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15/06/20

How to Get More Views on YouTube


1. Ensure your YouTube basics are up to snuff

First we walk, then we run. Take a look at your fundamentals and make sure you’ve ticked all the boxes. Read our list of beginner tips for YouTube, then come back to dig into our advanced tactics.

Your basic YouTube housekeeping includes considerations like:

A consistent visual identity (your channel icon, YouTube channel art, etc.)
A completed and informative About section (unless you are a breakout YouTube star like Joana Ceddia)
Up-to-date contact information (so all your potential customers and future brand partners can get in touch)

2. Zero in on your specific niche (and your ideal audience)

Trust us, we’re all about the actionable tricks, but successful YouTubers don’t skip this step, no matter how academic it sounds. If you need youtube views smm panel go to link top4smm.com

If you’re aiming to optimize your YouTube marketing strategy, you want to get precise and ruthlessly selective about your goals—and the content that will get you there.

Because you aren’t making videos for everyone. You’re here for someone special: your audience.

A quick example: YouTuber White Winter Whispers has been making ASMR videos for a few years. She has plenty of the standard ASMR videos: crumple noises, brush noises, a few whispered songs, et cetera. All of those videos are floating around 60-70,000 views, which is impressive enough, by most counts. But she found her breakout two-million-view video with… Finnish tongue twisters.

What’s the lesson here? Your YouTube brand’s biggest strength is its unique angle on your topic or industry. Specificity is key here.

Pro Tip: Have you worked up your audience personas yet? It’s kind of like a Dungeons & Dragons character, except make it bizness.
3. Do your research, and improve your video’s search ranking

Yes, YouTube is a social platform, but it’s also a search engine. And all else being equal, one of the top strategies for getting more YouTube views is optimizing your videos for search.

In other words, when your ideal viewer types in your chosen keywords, you want your video ranking near the top of YouTube’s results list. That means you need to know what your audience is looking for—tutorials, inspiration, or entertainment.

Ranking in search results is the best way to get brand new eyes—not just subscribers and people who are already interested in your channel (although we’ll talk more about them later)—on your videos.

But, this is easier said than done. So, what can you do to improve your video’s search ranking on YouTube?

Research. You’re going to want to use a tool like Google Keyword Planner (note that you’ll need to set up a Google Ads account) to do two things:

Find inspiration for your next video based on what people are already looking for (i.e., take a look at search patterns and see what keywords have a lot of search queries, but few videos, a.k.a. low competition)
Take those relevant keywords and use them in your metadata (i.e., your video title, tags, description text, subtitles)

Pro Tip: If you haven’t already, now is the time to familiarize yourself with the YouTube algorithm. This AI determines not just search results, but recommendations for that important “what’s up next” sidebar, too. (See #4, below.) Just remember that it all comes back to your ideal viewer: the algorithm doesn’t care if your video is “good,” it cares if a specific user wants to watch it. That being said, users typically want to watch “good” videos.
4. Use metadata to get recommended after a popular video

If your goal is to get more YouTube views, take a cue from the most popular videos in your niche.

Start by taking a look at your top competitor’s most popular video. (Go to their video library and sort by “most popular.”)

SciShow YouTube page highlighting "Videos" tab and the option to sort by "Most Popular"

YouTube’s main goal is to keep viewers on the platform for as long as possible (so that they’ll see as many ads as possible.) Thus the algorithm’s job is to feed viewers one incredible video after another.

Of course, ‘incredible’ is in the eye of the beholder. A better word might be ‘relevant’ or ‘interesting.’

Science Insider YouTube video called "The Surprising Origins of a Colour Darker Than Vanta Black". In the up next column to the left is a video called "Why are popcorn ceilings so terrible?"

For example, this popular science video on ultra-black material has just over 2.4M views. The YouTube algorithm’s “up next” video is from the same channel, but it’s about, um… ‘80s home decor, I think? Below that is an ad. And below that is where the algorithm gets interesting.

How does YouTube figure that a person interested in, say, the purest expressions of the color of despair, might be interested in “horrifyingly mysterious” lakes? Or vertiginous oceanic depths?

Well. YouTube has stated that the algorithm recommends:

Videos from the same channel
Videos that a lot of people like, based on engagement, watch time, and views
Videos that a specific person might like, based on their viewing history
Videos with related or similar metadata (i.e., titles, tags and descriptions)

The only point you can control here is that fourth one.

But before you go ahead and just copy-and-paste a more popular video’s metadata over to your copycat video (as some YouTube gurus recommend, though we won’t name names), please take a moment and think about your audience.

They aren’t going to want to watch the same video again. Maybe the first video raised a new question that needs answering, or there’s an interesting tangent to be explored. How can your video add value to what they just saw so that they’ll want to click on it?

Take the ball and run with it.

Pro Tip: Unlike other video metadata like titles and descriptions, YouTube video keywords aren’t listed visibly. In order to see them, right click on the webpage and select “View Page Source.” Then CTRL-F “keywords” until you find the list:

HTML code highlighting the word "keywords" and then "SciShow" "Science" "Hank", etc.

And Another Pro Tip: When you’re choosing keywords, think like a librarian. Describe your video’s topic and describe its overall category, and think of other words a person might use to search for that topic.

For example, the tongue-twister video from #2 might have the following keywords:

Topic: Finnish tongue twisters
Category: ASMR, foreign languages
Synonyms: unintelligible ASMR, difficult languages, soothing ASMR, Finnish ASMR, Suomi ASMR

Check out more tips on effective YouTube descriptions and keywords here.
5. Increase your views with custom thumbnails

When your potential viewers are in discovery mode—skimming through search results and recommendations—thumbnails are a major part of how they decide what to watch.

Unfortunately, a lot of advice out there is a graphic designer’s nightmare: screaming fonts, cluttered information. Even the self-appointed experts are a little, um, loud:

A selection of 4 YouTube video thumbnails, all of which have large text, bright colors, and closeups of a person's face

But we aren’t here to police people’s abuse of neon green. So, objectively speaking, what are the properties of an effective thumbnail?

The thumbnail is clear and accurate about the video it’s describing (if your thumbnail misleads people into clicking, YouTube will know because your watch time will go down when the viewer gets annoyed and stops watching. The algorithm won’t like that.)
The thumbnail stands out.
The thumbnail works in tandem with the video’s title.

‘Standing out’ can be as simple as picking a bright colour. Or making sure your giant hi-res face is making a weird expression in good lighting. But it’s just as likely that your niche is full of shrill, high-key visuals, and the best way your channel can stand out is by being the calm, minimalist voice of reason.

Alternately, you can always nix the production values and go for fully authentic no-filter vibes. It doesn’t hurt Joana Ceddia’s view counts.


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