YouTube Guide: How to Get More Views & Subscribers for Your Channel
Inside Secrets to Grow Your YouTube Channel Views and Increase Subscribers.
The million-dollar question on every YouTuber’s mind: How do I get more views and subscribers on YouTube?
YouTube views are really important. They don’t just a metric of how much people like your videos. Views are also an important YouTube ranking factor. In general, more quality views equates to higher positioning in YouTube search and in Suggested areas.
Quality views are keys and that is measured in two ways:
Audience retention: How many viewers watch your video from start to finish; if every viewer watches the whole video, that video has 100% retention.
Watch time: The total amount of time people watch your video
If you get more quality views on YouTube, your videos will rank better and earn more views organically. In fact, that’s something YouTube states explicitly:
OK, so that’s the secret to more YouTube views. Of course, there’s a catch-22; if you don’t have tons of views already, you won’t have tons of retention data and watch time. How do you go about earning those quality views on YouTube?
Whether you’re just launching a YouTube channel, or you’ve been established and want to drive more views to your existing and new videos, this article will help.
Our guide How to Get More Views and Subscribers on YouTube provides tips and strategies that can help you earn more views fast, covering the following topics for you:
In summary, this guide on how to get more views and subscribers on YouTube can help you supercharge your efforts on YouTube.
Use these tips to generate more views for your YouTube videos right now, and be sure to read to the bottom to learn everything you can about marketing and optimizing your YouTube channel.
How to Optimize Your Video for Search Clicks.
YouTube search is a significant source of traffic for all YouTube channels. But if you put in all the hard work to rank higher in YouTube search, it’s all for naught if your content doesn’t generate clicks.
This is one of the fastest ways to increase views on YouTube.
By making all your existing videos more clickable, you’ll improve the number of views each of those videos generate. So how do you do it? These are the most effective strategies for optimizing YouTube views for click-through rate:
Create Video Titles People Want to Click
Your titles should jump off the page! They’re the single greatest tool you have to encourage viewers to click. One solution: Instantly improve YouTube titles by using “Power Words,” an advertising term for words that elicit emotion.
Also, highlight a benefit that viewers will get from your video. For example, “8 Super Effective Strategies to Get More Views on YouTube” is much stronger than “8 YouTube Marketing Strategies.” (And keywords can help, which we’ll cover a little later.)
Bonus SEO Tip: Use the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer tool. This proves an instant check to see if your headline is working.
2. Create the Best YouTube Thumbnails: Use Bold Colors, Text, and Attention Grabbers.
Generic thumbnails are like white walls; they blend in, people don’t notice them. A well-crafted thumbnail can quickly generate more views.
Bonus SEO Tip: Make your thumbnails branded. All of your videos should have a recognizable, branded look. That will entice your existing viewers to click.
3. Write the Best Descriptions for Your YouTube Videos
All YouTube videos have a 125-character description that appears in search. Combined with an amazing title and thumbnail, the description can help you seal the deal.
Here’s one way you can be better: Don’t restate what you’ve already said in the title. Choose a new benefit and a keyword variation to target in your description.
4. Write Longer Scripts and On-Air Content for Your Videos. Longer = Better.
Quality videos generate more views on YouTube. And one of the No. 1 quality indicators for viewers is video length. (How differently do you judge a 30-second or 13-minute video?)
Another benefit: Longer videos ranking higher in YouTube and Suggested positions.
How to Keep Your YouTube Viewers Interested
& Engaged for Long Times.
So, you’ve put in all this hard work to get more video views on your YouTube videos.
Now, it’s important to keep those viewers engaged in your videos. How do you do that? Add “Video Cards” and “End Screens” to your videos.
What Are YouTube Cards and End Screens?
YouTube End of Video - Graphics and Screens:
End Screens show in the last 5-20 seconds of your video. You can use these to promote new videos, encourage subscriptions, or link to an external website.
As you will notice on the “Like and Share” text on this YouTube video, it’s clear that there are three things that the YouTube creator want:
(1) for viewers to like the video (meaning hit the thumbs “up”).
(2) for viewers to share the video with friends.
(3) for viewers to “hit subscribe” on their YouTube channel.
Note: all three actions will help YouTube creators get more subscribers and increase the number of video views they get.
Here’s an example of a card within a video YouTube growth hacker Nick Nimmin:
Cards: These are embedded links within a video that drive viewers to additional videos, playlists, YouTube channels, polls, or external links
Pro SEO Tip for YouTubers:
Create simple, accessible, and easy-to-read screen cards, and end-screens that convey a sense of professionalism and class for your business brand.
