YouTube is inarguably the biggest platform for video creators to potentially reach millions of people around the globe. The problem many creators face is how to get those views.
If you’re a marketer or content developer looking to boost your YouTube views for free, the process can take time and effort. But if done correctly, you’ll be rewarded with more views, a better user experience, and opportunities to grow your content and audience.
Like most major social media platforms, YouTube operates on an algorithm that suggests videos that a particular user will most likely be interested in to keep them on YouTube for longer. This data is collected from the user’s viewership history and engagement on videos they have watched in the past.
Thankfully, YouTube’s algorithm considers a wide range of variables when determining which videos are the best and should appear at the top of its search results. This algorithm is vital in determining if your video makes it onto the suggested and trending page.
Whether you’re just starting a YouTube channel for the first time or you’re seeking new ways to gain viewers, it’s important to stay on top of the latest methods.
So, here’s 10 of the best practices for getting more YouTube views (bonus: don’t miss the 3 mistakes you’ll definitely want to avoid).
10 Best Practices For Getting More YouTube Views
1.) Allow Ads On Your Videos
If you’re trying to monetize your blog, allowing YouTube to run advertisements can be a great start. But if you don’t use the right kind of ad placements for your video, it can drive away viewers. If your video is longer, it’s reasonable to run an ad in the middle. Shorter videos should stick to ads placed at the beginning or end of the video. Even though studies show that visual attention is higher for advertisements on YouTube than on TV, you shouldn’t expect viewers to watch more advertising than content. So before you check yes to placing ads in every place you can, consider the perspective of the viewer.
2.) Keyword Optimization
For each of your videos, it’s imperative to embed unique keywords in specific areas. Creating strands of keywords for each video will improve the reach of your video. It will also place your video in front of the right crowd. If you haven’t been customizing your keywords for each video, you can open the data from previous videos by going to “Videos” in your YouTube Studio Dashboard.
TITLES: Write Youtube Titles that are descriptive and keyword rich. Picking a good title is critical. Your title should not give everything about your video away but should be intriguing enough that someone would want to click on it with the promise of what the title is delivered in the video. A engaging and descriptive title accomplishes two goals: it provides keywords for the algorithm to sort for relevancy, and it attracts viewers and informs them about the video’s content. You can do your keyword research through a keyword planner provided by Google. Go to keyword planner and select YouTube search on the far right to see how common a keyword is on YouTube. By reminding users and search engines of what your video is about, optimizing your video content for the right keywords can help you gain organic views.
DESCRIPTIONS: The video description informs the viewer what the video is about without giving too much away. You can think of it as a meta-description except for YouTube. A description that stands out and captures the viewers’ interest increases the click-through rate, thus generating more views. Entice users with keywords you know they are looking out for when they search for a particular video. An excellent format to follow is to have a strong introduction of approximately 2-3 sentences, an outline that is about 150 words, and links to relevant websites and your social handles.
TAGS: Video tags help create a niche for your video and your content so that the algorithm understands what viewers may be interested in when they watch your video and those like it. Tags, therefore, push videos with relevant tags to the forefront of a user’s suggestion page, increasing viewership. The best place to put these phrases is at the bottom of your description. But also remember to change the automatically generated keywords in the “Extras” section.
Pro Tip: It can also be useful to keep a notepad or Word document with common keywords for you to add to your videos. Keeping this list can help you generate these words faster and cut down your uploading time.
Include keywords in these places:
- Video Description
3.) YouTube Subscribe Watermark
The more subscribers you have, the more likely viewers are going to see your posts. But how do you draw viewers into subscribing? By creating a “subscribe” watermark for your videos. Creating your own “subscribe” watermark is simpler than it may look. In YouTube Studio, select Settings > Channel > Branding. From this screen, you can choose an image for your branding watermark and the amount of time you would like it displayed on your video. Make sure the image design catches the eye and matches your channel.
Pro Tip: Casually reminding viewers in your video to subscribe and click the Notification Bell can be a great way to also invite new viewers to subscribe. This method is especially effective if you make it fun or unique to your channel.
4.) Aim to Entertain or Teach
There are two reasons most people watch YouTube: to be entertained or to learn something. If your videos are doing one or both of these actions, then you’re in a good place. The more entertaining or informative your videos are, the more likely people will share them, talk about them, and gain trust in your content. Gaining consistent subscribers and viewers in the key to growing your YouTube channel.
5.) Create YouTube Playlists
If you’re a content creator that dabbles in several different kinds of videos, you may have noticed that some of your videos will get different responses. Some viewers may only want to watch certain types of videos you’ve made. But how do they find all your past videos for these categories? One way to help viewers find the content they are looking for is to create playlists for each category of videos you make. Creating playlists generates a “binge-watch” mentality with viewers. It also gains you more consistent views.
