Do you want to know how to get more views on YouTube? What would it do for your channel if one of your videos got a million+ views? Can you imagine the thrill of seeing your content going viral? More than a third of all internet users visit YouTube to consume content every day.
About 75% of American adults watch YouTube, making it way bigger than cable TV or commercial TV channels. If you manage to build an audience on the platform, it could change your life. As one of the two million members (and counting) of the YouTube partner program, you can earn big money from monetizing your channel.
All you need is people watching your channel. The subscriber count isn’t what matters on the site, it’s all about video views. We curated this post on 15 strategies to get you more views on your videos. Are you ready to send your view count to the moon? Let’s dive in.
What Does YouTube Count as a View?
So what counts as a view on your YouTube video? It’s pretty simple. If a user clicks on your video and watches it for longer than 30 seconds, the YouTube algorithm counts it as a view. The view count for your video is directly below the video title on the bottom left corner of the video screen.
If you rewatch a video, YouTube counts it as another view. However, refreshing the page or using bots for gaming the algorithm won’t add to your view count. YouTube also counts views on embedded videos played on external sites, like your blog, adding them to the view count total.
If you launch a live video, YouTube counts live views to the total view count. The platform updates the count every 24 to 48 hours, so if you notice your view count stalling, check back the following day to see your updated progress.
15 Strategies to Get More Views on YouTube
You need a content strategy that delivers results if you want more eyeballs on your videos. Implement these 15 tactics and watch your view count explode overnight.
Strategy 1 – Understand the Fundamentals
Start with optimizing your channel and how you post content to the site. Are you using a banner image on your channel header? Do you have a visible, attractive profile picture in the right pixel format? When you upload videos, are you using the ‘About’ section to tell your viewers more about the content you publish on your channel?
Your brand identity matters. Giving your channel a professional but authentic feel is paramount to improving your view count and viewer engagement. Remember to update your contact information, so prospective collaborators and sponsors to reach out to you. After you cover the basics, it’s time to move on to your content strategy.
Strategy 2 – Know Your Audience
Understanding your audience is the first step in building an effective content strategy. Who watches your videos? What demographic are you catering to? For instance, if you have a camping channel, you’re broadcasting to kids and adults that like camping. You can segregate this audience further by drilling down into the demographics.
For instance, do you go camping with your family and dogs? That would give your channel a broader audience. It might have more of an adult theme if you post camping content involving yourself surviving in the wilderness and building bushcraft shelters. Understanding who you produce videos for is critical to your channel’s success.
Strategy 3 – Implement SEO Tactics for YouTube
Did you know YouTube is the second-largest search engine online? The platform gets more traffic than Yahoo!, Bing, and Safari. Learning to implement Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies into your YouTube videos help you dominate the algorithm and get more views on your videos. Effective SEO starts with in-depth keyword research for your niche.
Do you know which keywords for your niche are ranking in search? Returning to our camping example, we can use a tool like SEM Rush or WordStream to discover the most searched keywords and phrases in the camping niche. Make a list of the top-performing keywords, around 20 to 30, and start using them in your video titles, tags, and descriptions.
This strategy helps the YouTube algorithm identify and categorize your content. The more relevant keywords you use, the better your ranking. For instance, using “camping” as a keyword gives you limited results. It’s better to use more explanatory keywords such as “Hot Tent Camping” or “Bush Craft Survival.”
The YouTube algorithm utilizes keywords when recommending videos related to what’s playing. It also uses keywords to push videos when users search the platform. The moral of the story? Do your keyword research and implement them in your videos. It’s worth the effort.
Strategy 4 – Use Metadata to Boost Your Video Recommendations
Let’s drill down into your keyword execution on the platform. Keywords form part of the “metadata” the YouTube algorithm uses to identify your video content and suggest it to other viewers looking for content in your category. Let’s look at how your competitors use this metadata to capture more views.
Make a list of your top five competitors in your niche. Visit their channel and click the creator’s video library. Click the “sort by” icon in the top right corner, just above the video thumbnails. This action sorts their videos in order of most to least views.
Look at the keywords used in the video titles, descriptions, and tags. You’ll likely notice a common theme in keyword choices across your competitor’s top videos. How does this exercise translate into more video views on your content?
Fortunately, you can implement a hack to find out your competitors’ keywords to drive their videos to the top spot. Right-click the page and select “View Page Source.” Press CTRL-F “keywords,” and you’ll find the list.
