#1 Create Longer Content Since 2012, YouTube has prioritized Watch Time as its main performance metric.
If YouTube creators can keep their subscribers and viewers watching for longer, then their Audience Retention and Watch Time numbers will increase. YouTube channels need at least 4000 hours Watch Time in order to monetize video content, but once that has been achieved the focus should be on increasing those Watch Time and audience retention numbers even further.
While this doesn’t mean you should be uploading longer videos, it does mean that you can extend the length of the video content that’s really working for you. If your audiences watches and engages with your content, then aim for 10+ minute content. Great content that entertains or informs your audience equals a great way to get more views on YouTube!
#2 Create Great Thumbnails
Enabling custom thumbnails is one of the best and easiest things you can do for your channel to get more views on YouTube. Creating and then uploading unique and compelling custom thumbnails to all of the videos you publish can positively impact your click through rate, and when it comes to CTR and YouTube Watch Time, the more you improve these numbers, the more YouTube will reward your content.
Click Through Rate (the number of thumbnail impressions divided by the number of times someone clicked on that thumbnail to view your video) is one of the newest and most powerful analytics on YouTube. All creators should measure and benchmark their CTR and aim to improve on it each time with a powerful custom thumbnail that encourages the viewer to click through and watch.
#3 How To Get 50% View Duration
YouTube wants you to get as much Watch Time for every single video that you upload, as it considers this metric even more important than views.
Why? Because while a click from a viewer is important, it doesn’t tell you how long somebody is on YouTube for. However, the more Watch Time YouTube has from its audience, the more ads they can sell to that audience - making more money for YouTube, and also for the video creator. So, the more Watch Time you can create from your videos, the more YouTube is going to reward you, and share your content with more viewers!.
Audience retention is all about keeping that viewer interested throughout your video. And you want to try and get that audience retention to as close to 100% as possible, although a good benchmark is somewhere around about 50%.
#4 How To Get More Views With Better Storytelling
The ability to tell a great story is a skill that all the most successful YouTubers have mastered.
They understand that the best way to keep viewers coming back to your YouTube channel is to keep giving them the content they want. Even if you are truly passionate about a subject, it pays huge dividends to create a compelling story around the focus of your video to keep viewers interested, and entertained.
Every video you publish should have a strong hook (something you convey through the title and custom thumbnail), and a clear beginning, middle, and end. It should be your goal to create a sense of intrigue, and give every viewer a reason to keep watching.
#5 Write Better Descriptions
A great description will give the world (and YouTube) more context about your content. The description box is also a fantastic micro-site that you can use to optimize your video, as well as give your viewers more information about you, and your channel.
1. Use the Right Keywords to be Found in Search.
YouTube scrapes descriptions for keywords, and it may help your video appear in Search. The higher those keywords are in the description, the more likely they are to be found by YouTube.
2. Add a Subscribe Link.
The next thing you want to do is to include a subscribe link to your channel somewhere near the top of the description.
3. Go Into Detail About Your Video.
This is where you want to be using as many keywords as possible, so that YouTube can identify your content with as many associated terms as possible, which helps you in Search.
4. Add Time Stamps
The next thing you can do which can be really helpful to viewers, especially on longer videos, is to use time stamps.
5. Add Affiliate Links (if Appropriate)
Next, there's nothing wrong with earning a little bit of extra cash from your YouTube videos, from non-YouTube tools, and that includes affiliate links in your video description.
6. Add YouTube Hashtags
If you want to include hashtags in your video above your title, you need to add those hashtags to your video description.
#6 Respond to Every Comment
Even though you may have spent days filming and editing your video, the work isn’t over just because you’ve uploaded it to YouTube. Part of the excitement of publishing video content is the audience reaction, and if viewers have taken the time to watch your video and then comment on it, you should respect their time and energy by replying to every single one (or at least as many as you can).
If you are getting a lot of comments, block off an hour a day in your calendar to respond to, and engage with those commenters. You could even pin the best comments to your videos, or pin your own comments to continue the conversation in the comments section!
If replying to every comment feels overwhelming, remind yourself that the comments section is where connections begin, which could evolve into collaborations, brand deals, friendships and more.