Examples of the best embeddable YouTube cards you can place within your videos.
Nick’s videos here are textbook examples of how to get your viewers to act (call-to-action) with a simple hand pointing to the YouTube card and a recommend “suggested” uploads that carry the viewers to the next logical video.
The next video features technology from YouTube’s “TrueView” advertising screens. This technology also creates an opportunity for marketers and YouTube creators to earn more money as viewers are less likely to hit “next” on these in-stream spots and overlays.
According to the TheNextWeb.com, the new TrueView cards will aim to encourage viewers to do something after watching an ad and engage with the advertiser.
Tips for Using YouTube Cards and End Screens to Maximize YouTube Views
Use YouTube Cards to Keep Viewers Interested, Longer.
Cards can be an effective strategy to boost viewer retention. Examine the retention stats on a video, and look for viewership drop-off points.
This is a great place to add a Card to an existing video.
In the following image, you will notice that the bulk of viewers drop in less than 60 seconds.
That means you have to be sure to add your cards within seconds before this drop off occurs.
Pro SEO Tip: Examine your retention stats in YouTube Analytics. Actively direct viewers – point to the Card and tell them what to expect – in your actual video.
2. Use Cards to Market Your High-Retention Videos
Explore your stats for existing videos. Do you have any high-retention views that aren’t generating tons of views? Let’s call these your High-Value Videos.
Cards are the perfect way to market your highest-quality content. Add a card to an existing video with a link to one of your High-Value Videos. This can be quick trick for generating quality views.
Additionally, these YouTube cards can help you grow more YouTube subscribers for your channel.
3. Create Custom Branded End Screens
A viewer has just watched your video until the end. In other words, they’ve shown huge interest in your YouTube brand.
By using a consistent branded experience on the End Screen, you eliminate any confusion. The videos, subscribe links and external links are all related to your brand.
4. Link to Relevant Related Content in Cards/End Screens
To maximize viewership and clicks on your Cards and End Screens, choose the highest-quality related content you have.
If you’re using external links, don’t just link to your homepage; link to a product a specific product page related to the video, or to a source you mention in the video.
Whatever subject, topic, or industry you are creating a video about, we cannot emphasize enough just how important it is that you have a “Call-to-Action” and end screen that fits your brand’s image.
How to Maximize Video Engagement to Generate More Views & Subscribers.
Engagement refers to how viewers interact with your content for at least one minute, or more. Next-level engagement is also when viewers go beyond just watching videos, but also comment, click, subscribe, or any other action you want to help accomplish your brand’s goals.
YouTube uses these primary metrics to quantify your video views and engagement:
And by improving engagement in each of these areas, your videos will start ranking better, generating more subscribers, and earning Suggested video positioning.
In fact, research shows a strong correlation between engagement metrics and rankings.
Here’s what more comments can do to improve your YouTube rankings:
Here are the most effective strategies for getting more engagement and longer views on YouTube:
Create a Pinned Comment on Every Video
YouTube allows you to pin a comment at the top of a video’s comment thread. When viewers see this, they’re much more likely to add a comment of their own.
Bonus SEO Tip: If you have quality related video or playlist on your channel, provide a link in the pinned comment for a quick lift in views. We highly recommend this strategy if you want to get more views on your YouTube videos.
2. Answer Every YouTube Viewer Comment Promptly (in less than 24 hours).
Stay connected with your audience and answer every comment. This will not only increase overall comments, but it personalizes the experience.
If viewers know you’re likely answer a question or respond to feedback, they will be much more motivated to comment.
And again, we always recommend replying to your YouTube viewers comments within 24 hours or less. YouTube’s algorithm does know exactly how engaged you are with your audience, which is why this is so important.
Interesting Statistic about YouTube: Also, YouTube engagement with your community can increase subscriber counts by 200% to 300% on average every year.
3. Ask A Question in Your Video to Generate Comments
At the end of every video, you might be tempted to say: “Subscribe and Like the Page on Twitter” or something along those lines. Asking a targeted question though can be a more effective strategy for driving engagement.
Choose questions related to the video and ask viewers to leave responses in the comments.
Quick SEO Tip: You don’t have to do this at the end; asking a question anytime during the video can help.
4. Publish Content When Most Viewers Are Active
A hot dog cart does the majority of its business at lunch. If a vendor chooses to start slinging dirty dogs at 3 p.m. every day… well, they’re missing out on their largest potential audience.
YouTube works the same way. Posting content when most people are active can help you maximize views. When’s the best time to publish YouTube videos?