Playlists give top-performing channels an extra edge over other channels simply because of Auto-play. From a viewer’s perspective, it takes effort to pull your attention away from an entertaining video, so it is much easier for videos to keep playing.
The concept of loss aversion states that people feel more significant pain from losing something than gaining the equivalent. This can be visualized so that an individual is likely to work harder to keep $100 than earn $100. Auto-play uses this concept to keep viewers on YouTube. So instead of the ‘loss’ of clicking away from a video, a viewer would instead continue watching. Use this to your advantage by curating a playlist that the viewer is likely to watch for longer.
Pro Tip: Spend time organizing your playlists. It may seem logical to place them chronologically, but also consider the flow and topics of each video so they blend seamlessly together.
6.) Balance Following Trends and Creating Unique Content
Sometimes referred to as “newsjacking”, creating videos about current trends can generate more views for your channel easily. Once a trend is picked up on YouTube, you’ll find everyone releasing videos about the same subject or content, hoping to catch the tailwind of viewers. The problem with many of these videos is that they regurgitate the same content without offering anything new or unique. There’s nothing wrong with creating content that people are already interested in, but try to create something unique which has your spin on it. Be sure that what you create is true to your channel’s themes and other videos.
7.) Create Relationships For Guest YouTuber Appearances
Creating bonds between like-minded channels can be a great way to increase viewership. Even writing engaging comments on popular posts can draw people’s attention to your own channel. Try contacting similar channel creators and ask if they’d like to do a collaboration video. Having popular YouTuber guests on your posts can draw in new viewers, but it can also create a sense of community for both of your channels’ subscribers. Collaborations are a massive part of the YouTube community. When YouTubers collaborate, they increase viewership by attracting viewers from all the parties involved and introducing them to other content creators similar and in the same community.
8.) Be Present in Your Content Community
Engagement with your viewers and community is on the rise. This is because the viewer feels that they have established an authentic and organic relationship with their content creator. Doing so increases the chances that viewers care about your brand and are likely to subscribe and expand your knowledge and understanding of your particular audience.
9.) Link Your YouTube Videos on Your Social Media Pages
People that are in contact with you on other social media platforms will have an easier time getting to know your YouTube channel and the content you create with just one click. Pushing traffic from your social media profile to your YouTube channel also helps out with the algorithm as your video is seen as a source of clicks from other websites.
10.) Use cards and end screens
These tools help promote other videos from your channel and are a call-to-action. Doing so ties in with the concept of loss aversion used in auto-play. Cards are a tool that pops up at certain times during your video, relevant to what content you are going through at that moment. An end screen is a frame at the end of your video that wraps things up and suggests other videos created by you. This keeps viewers on your channel and increases the viewership of your other videos.
There you have it, ten steps that you can take to increase your viewership. Above all, focus on creating great content for your target audience. Then optimize your content with the above tips and watch your viewership grow.
Gone are the days where YouTube trending videos revolved around funny, strange cats and dogs on skateboards. More than 500 videos get produced every minute on the platform.
YouTube is now a thriving platform with various topics and subjects for everyone. It’s time to get your business on Youtube and start generating an additional stream of traffic to your website.
but what about the 3 mistakes to avoid?
3 biggest mistakes to avoid:
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If I ever need to get clicks I know who to go to! I thought about starting a podcast at one point in time but I have some pretty unique things I am interested in and always worried about gathering an audience. With the use of SEO and keywords like you talk about, I think I might actually be able to get some attention on a future page I’ve been thinking about creating. I’m glad I ran across this and am looking at your page before I ever started. I don’t know how someone. I don’t know how someone would start creating without reading things like this first.
I think one important thing that many new creators miss on Youtube is creating a niche. I am someone who has a lot of different types of interests and knowledge, but if I were to create a youtube channel it would be important to narrow down what the page is for. Most viewers will be more likely to subscribe if they know more of the same content they enjoy will be coming from that page. If a creator’s videos are all over the place you aren’t likely to gain a sustainable following. As soon as the content is no longer applicable to them, they will unsubscribe and never look back. Narrow down what you want your content to be, and then follow the steps above to keep your audience engaged and on the edge of their seat for your next video.
This might sound a bit cheesy, but hear me out. Especially during this day and age, whether you’re teaching someone calculus or making comedy sketches for kids, it’s essential to be yourself and to convey your personality through your channel. As of now, Gen Z and Millenials make up the largest demographic on Youtube, Twitch, and social media. These two generations especially value authenticity, honesty, and kindness. Though they also value content, learning, and laughs, they also value the source of that content: aka, who you are as a creator, and how you treat others. So definitely keep this in mind! An interesting video or an informative clip might bring in views, but being a likeable person and conveying that through your medium can keep people committed and watching, even as your content evolves.
