How to get more views on YouTube | 5 key strategies that work fast

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Creating valuable video content can take hours, not to mention all the time spent planning and strategizing. So the last thing you want is for your time and effort to go to waste.

Which means you need your videos to get views.

Without views, you can’t reach any goal for your content, whether it’s to monetize your channel, build your authority, or drive people to your website.

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When you increase your YouTube views, you can…

  • Increase conversions
  • Get more opportunities to leverage your content for income
  • Improve key metrics, like watch time
  • Rank higher in YouTube search results (for even more views!)

So, how do you get there?

Keep reading to find out how to get more views on YouTube.

How to get more views on YouTube | 5 key strategies that work fast

Focus on YouTube SEO

Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world? (Just behind Google.)

That’s right. Unlike some social media platforms (like Facebook), YouTube functions more like a search engine. This is great news for you. Why?

Because it means you can optimize your content to show up in YouTube search results and get more views. This process is YouTube search engine optimization or SEO.

There are two major steps to YouTube SEO: 1) Find the right keywords, and 2) Use your keywords in your content in the right way.

Find the right keywords

To find the right keywords for your video, start with YouTube search suggestions. Type in a phrase or word that is related to your video and see what YouTube suggests you complete your search with.

For example, typing in “how to macrame” reveals plenty of search suggestions that might be relevant keywords for a new video on macrame:

YouTube Search Suggest reveals common searches related to your video topic. Image via YouTube.
YouTube Search Suggest reveals common searches related to your video topic. Image via YouTube.

You can also review a popular video on the same topic as your video to see which keywords they used. Most knowledgeable YouTubers will repeat certain key phrases in the title and description of their video.

For example, this video by Soulful Notions features the phrase “macrame plant hanger” three times in the title and description. This creator likely optimized this video for “macrame plant hanger,” and has received over 141,000 views.

So if “macrame plant hanger” is a relevant search term for your video, you have proof that this keyword works.

Check the video titles and descriptions of popular videos on your topic to find keywords. Image via Soulful Notions YouTube channel.
Check the video titles and descriptions of popular videos on your topic to find keywords. Image via Soulful Notions YouTube channel.

Finally, once you have a list of keywords that are relevant for your video, it’s time to choose the top keyword.

The best way to determine your top keyword is to compare the competition of the keywords. Competition means how many other videos are competing to rank for that term. You should aim for a keyword with low competition and high relevance to your video.

How- to: One easy way to check the competition of your keywords is to see how many YouTube search results come up. More search results = higher competition. Fewer search results = lower competition.

Put your keyword in the right places

Once you’ve determined your top keyword, you need to put it in the right places. This ensures that YouTube can see that your video is highly relevant to the search term (and therefore will show your video higher up in the search results).

How- to:

Here’s where to put your top keyword:

  • Beginning of video title
  • Beginning of video description
  • At least once more in the video description
  • Video tags

To learn more about YouTube SEO, check out our in-depth guide to YouTube SEO in 2020.

Increase watch time

Watch time is one of the key metrics YouTube considers when deciding how to rank your video in search results or whether to recommend your video to a user. It’s an important metric to focus on if you’re wondering how to get your YouTube video seen.

What is watch time?

Watch time is the total time people spend watching videos on your channel. Be careful; it’s not how long people spend watching a single video.

Watch time is important on YouTube because the more people stick around to watch more of your videos, the more YouTube assumes your videos are high quality.

Here are some strategies for improving watch time:

Create “binge-worthy” content to keep people watching beyond one video

If you can get people to watch more than one video on your channel, your watch time will increase. So, design your videos like a series meant to be watched together.

Video series not only keep people watching longer, but they also help avoid the problem of viewers clicking off your channel to “learn more” from someone else.

Once you’ve created your binge-worthy series, you must make sure viewers are aware by:

  • Mentioning other videos in your series in every video
  • Linking to other videos in the video description
  • Creating playlists of related videos

For inspiration, check out YouTuber Cathrin Manning’s lists of playlists, each around a different topic:

Creating playlists of videos on one topic helps keep viewers watching your channel longer. Image via Cathrin Manning’s YouTube channel.
Creating playlists of videos on one topic helps keep viewers watching your channel longer. Image via Cathrin Manning’s YouTube channel.

Analyze where viewers “drop off” in your videos

In your YouTube analytics, you can see when viewers tend to exit your video. If you find a “drop off” pattern, experiment with changing the structure of your videos to avoid this drop off trigger.

Alternatively, you can insert YouTube cards right at the common drop off points. These cards direct viewers to another video of yours, prompting them to stay on your channel even if they leave that video.

Create quality, engaging content that keeps viewers’ attention

The simplest way to increase watch time is to create content that viewers want to watch. And this looks different for every channel.

But we do have some best practices to help you keep your videos engaging:

  • Include branded intros and outros
  • Use music in the background to set the tone
  • Incorporate “B roll” clips to break up the visual of you talking to the camera, help viewers visualize your content and keep things interesting
  • Use effects and transitions to keep viewers’ attention and drive home key points
  • Zoom in to highlight important points and make your video more dynamic

For inspiration, check out this branded outro exit screen by YouTuber Kelechi Mgbemena:

A branded outro and exit screen is one strategy to make your videos engaging. Image via Kelechi Mgbemena’s YouTube channel.
A branded outro and exit screen is one strategy to make your videos engaging. Image via Kelechi Mgbemena’s YouTube channel.

Improve clickthrough rate

Your clickthrough rate is a measure of how many people are clicking on your video, of the people who see your video in their feed, search results or elsewhere.

In other words, it’s the number of clicks on the video divided by the total impressions for video. And more clicks means more views!

Clickthrough rates vary by industry and vertical, but most averages fall under 1%. So, if you get a clickthrough rate above 1%, you can know your efforts are working!

