5 Ways To Increase Watch Time For Better YouTube Rankings

One of the main factors in how high a YouTube video ranks is watch time. How much of your video viewers stay tuned for matters in the same way that the number of people who watch it does. So, if you can get more viewers to watch longer videos, your watch time score will improve.

Longtime YouTube sensation Shane Dawson is just one example of how important watch time is. Once he started posting less frequent but longer videos, Shane’s channel skyrocketed as millions of new viewers flocked to his videos. However, making his videos longer wasn’t the only thing that got Shane his first top trending video.

By examining the changes Shane Dawson made to his content, you can learn how to improve the watch time of your own videos in order to get better YouTube rankings. Here are five ways to increase your watch time for better YouTube rankings.

1. Focus on quality over quantity.

In order to get viewers to watch an entire video, you have to give them a video worth watching. If you’re recycling old ideas or making the same kind of videos they can find on a dozen other channels, then viewers may click out of the video as quickly as they jumped in. It’s your job to give them the kind of videos they can’t find anywhere else.

Over the past few months, Shane Dawson has done a complete overhaul of his content strategy. He traded in life hack testing and funny food videos for in-depth documentary series featuring other top YouTubers. Rather than posting every day, he slowed down and focused on producing one new series every few weeks.

By changing his video style so drastically, Shane took a huge risk. Though he already had a steady audience tuning into his daily videos, he knew that in order to grow, he had to take that risk. However, Shane didn’t reach millions of new viewers overnight. Rather, he experimented with a few different video styles until his series with Grav3yardgirl really took off.

2. Find out what kind of long videos your audience is willing to watch.

Like Shane, you’ll next need to figure out what kind of longer videos your audience is willing to watch. Test the waters by mixing in a few longer videos with your typical content. See which ones get the most views or really get your viewers talking. Then, slowly transition to posting the longer videos regularly.

After the success of his series with Grav3yardgirl, Shane created two more documentary series about getting to know notable YouTubers behind their on-camera personas. Recently, he filmed with beauty guru Jeffree Star, helping viewers get a look into the aspects of his luxurious lifestyle that Jeffree doesn’t usually talk about on camera.

3. Create unique video series.

As previously mentioned, in order to keep viewers watching, you have to give them the kind of videos they can’t find on anyone else’s channel. Think outside the box with your video ideas. Ask yourself what only you can bring to the table. Then, take those unique ideas and craft them into several video series. Plan between three to five episodes for each one. If you can, bring in collaborators to make your project even bigger.

Because Shane has been so successful on the platform for so long, both the other vloggers and the viewers trust him. This puts Shane in the unique position to help these major YouTubers be more real with their audiences through his new videos. However, he doesn’t do it alone. His cameraman Andrew Siwicki helps film and edit. For example, without Andrew, Shane wouldn’t have been able to get to the bottom of what went wrong with vlogger Tana Mongeau’s failed attempt to start her own convention.

4. Announce your upload schedule.

To get more people watching, make sure they know exactly when you’re uploading new videos. Announce your upload schedule a few days before a new video goes live, especially when you’re doing a series. You can post the date of your next upload to Twitter or your Instagram story, or you can put it in the end screen of the previous video.

After the first three episodes of his Jeffree Star series, Shane announced the release date of the finale on Twitter.

5. Tease the next video at the end.

Finally, in order to get viewers to finish both your new video and the next one, tease the upcoming upload at the end of the first one. Edit a ten to fifteen-second trailer to add after a title card that says “in the next video.” Include anything shocking, funny, or confusing to pique your viewers’ interest.

In the end of the video before the finale of his Jeffree Star series, Shane edited in a compilation of clips from the finale itself.

A better watch time score means better video rankings. In order to keep viewers tuned in, you have to create videos they can’t wait to see.

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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.

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