According to data, the best time to post on social media, we have seen that YouTube viewers are most active:
Weekdays: Noon to 4 p.m. EST
Weekends: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. EST
Here’s a look at when the best time to publish on YouTube is:
Pro SEO YouTube Tip: Publish your YouTube videos Thursdays and Fridays to capture the large weekend audience.
5. Publish YouTube Videos on a Regular Schedule
Keeping a regular publishing schedule for your YouTube videos will bring viewers back to you page. If you are publishing and posting your videos sporadically, it will be much more difficult to increase your views.
A better solution: Commit to a regular schedule. If you’re serious about generating an audience on YouTube, a weekly video is a must, and twice-weekly is even better. Just remember to post videos on the same day(s) every week.
Bonus YouTube SEO Tip: Include what days people can expect new content on your channel’s banner image.
How to Promote Your YouTube Videos on Social Media and Other Sites
Chances are you’re sharing your videos on social media. (If you’re not, you should be!) Simply sharing video links on Facebook or Twitter, though, doesn’t generate a huge bump in views unless you already have a massive audience.
What can you do to promote your YouTube videos more effectively? These quick marketing tips will help you generate more views:
Market Your Videos to Existing Audiences
Forums like Reddit, Quora and countless niche websites are the perfect place to promote your videos. People on these sites often ask highly specific questions and they’re looking for content that can help answer those questions.
And that’s where a link to your video can come in.
Here’s how to promote your YouTube videos effectively, on forums where your audience is located:
Find forums in your niche (e.g. Reddit, Quora, Linkedin Groups) or search Quora for questions about your niche and post your YouTube videos on these sites.
Then create a genuine response to the original poster’s comment that includes a link to your YouTube video.
Be sure to respond to video comments and forum posts comments so as to increase the likelihood that your post is “upvoted.”
2. Promote your YouTube Videos on Facebook and Other Sites
By promoting your YouTube videos on other social media sites, you can also get more subscribers. Marketing YouTube videos on Facebook is hard! Facebook competes with YouTube on video, and therefore, you can’t embed videos directly into Facebook. That’s why just posting a link (even if you’ve got some catchy copy to go along with it) isn’t very effective.
Here’s a better way: Create a short trailer or use a compelling thumbnail for the video you use on Facebook. Then, link to the full video in the post or within the comments of the post. This is much more likely to drive views than a link.
Here’s an example from the Video Influencers Facebook page:
Pro SEO Tip: The first 24 hours after you post a video matter. YouTube wants to promote new content. Have a Facebook marketing plan in place before you hit publish.
3. Be Active in the YouTube Community
YouTube is one of the largest social networks in the world; 1.8 billion people use YouTube every month. For creators, that represents a huge opportunity to connect with potential videos.
This strategy is fairly simple: Subscribe to relevant channels, share relevant videos to your channel, leave comments and respond to other user’s questions on videos that you didn’t create. Sometimes sharing a link is OK. But it’s much more effective to leave a genuine, witty, insightful or helpful comment.
4. Promote Your Videos on Your Blog
If your company or channel has a website, you can embed videos directly in your blog. Optimize your business’ blog to a topic similar to the one you cover in your video. But use the blog to expand on the idea and add other helpful information.
Also, we recommend updating your company blog at least 3x per week with new content. And at least one of these days should be a video from your YouTube channel.
Pro SEO Tip: In you promote your blog with an email newsletter, a link to a blog with an embedded video is usually more effective than sending viewers right to the YouTube watch page. This is especially true, if your primary audience is at work when you send the email.
How to Optimize Your YouTube Videos with Keywords
Want to know “how to optimize your YouTube videos with the best keywords?” Indeed, video SEO is one of the quickest ways to increase YouTube views on new or existing videos. The key, though, is choosing the right keywords and building your videos around those keywords.
A well-optimized video has a better chance at ranking in YouTube Search than one that isn’t focused on a specific keyword phrase. And considering organic search can account for a significant portion of your views, this really matters.
Here are the best YouTube keyword optimization strategies:
Write Keyword-Rich Titles for YouTube Videos
In addition to using power words in every title, every title should contain your target keyword. You only need to use it once, but if you’re using an exact-match or close-variation keyword, your video will rank higher in search.
Here’s an example for the search term “DIY filmmaking tips”:
2. Add Keywords to Your YouTube Video Descriptions
Research doesn’t show a very strong correlation between a keyword-optimized description and higher rankings on YouTube. But optimizing your description can accomplish two goals:
A keyword-rich description can entice clicks (especially if you have a keyword in the brief description).
