5 Tips To Increase Watch Time for Better YouTube Rankings

5 Tips To Increase Watch Time for Better YouTube Rankings

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We all know that accumulating Watch Time on your YouTube videos is very important for how successfully they rank in search results. In this week’s Creator’s Tip, we give you 5 ideas for increasing the Watch Time on your video content.

So, How do You Increase Watch Time?

One way that you can make your videos perform well is by having your videos rank well in search results. We have already discussed the Top 3 Video SEO Influencers on YouTube, and this week we focus in on one of those factors: Watch Time. Follow our 5 top tips for increasing this metric on YouTube.

Analyze Your Audience Retention Scores

The easiest way to increase Watch Time is to keep viewers watching your videos longer. You need to take a deep dive into your ‘Audience Retention’ scores to see where viewers are leaving. Think about any commonalities there are running through your videos that are making people abandon them when they do. Analyze your Audience Retention scores and re-evaluate how you can you keep those viewers hooked to the very end of your videos.

audience retention

Tease a Story With Your Title and Thumbnail

Unless you’re doing how-to content, don’t merely describe the video or give it a title that kills the climax of the story. Instead, give it a title and custom thumbnail that is relevant to the video, but also creates intrigue so viewers will feel compelled to stay tuned to the very end.

Hook the Viewer Within the First 15 Seconds

When the viewer starts watching your video, they’re wondering, “Is this video worth my time? Should I keep watching this or not?” Answer that question for them right from the very beginning, in the first 15 seconds, and give them a reason to stay as long as possible. Even a 40% Audience Retention score is better than a 5% one.

Promote Your Other Videos

Use an end card to highlight some other videos from your channel that the viewer might be interested in. Since you want to extend the viewer’s viewing session, you might as well do it by keeping them on your videos instead of letting them to go whatever videos YouTube happens to be suggesting. Not sure how to create an end slate? Watch our handy guide below.

Promote Playlists

If you organize your content into a series of videos, this will make it so much easier for viewers to watch a set, rather than just a single video. Obviously, you’ll make to curate content that fits naturally together (i.e. How-to videos, videos about one particular product or service, etc) and once you have done that you can you can guide the viewer to that Playlist. Need more info? We explain the concept here in depth.

Build your Subscriber Base

The #1 best thing you might be able to do for your video SEO is to build your subscriber base because active subscribers will always lead to higher accumulated watch time on your videos right from the moment you publish them. Plus, they tend to be more committed to your videos and will have better audience retention than someone who finds you through search results.

What are you doing to increase the Watch Time of your videos on YouTube? Let us know in the comments below!


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