Getting Organic Views on YouTube in 2022
Written by Christopher JacksonIt’s no secret that YouTube is a powerful tool for getting people to see your content. No matter if you are an aspiring content creator, a small business trying to grow, or a massive brand generating awareness, YouTube can help achieve your goals. But how do you do this effectively without relying on paid campaigns? And what steps can you take to make organic discovery seem like less of a shot in the dark? The truth is YouTube tells us how to get more views organically, we just need to listen and take action.
Which type of organic views should we focus on?
Before digging into the data, we need to start by defining the types of views we are trying to get. We’ve already narrowed things down to exclude any paid campaigns, but there is still a wide variety of organic traffic sources you can harness. You might very well be in a place where you are interested in any type of organic traffic you can get, but narrowing our focus on specific sources will allow us to better understand if the strategies we implement are actually having an impact. For our purposes we will be focusing on two specific sources: “suggested videos” & “browse features”. Combined you can think of these traffic sources as YouTube suggesting your content to other users on the platform.
Which YouTube metrics are key?
Now if you have created any amount of content on YouTube you’ve probably noticed that YouTube provides a lot of analytics. Like pages and pages of different metrics and breakdowns to answer almost any question, you could have. The difficulty is understanding which metrics we should actually pay attention to when trying to grow. Specifically, we will be focusing on the two metrics that YouTube tells us “will increase the chance of YouTube suggesting our content”: Click Through Rate (CTR) and Average View Duration (Avg. View Duration).
Why is CTR important on YouTube and how can it be improved?
CTR shows the percentage of YouTube users who click on your thumbnail relative to the number of impressions YouTube shows of your video thumbnail. CTR provides YouTube with an idea of how interested users are in your video’s topic. The main factors that contribute to the “clickability” of your video are the video title, thumbnail, and to a lesser extent the first 120 characters in your video description. Each of these components should be adjusted to present your video’s subject in the most interesting way possible for your target audience. In particular, the title and thumbnail should work together to peak users’ interest and make them want to see more. Making a good thumbnail can seem like a daunting task but once you get the hang of it, it can become an effortless process. One of the best ways to get inspiration is to search YouTube for videos with topics related to your own and see what kinds of thumbnails stand out to you. From there, make sure the thumbnail conveys the topic of your video in the simplest way possible and that any text on the thumbnail is readable even when shrunk down to smaller sizes. The most important thing to remember when optimizing your video for CTR is that the title, thumbnail, and description can all be changed after the video has been published. So, if you have created an excellent video that isn’t performing well in terms of CTR, don’t hesitate to try adjusting some of these elements to see if your CTR improves. That said, adjusting too many elements too frequently could impact your video’s performance negatively. Make small, measured adjustments and see which changes have an impact on CTR.
Why is Average View Duration important on YouTube and how can it be improved?
Avg. View Duration tells us the average amount of time users choose to spend watching your video. As YouTube is interested in keeping users engaged on their website for as long as possible, it goes without saying that the longer the Avg. View Duration is for a video the better. Below you will see an Avg. View Duration graph that shows clear moments where more users were engaged and watching the video more (peaks) and other moments where users got bored and decided to stop watching the video (dips). Now unlike CTR, it is difficult to make changes to an existing video based on these learnings, however, this data is instrumental in deciding what types of content should be focused on or left out of future videos.
I know this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to organic optimization on YouTube, however, mastering these elements will put you way ahead of many other videos. It’s important to remember that this will be an iterative process and success should be measured over time. YouTube compares your video’s CTR and Avg. View Duration to other videos related to your topic, so be sure to keep up to date with trends in your content category. Lastly, the best comparison metric is your previous work. If you are continuing to create new videos with higher CTRs and longer Avg. View Durations it will only be a matter of time before the YouTube algorithm starts to take notice.