Boost Your YouTube Views With These Easy Hacks
By Mohammad Farooq
What exactly are your goals?
Despite the increasing popularity of Facebook as a platform where people can enjoy and share videos, YouTube still has a lot of clout. In fact, YouTube is still the second most popular search engine behind Google. Furthermore, there are several YouTube marketing tips and tricks that you can use to benefit your business. That being said, while any video has the potential to take off and register a million views, it can actually be quite difficult to make your video stand out and draw enough attention on the crowded YouTube platform.
Whether you use YouTube for business or for personal use, it’s natural to want more views on your videos. An additional and yet critical component of what you expect from your content is the engagement that your videos create. And yes, it is possible to have the best of both worlds and have high views and high engagement. This is what your goal should be. Engagement is a measure of how many users or viewers follow your call to action and do something beyond watching your YouTube video, irrespective of whether this means commenting, subscribing, going to your website, buying something from you (or from an affiliate) or whatever else that you may need your viewer to do.
With all this in mind, here are a few hacks that will boost your YouTube views and engagement:
Use Keywords To Optimize Your Title, Description and Tags
First of all, in order to zero in on your target audience, make use of keyword tools like the YouTube free video analytics tool, as well as Google Trends and Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Optimize for long tail keywords as they are often more descriptive and natural.
Figure 1: Image showing Google trends for YouTube.
Remember that your key objective is to appeal to your target audience and not to search engine robots. As such, your keywords should correspond with the content of your video as well as what your target audiences are searching for. Once you have the keywords that you want to target, you should then incorporate them into the title, meta description and tags. Additionally, ensure that you vary the keywords and keyword phrases slightly if you intend to use the video outside of YouTube. This is so that you can avoid competing against yourself for the same keywords.
Maximize On Using Closed Captions
Closed captions (CC) make your video accessible to an even wider audience that most competitors don’t target, and that audience is yearning for content. Such audience members include non-English speakers and non-native English speakers, the deaf, people who don’t have audio enabled on their devices, or those who don’t want to use audio in the videos, etc. When using CC, you should avoid using the YouTube automatic CC feature. Automatic CC is often inaccurate and therefore YouTube and Google don’t use it for search indexing. However, if you upload your own CC, the uploaded CC will be used for SEO.
Additionally, considering that 80% of YouTube audiences are non-US, you should add subtitles for different languages. Not only will your ranking go up due to compliance with universal standards and an improved user experience, you will also reach a huge, untapped, and diverse language segment.
Make Use of Annotations
Using optimized annotations will encourage your audience to engage more with your content by subscribing, sharing and so on. Annotations really do work. Give them a try and see what happens.
Add Your Videos Transcript To The Description
If you want your video to be even more searchable and optimized for search engines (and therefore viewed more), it’s a good idea to include a transcript in the video description. This will be helpful in the following ways:
- – Search engine crawlers from YouTube, Google, Bing, Yahoo and so on will be able to get relevant information about the video and therefore rank the video better.
- – Viewers who want to quickly scan through what is being talked about in the video can do so.
- – You can make the user experience even better by making it easier for your audience to navigate to other websites mentioned in your video. You can do so by adding links in the description area.
Create Captivating Thumbnails
Beautiful, captivating or shocking thumbnails can increase engagement for your videos by as much as 154%. If you want to have the best thumbnails for your video, create your own thumbnails and avoid YouTube’s automatic ones. Additionally, the thumbnails should have the following features to increase their impact:
- – They should be facial close-ups, high contrast, high quality, 16:9 aspect ratio thumbnails.
- – The imagery should visually capture the keywords and content of the video.
- – Avoid imagery that can get you in trouble since Google uses image recognition to filter out certain imagery.
- – Avoid having relevant content in the bottom right of the thumbnail because YouTube will overlay video duration in that area.
Figure 2: A video thumbnail from the Techquickie channel.
Find Out What Works For You And Be Consistent With It
Find out what your audience wants and give it to them. For example, pay attention to the best length of video for your specific content, best time to post videos, titles that are clicked on the most, production styles and so on. Once you have a pattern, your audience will be able to respond to the routine by knowing when exactly to expect new content and additionally have confidence that the quality will meet their standards. Additionally, make sure you have a consistent addition of fresh content on your channel with recognizable playlists for grouping of content in order to increase views.
Figure 3: Several playlists with a number of videos for each playlist from the DIY Perks Channel.
Synchronize Your Videos With Current Topics of Interest
Boost views by publishing videos that are currently in the public eye or by strategically timing your video posts to correspond with current news and events. This will allow you to attract viewers when certain topics are still fresh and at the forefront of their minds. E.g. If a certain holiday or event is around the corner, have an appropriately titled video with relevant content.
Re-Market and Re-Purpose Your Videos
Embed and repurpose your videos in email, blog posts, your website and wherever else they may be relevant. This will expose your videos to a whole different viewership and segmentation who may not visit YouTube on a regular basis. Additionally, ensure that you share your videos, and that you promptly and kindly respond to queries and comments.
Mohammad Farooq works as a Social Media Analyst. When not doing anything related to Social media, he goes backpacking around India. He regularly blogs about travel, movies, political issues and a lot of other things on his blog ReveringThoughts.