The YouTube algorithm’s primary task is to serve viewers with videos they will watch till the end and keep them watching videos. The longer they spend watching videos, the more ad revenue they generate for YouTube (and the creator).
The algorithm considers the following metrics when assessing if your video is the right choice to recommend to viewers.
- Concurrent video views.
- Videos users watched previously.
- Topic-related video content.
It’s important to note that the only one of these metrics you can control is the third on the list. You must take your keyword research seriously if you want the algorithm to suggest your videos. Adding relevant keywords to your description, tags, and titles is the best way to position your content for success.
Strategy 5 – Create Consistent Custom Thumbnails
Prospective viewers rely heavily on thumbnails when browsing YouTube looking for something to watch. YouTube is a visual platform, so they’ll likely look at the thumbnail before they read the title. Optimizing your thumbnails gives you the best chance of viewers choosing your content.
Look at top creator accounts like ‘MrBeast” and “MrBallen.” These creators produce a consistent visual theme for their thumbnails, and they do it for a reason. When users browse their recommended videos or subscriptions, they’ll see these thumbnails and immediately recognize their structure and design.
The thumbnail should feature a consistent design theme. Look at the top creators, and you’ll see them emerge. Avoid “clickbait” thumbnails. The viewer will bounce away from the video after realizing the thumbnail doesn’t match the content. YouTube identifies this behavior and punishes your video for this behavior.
Your thumbnail should stand out from the others around it. Top creators with create visual cues for the thumbnail to attract attention. The thumbnail must be consistent between its visual experience and the video content.
For instance, MrBeast has a photo of his face making a shocked expression with his mouth open in surprise, showing his gleaming white teeth. MrBallen uses an image of himself with a shocked expression in the bottom left corner and a red arrow pointing to an image representing the theme of his story.
Strategy 6 – Build Playlists for your Content
Are you using playlists for your videos? If not, you’re leaving views on the table. Playlists are powerful tools to increase your view count. YouTube prioritizes playlists to keep the viewer watching content on the platform. There’s a better chance of the algorithm serving the viewer another video on the playlist.
Playlists on YouTube operate in the same manner as those on Netflix. As soon as one video ends, the next one begins, with no input required from the user. Viewers who enjoyed your last video would likely leave the playlist running, consuming more of your content.
Strategy 7 – Use End Screens and Video Cards
Our next tip is to use end screens and video cards. These tools help you bypass the algorithm, giving your audience a chance to click on another video suggestion you make for them rather than rely on the algorithm to serve them more content.
Video cards appear at the end of the video. You can set them up to offer up to four video options for the viewer to click. When the viewer clicks the card, YouTube automatically starts the video. When you finish your video, use a verbal CTA asking your viewers to click on another video. Ask and receive.
Don’t place the video cards too early in the video outro. The viewer will find it annoying if the cards cover your face while making your closing remarks. Leave an end screen lasting three or four seconds with the video card choices for the viewer overlaying the screen on some generic image instead of your face.
Russel Brand is an excellent example of a creator that knows how to leverage video cards. He finishes his video and asks the viewer to watch another one he suggests, pointing to the video card to invite the viewer to take action and click on the card.
Strategy 8 – Ask for Likes, Comments, and Subscriptions
Don’t assume your viewers will click on your videos’ video cards or annotations. Ask them to click the card. This strategy also works for increasing engagement on your content. Ask the viewer to like, comment, and subscribe to your channel with notifications. The viewer will feel obligated to comply with your request.
“Asking for the sale” is an old sales tactic used by professional salespeople. While you might think of salespeople as cringy, this tactic can revolutionize the engagement you receive on your videos, there’s a reason why the top creators on the platform use it. Don’t feel embarrassed. Ask for user engagement and watch your view count explode.
Strategy 9 – Engage with Your Audience
Whether you’re publishing videos on YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram, engagement is everything on any social media platform. The YouTube algorithm uses engagement metrics like likes, comments, and replies to determine if your content is popular and worth recommending to users.
“Key West Waterman” by Aaron Young is an example of a new creator to YouTube that does engagement the right way. He invites viewers to like, subscribe and comment on every video. Beyond this request, Aaron actively engages with all comments on his videos. He doesn’t just leave a like or heart on comments; he replies to the questions received by his audience.