Keyword synonyms in longer description help YouTube understand what your video is about.
Pro SEO Tip: You don’t need to stuff your description with the same keyword over and over. Instead, use some variations of your keywords write naturally with an authentic voice to include these keywords in the appropriate sentences.
3. Use Video Tags to Target the Best Keywords
Creators have a choice to add video tags to their content before they publish. These are essentially keywords and keyword phrases related to the video, and they help YouTube understand what content is about. This is an easy YouTube video optimization strategy that’s often neglected.
4. Use YouTube Video transcripts and closed captions to improve rankings
YouTube generates closed caption scripts for popular videos. But creators can upload their own as well. This allows hearing-impaired viewers to watch your videos, as well as those watching on mute.
Plus, they can also be a helpful optimization strategy.
Here are our three main recommendations on how you can utilize YouTube video transcripts and closed captions to improve your video search results:
Write accurate content for your YouTube videos, meaning fact-check and have proper citations within.
As you are filming your YouTube videos, enunciate your words properly so that the transcription process is more accurate.
Once the video is published on YouTube, go through the video transcript and fix any inaccuracies. Also, at least three to four video keywords should be mentioned at least 1x in your YouTube videos.
5. Create Video Content That’s Likely to Appear in Google Search
Google incorporates YouTube videos into organic search results. You’ll see thumbnails or Video Carousels in the results. You can earn these coveted spots by targeting the right keywords.
In particular, searches for tutorials, reviews, fitness and funny stuff contain videos.
Pro SEO Tip: Target long-tail keywords in your videos that contain words like “how to” or “tutorial” to earn these passive YouTube views. Using one of the best SEO tools will also help you find these best “how to” videos on YouTube.
Increase YouTube Views and Subscribers by Creating Playlists.
Want to increase your YouTube views? Here’s a technique that works: create playlists that demonstrate to YouTube’s algorithm what is relevant and what isn’t.
Engagement metrics matter. And one of the most important is “session time.”
Session Time on YouTube = The amount of time a viewer spends on YouTube after clicking your video.
Videos that help YouTube maximize session time earn higher rankings and more Suggested recommendations. Fortunately, there’s a fairly simple way to increase your session time – video playlists.
Playlists are collections of videos that creators group together. They’re one of the most effective tools for increasing views and boosting session time for your channel.
The most effective strategies for using YouTube playlists include:
Create Compelling YouTube Playlist Titles
With playlists, titles are just as important as videos themselves. Be sure to add power words and focus on the benefits users will get from each playlist to the next. Creating compelling, interesting YouTube playlist titles is not only helpful for views, but also shows YouTube what types of audiences would want to view your videos.
In the example here of YouTube playlist titles, you will notice that the YouTube publisher is big into “Vlogs” and also is going to set this playlist public. We recommend you do the same with your YouTube videos.
2. Add Relevant Playlists to Every Video Description
Your longer descriptions are the perfect place to feature playlists. Add a link to any playlist that includes the video the viewer is watching, as well as any playlists related to the video topic. Generally, adding about three relevant links to your YouTube playlists is best.
Bonus SEO Tip: Adding a playlist link to a pinned comment is another way to get eyeballs on your content.
3. Market Playlists in Cards and End Screens
Cards are another effective tool for promoting playlists. You’ll generate more views when you actively pushing people to a relevant playlist.
On an End Screen, an embedded playlist can be more helpful at generating views than just a single video, as well.
As you can see from the example of the best YouTube cards and end screens to the right, there are many ways to encourage your viewers to continue watching your videos. After all, don’t you want them to subscribe and click follow on your YouTube channel? This will help you, big time.
4. Create Series Playlists to Earn Recommendations
Most playlists are just groups of related videos. Series playlists though are designed to be watched together. You might create a step-by-step instructional video, and then group the content together as a video series.
YouTube says that series playlists help determine which videos to recommend:
How to Optimize Your YouTube Channel for More Views and Subscribers
A perfectly designed channel page can be a source of significant viewership growth. This is a lead generator for your channel; subscribers and views are your lead. And if you haven’t optimized your channel page, you’ll start leaking traffic. YouTubers won’t choose to click on your videos and they’ll have no reason to subscribe.
The most powerful tips for optimizing your YouTube channel include:
Make Your YouTube Channel Banner Pop Off the Page
A great channel page experience starts with the banner. A perfect YouTube banner is branded and consistent with your thumbnails, it’s informative (add info about what days you post new content) and it looks professional.
