With a boost in watch time, YouTube is more likely to promote your channel through search and recommended videos, which in turn leads to more views. We, therefore, felt it essential to create this helpful guide letting you know the best ways to increase watch time and maximise your YouTube Partner Program potential.
When YouTube updated their algorithm back in October 2012, watch time became the #1 ranking factor. Prior to this, it was the total number of views only that counted when monetizing your channel. Watch time (or audience retention, as it’s popularly called in YouTube analytics) is the total amount of time in aggregate that viewers spend watching your videos. In this article, you’ll discover four ways to increase your YouTube watch time.
1. Create Playlists
Structuring playlists will drive a linear viewing experience. When you organize videos in a more targeted way, this will likely engage your audience to watch more of your content because you are showing the viewer content they are more likely to be interested in. The result - increased watch time and a higher ranking on YouTube. To optimize your playlists, use the start and end time function on YouTube to enumerate IN and OUT points for each video, which creates a more impressive user experience.
2. Link to a playlist
YouTube lets you link to related videos at the end of each video. To increase watch time, link to a themed playlist instead. When viewers click on the playlist URL, they’ll quickly be redirected to the playlist player and have way more content ready for them to view.
3. Choose The Right Titles and Thumbnails For Your Content
Choosing the right combination of thumbnails and titles can help you improve your watch time. They serve as the primary trigger for viewers to click and give preliminary insight into a video’s content. Use both the thumbnail and title to tell an intriguing story and an image to compel viewers to want to click. It is a good idea to look at your watch time reports to see which thumbnails used previously have gained the best response so that you can see of there is a pattern. Ultimately, your thumbnail, title, and description should give potential viewers a good reason to watch your video over others in your niche.
4. Create Content Based on YouTube Keywords
Use YouTube’s suggestions feature for this. In the YouTube search box, type in a word you know your audience is interested in and note YouTube’s suggested searches. These are not just random suggestions; they’re based on what users want to see. Use these suggestions for the topics for your videos. Targeting long-tail YouTube keywords can help you get people to watch your videos instead of your competitors‘. This will no doubt give you an advantage for watch time, increasing your viewing hours and rankings on the platform.