This space makes me very nervous! I’ve only recently begun making videos, and the ratio of views is really low. I was so worried, but thanks for the insight; it clarifies some of the adjustments I’ve observed and will need to make for YouTube.
Taylor, this is super helpful! Even though I am over 40 years old, I am brand new to Youtube content creation. Boy, have I been missing out! I am currently working on a video podcast and have found playlist creations to be an untapped resource. Before, I was having trouble organizing all my favorite videos. Now, I have a place to reference back to favorite videos under my own profile. Plus, being able to benefit from the SEO is just the icing on the cake! I am enjoying building playlists because it helps me see what kind of content I should focus on.
This is a really good guide to the more technical aspect of of Youtube! You always have to know the ins and outs. I think what people need to understand is that you need to be into Youtube because you enjoy it. Earning money isn’t 100%, nor is views. You have to make content you care about and believe in, otherwise no one else is going to be interested in it. If you wouldn’t watch it, neither would anyone else. You just have to go out there and try your best to have fun, that’s what people want to see.
I hate ads on YouTube videos! There was an instructional video that had over 10 ads, which cause the instructional video to play an ad very 5 minutes. Needless to say, I didn’t finish the video, because it was too time consuming, and I hated how the ads kept interrupting the instructions. I think ads should be at the beginning, middle, or end and no more than just that.
I really like your idea of aiming to entertain and also to teach. According to statistica.com, Almost 77 percent of youtube viewers are actually at age 15-25. Thus It’s very crucial in this stage for young adults to learn from the people they subscribe to on youtube.
I strongly agree with item number 6. Everyone seems to be doing purely prank vlogs, forgetting that prank vlogs are not purely income generators. Most of them ride into the bandwagon but slowly fade in the background as they missed out creating their own brand. Honestly, as a new YouTuber, I am quite worried about getting low view counts but will focus on creating my own identity as a music practitioner.
It’s interesting that YouTube leads to more people watching ads than when they’re on TV, but I think this overlooks when the content creator is making the advertisement. My advice for YouTubers is when making an advertisement for a sponsor, make it fun and engaging. I have watched YouTubers that make their ads so funny that I will keep watching the video in the end to see the entire ad. This I think makes the YouTuber not only get more sponsors, but also more viewers. If a YouTuber can make even an ad engaging, I have no doubt that I’d be more likely to subscribe. A counterpoint is trying too hard to get views and utilizing clickbait in particular. Scamming people by tricking viewers into thinking a video contains something it does not will lead to more dislikes and that does not seem, to me, worth the extra views.
One thing that also helps create traffic on YouTube is posting videos a few times a week. This increases your video’s algorithm. Like others have stated, I find ads to be very annoying. If they are at the end of a video, I just exit from the video. I do like the ads where you can skip after 5 seconds. There are some of those that catch my attention, and I will watch them to the end. Sometimes I even click on it to learn more. When I start watching YouTube normally, it is to either find out certain information or someone has suggested a video I might find interesting. Some of them I do find interesting enough to continue watching other videos.
Hey Taylor, Breaking into the YouTube market can look daunting for a first-time content creator. Thank you for breaking down ten tips on how to get to the top. I would put a big emphasis on engaging with the audience in the comments section. You also talked about having some ads throughout the video, but possibly cutting down. It is a hard pill to swallow that reducing the monetization of ads could possibly increase views. I understand that it is a long-term game to gain followers.
Overall, producing quality followers and asking them up front to subscribe are great techniques. Farther along in the Youtube success, someone could be open with viewers about their subscription goals. “Help me reach 10,000 subscribers.’
Viewers are willing to help their favorite Youtuber.
Thank you for clearing up in this post some things that have been a mystery to me. I know some things aren’t allowed on YouTube, such as buying views, or once you reach a certain threshold, counting new views from simply refreshing the page.
I am definitely going to take a closer look at some of the keywords I use when posting videos, as I think that is the best way to grow a view count and overall audience.
I recently took a class on SEO best practices, where they even recommended using a keyword tool like KeywordTool.io to discover the most searched keywords for your topic.
There are so many people that utilize YouTube for views and turn it into income. I find myself guilty of falling into a hole of watching YouTube videos. The first tip threw me off because as a viewer I hate ads interrupting videos. You mentioned an important aspect which is to be careful. Too many ads drives viewers away there needs to be just enough and they need to be placed correctly. My other favorite tip is as a viewer I love organized playlists. I can zero in on what will really captivate me instead of looking through everything that coupled with good thumbnails truly draws me in. These are great tips for newbies and those who are seasoned but looking for more views over all.
