sure the intro aligns with the title. It should also align with the video’s thumbnail so viewers aren't let down.
- Experiment. What works for one creator may not work for another. Do some testing and follow the proven success path, even if that means having no intro.
7. Add YouTube Cards and End Screens to Your Videos
Some people pay for views on YouTube, but you should never do that – not while YouTube cards and end screens exist. They're the best tools for promoting your channel, and they're also free to use.
Info cards are in-video notifications that recommend related content to viewers. That could be a video, playlist, extra channels you’ve created, and even outside links. When you’re aiming for more views, info cards containing videos and playlists are most helpful.
End screens appear in the last 5-20 seconds of a video. During this video outro, viewers can click an additional video of yours to watch next.
Obviously, you want people to watch 100% of a video, and info cards will interrupt that. That’s why you should add them well into the video – past the halfway mark, if possible.
8. Create Playlists for Extra YouTube Views
Once you have a large batch of content, start dividing those videos into playlists.
These collections help people explore one topic in depth. For example, a pets channel might have a playlist called "How to Teach the Sit Command to Dogs."
We recommend creating a “new to this channel” playlist before any other. Fill it with videos illustrating what your channel is about, then move the playlist to position one on your channel homepage. With any luck, new viewers will see it and understand the value of your content.
9. Optimize Your Video Descriptions
Descriptions aren't as noticeable as the thumbnails and video titles on your channel. Nonetheless, you need quality descriptions to optimize a YouTube video for more views.
To start, make your descriptions short and sweet. While the description box accepts 5,000 characters, viewers only see the first 157. They have to click “show more” to read what's left.
That’s why vital details, such as the video's topic and why it matters, should appear in the first 157 characters. You can put extra information, such as video chapters, subscribe links, and social handles, below this point.
Here are other things to keep in mind:
- Make the description an accurate representation of the video to satisfy viewers.
- Don't worry about large channels leaving the description area blank. From an SEO standpoint, descriptions with relevant keywords attract more YouTube views.
10. Analyze Your YouTube Metrics
Despite what many people think, going viral isn't the fastest way to get consistent YouTube views. In fact, that’s a rare phenomenon for most people.
A better approach is looking at your channel analytics, measuring video performance, and doubling down on what works most of the time.
Everything you need is in the YouTube Studio. If you go there often, you’re already familiar with this analytics screen:
But beyond this screen, you should challenge yourself to track extra YouTube metrics, such as:
- Click-through rate: How often viewers watch a video after seeing its thumbnail. Number of clicks / number of impressions x 100 = CTR.
- New vs. return viewers: The number of new viewers on your channel, plus how many returned to watch more content.
- Audience retention rate: A percentage showing how long viewers watched a video, on average. For example, if you post a 10-minute video and people watch for eight minutes, your audience retention rate is 80%.
- Audience retention after the first 30 seconds: The percentage of people still watching your video after the first 30 seconds.
- Watch Time: The total amount of time viewers spend watching your video.
11. Create These 4 Videos to Boost YouTube Views
Are you a small YouTube creator? Do you need more views right this second?
Perfect. Here are four types of YouTube videos people love watching. They'll be popular today, tomorrow, and basically forever, so capitalize on them whenever you they can.
- The versus video: A video comparing any two things, such as video games, cities, or makeup products.
- The listicle video: A video listing the qualities of any topic – the “Top 10 Vacation Sites in Mexico,” for example.
- The how-to video: A video explaining how to do virtually anything – unclog a toilet, get a job, ride a bike, etc.
- The reaction video: Reacting to exciting events. That could be a sports game, a TikTok dance, or a funny meme.
Viewers love seeing these four formats within creators' content. With the ideas above, you can easily start earning at least 1,000 views on YouTube.
12. Reach More Viewers by Captioning Your Videos
We have to be honest about YouTube captions and auto-generated text. Most of the time, they're filled with embarrassing errors that make a video hard to understand. Sometimes a speaker will say something on camera, and YouTube will show a totally different message. That’s a problem when an estimated 38.2 million Americans over age 12 report some degree of hearing loss.
If you want to attract viewers from all walks of life, create transcripts of your videos. You can outsource the work using transcription services like Rev or Temi. Once you have a caption file, go to the YouTube Studio and attach it to your video before publishing.
Closed captions are great for accessibility, but people without disabilities appreciate them too. These days, 69% of people watch videos without sound in public.
13. Make Sure Video Embedding Is Enabled
Letting people embed your videos across the web is a great way to boost YouTube views. It’s usually a default option, but it never hurts to double-check and ensure the feature is on.
- Go to the YouTube Studio and click Content in the left navigation menu.
- Hover your mouse over a recent video and click the pencil icon (video details).
- Scroll down until you see embedding options. Make sure Allow Embedding is selected.
14. Promote Your Channel on YouTube's Community Tab
YouTube does an excellent job of recommending videos to viewers, but sometimes your channel needs an extra push.
That’s where the YouTube Community tab comes in handy. This social network is available to anyone with 500 or more subscribers.
On the Community tab, you can publish:
- text posts
The Community tab isn’t for promotion, per se – or at least that’s not how most creators use it. Rather than strictly promoting videos, most people start a conversation with polls and intriguing questions. Months ago, we did an experiment proving that such Community posts lead to more exposure for your channel.
Once you’ve mastered the Community tab, branch out to other areas of social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, to attract more people to your channel.
