How To Get More Views On YouTube
How do you get more views and subscribers on YouTube?
Carla Marshall: October 2020
Ask any YouTube creator who is active on the platform and they will quickly confirm that generating real, organic views and a dedicated subscriber base takes time, skill, and dedication. However, with the right audience development strategy, tools, and mindset, any video creator can build an engaged fan base when they understand what viewers want to watch, and what they will keep returning to YouTube to watch more of.
Making content you are passionate about is just the first step. You need to know how to reach the right audience and get your videos discovered. Remember - viewers love YouTube and will spend HOURS watching the content they really care about. Understand what your audience wants and double-down on those videos so viewers will flock to your channel.
Even though there are over 50 million channels on YouTube, there are still incredible opportunities for every single creator to build a dedicated audience, generate a huge number of views and subscribers, and reach out to over 1.9 Billion users who visit YouTube every day. But to build an authentic strategy around subscriber and view growth it's important to remember that:
- YouTube wants the viewer to stay on the platform as long as possible
- If your content keeps viewers around (on your own channel or elsewhere on the site) YouTube may start to promote your content in search results or 'Suggested Videos'
- More exposure on YouTube should lead to more views and a higher subscriber growth rate
- You can increase your chance of YouTube suggesting your content by increasing your Watch Time and Click-Through Rates
- All the above takes knowledge, patience, and dedication
We're going to guide you through the top strategies needed to get more views on YouTube, including:
- How To Get More Views On YouTube With Longer Content
- How To Get More Views On YouTube With Better Thumbnails
- How To Get More Views On YouTube With 50% View Duration
- How To Get More Views On YouTube With Better Storytelling
- How To Get More Views On YouTube by Writing Better Descriptions
- How To Get More Views On YouTube by Responding to Every Comment
- How To Get More Views On YouTube by Using the Community Tab
We're also including links to vidIQ video content that will explain the views you can increase your YouTube views - like this one!
#1 How To Get More Views On YouTube With Longer Content
Since 2012, YouTube has prioritized Watch Time as its main performance metric.
If YouTube creators can keep their subscribers and viewers watching for longer, then their Audience Retention and Watch Time numbers will increase. YouTube channels need at least 4000 hours Watch Time in order to monetize video content, but once that has been achieved the focus should be on increasing those Watch Time and audience retention numbers even further.
While this doesn’t mean you should be uploading longer videos, it does mean that you can extend the length of the video content that’s really working for you. If your audience watches and engages with your content, then aim for 10+ minute content. Great content that entertains or informs your audience equals a great way to get more views on YouTube!
#2 How To Get More Views On YouTube With Better Thumbnails
Enabling custom thumbnails is one of the best and easiest things you can do for your channel to get more YouTube views. Creating and then uploading unique and compelling custom thumbnails to all of the videos you publish can positively impact your click-through rate, and when it comes to CTR and YouTube Watch Time, the more you improve these numbers, the more YouTube will reward your content.
Click Through Rate (the number of thumbnail impressions divided by the number of times someone clicked on that thumbnail to view your video) is one of the newest and most powerful analytics on YouTube. All creators should measure and benchmark their CTR and aim to improve on it each time with a powerful custom thumbnail that encourages the viewer to click through and watch.
#3 How To Get More Views On YouTube With 50% View Duration
YouTube wants you to get as much Watch Time for every single video that you upload, as it considers this metric even more important than views.
Why? Because while a click from a viewer is important, it doesn’t tell you how long somebody is on YouTube for. However, the more Watch Time YouTube has from its audience, the more ads they can sell to that audience - making more money for YouTube, and also for the video creator. So, the more Watch Time you can create from your videos, the more YouTube is going to reward you, and share your content with more viewers!.
Audience retention is all about keeping that viewer interested throughout your video. And you want to try and get that audience retention to as close to 100% as possible, although a good benchmark is somewhere around about 50%.
#4 How To Get More Views On YouTube With Better Storytelling
The ability to tell a great story is a skill that all the most successful YouTubers have mastered.
They understand that the best way to keep viewers coming back to your YouTube channel is to keep giving them the content they want. Even if you are truly passionate about a subject, it pays huge dividends to create a compelling story around the focus of your video to keep viewers interested, and entertained.
Every video you publish should have a strong hook (something you convey through the title and custom thumbnail), and a clear beginning, middle, and end. It should be your goal to create a sense of intrigue and give every viewer a reason to keep watching.
Make sure you tune into our TubeTalk podcast and learn why storytelling is the most important skill a YouTuber can have:
#5 How To Get More Views On YouTube by Writing Better Descriptions
A great description will give the world (and YouTube) more context about your content. The description box is also a fantastic micro-site that you can use to optimize your video, as well as give your viewers more information about you, and your channel. We’ve taken a deep dive into 7 Essential Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for YouTube Descriptions which you should read to get all the best advice, but here’s a run-down of how you can write better YouTube descriptions:
1. Use the Right Keywords to be Found in Search
YouTube scrapes descriptions for keywords, and it may help your video appear in Search. The higher those keywords are in the description, the more likely they are to be found by YouTube.
2. Add a Subscribe Link
The next thing you want to do is to include a subscribe link to your channel somewhere near the top of the description.
3. Go Into Detail About Your Video
This is where you want to be using as many keywords as possible so that YouTube can identify your content with as many associated terms as possible, which helps you in Search.
4. Add Time Stamps
The next thing you can do which can be really helpful to viewers, especially on longer videos, is to use timestamps.
5. Add Affiliate Links (if Appropriate)
Next, there's nothing wrong with earning a little bit of extra cash from your YouTube videos, from non-YouTube tools, and that includes affiliate links in your video description.
6. Optimize Your Default Uploads
You'll find this under Settings in the new Creator Studio, and there is a section called Upload defaults.
7. Add YouTube Hashtags
If you want to include hashtags in your video above your title, you need to add those hashtags to your video description.
#6 How To Get More Views On YouTube by Responding to Every Comment
Even though you may have spent days filming and editing your video, the work isn’t over just because you’ve uploaded it to YouTube. Part of the excitement of publishing video content is the audience reaction, and if viewers have taken the time to watch your video and then comment on it, you should respect their time and energy by replying to every single one (or at least as many as you can).
If you are getting a lot of comments, block off an hour a day in your calendar to respond to, and engage with those commenters. You could even pin the best comments to your videos, or pin your own comments to continue the conversation in the comments section!
If replying to every comment feels overwhelming, remind yourself that the comments section is where connections begin, which could evolve into collaborations, brand deals, friendships, and more.
#7 How To Get More Views On YouTube by Using the Community Tab
The YouTube Community Tab feature is available to all channels which have over 1,000 subscribers. It has the potential to be a huge engagement opportunity if you know how to use it the right way - which many creators still don’t.
What’s so special about the Community Tab? Well, not every video creator has the time or the capacity to publish a video every day, but the Tab does give that creator a way of publishing content every day. You can post status updates, ask questions, post voting polls, and promote videos through the YouTube Community Tab. In fact, you’ll often find that a well-crafted question or voting poll gets as much engagement, if not more, than your videos!
If you only have time to post one video a week, you can always find two minutes to post an update on your Community Tab. For more information on how to use it, check out our video on the feature.