There’s a survey that says most kids are now listing “YouTuber” as their ideal career when they grow up. Being a video content creator can bring in some lucrative money, but I hope more resources like this blog can help teach future creators that there’s more to the job than just filming themselves doing whatever they please.
The tips are worth noting. I took a quick look at some of the YouTube channels that I follow and almost all of them have all those tips ticked. Enabling ads may not be possible for those who are just starting, but the rest are definitely doable.
I think it’s interesting that the number one way to generate views is to allow ads on videos. As a viewer who’s always annoyed by ads, this seems counterintuitive. Is there any chance that you could write a follow-up blog that explores this topic further? It would be a fascinating subject to dive into. Additional information about the benefits of things like Playlists, not just using them for “binge-watching,” would be helpful, too. Exploiting the addictive nature of YouTube seems like a negative practice to me. Perhaps that’s just me being too “old-fashioned,” but I’d like to think there are better ways to attract viewers by focusing on topics like creating high-quality content, instead of interrupting videos with adds or deliberately triggering an addiction response.
The article is an interesting read, regardless, and has certainly given me some things to think about. I’ll definitely keep this page on hand as I develop my channel.
As someone that rarely uses Youtube, this article was very informative. I have only used Youtube for consumption, but this article may have inspired me to start my own channel. Most of this article was very helpful, but I don’t agree with the way you suggest how to gain subscribers. I often find it annoying with a Youtuber has a lot of subscribe tags or is constantly begging me to subscribe. Good content will gain subscribers no matter what. But overall, nice article and thank you for the tips.
I started my YouTube channel in August of 2009, it took me 7 years to gain 5 followers. It was almost painful to try and get views/likes from my non-existent audience. Funny thing though, I have never read your blog here but I literally followed every step you listed a few years ago. Well, almost every step. I never thought about a subscribe button/watermark for your videos. But everything else you talk about here I DID, and now I have over 100k followers! If I can do it I really think anyone can but it’s about motivating yourself to follow each and every step through to the end.
Youtube is an amazing tool for promoting yourself. Ads are a great way to generate revenue and I agree that placement can make or break if your viewer continues to watch your video. Thank you for advising on where to include keywords so that we can reach targeted audiences. I agree that creating a healthy balance between following trends and creating your content is key. It wouldn’t be smart to just follow what everyone is doing every single time, but it is smart to still be in the loop. I would also recommend to not ramble on in your videos. Some people like long narratives but I believe we can all agree that someone who is engaging and to the point will get more views than someone who takes longer to get to the point.
I’ve been considering starting a YouTube page, but to be honest, it all seems a bit overwhelming. I’m glad I came across this article because now I have a better understanding of how to implement SEO into my videos and try to increase my subscription rates. I have some friends who are entrepreneurs and they all have YouTube pages with thousands of followers. In fact, my mentor in college has over 2.5 million subscribers and he makes a decent chunk of change for a side gig.
I’m going to keep these details in mind and see which strategies I can implement immediately to get me started. Thanks for all the great info!
Hi Taylor, I have just started my Youtube page and your article is a great help to me. I think I have to educate myself more on Youtube SEO. You earn one subscriber!
Great tips here! I started a channel recently on YouTube and I’m researching all of the ways that I can gain subscribers when I came across this blog/your blog. This might sound crazy but I never knew how much the Ads and Ad placement meant for the viewer AND for me to make money & to attract viewers. The fact that you can decide where to place your ad is something I never knew you could do. I like the fact that you bring up “not” to show more ads than content too…I know some Youtubers that could benefit from reading this blog. Should I tag them? 🤪Great read!
Angela, feel free to share this blog with your Youtube friends. There’s some great information on here and they will find it a great resource I’m sure. 😉
I’d say you got just addressed the issue many people are facing on YouTube. But the problem with most people is they prioritize monetizing their YouTube account over producing top-notch content.
Most people are concerned about getting ads on their videos rather than providing quality content. I think if you have content that everyone loves, then monetizing the account will follow suit without much stress.
people should make in-depth research on what people want and like the most. This will help increase their traffic. My opinion though.
Hello, I’m glad to see some fellow YouTubers here who have recently started their channel. I am also planning to revive mine soon as I haven’t updated since years ago, and I decided to look into how to increase my YouTube views.
I think this article offers some helpful tips, such as making fun and informative content. People, including me, search for videos that we are interested in viewing. I also agree that creating playlists would be helpful for viewers so that they won’t have to scroll down your channel just to see the video that they want to play.
However, I think that the first tip might be hard for YouTubers who are just starting with zero subscribers. YouTubers could only monetize their channel when they hit 1,000 subscribers, which is hard for me. I also think that using a subscribe watermark excessively could annoy your viewers, and thus, they might go to another channel instead.
Overall, this was a helpful article to read. Thank you!