15. Collaborate with Other Creators to Reach New Audiences
YouTube collaborations are a goldmine for keeping your channel fresh. When you’re brainstorming ideas alone, it’s easy to hit a wall and feel like there’s nothing worth recording.
But two heads are better than one, as the saying goes. Brainstorming with another creator removes the pressure to have all the answers.
The real magic happens when you and that creator make a joint video because you essentially get to swap audiences. The other creator introduces their subscribers to you, and you introduce your subscribers to that creator. Before you know it, you’ll have a new group of viewers on your channel.
Don’t team up with just anyone, though. Make sure your collaborator has:
- An audience interested in the topics you cover
- Great chemistry with you, for the sake of making good content
- Enough time to collaborate
Want to find collaborators organically? Join a digital community that represents your niche. That means exploring subreddits, Discord chats, and various Facebook groups. The goal is to find creators you like and admire and build genuine relationships with them.
16. Experiment with YouTube Shorts to Increase Views
YouTube Shorts are vertical videos with a duration of less than one minute. And guess what? They can get you more views. Shorts are similar to the type of content you’d see on TikTok – brief videos that replay on a loop and rack up millions of views.
Here’s an example of a YouTube Short:
When YouTube introduced Shorts in 2020, creators got more views just by posting them. In fact, the Shorts player in the YouTube app was getting more than 6.5 billion daily views in March 2021.
The short-form video space is more competitive today. YouTube rolled out Shorts beta globally, so most creators have the feature.
Even still, Shorts is one of the best tools for video discovery. That’s why some creators are making more Shorts than long-form videos. Take a look at Jake Fellman, LegalEagle, Dental Digest, and Block Facts.
17. Engage with Your Audience Every Week
YouTube viewers are fickle when it comes to sticking around, but don’t blame them for being a tad distracted. There’s so much to see on YouTube! A viewer could visit 20 channels in five hours and leave without subscribing to any of them.
That’s why creators must build a relationship with viewers.
Here are a few tips:
- Live streams are the best way to engage with your community and create superfans. Use them!
- Reply to as many comments as possible. When a viewer shares their thoughts, return the favor by acknowledging their presence.
- Post on the YouTube Community tab to connect with viewers.
- Send fast responses with vidIQ’s comment templates.
18. Make Unique, Hard-to-Replicate Content
What makes you different from other creators? If you have a superpower of any kind, such as juggling, animating, or dog whispering (yes, it’s a thing), use it to give your content some pizzaz.
Why? The harder it is to replicate your videos, the more you’ll stand out as a creator. Once you’ve found your lane on YouTube, it's easier to become the go-to person for one topic and attract more views.
Ask yourself five questions to embrace your uniqueness:
- Is my content any different/better than my competitor’s content?
- Have I established traditions and rituals with my audience? (giving subscribers a collective nickname, using catchphrases, turning their behavior into memes, etc.)
- Am I the first person to post a particular type of video?
- Is my content relatable yet refreshing?
- Why should someone watch my videos?
19. Go for Quantity Over Quality
Here’s the deal with being new on YouTube: No one – and we mean nobody at all – knows who you are. It's all too common to get zero views because YouTube’s algorithm hasn’t “noticed” your channel yet.
You can fix this by creating 25-50 videos in your first six months. If each video addresses your niche, YouTube will begin to understand your content. It will know whether you’re the go-to creator for cat videos, bitcoin investing, or another topic. Eventually, YouTube will recommend your content to those enthusiasts.
Creating lots of videos is about more than appealing to the algorithm. You’ll also improve several YouTube skills:
- Staying consistent
- Video production
- YouTube SEO
- Knowing what makes a quality video
Best of all, you’ll eventually learn to make quality videos as you prioritize quantity.
20. Adopt the Creator’s Mindset
Whether you want to attract...
- 100 views
- 100,000 views
- 1 billion views
...reaching those goals requires the same thing: a creator's mentality.
Here are three underrated beliefs you need to succeed on YouTube:
- You can grow a YouTube channel using only a smartphone and WiFi. No fancy gear required.
- Making terrible videos won’t destroy you or your channel if you’re willing to learn as you go.
- Steady views is better than one or two viral videos.
These statements fly under the radar, but they’re the foundation of successful channels and the creators behind them.
21. Be Consistent
This tip is easy to grasp but hard to put into action.
To get more YouTube views, you should:
- Upload regularly.
- Maintain the quality of your thumbnails.
- And generally, keep doing what we’ve mentioned in earlier sections.
We know that’s easier said than done. But if you want to satisfy your audience (and beat the competition), consistency is required.
Start by getting into a publishing rhythm. This post will help you find the right upload frequency on YouTube.
22. Follow YouTube’s Community Guidelines and Terms of Service
There are rules to starting and growing a YouTube channel. If you don’t follow them, your dream of getting 1 billion views on YouTube (or more) will never come true.
According to the platform, channels that violate specific rules could be terminated forever. So in a way, keeping your channel in good standing is a requirement for building a relationship with viewers.
Start by reading YouTube’s community guidelines. You’ll discover rules around fake engagement, posting violent or dangerous content, and the consequences of showing illegal or regulated goods in your videos.
And one more thing: Don’t do sub4sub. It’s a spammy practice that never works, and it violates YouTube’s terms of service.
How to Get YouTube Views: A Video Guide
Would you rather watch us explain the steps for getting more YouTube views? Sit back, relax, and press play to learn more.