Nothing can be more frustrating than putting your heart and soul into making a video only to watch it sit viewless once you upload it to YouTube. If you’re making videos and putting them online, odds are you want people to watch them, right? That’s why we’ve put together a list of six quick and easy tips to help you get more YouTube views.
In this list, we’ll be focusing on quick tips that’ll only take you a few minutes to put into action. However, it’s important to note that in order for them to work it’s important that you are creating good content. The harsh reality is that with over 100 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, your content is going to have to be good if you want it to stand out. But once you’ve asked the right questions and put the time into making sure your content is worth watching, these six tips should help you proliferate views across your YouTube channel.
Optimize Your Titles, Descriptions & Tags
In order for people to watch your videos, they need to find them. That’s where metadata (aka all the text that goes along with your videos – your titles, descriptions and tags) come in. If you leave your title, description and tags blank, your videos won’t show up in search results. The same goes for videos with poorly-formulated metadata. So take a few extra minutes to really put some thought into it when writing the text that will accompany your video.
Your titles should be eye-catching, while also containing relevant keywords. Think about the terms that viewers are likely to search for when trying to find content similar to your video and use them in your title. If you need help, YouTube’s Keyword Suggestion Tool can help you come up with ideas (complete with data about how many people are searching for specific keywords and terms on a monthly basis).
You should also try to keep your title as short as possible – somewhere around 50 – 55 characters is ideal. Although YouTube allows you to create longer titles, they will be truncated with an ellipse (…) in search results as well as on your video page. Do your best to create a title that is short enough that potential viewers will be able to see the entire thing.
Your description is the perfect place to squeeze in all the relevant keywords that you couldn’t fit in your title. Use the space to provide as much information about your video as possible, in addition to including links to your website, social networks, related videos, and other relevant info.
Keep in mind, though, that like your title, if your description is longer than a certain number of characters it won’t be readily viewable in search results or on your video page. YouTube search results will truncate your description after about 80 characters and only the first 200-or-so characters will show underneath your video before the viewer clicks “Show more,” so make sure the beginning of your description, like your title, is eye-catching and enticing.
YouTube recently hid tags on video pages, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as important as they always were when it comes to people discovering and watching your videos. Use the Keyword Suggestion Tool (and your noggin) to list as many potential search terms you can think of. What would you search for if you were looking for content similar to your video? Note that you can also account for singular and plural versions, as well as common misspellings when you write your tags.
It’s also important to point out that your title, description and tags aren’t set in stone. If you don’t seem to be getting any views, try changing up your metadata and see if it helps. You can also change things up to fit with current events and trends, if your content is fitting. For example, a video about how to cook a turkey could be fitting for Thanksgiving or Christmas, and a video featuring a sweet costume you wore to Comic-Con could be relevant again during Halloween.
Choose an Eye-Catching Thumbnail
When you upload a video to YouTube, the site will automatically create three thumbnails for you that you can choose from under Info & Settings. If you don’t like the selection they give you, you can upload your own (provided your account is in good standing). Along with your title and the beginning of your description, the thumbnail is the first thing viewers will see when deciding whether or not to watch your video, so make sure you choose something interesting that will make potential viewers want to click and watch.
Of course, it’s important not to use inaccurate thumbnails as bait, just to get viewers to click. So choose something that accurately represents your content, but looks nice.
Post Video Responses
Posting your videos as video responses on popular related videos is a super quick and easy way to get more views. When you post a video response, it will show up prominently right beneath the video you post it to and viewers of that video can easily click through to watch your video.
You have to be careful with this one though – video responses are meant to allow YouTubers to respond in a way that adds something to the experience of viewers of the original video. For this reason, you should choose a video that you believe will draw the same sort of audience that will gain something from watching your video.
Want to add a video response? Just go to the video that you want to respond to, click your cursor in the comment box and then click on the ‘Create a video response’ link.
You’ll then be able to choose a video from your channel to post as a video response. Note that each one of your videos can only be posted as a video response to one video at a time.
Help Viewers Consume More With Annotations
When it comes to getting more views, it’s not just about getting new viewers to discover your content. It’s also about getting the people that are already watching your videos to watch more of your videos, and one of the best ways to do this is with annotations. Annotations not only let you add notes on top of your videos or ask people to “SUBSCRIBE!” but they also allow you to link from one video to another.
You can add annotations by clicking the little speech bubble ‘Annotations’ button right underneath your video on the YouTube video page. From there, click the ‘Add Annotation’ button and select an annotation type. All except the ‘Title’ annotation are linkable. To add a link, check the link box at the bottom of the page and copy-paste the video url into the box. Remember to include some kind of text explaining to viewers that if they like the video they’re currently watching they should click to watch your other great video.
Creating an annotation asking viewers to subscribe is also a great way to increase your views. Your subscribers are your loyal viewers. They’re notified every time you upload a new video, so the more subscribers you have, the more views you’ll get right off the bat.
Get organized with Sections
This one goes along with the above idea that a big part of getting more YouTube views is getting people that are already watching your videos to watch more of them. Organizing your videos and playlists into sections is a great way to get viewers to do just that.
Many YouTube channels, particularly those with a ton of content, can be challenging to navigate. With so much to choose from, it can be hard to decide what to watch next, which often times results in viewers clicking away to watch someone else’s content. Make things easy on your viewers, while enticing them to delve deeper into your content and watch more, by organizing your videos and playlists into sections.
Sections are a relatively new YouTube feature, launched along with the One Channel design, that let you curate sets of videos that play back, playlist-style, video after video after video. This means that viewers can view your content in a leanback environment.
To create a section, just scroll down to the bottom of your YouTube channel page and click the Add a section button.
For our purposes, you’ll want to create a section from a ‘Single playlist’ or from a ‘Tag’, though you can also create sections of videos that you like, recent posts, recent activities and other channels.
You can easily select a playlist you’ve already created or select a tag that you’ve used on a variety of videos. You may want to come up with a number of distinct tags that you know you’ll use specifically when you want a video to show up in a particular section.
Ask and you shall receive!
Finally, when trying to get more views on your videos it never hurts to ask for help. Share your videos with your friends and family on your social networks and ask them to watch and, if they like them, to share them with their friends.
Do you have any tips for getting more YouTube views? We’d love to hear them! Feel free to share them in the comments below. And if you’ve made it to the end of this lengthy post, congratulations! And now… let’s dance!