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Getting a Good Click-Through Rate on YouTube: 6 Powerful Tips
JUMP TO SECTION:
- What Is Click-Through Rate on YouTube?
- How to See Your Click-Through Rate In the YouTube Studio
- What Is a Good Click-Through Rate?
- How to Get a Good Click-Through Rate
Getting a good click-through rate (CTR) on YouTube is a big deal. That helps you solve a major problem, which is getting YouTube to recommend your videos to viewers.
If you’ve been on YouTube for a while, you know the algorithm won’t suggest any old video. It serves valuable content with proven success. Creators who supply such content are likely to get more views and grow their channels.
That’s why you need a good CTR. When YouTube knows you’re getting thousands of clicks, it wants to recommend your content. It’s like creating the perfect resume for your channel.
Plus, your click-through rate helps you identify winning strategies. If your CTR rises when you use a certain thumbnail template, that’s worth knowing. If it drops when you use a new titling format, that’s also something to evaluate.
Want to learn more about getting a good click-through rate? Just keep reading.
What Is Click-Through Rate on YouTube?
According to YouTube, your click-through rate is “how often viewers watched a video after seeing [its] thumbnail.”
Here’s the click-through rate formula: number of clicks / number of impressions x 100 = CTR.
So if 30 people clicked on a video, but 1,000 saw the thumbnail overall, you’d have a click-through rate of 30%.
How to See Your Click-Through Rate In the YouTube Studio
Before you try to increase your CTR, figure out what your current percentage is.
Here’s how to find that number:
- Log in to YouTube and go to the YouTube Studio (click your profile image and select YouTube Studio).
- Click Analytics in the left navigation menu.
- Click the Reach tab.
- Next, you’ll see a graph showing impressions, impressions click-through rate, views, and unique viewers. Select impressions click-through rate.
- Adjust the period selector (seven days, one month, three months, one year, or the lifetime of your channel).
Here’s what the CTR graph looks like. It shows your rate over time, and you can hover over the play buttons to see which videos produced certain rates:
The graph above is from the vidIQ channel. As you can see, our CTR is 5.1% for the last 28 days.
Scrolling down further reveals a chart showing how many impressions we received in that period.
What Is a Good Click-Through Rate?
At one point, YouTube stated that “half of all channels and videos on YouTube have an impressions CTR that can range between 2% and 10%.”
Is your CTR within this range? If so, don't set wild expectations for yourself. YouTube's general range for CTR is just extra information; if you're at 2%, don't fall in love with idea of reaching 10% anytime soon. Slow and steady improvements will take you where you need to be.
Also, be careful about how you interpret YouTube's general CTR range. If you’re a small creator getting 100 impressions per video, it only takes a consistent 20 viewers for a 20% click-through rate. Compare that to a large channel with 150,000 impressions and 10,000 views. That’s a 6.6% click-through rate.
No matter what the numbers say, put your CTR into perspective:
- Is your click-through rate high because you don’t have many videos?
- Or is it decreasing because YouTube is showing your content to more viewers? That could mean you have more impressions but fewer clicks as you reach a new audience. New viewers will need more convincing before they click.
How to Get a Good Click-Through Rate
Ready to get more video clicks? Here are six ways to boost your CTR on YouTube:
- Make sure your channel has enough videos (so YouTube can give you a realistic CTR).
- Give yourself a “benchmark” based on your current or all-time CTR. This is your starting point from which you'll slowly increase over time.
- Create thumbnails people want to click. YouTube is counting thumbnail views as impressions, but getting an actual “click” is important for your CTR. Make the thumbnail simple but interesting, with text that quickly explains the video’s value.
- Create juicy but relevant titles. Your video’s title is right next to the thumbnail, which gives you another chance to elicit a click. Do some keyword research to add relevant or trending phrases to your title.
- Write a good video description. Make sure it’s relevant and reinforces the title for search pages; descriptions are highly visible in this area.
- Make concise videos. In some areas of YouTube, viewers can see the length of a video overlaid on its thumbnail. Imagine a viewer coming to YouTube for a quick answer to one question. Will they click your video if it's an hour long?
One note about setting a CTR benchmark: how you do that is totally up to you. Our CTR on the vidIQ channel is 5.1% right now. But across the lifetime of our channel, it’s 6%. In that case, we might make 6% our true benchmark – which means we’d need to first meet and then exceed that rate.
A good click-through rate is ideal, but it’s not the only signal YouTube uses to grade your videos. Here’s a handy guide on how YouTube recommends your content to viewers.