This strategy makes the viewer feel important. When the creator replies to the comment, it strengthens the para-social relationship between the creator and the viewer. When the viewer sees a personalized reply on their comment, it makes them feel like they’re adding value to the para-social relationship, enticing them to watch more videos on their channel.
Engagement also includes tactics like running polls for your viewers. Ask them to make suggestions on new content ideas they want to see. Or, run a contest through your channel. Ask your viewers to leave a comment and share the video with a friend to gain entry to the draw.
Strategy 10 – Collaborate with other YouTubers
Collaborating with other creators is a great way to leverage their audience and get more views. If you invite a creator to your show, their audience will tune into your channel to see what’s happening.
If they like your content, they will likely subscribe to your channel and start watching it. Tim Dillon, another comedian, is an excellent example of this strategy. He appeared on a few episodes of ‘The Joe Rogan Experience” before Joe moved to an exclusive deal with Spotify.
Before his appearance on JRE, Tim had a few thousand followers. Six months after his appearance on Joe’s show, he had well over 300K subscribers and hundreds of thousands of views on his podcasts.
Strategy 11 – Cross-Promote Your Content Across Your Social Media
As a YouTube creator, you’re likely using other social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Cross-promote your video releases on your social media accounts. Don’t leave a link to your video and a text-based CTA asking your followers to click the link. That’s a big mistake.
Like YouTube, other social media platforms want to retain eyeballs on their site. If you leave a link in your social post to your YouTube video, the algorithm on the social platform suppresses it in search results and feeds.
Instead, create a 20 to a 30-second clip of one of the best moments in your video. Tell your fans to visit your YouTube channel to see the full video. The clip serves as a teaser trailer for the video, enticing interest in the viewer.
Leave a link to your YouTube channel in your bio to make it easy for the viewer to find your channel. You can add a solo link to your bio or add it to a “Link in Bio” tree. It’s a powerful strategy and delivers excellent results.
Strategy 12 – Enable the Embed Feature on Videos
Do you have a blog? It’s a vital component of any digital marketing strategy and a great way to promote your YouTube videos. Visit your YouTube settings and enable embedding. This function allows you to embed YouTube videos from your channel in your blog post.
The video appears as it does on the site, using the thumbnail. When a user reads your blog and sees the video, they can choose to click it, and it plays in the blog. The user can also click the “YouTube” icon in the bottom right corner of the video screen, which pulls them through to YouTube.
Whether the viewer watches the embedded video on your blog or your YouTube channel on the site, it counts as a view. To enable video embedding, visit the YouTube Creator Studio and tap “Content.” Select the video and click “Edit.” Toggle the on/off switch until it turns blue.
Strategy 13 – Add Closed Captions to Your Videos
Many people watch YouTube videos with the sound turned off. Enabling closed captions in your videos is a great way to leverage these audiences. Data shows that 69% of viewers watching on mobile devices watch with the sound off.
If you don’t have closed captions on your video, they will likely scroll to another one. Hire someone on a gig site like Fiverr to transcribe your videos. YouTube has a step-by-step guide to uploading the transcript in a .txt document.
Strategy 14 – Use Premiers and Post at the Right Time
Keep your viewers aware of your next video release. Use a premier to attract an audience before you launch the video. A video premiere allows you to upload your video to the platform. The algorithm paces your thumbnail in the recommended and suggested video pages with a block around “Premiere” and “notify me.”
Viewers can click on the thumbnail and choose to like the video beforehand while clicking the notifications button. This strategy gives you an immediate audience as soon as you upload, encouraging the algorithm to push your video.
Strategy 15 – Incentivize Longer Watch Time
Incentivizing your viewer to watch the entire video until the end is important. Using a CTAS like “stick around to the end of the video to find out” gives the viewer a reason to watch the video to completion. The YouTube algorithm sees video completion rates as content worth promoting on the home page, recommended, and upcoming video feeds.
How to Get More Views on YouTube – Key Takeaways
Implement these 15 strategies to get more views on YouTube. These tips work for any channel and any content strategy. You’ll see immediate results from using them, and your view count will keep accelerating with every video you release.
Don’t expect to hit that million-view mark overnight. It’s going to take time to build an audience and increase views. Stary dedicated. Optimize your channel and content strategy. Eventually, you’ll experience breakthrough success. Remember, even the top creators started somewhere.