But how do you increase your clickthrough rate?

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ConvertKit landing pages were designed by world-class pros to be fully customizable and give you the quick data to improve your conversion rates and grow your business.



Here are a few easy strategies:

Optimize your thumbnail images

One of the features that impacts clickthrough rate is your video thumbnail. So, don’t just choose the default thumbnail. Instead, deliberately create your thumbnail to encourage more clicks.

YouTube channel Little Monster Media Co. recommends the following:

  • Use multiple faces in your thumbnail (if possible)
  • Show a face with strong emotion in your thumbnail
  • Use red, yellow, and green in your thumbnail to stand out

For example, this video thumbnail image by D. Signers features the creator’s face with a strong emotion + yellow graphics.

Optimize your thumbnail image for more clicks by including a face showing strong emotion. Image via YouTube search results.
Optimize your thumbnail image for more clicks by including a face showing strong emotion. Image via YouTube search results.

Optimize your video title

Aside from your thumbnail, the only other thing people have to decide whether to click your video is the title. So, make sure your title promotes a high clickthrough rate.

YouTube channel Video Creators recommends the following:

  • Highlight the type of person you made your video for (instead of just the topic of the video) in your title
  • Keep your title highly relevant to the video (or risk annoying viewers)

For example, YouTuber Joelle Anello tailors the title of her videos to her audience:

Call out the audience your video is for in your video title to increase your clickthrough rate. Image via YouTube search results.
Call out the audience your video is for in your video title to increase your clickthrough rate. Image via YouTube search results.

Encourage engagement

If you’re struggling with how to get your YouTube video seen, consider focusing on engagement.

One of the ways YouTube determines the value of your video is by how much engagement it receives. Engagement includes any interaction with your video from viewers, such as comments, likes, shares, and subscribes.

It’s not enough for people to view your video to promote even more views. They must engage before YouTube considers your video worthy of higher ranking and frequent recommending.

So how do you get more engagement for your videos?

Stick within a niche

When viewers rely on your channel for specific information or entertainment, they’re more likely to be invested in your channel. This means viewers are more likely to subscribe, comment, and like. In other words, engage!

This is why YouTube channel Video Influencers recommend sticking within a niche for your content. Your niche could be topic-based, such as digital marketing. Or it could be style-based, such as vlogging.

Include strategic calls to action

What’s the best way to get what you want? To ask for it!

This is why creator Mike Sherrard suggests including plenty of calls to action in your videos to ask people to engage with your content.

The key is to make your calls to action as specific as possible. In other words, direct viewers to do one specific thing, instead of asking for general engagement.

This can look like:

  • Asking viewers to click a card during a video to learn more about something you mentioned
  • Pinning a comment with a call to action for viewers to leave their own comment in response
  • Asking viewers verbally during your video to share, subscribe, leave a comment, or like your video
  • Including an end screen with a final call to action (such as to subscribe or watch a second video)

For example, check out this pinned comment by creator Crazy Plant Guy, where he asks viewers to share their own tip in the comments section:

Pin an easy call to action in the comments of your videos to increase engagement. Image via Crazy Plant Guy YouTube channel.
Pin an easy call to action in the comments of your videos to increase engagement. Image via Crazy Plant Guy YouTube channel.

Promote your video

You can drive up your views by promoting your video to your audience outside of YouTube. This strategy works especially well for creators who are new to YouTube and may be struggling to get noticed within the platform.

Here’s how:

Embed your video in a blog post or web page

Embedded post views count toward total views and can help get more exposure for your channel and videos.

So if you have a website or blog, embed relevant videos into your pages. Every person who visits your page has a good chance of clicking and watching your embedded video–driving up your view count!

Embed your YouTube videos into web pages and blog posts to increase your views. Image via Mike Glatzer Photography.
Embed your YouTube videos into web pages and blog posts to increase your views. Image via Mike Glatzer Photography.

Promote your videos across other social media channels

YouTube isn’t the only platform where users love video content. Instagram and Facebook are both video-friendly, making it easy to repurpose your YouTube content.

Posting YouTube videos to your Instagram or Facebook account helps you get more mileage out of your hard work. Plus, cross-promotion helps more people find your YouTube channel. You can even deliberately drive traffic from your Instagram account to your YouTube channel.

Start getting more views on YouTube today

Views may not be the most important metric on YouTube, but it is a necessary metric. If your videos aren’t getting seen, it’s impossible to improve watch time, clickthrough rate, and more.

At the same time, every metric lifts up another. Higher engagement, clickthrough rates, and watch time mean YouTube will rank and recommend your video more favorably… which leads to even higher views!

So, how to get more views on YouTube?

Focus on improving key metrics like watch time, clickthrough rates, and engagement, and also drive more views through YouTube SEO and cross-promotion.

Get YouTube subscribers to join your email list

If you already have subscribers and viewers but want to grow your channel more, invite subscribers to join your email list. This way, you can send new video notifications directly to subscribers.

The best way to incentivize YouTube subscribers to join your email list is to create an irresistible freebie download.

To learn more about how to turn YouTube subscribers into email subscribers, check out our in-depth guide.

Encourage YouTube subscribers to join your email list by offering a free download in the video description. Image via Productive Co.’s YouTube channel.
Encourage YouTube subscribers to join your email list by offering a free download in the video description. Image via Productive Co.’s YouTube channel.
Include an email opt-in for your freebie download. Image via Productive Co.
Include an email opt-in for your freebie download. Image via Productive Co.

With ConvertKit’s Free plan you can easily set up a landing page to deliver your freebie to incentivize your YouTube subscribers.

Watch this video to find out how to create a landing page in minutes:

The post How to get more views on YouTube | 5 key strategies that work fast appeared first on ConvertKit.

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