And make sure you’ve added a subscribe button, as well as social media links.
Here’s a perfectly branded YouTube banner from Smosh, which is an excellent example of what your YouTube channel banner should look like (simple, clean branding that drives new subscribers):
2. Promote Playlist on Your Page
You can promote any of your content on your channel page. But one of the fastest ways to grow views is to feature playlists. Viewers can choose to watch all of a playlist or a single video or Play All videos in the list.
Here’s an example of how anyone can promote your playlists on your YouTube channel page:
Pro SEO Tip: Use benefit-rich and compelling titles for playlists. For example, this Smosh list might get more Play All clicks with a name like, “Our Most Hilarious Sketches of All Time.”
3. How to Create an Awesome YouTube Channel Trailer
When non-subscribers land on your page, they see a channel trailer. In a lot of ways, this is like a movie trailer or infomercial for your channel.
Making a strong trailer will help you turn visitors into subscribers, but even if they don’t hit subscribe, a great trailer can help you get visitors to watch videos featured on your homepage.
Start Strong –
Ask a magnetic question or state your target viewers’ problem. If you run an SEO firm, you might say: “Do you want to rank higher in Google search?”
Build Credibility –
Tell people why they can trust you. State your passion or experience with a topic or cite examples.
Use Visuals –
Great cutaways to compelling footage will increase retention on your channel trailer.
State Your Value –
Finally, state the benefits and value viewers will get from your trailer. A traveler vlogger might say: “I’ll take you to undiscovered corners of the world every Monday and Friday.”
Pro SEO Tip: Channel trailers should be short and sweet. A great length for your YouTube trailer video is 90 seconds.
4. Utilize YouTube Channel Keywords to Stand Out
Like video tags, channel keywords are phrases and words that creators add to the company’s About Us section. These don’t appear on the page for viewers, but instead are used by YouTube to understand the type of content that you make.
5. Optimize Your YouTube Channel’s “About Us” Page
Your About Us page receives a significant share of the clicks on your homepage. Write a descriptive 500-word blurb about your business or channel, and provide visitors with useful information. A well-optimized About Us page can help you earn subscribers.
How to Earn YouTube’s “Suggested Video Positions” to Supercharge Your Views
Want to be featured in YouTube’s suggested video position…to be a recommended video on YouTube?
Ever wondered how YouTube selects content for those “Up Next” suggestions in the right-hand column?
The truth is there are many factors. A YouTuber’s search history, for example, can have a significant impact. But the content of the video can as well. In other words, your Up Next suggestions might include a few videos you watched earlier in the week, as well as one that’s similar to the video you’re watching right now.
To earn more views, it’s helpful to earn the Suggested positions in related searches.
Here are the best helpful tips for earning Suggested spots on YouTube:
Improve Upon Popular Videos in Your Niche
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to earn Suggested positions. A much more effective way is actually to emulate competitors. Search for highly watched videos in your niche. Then, develop a video that’s better, e.g. more in-depth, more professionally produced, or more focused.
Pro SEO Tip: Optimize your 10x better video around the same keyword. This helps YouTube understand the relationship.
2. Create Content for a Highly-Targeted YouTube Audience
When you try to reach everyone, you reach no one. If your channel is focused on “business owners” for example, your videos could cover thousands of topics. But if your channel is focused on “business owners that want to master SEO,” your videos will have specific value for a highly niche audience.
And that matters in Suggested videos. By targeting an audience on your page and with your videos, YouTube will better understand the relationship between your channel and the channel of the video that’s being watched.
Pro SEO Tip: Continually refine the efforts on your channel and create a clear value proposition for a defined audience.
3. Your Thumbnail and Title Matters A Lot for Subscribers
When you start earning Suggested recommendations, make sure you’re being compelling. Again, a strong title and a branded thumbnail will help you build credibility and earn a click.
How to Start Generating More Views and Increasing Subscribers on YouTube.
Growing a YouTube channel and earning more views for your videos is hard work. And that’s why so many channels and businesses fail on YouTube – they expect overnight success.
The truth is there are many small strategies that you can use to generate more views. Creators that focus on their efforts on being more thorough in the promotion and marketing will have a serious leg up on the competition.
The good news for you, the YouTube creator: You now have a ton of helpful tips for generating more views and subscribers on YouTube. Using these strategies across your channel can help you supercharge your growth.
Last Recommended Steps for Your YouTube Channel…
Get help with your YouTube channel views and subscribers.
>> Contact Vail Networks’ digital marketing team to help you achieve new levels of brand followers and video views. <<
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