On YouTube, your view counts come from two main avenues: your subscribers and organic views. Your subscribers access your videos through their subscription boxes or post notifications. All of your other viewers, however, find your videos through search and discovery. YouTube’s video ranking algorithm is what helps them find your videos this way.
Here are three things every creator should know about search and discovery on YouTube.
The more watch time you have, the higher your videos will rank.
YouTube promotes your videos to new users through the “suggested videos” section as well as their home pages. The algorithm is designed to serve users content they’ll enjoy, not just what’s popular or what’s been recently uploaded. One of the key metrics the algorithm looks at before recommending a video is watch time.
The higher a video’s watch time is, the more viewers watched it all the way through. To the algorithm, this means that those viewers enjoyed the video. Therefore, you should focus on increasing your watch time. Longer videos, tight editing, series, and playlists are all ways you can increase your channel’s watch time score.
Using Google Trends can help you find the most popular search terms in your niche.
If you’re familiar with Search Engine Optimization, then you definitely understand the importance of keywords. The YouTube algorithm also uses the keywords in your video titles, descriptions, and tags to determine what a viewer would enjoy. By using keywords that are both relevant and popular, you can reach more viewers within your content niche.
In order to find the best keywords for your videos, you’ll need to conduct your own keyword research. Google Trends is an extremely helpful tool for keyword research. You can learn all about it in this post.
YouTube suggests videos based on a user’s prior activity.
Another place YouTube looks for data on the kind of content a user might enjoy is that specific user’s prior activity on the platform. The algorithm examines all of the videos they’ve watched in the past so that it can recommend similar ones. For example, if a viewer watched a lot of gaming videos, then the algorithm will suggest Let’s Plays and not baking tutorials.
You can use this to your advantage by modeling your videos after what’s popular in your content niche. For example, if you’re a beauty vlogger and you see that the top beauty creators are doing hair tutorials, then you might start doing more hair tutorials instead of makeup palette reviews. For a better insight on what viewers who enjoy your channel are also interested in, then you should look at the metric that tells you what other channels your audience watches. Learn how to access this metric here.
Your videos get organic views through search and discovery on YouTube. Focus on watch time, keywords, and keeping up with the trends in order to grow your channel organically.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.